Elmira: Death Camp of the Northby Michael Horigan
The Civil War prison camp at Elmira, New York, had the highest death rate of any prison camp in the North: almost 25 percent. Comparatively, the overall death rate of all Northern prison camps was just over 11 percent; in the South, the death rate was just over 15 percent. Clearly, something went wrong in Elmira. The culmination of ten years of research, this book traces the story of what happened. Author Michael Horigan also places the prison in the context of the greater Elmira community by describing the town in 1864 and explaining its significance as a military depot and draft rendezvous.
Michael Horigan taught and lectured in American History for more than twenty years. Recognized locally as an expert on the Elmira Civil War prison camp, his views were included in a 1993 Public Television documentary on the subject entitled Helmira: 1864-1865. This is his first book.
- Stackpole Books
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 ED
- Product dimensions:
- 5.64(w) x 10.16(h) x 0.98(d)
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Mike Horigan gives readers a captivating mystery story, leading us from character to character, document to document, until we see how Elmira, New York, became, from July of 1864 to July of 1865, the 'death camp of the North.' Along the way, we see how the people of Elmira made sense of the Civil War and their role in it, as well as how the Confederate prisoners in Elmira faced their desperate situation. Though the story is solemn, it is never dull. Who knew that the first Elmira prison camp commander's wife was a Virginian who wrote Aunt Phillis's Cabin, attempting to set folks straight on what life was really like in the slave South? Elmira is packed with such gems. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Civil War or anyone who seeks a richer understanding of human failings and their tragic consequences.
You could tell from the content of this book that it was many years in the making. The facts were as accurate as any other book on this subject. Civil war buffs of all ages will love this book.