at the Gate — Camp Morton
Camp Morton, the
The people who
entered this enclosure before the war were required to pay for the
privilege. It was originally the State Fair-grounds which had been used
during the fall and winter of 1861 and 1862 as barracks for Indiana troops.
The camp was turned into a prison to accommodate the Confederates taken at
Forts Henry and Donelson. The sheds where horses and cattle had been shown
and the halls where agricultural products had been exhibited were turned
into barracks for prisoners. The buildings, originally of cheap
construction, were penetrated by the snow and wind and rain. A part
of the time fuel was insufficient. However, as seen in the middle
photograph, all of the prisoners had blankets. In 1863, Colonel A. A.
Stevens, of the invalid corps, became commandant of the prison and under him
conditions improved. It is curious to examine the ornate gateway through
which the throng is so eager to pass, in the upper photograph. The crowd
shown inside was even more eager to pass through this gate, but in the
opposite direction after this became a prison. The sanitary conditions were
bad. This was as much due to the ignorance of proper sanitation in those
times as to neglect. No one would dream in the twentieth century of allowing
sewage to flow through an open ditch.
of the Prisoners, Camp Morton
Drainage at Camp Morton