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June 1999


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"Patrick J. Eagan" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 28 Jun 1999 18:17:53 -0400
text/plain (38 lines)
I am also doing some research on the Elmira Prison Camp with a
particular interest in one National Guard unit that were there as guards
- the 54th Regiment from Rochester, NY.  They served their 100 days in
Elmira from the end of July 1864 until the middle of November.

   The "Official Correspondence of the Union and Confederate Armies"
(Series II, Vol. 4, pp. 67-84) contains a series of three communications
in June 1862 to Col. Hoffman, Commissary-General of Prisoners,
describing "permanent camps" at Albany, Utica, Rochester, Elmira and a
barracks at Buffalo.  Although the letters only say that the inspections
are to determine "their capacity for quartering troops," I have assumed
that, based on Hoffman's job, it was for POW camps.  We know that one of
the four sites in Elmira described in the letters was ultimely used as a
POW camp.

   However, I'm especially interested in the camp in Rochester and there
is no other reference in the "Official Correspondence" to it.  It is
described as the Camp of the State Fair Grounds and that the Government
had erected quarters there for 1,000 men.  It further notes that "for a
considerable period occupied them with volunteer troops" and "at present
[ie, June 1862] contains no troops" and the barracks were scheduled to
be dismantled before the fall.
   I have an 1865 map of Rochester and cannot find the "state fair
grounds" on it.  It is described as such:  "The Genesee Canal passes
within a few hundred yards of the west side of the camp and the New York
Central Railroad lies very near it."  And the diagram accompanying the
letter notes "To Rochester two miles."
   After that fairly wordy intro, can anyone hazard a guess where this
camp may have been?  And more importantly, what was its purpose?

Pat Eagan
Patrick J. Eagan            Phone: (561) 451-3131
3901 NW 23rd Court          E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Boca Raton, FL 33431