Elmira Civil War Prison Camp

Elmira Civil War Prison Camp Protect, preserve and educate the public about the history of the Civil War in Elmira.
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The Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp will be the primary resource for history, education and preservation of the Civil War experience for Elmira, Chemung County and the surrounding areas. This will include working cooperatively with other local organizations, developing programs and reconstructing the remaining building.

Please consider joining our friends at the Chemung County Historical Society for an interesting lunch hour.
11/15/2023

Please consider joining our friends at the Chemung County Historical Society for an interesting lunch hour.

Join us for a book signing & talk with historian and author George R. Farr on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at noon, as he shares the story of Lincoln’s Banner Regiment The 107th New York Volunteer Infantry. Discover the rich history of this regiment and gain a deeper understanding of our community...

11/15/2023

Rules of Etiquette
The purpose of this page is to share information and historical facts concerning Elmira's Civil War experience and only Elmira's history.

1. Profanity in posts will not be tolerated.
2. Modern politics have no place in this forum.
3. As this page is for Elmira history, comparisons with other historical sites do not contribute to furthering knowledge of Elmira's history.
4. Name calling and personal attacks are unwanted.

If you wish to discuss the origins of the war, modern politics or any subject other than documented, primary sourced facts concerning Elmira, this page is not for you, there are plenty of other sites dedicated to those topics.

Consequences for violating the rules of ettiquette will result in the post being hidden, you will receive one and only one private message warning and a second incident will result in a permanent ban. In almost 10 years, only one person has been banned, let's keep it that way.

11/11/2023

Getting closer to finish! Stairs and sentry post stenciling to go.

11/09/2023

Sentry walk railing and Post 28 sentry box are on today's punch list.

11/08/2023

Progress continues. 1st video shows cross braces for guards walk being installed. 2d video in the next comment shows the walk being installed.

10/31/2023

Neither nor sleet or ... Edger Construction pushed on with the trench for the gravel base. Along side the trench you can see the detrious of 20th century housing, old lead pipes and foundation stone. The main support beams have been treated with preservative to help prevent rot and reduce future maintenance.

Well, we jinxed the weather😒.Edger Enterprises started the trench on Thursday for the gravel base the wall will sit on.
10/29/2023

Well, we jinxed the weather😒.
Edger Enterprises started the trench on Thursday for the gravel base the wall will sit on.

10/26/2023

Stockade fence update. Weather is holding, lumber is ready and main support beams are being prepped.

10/26/2023

Stockade fence update. Weather is holding, lumber is ready and main support beams are being prepped for installation.

Here we grow again! The lumber has arrived for the stockade wall. It will cure for 4-6 weeks before it is put in place. ...
09/18/2023

Here we grow again! The lumber has arrived for the stockade wall. It will cure for 4-6 weeks before it is put in place. Work is being done by Edger Construction.

Thanks Gary Emerson for his presentation on how the Elmira Prison Camp's changed and evolved over time.
08/06/2023

Thanks Gary Emerson for his presentation on how the Elmira Prison Camp's changed and evolved over time.

Capping off Saturday with the Thomas K. Meier Keynote dinner presentation. Many thanks to Dr Michael Gray for an excelle...
08/06/2023

Capping off Saturday with the Thomas K. Meier Keynote dinner presentation. Many thanks to Dr Michael Gray for an excellent discussion about Dark Tourism. The staff of Hilltop provided a great dinner.

Scenes from the afternoon tours for the 2023 Symposium. Stops were made  at Woodlawn National, John W Jones Museum, Chem...
08/05/2023

Scenes from the afternoon tours for the 2023 Symposium. Stops were made at Woodlawn National, John W Jones Museum, Chemung Valley History Museum & Barracks No 3.

Thanks to Talima Aaron, President of the John W. Jones Museum. She gave a great presentation this morning about Jones's ...
08/05/2023

Thanks to Talima Aaron, President of the John W. Jones Museum. She gave a great presentation this morning about Jones's life and legacy.

Our first speaker today is Rachel Dworkin, archivist at the Chemung County Historical Society. She shared the contents o...
08/05/2023

Our first speaker today is Rachel Dworkin, archivist at the Chemung County Historical Society. She shared the contents of several letters in the collection and the research services that are available.
Archivist:Rachel Dworkin607-734-4167, ext. [email protected]

We had enjoyable evening at our Inaugural Symposium Social. The renovated interior of Cowles Hall is fantastic. Getting ...
08/05/2023

We had enjoyable evening at our Inaugural Symposium Social. The renovated interior of Cowles Hall is fantastic. Getting ready to kick off a morning of presentations!

A huge thank you to EC's catering staff!

We are winding down to our Symposium weekend!Registration is now closed and if you are registered, please check the web ...
08/03/2023

We are winding down to our Symposium weekend!

Registration is now closed and if you are registered, please check the web site for parking info.

Here's a look at where the Friday evening Social will be held. Entrance is the south door facing the pond.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Found on Google from m.youtube.com

We're here until 2:30pm today! Stop by and you might catch a look at the Bald Eagle fledglings.
07/22/2023

We're here until 2:30pm today! Stop by and you might catch a look at the Bald Eagle fledglings.

The July 26 deadline for the Symposium registration is coming up soon!Meier Hall is where all the activities will take p...
07/20/2023

The July 26 deadline for the Symposium registration is coming up soon!

Meier Hall is where all the activities will take place (rooms, meals). Presentations will also be in Meier unless registration numbers necessitate moving to a larger lecture hall. Looking forward to meeting everyone!
https://www.elmiraprisoncamp.com/2023-symposium

Meet your tour guide for today, Doug Oakes. He will be here from 10:30 AM -2:30 PM today.
07/15/2023

Meet your tour guide for today, Doug Oakes. He will be here from 10:30 AM -2:30 PM today.

07/07/2023

Come join us for our first post Covid public event!!

The Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp and Elmira College are sponsoring a symposium Friday, Aug 4 through Sunday Aug 6. Seven presentations over the course of the weekend will cover a range of topics related to Elmira’s Civil War history. Scheduled activities will take place on the Elmira College campus. The keynote address and dinner takes place at Hilltop Inn overlooking the Chemung Valley.

Aug 4 – check in Meier Hall, evening social at Cowles Hall

Aug 5 –
Breakfast
Saturday morning – Welcome and 3 presentations,
Lunch
Saturday afternoon – Guided tours of Barracks Three, Woodlawn National Cemetery, John W. Jones Museum and Chemung Valley History Museum.
Saturday evening – Keynote Address and dinner

Aug 6 –
Breakfast
Sunday morning- 3 presentations & conclusion
Sunday afternoon – Open House and book signing at Barracks #3

The Friday social takes place in historic Cowles Hall located on the Elmira college campus. Cowles Hall is the original building for what was known as the Elmira Female College during the Civil War. Saturday and Sunday presentations will be held in Elmira College facilities. Afterwards attendees are invited to join the Friends at the Barracks Three site for a local author’s book signing event.
Registration fee of $120.00 includes Friday evening social, Saturday breakfast/lunch/dinner, Sunday breakfast, all presentations, tours and memento. There will be several drawings for memorabilia throughout the weekend. Dormitory style accommodation is available Friday and Saturday night at Meier Hall on the Elmira College campus at a rate of $85/night.
Facebook
Web elmiraprisoncamp.com

05/24/2022

As Memorial Day approaches, so does our summer season. We will be open on Saturdays thru Labor Day from 1030am to 230pm. You can also schedule a visit by appointment any other time just by dropping us a message.

If you are interested in becoming a site volunteer drop us a message. We provide orientation training to all newcomers.

05/23/2022
It's a gorgeous day! Come visit us at the Wisner Market today 6/24. We are sharing a table with the Chemung County Histo...
06/24/2021

It's a gorgeous day! Come visit us at the Wisner Market today 6/24. We are sharing a table with the Chemung County Historical Society.https://m.facebook.com/ChemungCountyHistoricalSociety/

There are models of our next 2 expansion projects, a section of the stockade wall & an improved version of the observation tower.

Copies of our newest book, "Elmira Civil War 1861-1865 are also available.

12/23/2020

Thank you to everyone who has ordered a book. 65 of the first 100 copies have already been spoken for!

Copies are available locally at the Chemung County Historical Society and the Christmas House if you want save on shipping. There are still some calendars available at those locations too.

The Friends would like to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season! Thank you again for your support and look forward to meeting many of you in 2021.

It is finally on the way from the printers!Order your copy today! The 1st 100 orders will be signed copies. This book ha...
12/19/2020

It is finally on the way from the printers!

Order your copy today! The 1st 100 orders will be signed copies. This book has been 2 years in the making and covers a multitude of topics. It contains photos of a number of places and faces of Civil War Elmira.

Prior to the activation of the prisoner of war camp, Elmira played a significant role in the training, mustering, draft and demobilization of 1000's of US volunteers. A number of individuals who passed through Elmira from 1861-65 went on to prominent roles both during and post war.

https://www.elmiraprisoncamp.com/product-page/elmira-civil-war-book

This post is courtesy of Ron Coddington at Military Images.
11/23/2020

This post is courtesy of Ron Coddington at Military Images.

10/23/2020

Our building got a bit of a facelift this year. It still needs a 2d coat on several of the sides, but it is ready to face the winter weather.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped scrape and paint. Especially those of you who spent hours on the ladders up in the peaks. Volunteers are what makes this project run and the Friends truly appreciate your contributions.

Walt Sweeney
Dave Mosher
Tom Mosher
John Purdy
John Trice
Ken Miller
Marty Chalk
Doug Oakes

The remainder of the building is in the comments section.

Factoid FridayMilitary inspired poetry set to music was a common occurrence during the Civil War. Two well known example...
09/25/2020

Factoid Friday

Military inspired poetry set to music was a common occurrence during the Civil War. Two well known examples are The Battle Hymn of the Republic and The Bonnie Blue Flag. Others written for regiments are more likely to be lost to the dust bin of time. We found one for the 23rd NY Volunteer Infantry (Southern Tier Rifles), the first full locally recruited regiment to leave Elmira in 1861. Written by local business men, the full score and words can be found on line in the Library of Congress - https://www.loc.gov/resource/ihas.200000790.0/?sp=1

You can read more about the 23rd NY & its war record at the New York State Military Museum, in Saratoga, NY - https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/23rdInf/23rdInfMain.htm

Factoid FridayOn March 17, 1865, Barracks 3 was flooded during a freshet. Below is a report submitted by Col Benjamin F....
09/18/2020

Factoid Friday

On March 17, 1865, Barracks 3 was flooded during a freshet. Below is a report submitted by Col Benjamin F. Tracy concerning the condition of the site and actions taken. The 2d picture is of the eastern portion of the camp believed to have been taken in March shortly after the flood. You can see missing portions of the stockade fence that have not been documented as missing at any time other than as result of the flood. Due to the topography of the camp, the barracks in this area received little or no flooding compared to the southwestern section. The small pox hospital was located to the right and out of the picture. The Chemung River can be seen in the background, along with its steep southern bank. Note the flat land on the far side of the river bank. That is the area over which the river spread to a width that discouraged escapes. In addition, the current of the river, even today, is extremely fast during high water and becomes deadly to enter.

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645 Winsor Avenue
Elmira, NY
14905

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Our Story

The Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp is an all volunteer 501c3 organization. Formed in 2015, our mission is to preserve and protect the Civil War history of Elmira, Chemung County and the surrounding area. Our goal is be the primary resource for history, education and preservation of the local Civil War experience. We do this by working cooperatively with other local organizations, conducting school programs, providing presentations for community/fraternal groups, sponsoring public educational programs and maintaining a research library.

Major Milestones

2015 - Incorporation & land acquisition

2016 - Reconstruction of historic structure & grand opening to the public


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