Diary of Orrin Brown—Oct 17, 1864

Camp Morton

Diary of Orrin Brown, On a train in Southern Indiana.

Monday–Oct. 17th

It was quite cool last night but it has come of warm and pleasant, there were 8 Reb. prisoners brought into camp this morning all officers, they were dressed in all kinds of clothes no two alike, we left camp about 11AM marched down to the depot and were put into box cars left the depot at 4PM, there were 1,000 Illinois Soldiers on the same train, there were 40 men in a car, we could not sleep much, it was cold and uncomfortable.

Camp Morton was a Civil War-era Prisoner-of-War camp for captured Confederate soldiers in Indianapolis, named for the governor of Indiana.  At the beginning of the war the site of the Indiana State Fair served as a military training ground, then was converted to a prison camp in 1862.  The camp occupied 36 acres bordered by present-day Central Ave and 19th, 22nd and Talbott Streets.  The camp averaged 3,200 prisoners at a time.  More than 1,700 prisoners died at the camp.  After the war, Southerners built a memorial to Camp commandant Col. Richard Own as a tribute to his fair treatment of Confederate prisoners.

Over 400,000 men were imprisioned North and South during the Civil War, with 12% casualty rate in Northern camps and 15.5% in Southern camps, both together accounting for about 10% of all fatalities.  Andersonville, in Georgia, was perhaps the most famous for its medieval conditions, housing 45,000 prisoners of whom 13,000 died in one year of operation.


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1 Response to Diary of Orrin Brown—Oct 17, 1864

  1. Pingback: Diary of Orrin Brown—Nov 6, 1864 -JC Shepard(dot)com

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