Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Newport News POW Camp
Where Valor Proudly Sleeps
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
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 Sites • Notable Places • War, 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 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.)
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 4,567 times since then and 331 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.