Essay Example on Camp Douglas during the Civil War was possibly the biggest physical establishment in Chicago








Camp Douglas during the Civil War was possibly the biggest physical establishment in Chicago Over the course of the war there were a total of 26 000 Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Camp Douglas at one point or another Haskew Although the camp did not start out as a notoriously hostile housing unit for detainees confederate soldiers it started out as a training camp for male volunteers so they would be able to participate in the war Following the fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861 President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers because the army was too small to go to war likely because it was disbanded following the U S war with Mexico just a decade before They needed 75 000 volunteers and Lincoln called each state to train any volunteers Eisendrath Illinois did not take this order lightly Governor Yate called for all 25 districts in Illinois to have one training camp in the north because it had a larger population and better transportation Acting upon Yates authority Judge Allen Fuller got to work on finding a site He had four things in mind acreage water supply accessibility and pleasantness since it was being made for Union volunteers they did not want the conditions to deter volunteers from participating as drafting did not start until The Enrollment Act in 1863 Joseph Tucker was first to be put in command of new training camp and the training that took place was not to actually train the men but make sure they worked functionally in regiments D Kelly 5 Given that they were laymen and not professional military men war was unprecedented

They did not know how to exploit themselves when being faced with war so the Lincoln administration allocated specifications to demonstrate to the volunteers how to conduct themselves over the course of the war called the Lieber Code In regard to war prisons Article 134 described how the army has the right to punish by any means including detainment deemed fit by the violated side if the enemy fails to respect or follow a specific stipulation devised between the two sides This article permissed the army to detain prisoners Treaties States Parties and Commentaries The Dix Hill Carter went hand in hand with the Lieber Code The Lieber Code made the initial rule that the two sides could reach a consensus and if it was violated the violated side can apply punishments for the other side If the side decides to detain army soldiers from the other side there must be a set of rules that applies to that specific punishment and those rules are outlined within the Dix Hill Cartel This got complicated when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and black soldiers were permitted to fight in the union The confederacy would not allow prisoner of war exchanges if the troops were black so Lincoln suspended the law in 1863 until 1865 when the south agreed to resume exchanges M Kelly Civil War Prisoner Exchange

The Lieber Code and the Dix Hill Cartel originated from something nearly half a century before The Washington Cartel Neither side in the civil war expected to carry many captives because they were not expecting such a big war Therefore they turned to laws they set up with Britain in the War of 1812 and the U S War with Mexico In the War of 1812 the British and the Americans obviously held captives Each side had a Commissary General to monitor the activities of the prisoners Their exchange agreement was called the Washington Cartel made in Nova Scotia Battlefield prisoners would be exchanged by commanders in the field and the two countries came up with a provisional agreement that would entail exchange processes for naval captives The U S War with Mexico settled how parolees would work Since the U S found it hard to hold Mexican captives in Mexico they allowed parole which would allow the soldiers to go home and never take up arms again These precedents set up Civil War codes and laws D Kelly 13 During the war not only did many Confederate soldiers flow into camps but there was also many Union parolees coming back

Since prisoner exchange was a law of wartime the Union soldiers were excited because they thought they would be heading home and not fight anymore although Stonewall Jackson made it apparent that they would have to be detained like prisoners until exchange Union parolees got so mad because they thought they would get pay and a furlough to go home SoW Stanton saw this eagerness and did not want to encourage losing soldiers as going home so he ordered them to specific camps Camp Parole Camp Chase and Jefferson s Barracks Camp Parole was overcrowded with 20 000 troops so Tyler took his 8 000 to Camp Douglas D Kelly 33 

Following the war Camp Douglas was completely demolished Nothing left to visit like some other camps so it became known as Chicago's greatest secret but before it was out of sight out of mind rumors surrounded the prison challenging the prison s ethics and legality During the war Camp Douglas earned a horrible reputation similar to that of Andersonville because of poor conditions deplorable treatment and violation of the Dix Hill Cartel despite such negative popularity it somehow fell into secrecy becoming one of the most forgotten establishments of the Civil War because of coverups and social reform movements taking place in Chicago post war

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