Camp Douglas Prison: A Union guard writes on a Confederate POW exchange: "They don't seem to like the idea of going back to Dixie very well"
Civil War-dated ALS signed
"Nell W. Rebee," three pages on two adjoining sheets, 5 x 8, February
9, 1865. Handwritten letter from "Camp Douglas" to his sister, in
part: "The weather has got too darned cold…but there is no snow. There is
to be a lot of Rebs exchanged from this camp now in a few days probably four or
five thousand if we can find that many that is willing to be exchanged, they
don't seem to like the idea of going back to Dixie very well…There is some talk
of our Regt. leaving this place for Dixie if we go our destination will be
Savannah but I don't know as we shall go but if we do I think we will leave in
a very few days." In fine condition.
Sometimes described as 'The North's Andersonville,' Camp Douglas in Chicago was one of the largest Union Army prisoner-of-war camps for Confederate soldiers captured during the Civil War. Approximately 26,000 Confederate POWs passed through the camp throughout the war, experiencing a death rate of about 17%. In spite of the poor conditions, this Union guard observes that, at this late stage in the war, few Confederate captives desired to return to the fight in the South.
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