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Indiana Civil War Camps

Indiana is a state that is usually over looked with its involvement in the Civil War. The Hoosier State was a major supplier of troops and it housed a large majority of Confederate prisoners of war. Civil War camps in Indiana were training camps, prison camps or both. When a camp was used solely as a training camp, it usually was only in operation for a few months while regiments were being trained there. Training camps were often turned into prison camps. Camp Morton is a good example of how camps evolved in the Union. Camp Morton started as a training camp and then it was converted into a prison camp. Camp Morton became the central hub for the other prison camps in the area. The prison camp made a major impact during the Civil War because of the amount of Confederate soldiers imprisoned there. The other prison camps in the area usually held prisoners only if Camp Morton was over filled; which was a very common occurrence because it was usually over crowded.

Camp Morton

Camp Morton was a recruiting camp, prison camp for Confederate soldiers, and a place of detention for Union soldiers. Camp Morton was created when Governor Oliver Morton asked for 12,000 men to come forward to fight. The Governor needed somewhere for these troops to train. Camp Morton is located where the State Fair Grounds use to be until 1892; today this location is residential property. Camp Morton was originally intended solely to be a training camp but after the Battle of Shiloh, it became one of the Union's most important prison camps. The majority of Confederate troops captured in Kentucky and Tennessee went to Camp Morton. During Morgan's Raid, Morgan considered moving up toward Indianapolis to release the imprisoned Confederate soldiers but ultimately he decided to head toward Ohio. Ironically, all of Morgan's troops captured during the raid were taken to Camp Morton. Camp Morton was known for the poor living conditions of the inmates. It was said that the prisoners at Camp Morton were walking skeletons, who were lucky to eat once a day. They were poorly cared for. Inadequate clothes, terrible sanitary facilities and close personal contact contributed to the inmates' short life expectancy in the prison camp. Many inmates died from diseases they incurred in the camp. [1]

Camp Colfax

Camp Colfax was located in La Porte County, Indiana. It was created in the spring of 1861 for the 9th Indiana to muster out. It was in service for 3 months.[2]

Camp Jackson

Camp Jackson was located in La Porte County, Indiana. There is not much documented information about Camp Jackson. It was one of the three training camps in La Porte County. The county raised a total of 2,750 men.[3]

Camp Hughes

Camp Hughes was located in Gosport, Indiana. It was a training camp for the 59th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in 1861.[4]

Camp Ben Harrison

Camp Ben Harrison was located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a training camp. The regiments that were train and mustered out of this location is unknown. [5]

Camp Harrison

Camp Harrison was located in Terre Haute Indiana, where Fairbanks Park is located today. It was in operation from February to June, 1862. It was organized to house the overflow of confederate POW troops from Camp Morton in Indianapolis. It once housed five hundred confederate prisoners. Eleven confederate men died at the camp from natural causes. The camp closed once space was available at Camp Morton.[6]

Camp Stilwell-Anderson

Camp Anderson was one of three training camps in La Porte County, Indiana. It was used in1861 and 1864 to train Indiana Union volunteers of the 34th, 127th, 128th, and 129th regiments.[7]

Camp Allen

Camp Allen was in operation from 1861 to 1864 and was located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The 30th, 44th, 74th, 88th, and 100th Indiana Regiments and the 11th Indiana Battery were organized there.[8]

Camp Joe Holt

Camp Joe Holt was located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It was in operation in 1862. It is known that two regiments mustered out of this camp.[9]

Camp Mitchell

Camp Mitchell was located in Kendallville, Indiana. The 12th Indiana Cavalry and the 129th Volunteer Infantry were organized there.[10]

Camp Rose

Camp Rose was located in South Bend, Indiana. The 99th, 73rd and 87th Indiana Volunteers were trained and mustered out of this camp in 1802.[11]

Camp Wabash/Camp Pettit

Camp Wabash is located in Wabash, Indiana. It was used as a training camp for the 75th, 89th, 101st, 118th and 153rd Indiana Regiments.[12]

Camp Tippecanoe

Camp Tippecanoe was located in Lafayette, Indiana. It was in operation from 1861-1865. It trained and was the location that many Indiana regiments mustered out of. It became the central hub for enlisted men during the Civil War.[13]

Camp Vigo

Camp Vigo was a training camp located in Terre Haute, Indiana. Camp Harrison was soon opened after Camp Vigo, in the same location. Camp Harrison was a prison camp. [14]

The image below is a photo from a newspaper of the Company G in the 14th Volunteer Regiment. These men were trained at Camp Vigo. They fought at many major battles such as Antietam, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Chancellorsville.