Add Camp Douglas to the National Register of Historic Places

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Operating from 1861 to 1865 in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Camp Douglas served as an important military base and prison for Confederate prisoners throughout the Civil War. In a city and state safely removed from the front lines of battle, Camp Douglas served as a physical reminder of the bitter Civil War in the heart of Chicago. Today, however, this site is under threat of being wiped from memory. In order to ensure the proper recognition of this important historic facility for generations to come, the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation is applying to the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation, in order to denote its historic status and the necessity of its preservation.

 

Camp Douglas is of incredible historic importance, and should be designated as such. Additionally, this is a unique opportunity to both add to the economic and historic vitality of the Bronzeville area, and ensure a lasting tribute to those who served or were prisoners in Camp Douglas, as well as celebrate the contribution of the African American community in the Civil War.

 

Camp Douglas was a Civil War camp that trained nearly 30,000 Union soldiers from Illinois, including some of the first African American Union soldiers, and was also one of the largest prisons holding Confederate prisoners during the war. This was a very significant location during the Civil War, and was a microcosm for the larger social changes that were taking place during the time period.

 

Through the work of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation, significant archaeological remains have been uncovered on the location of the camp, which demonstrate that this site in an important archaeological resource in both the State and Nation and should be protected and recognized as such.



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