Columbus in Franklin County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery
Camp Chase Prison
When President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to suppress the southern rebellion in April 1861, thousands of men rushed to Camp Jackson in Columbus, Ohio. Authorities established Camp Chase after volunteers overwhelmed Camp Jackson, which had been hastily set up in a city park. Camp Chase remained a Union training camp throughout the war but assumed another function in June 1861, when the first prisoner arrived. By November, Camp Chase held nearly 300 prisoners, many of them Northern civilians charged with aiding the Confederacy.
On February 16, 1862, Fort Donelson, a Confederate stronghold on the Cumberland River west of Clarksville, Tennessee, surrendered. Faced with housing 15,000 prisoners, the federal government turned several training camps, including Camp Chase, into prison camps. When prisoner exchanges ceased in summer 1863, the Camp Chase population exploded to more than 2,000 men. Camp Chase operated for the duration of the war, but by July 1865 all remaining prisoners had been released.
The Prison Cemetery
By the time Camp
Privately funded improvements and annual memorial observances began in 1893 under the direction of William Knauss, a former Union soldier. Knauss hired Henry Briggs, a local farmer, to maintain the cemetery. He also installed the memorial boulder.
Knauss formed the Camp Chase Memorial Association to solicit funds to decorate the Confederate graves and erect a formal memorial. The existing granite arch topped by a zinc soldier was erected in 1902.
In 1908, after determining that individual graves could be identified, the Commission for Marking Graves of Confederate Dead installed headstones. The Commission also erected metal fencing atop the stone wall and the decorative entrance gate to better secure the cemetery.
On May 30, 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic decorated the Union and Confederate graves at Arlington National Cemetery. Thirty years later President William McKinley proclaimed:
The Union is once more the
The War Department created the Confederate section at Arlington in 1901, and marked the graves with distinctive pointed-top marble headstones. Five years later, Congress created the Commission for Marking Graves of the Confederate Dead to identify and mark the graves of Confederates who died in Northern prisons. Its mission was later expanded to encompass all national cemeteries that contained Confederate burials.
Four former Confederate officers headed the Commission over its lifetime. By 1916, it had marked in excess of 25,500 graves and erected monuments in locations where individual graves could not be identified.
In 1930, the War Department authorized the addition of the Southern Cross of Honor to the Confederate headstone.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #25 William McKinley series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 16, 1862.
Location. 39° 56.62′ N, 83° 4.555′ W. Marker is in Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2900 Sullivant Avenue, Columbus OH 43204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 2260 Confederate Soldiers (a few steps from this marker); Confederate Cannonball (a few steps from this marker); This Confederate Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Camp Chase (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Camp Chase (approx. ¾ mile away); a different marker also named Camp Chase (approx. 0.8 miles away); The National Road (approx. 1.1 miles away); Maynard E. Sensenbrenner (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 10, 2016, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 383 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 10, 2016, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.