Camp Douglas Archeological Investigation October 25-30, 2013



The excavation of this site is based on preliminary non-invasive work done by Dr. Dan Joyce, Kenosha Civil War Museum earlier this summer. Ground penetrating radar, of the area identified areas of further inquiry.

Each excavation will be approximately six feet by three feet and will be excavated to approximately 3 feet.


The excavation will take place at 3200 S. Giles Ave. Chicago and is in an area that contained the Prisoners Square section of Camp Douglas. Prisoner Square housed most Confederate Prisoners in 1864-65. After the camp was razed in 1865 the area was built up

including both frame and masonry buildings. The existing school was constructed in 1940 with the surrounding area cleared for a play ground.


The first objective is to attempt to confirm the boundaries of Camp Douglas and to obtain artifacts relating to the camp. Since the area has been developed over time, our secondary objective is to identify other information that might improve knowledge of the history of the area.


In June 2012 the Foundation conducted similar excavation in Lake Meadows Park, 32d and Rhoads. This project discovered the foundation of the Headquarters Building of the camp.


Camp Douglas operated from 1861 until 1865 and served as a reception and training center for nearly 40,000 Union soldiers. It was one of eight Union installations to receive and train African American Soldiers.

In February 1862, Camp Douglas received the first of over 25,000 Confederate prisoners. The maximum number of prisoners held at any one time was approximately 12,000.

At the time of its closing in December 1865, Camp Douglas had about 200 building on some 30 acres of land. There were four distinct sections of the camp. Prisoners Square that contained 66 barracks; Garrison Square that housed the officers and men assigned to the Camp; White Oak Square and Hospital Square that contain administrative facilities for the camp. Today no evidence remain fof the Camp.


Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation—Dig It!


Camp Douglas


Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation Chicago, Illinois


Camp Douglas News

Committed to the Preservation of Chicago History


October 25, 2013


The Team


Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation is the coordinating sponsor of the archaeological investigation. The Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of Chicago history and to providing educational opportu-nities on Camp Douglas and the Civil War history of Chicago.

Pershing East School and the Chicago Public Schools have provided appropriate approval for the investigation. Pershing East students will participate in special activities related to the project on Monday, October 28.

Michael Gregory, De Paul Uni-versity has primary responsibil-ity for the investigation. Dr. Gregory is Visiting Assistant Professor at De Paul. He re-ceived his PhD from the Arizona State University. Students from De Paul University are signifi-cant participants in the excava-tion.

Loyola University of Chicago with the assistance of Dr. Theo-dore Karamanski, Professor and Public History Graduate Direc-tor at Loyola is also providing excavation participants.

The Kenosha Civil War Museum

provided ground penetrating radar for the preliminary inquiry Dan Joyce, Director of the mu-seum conducted the survey.

Funding is provided by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, which is dedicated to perpetuating and expanding Lincoln’s vision for America and completing America’s unfinished work.

Clark Roofing, Company, Broadview, Illinois has provided material and transportation for the project




For more information Contact: Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s