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‘ [81]

Elmira prison Camp.

This photograph, reproduced one-half above and one-half below, is the only one showing the whole prison, which takes in an area of forty acres. Early in the war a rendezvous Camp had been established at Elmira, New York. After exchange of prisoners ceased in 1863, though battles continued to be fought, the number of Confederate prisoners increased very rapidly and further accommodation was necessary. These barracks were chosen to serve as a prison in May, 1864. The first detachment of Confederate prisoners arrived there July 6th, 649 in number. During the month of July, 1864, 4,424 more were brought; during August, 5,195; and from September 1, 1864, to May 12, 1865, 2,503 additional, making a total of 12,122 prisoners of war. For a considerable time a large proportion of these were accommodated in tents, though barracks were completed in the early part of the winter. The site of the prison was badly chosen; it was below the level of the Chemung River, and a lagoon of stagnant water caused much sickness. The severity of the winter also brought much suffering to the prisoners, may of whom came from the warm Gulf States. The number of deaths to July 1, 1865, was 2,917; the number of escapes 17; those in the hospital, July 1, 1865, 218; and the number released, 8,970; total, 12,122. These figures were taken from the books of the officer in charge. The high fence was built when prisoners were ordered to this point.

The only photograph showing the whole of Elmira prison camp

The only photograph showing the whole of Elmira prison camp


 

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