ECW Weekender: Paying respects to Confederate POWs in Indianapolis

On a recent flying visit to Indianapolis, I had the opportunity to visit Crown Hill Cemetery. Established in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, this Victorian burial ground was modeled after the garden cemeteries of the 19th century – most famously Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Among the many interesting features of Crown Hill is the Confederate mound near the center of the cemetery. Here lie the remains of over 1600 Confederate prisoners of war who were inmates at Camp Morton in Indianapolis. In addition to a modest monument marking the place, there are also ten bronze plaques with the names of the known prisoners who occupy the mass grave.

One of ten bronze markers at the Confederate Mound with the names of over 1600 POWS housed at Camp Morton. (photo by Derek Maxfield)

Originally a fairground, Camp Morton was converted to a prisoner of war facility of necessity following the surrenders of Forts Henry and Donelson in Tennessee, and though the population of the facility would wax and wane as prisoner exchange would take place, the camp functioned as a POW camp for the remainder of the war.

Confederate dead were originally interred in Greenlawn Cemetery in Indianapolis but were disinterred and moved to Crown Hill in 1931.

Monument marking the Confederate Mound at Crown Hill Cemetery. (photo by Derek Maxfield)

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College
This entry was posted in ECW Weekender and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to ECW Weekender: Paying respects to Confederate POWs in Indianapolis

  1. Bob Buenger says:

    Crown Hill Cemetery is very much worth a visit. So many interesting people rest here: President Benjamin Harrison, John Dillinger, Col. Eli Lilly, Vice President Charles Fairbanks, Tony Hinkle (Butler University) and James Whitcomb Riley easily come to mind.

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!