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Rock Island Confederate Cemetery
Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois

rock island confederate cemetery
Rock Island Confederate Cemetery

GPS: 41.517722, -90.534207

Rodman Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Total records = 2,785

History

Rock Island Confederate Cemetery is the only surviving remnant of a massive prison camp that once held thousands of Confederate soldiers. During the summer of 1863, prison camps in the North were overflowing with Confederate soldiers captured in battle. As a result, Union troops began construction of a new prison camp on an island in the Mississippi River then known as Rock Island, now called Arsenal Island. The camp opened in December 1863 with the arrival of the first prisoners captured at the Battle of Lookout Mountain. The Rock Island Prison Camp was designed to hold more than 10,000 inmates at any one time, and over the final 18 months of the war, more than 12,000 Confederate prisoners passed through its gates.

Disease, including smallpox and pneumonia, ran rampant through the prison claiming many lives, while others died from exposure to the elements and the unsanitary conditions of the camp. During the first four months alone, more than 950 Confederate soldiers died. Initially, the dead were buried in a plot located 400 yards south of the prison, but on advice from the prison surgeon, a new cemetery, one that would become Rock Island Confederate Cemetery, was established in 1864, located 1,000 yards southeast of the prison. In March 1864, the remains of 671 Confederate dead were reinterred in the new burial grounds. In all, approximately 1,950 Confederate prisoners were buried in the cemetery, with the last burial occurring on July 11, 1865.

U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Database

NOTE: There were actually a total of 1,964 Confederate Prisoners and 125 Union Guards buried in this cemetery. The additional records represented on this site are duplicates. All records listed here were downloaded from the Department's database on July 2, 2000, and thus are the same records the feds have on file.

Upon close examination, these records are in poor condition, with several misspelled names, wrong dates, etc. This is the same information actually recorded as deaths and burials occured at the time. The errors and duplicates resulted from the optical scanning of original interment forms. There are records of unmarked graves here. However, exercise EXTREME caution when using them.


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