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Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Newport News POW Camp

Where Valor Proudly Sleeps

 
 
Newport News POW Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Newport News POW Camp Marker
Inscription.  The monument that stands before you was erected in June 1900 by the members of the Magruder Camp No. 36, United Confederate Veterans, to honor the 163 Confederate soldiers reinterred at this site who had died in the POW Camp next to Camp Butler on Newport News Point.

Following the war’s end, the victorious Union army had thousands of Confederate troops to parole and return to their homes throughout the South. With Northern camps already filled with captured Confederates, a Newport News POW Camp to hold and process 10,000 to 20,000 prisoners was quickly built. The site, built next to Camp Butler on Newport News Point, was described as “twenty-five acres, enclosed by a fence twelve feet high, inside of which is a railing twenty feet from the fence, which prisoners are not allowed to pass. Outside of the fence a gallery has been erected for the sentinels, from which they can observe who approaches the railing and also any unusual disturbance among the prisoners.”

Other facilities, including a hospital, were constructed. The 122nd U.S. Colored Troops, Battery B, 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery, and the 1st U.S. Colored
Marker and Confederate Dead Monument image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker and Confederate Dead Monument
The monument honors Confederate prisoners who died in a nearby Union POW camp at Camp Butler, April - August 1865.
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Cavalry were assigned to guard the camp. Col. J. Ham Davidson commanded the camp.

Union officials soon realized the futility of imprisoning former Confederates until they were formally paroled, and the Newport News POW Camp never reached its anticipated capacity. By July it was empty. The camp never held more than 3,490 prisoners, of whom 168 died during captivity and 12 escaped. The Federal authorities deactivated the camp in August 1865.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable PlacesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1900.
 
Location. 36° 59.693′ N, 76° 24.28′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on Parish Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located in Greenlawn Memorial Park, in front of the Confederat Dead Memorial. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2700 Parish Avenue, Newport News VA 23607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Dead (a few steps from this marker); Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Greenlawn Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles
Marker in Greenlawn Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Marker in Greenlawn Memorial Park
away); Newsome House (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named The Newsome House (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Winfield-Jones House (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Brown Center (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Clark Oak (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. The upper right of the marker contains a drawing of an “Encampment of U.S. Troops at Newport News, Virginia – Courtesy of Virginia War Museum.”
The lower left of the marker features a drawing by Frank Schell of “Fortifications at Newport News, a section of Breastworks at Camp Butler – Courtesy of Virginia War Museum.”
 
Also see . . .  Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on August 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.) 
 
Confederate Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. Confederate Memorial
The remains of 154 Confederate soldiers who died at Newport News between 1861 through 1865 are buried in the vicinity of this monument. It was constructed by Lee Camp No. 3 Confederate Veterans of Hampton, Va.
Newport News POW Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 25, 2012
5. Newport News POW Camp Marker
Confederate Grave image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
6. Confederate Grave
The graves of many Confederate veterans are located in the vicinity of the marker and the Confederate Monument.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 4,215 times since then and 179 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   5. submitted on September 19, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   6. submitted on August 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Dec. 6, 2021