The Photographic History of the Civil War
                  Volume 7 -
Prisons and Hospitals

  Camp Morton, the Indianapolis Prison


The Guard at the Gate Camp Morton

Camp Morton, the Indianapolis Prison

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.

Blankets of the Prisoners, Camp Morton

Primitive Drainage at Camp Morton

page 71  in 1911 book

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This online edition of The Photographic History of the Civil War includes improved images using digital images from the Library of Congress, when available. It also includes additional images that are either cropped from the Library of Congress digital images or are related to the specific topic being discussed in the article or page.

Volume 7 of the History is the first volume I'm publishing online simply because it was the one I was interested in when I decided to publish.

More to come, I hope.


Copyright 2004 Michael P. Goad  All rights reserved.