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The Confederate Mound Monument - Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 46.007 W 087° 36.154
16T E 449914 N 4624058
Quick Description: A bronze figure of a Confederate infantry soldier, arms folded across his chest, hat in hand, and kit hanging at his side, stands atop a square granite column, keeping watch over the mass grave of 6000 southerners resting in the north.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 7/9/2010 10:40:11 AM
Waymark Code: WM97DG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Blue Man
Views: 1

Long Description:
Continued from the Smithsonian inventory:
"Three bronze relief panels at the base depict "The Call to Arms"on the east side, "A Veteran's Return Home" on the west side, and "A Soldier's Death Dream" on the south side. The monument is surrounded by the Confederate dead buried in concentric trenches.

The monument honors Confederate prisoners of war who died while imprisoned in Chicago's Camp Douglas. The prisoners were first buried in a cemetery plot next to the prison camp, but after the Civil War, they were exhumed and reburied in the City Cemetery at Lincoln Park. When the City Cemetery closed, the remains were moved to a two acre plot of land in Oak Woods Cemetery. The monument for the burial mound was erected with funds raised by the Confederate Veterans Association. The figure is adapted from a painting entitled "Appomattox" by John A. Elder. General John C. Underwood head of the United Confederate Veterans division west of the Alleghenies, designed and solicited contributions for the monument. The bronze relief panels by Van Amringe were added around 1910-1911, and may have been part of a new base design."

From Graveyards of Chicago (visit link)
"Upon the closing of City Cemetery, the bodies interred there were moved to the new cemeteries - Rosehill, Graceland, Oak Woods. The federal government purchased a section of Oak Woods in 1867 to accomodate the 4200 known casualties of Camp Douglas. The coffins were placed in concentric circular trenches. Although the government only had 4200 names, cemetery records indicate that closer to 6000 coffins were buried here. In addition to the unknown number of Southerners, twelve Union soldiers are buried here as well, guards from the camp. Their markers, reading "Unknown U.S. Soldier", stand in a single row behind one cannon.

The 46-foot monument was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1895. Over 100,000 people attended the ceremonies, including large numbers of men from both armies. President Cleveland and his cabinet were there as well. In 1911, bronze panels were added to the base, with the soldiers' names, ranks, units, and home states.

The Confederate Mound at Oak Woods is the largest Confederate burial ground in all the North."

For hi-res photos of all the listings of the names of the dead interred here, see graveyards.com at: (visit link)

From the newer marker included in the photo gallery:
"The Confederate dead here buried in concentric trenches were all private soldiers. The monument to their memory is of Georgia granite, stands forty feet from the ground to the top of statue and was erected in July, 1893, with funds mainly subscribed by liberal citizens of Chicago and Camps of the United Confederate Veterans. The bronze panels of the pedestal die represent : On the east face - The call to arms; On the west face - A veteran's return home; And on the south face - A soldier's death dream. Surmounting the battlemented cap of the column is a realistic representation of a Confederate infantry soldier after the surrender. The face expresses sorrow for the thousands of prison dead interred beneath. The cannon, shot and shell ornamenting this government lot, in which both Union and Confederate dead are buried, were furnished by the War Department under authority of an Act of Congress approved January 25th, 1895."

Also see the other waymark for this location for additional information: (visit link)

The Department of Veterans Affairs also has additional information: (visit link)

Regarding the (nearby) Camp Douglas, from wikipedia:
"In 1861, a tract of land at 31st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago was provided by the estate of Stephen A. Douglas for a Union Army training post on the original site of the first University of Chicago. The first Confederate prisoners of war, more than 7,000 from the capture of Fort Donelson in Tennessee, arrived in February 1862 by the Illinois Central railroad which ran along the shore of Lake Michigan just to the east of the camp. Eventually, over 26,000 Confederate soldiers passed through the prison camp, which eventually came to be known as the North's "Andersonville" for its inhumane conditions.

It is estimated that from 1862–1865, more than 6,000 Confederate prisoners died from disease, starvation, and the bitter cold winters (although as many as 1,500 were reported as "unaccounted" for). The largest number of prisoners held at any one time was 12,000 in December, 1864. Accounts vary as to precise numbers. According to 80 Acres of Hell, a television documentary produced by the A&E Network and the The History Channel, the reason for the uncertainty is that many records were intentionally destroyed after the war. The documentary also alleges that, for a period of time, the camp contracted with an unscrupulous undertaker who sold some of the bodies of Confederate prisoners to medical schools and had the rest buried in shallow graves without coffins. Some were even dumped in Lake Michigan only to wash up on its shores. Many, however, were initially buried in unmarked pauper's graves in Chicago's City Cemetery (located on the site of today's Lincoln Park), but in 1867 were reinterred at what is now known as Confederate Mound in Oak Woods Cemetery (5 miles south of the former Camp Douglas).

Nobody was ever held accountable for the conditions and actions at Camp Douglas, in fact the only Union general to gain the rank without seeing combat was an overseer of Camp Douglas. This is also to this date the largest mass grave in the western hemisphere, as documented by the book To Die in Chicago."

I found visiting this location to be a very moving experience and also felt that it was an unexpected site to be here in Chicago.
First Name: Confederate soldiers

Last Name: Not listed

Born: Not listed

Died: Not listed

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