Histopolis Place-of-the-Day

Histopolis features a different cemetery, town, county or other place every day on the Place-of-The-Day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Histopolis Place-of-the-Day for Friday, January 28, 2011 is the Camp Butler National Cemetery in Clear Lake Township, Sangamon County, Illinois.

"Camp Butler National Cemetery is located in Sangamon County near Riverton, Ill., and occupies a portion of what was the second-largest military training camp in Illinois during the Civil War.

"Soon after the firing on Fort Sumter in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for troops to defend the Union. Each state struggled to fulfill the president’s request but found the available men woefully unprepared for the rigors of war. The obvious solution, to federal officials, was to establish facilities for the receipt and training of war recruits. In 1861, the War Department dispatched General William Tecumseh Sherman to Springfield, Ill., to select a site for a military training camp. Illinois Governor Richard Yates tasked the state treasurer, William Butler, with assisting the general. The men found an ideal location six miles outside of Springfield with a high ground for camping purposes and a lower, more-level area for drills and training, as well as space for a cemetery. General Sherman was pleased with the site and named it Camp Butler to honor his companion.

"The first troops arrived at Camp Butler in August 1861 and by the end of the month, 5,000 men occupied the camp. As the war progressed, additional uses were found for the grounds, including a prisoner of war camp. In February 1862, approximately 2,000 Confederate soldiers captured when Fort Donelson was surrendered, arrived at Camp Butler. As the POWs arrived–from all 11 southern states except Florida—they were put to work constructing a stockade and hospital. The hastily constructed barracks were inadequate and poorly constructed. Sanitation facilities were primitive and the daily ration of food often consisted of little more than hard biscuits and a cup of thin coffee. Almost immediately, the POWs began to die at a rapid rate. The heat of the summer combined with the severe winter cold, as well as diseases such as smallpox, typhus and pneumonia, decimated the prisoner population. Roughly 700 POWs died in the smallpox epidemic of summer 1862.

"Along with soldiers who fought for both the Union and Confederate sides during the Civil War, veterans who lost their lives in the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, the Korea War and the Vietnam War are also buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery. Camp Butler was the final resting place of many remains returned from overseas following World War II. Camp Butler National Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997."

Explore Camp Butler National Cemetery on Histopolis now. If you have a place that you would like to see featured as the Histopolis Place-of-the-Day, contact the webmaster to suggest it.

January 2011

1Hampton VA National Cemetery, Hampton, Hampton City, Virginia
2Sarasota VA National Cemetery, Sarasota County, Florida
3New Bern National Cemetery, Township 8, New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
4Georgia National Cemetery, Cherokee County, Georgia
5Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung County, New York
6Richmond National Cemetery, Henrico County, Virginia
7Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, Springfield Township, Greene County, Missouri
8Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly Township, Oakland County, Michigan
9Fort Sill National Cemetery, Comanche County, Oklahoma
10Seven Pines National Cemetery, Henrico County, Virginia
11National Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
12National Cemetery, Hot Springs, Fall River County, South Dakota
13Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa
14Mountain Home National Cemetery, Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee
15Fort Richardson National Cemetery, Anchorage, Anchorage Municipality, Alaska
16Bakersfield National Cemetery, Kern County, California
17Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, Saratoga County, New York
18Fort Smith National Cemetery, Fort Smith, Upper Township, Sebastian County, Arkansas
19Soldiers' Lot, Mound Cemetery, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
20San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California
21Nashville National Cemetery, Davidson County, Tennessee
22Government Lots, Congressional Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia
23Annapolis National Cemetery, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland
24Fort Lyon National Cemetery, Bent County, Colorado
25Nachez National Cemetery, Supervisor District 4, Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi
26Massachusetts National Cemetery, Barnstable County, Massachusetts
27Lexington National Cemetery, Lexington-Fayette, Fayette County, Kentucky
28Camp Butler National Cemetery, Clear Lake Township, Sangamon County, Illinois
29Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Jackson Township, Will County, Illinois
30National Cemetery, Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee
31Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania



Note: The first Place-of-the-Day was in September 2010