November 13, 2018

An excellent new article appearing in MHQ magazine on Camp Douglas is now available at

October 15, 2018

Two reports of a study prepared by Managing Director, David L. Keller with grants from the Andersonville National Site POW Research Program (National Park Service) are now available on the website under the tab Info-Reports. These reports study five factors that affected conditions and prisoners in Union and Confederate prison camps. A third report is also available comparing Union and Confederate camps.

September 24, 2018

The fall news letter is now available.

September 10, 2018

Work continues on the City of Chicago land mark status.

June 26, 2018

The Fall 2017 & Spring18 Archaeological Report is now available on the “Archaeological” page.

May 15, 2018

With the help of Loyola history professor, Ted Karamanski and the city of Chicago,CDRF is working on documentation for City of Chicago historic land mark status of Camp Douglas. With the special support of aldermen King and Burke we anticipate city approval this summer.

May 10, 2018

CDRF has received approval from the City of Chicago to conduct archaeological excavations in city owned parkways and median strips of city streets. Excavation is planned in June.

April 28, 2018

A second excavation was completed at the home of Anthony and Anila Saineghi. Exciting news…a footing to a barracks was likely discovered. Additional excavation in that area is planned for the fall.

December 19, 2017

The Civil War Museum in Kenosha, WI announced that an exhibit of CDRF activities, including artifacts from excavations on Camp Douglas, will be opened at the museum in February 2018. The exhibit is expected to be available through the summer.

October 31, 2017

CDRF completed our first archaeological excavation on private property. Thanks to Anthony and Anila Saineghi, we completed work on King Drive in Prisoners Square of the Camp.

May 1, 2017

CDRF has notified the Illinois Preservation Agency, State of Illinois of the location of the Camp Douglas smallpox burial ground and suggested it be protected under the Illinois Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act.  This is in response to plans to expand the Lake Meadows Shopping Center that is located on or adjacent to the burial ground identified in 1865 based on documents at the National Archives.

April 25, 2017

The $20.00 special with no handling fee for the purchase of The Story of Camp Douglas, Chicago’s Forgotten Civil War Prison from the web site has been extended for the month of May.

April 27, 2017

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, (D-IL) has provided support for the listing of Camp Douglas or the National Register of Historic Places.

February 1, 2017

Alderman Edward Burke had presented a resolution to the Chicago City Council supporting CDRF and our efforts to have Camp Douglas listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

December 8, 2016

CDRF had the honor of conducting a tour of Camp Douglas and Oak Woods Cemetery for Chicago Alderman Edward M. Burke. Alderman Burke is an acknowledged expert on Chicago history and was very pleased with the work of the Foundation

September 1, 2016

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has written a letter of support for Camp Douglas to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

May 26, 2016

The seventh archaeological excavation on the site of Camp Douglas was completed. Thirty-nine volunteers under the direction of Michael Gregory, Ph.D completed 10 days of work at the John J. Pershing Magnet School. Military artifacts from the camp as well as artifacts from the development of the Bronzeville community were found.  Special educational programs were offered to students of the school.

April 12, 2016

Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation has announced that it intends to seek listing in the National Register of Historic Places for Camp Douglas. Community and professional support is needed for this project.  Look for additional information to be posted on the website in the near future.  For questions contact

April 6, 2016

May 18 through May 26 has been selected for the spring archaeological excavation at Pershing Magnet School, 3200 S. Calumet. Anyone interested in participating should contact

January 15, 2016

Michael Gregory joins the Board of Directors of Camp Douglas. Michael has managed archaeological excavations on the site of Camp Douglas since 2013. A native of Virginia with a strong interest in the Civil War, he received his B.S. in anthropology from Washington and Lee University and his M.A and Ph.D. from Arizona State University. He is a Professional Lecturer, Anthropology, DePaul University and manages the DePaul Archaeology Field School. The Field School has done extensive work in Maywood, IL at sites related to the community’s African American heritage as well as at the Camp Douglas site. Michael joined DePaul University in 2009. He has participated in archaeological investigations in Virginia, Arizona, and in the Midwest, including Isle Royale and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He has written extensively on these excavations. Contact information

January 13, 2016

CDRF directors Dean Rodkin and David Keller, along with DePaul archaeologist Michael Gregory presented a special program to students at Chesterton (Indiana) High School including this history of Camp Douglas, archaeology of Camp Douglas and a reader’s theater.  Special thanks to Matt Gland, history teacher who sponsored the event. Over sixty students participated.

January 7, 2016

A new article, by Stephen Townes, on the 1864 Camp Douglas Conspiracy has been published in the Chicago History Museum Winter 2015 magazine. The article outlines circumstances surrounding the controversial attempts to free Confederate prisoners from Camp Douglas and other prisons in August and November 1864. For access to the magazine click here.

November 9, 2015

Along with the Chicago Park District, CDRF sponsored a successful symposium, “The Civil War Comes to Chicago,” featuring historians Ted Karamanski, Loyola University; Christopher Reed, Roosevelt University; Doug Dammann, Kenosha Civil War Museum; Rob Girardi, CDRF, and David Keller, CDRF, Saturday, November 7.  George Buss was featured as Abraham Lincoln.  Members of the Garibaldi Guards, Eight Regiment, Veterans Reserve Corps, and the 17 Field Hospital were also participated.  The event was closed with Civil War music presented by Jason McInnes and members of the Old Town School of Folk Music.   The day-long event was held at Chicago’s Northerly Island.

October 20, 2015

Three Minie balls were discovered at our latest archaeological excavation  of the Camp Douglas site,along with a toothbrush and other Civil War period artifacts. Tentative plans call for our next excavation in spring 2016.

September 1, 2015

CDRF and DePaul University will conduct our next archaeological excavation at John J. Pershing Magnet School (33rd Street and Calumet Avenue) October 8 through October 14.  Visitors welcome.  Those interested in volunteering contact

August 1, 2015

To view the “Your Chicago” feature on Camp Douglas that aired 7/31 on Chicago CBS-2 see the link on the home page or click here.

July 21, 2015

The CDRF Board of Directors is pleased to announce the election of Mary Brennan to the Board of Directors as Director-Communications. Mary is a professional in marketing & communications and long time Chicago resident.  For the past several months she has managed the social media for the Foundation.  Her biographical information can be found on the “About”page.

In addition, the Board announced the following title changes:

Bernard Turner to Director-Community Relations

Leroy Malone to Director-Education

Dean Rodkin to Director-Education

July 7, 2015

Led by Dr. Michael Gregory, De Paul University, over 50 volunteers participated in the fifth archaeological excavation on the site of Camp Douglas sponsored by the Foundation and the fourth at John J. Pershing Magnet School.  The dig was conducted from June 25 through July 1 and included a “Neighborhood Day” on Sunday June 28 when children and adults participated in excavation activities.

A Union Civil War button was found along with what appear to be grommets from a rubber blanket commonly used by Confederate and Union soldiers.  In addition, several clay pipes of unknown origin were discovered.  The grommets and pipes are being researched to determine their origins and any possible connection with Camp Douglas.

Another excavation on this site is tentatively planned for fall 2015

June 1, 2015

The latest archaeological investigation will be held June 25 through June 30 at the John J. Pershing Magnet School, 3200 S. Calumet.  Headed by Dr. Michael Gregory, De Paul University, this investigation will center on locations where camp artifacts were discovered last fall.  Those interested in participating should contact

 May 6, 2015,

The Historic Preservation Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago presented ten creative proposals for recognition of Camp Douglas as part of a semester long project “Site Interpretation and Memory.” CDRF has received these reports and will follow up on implementation of some of the projects.  As part of the program, CDRF received a 1:50 scale model of Camp Douglas as it appeared in 1864-65.

April 9, 2015

The bell ringing was a great success.  Special thanks to Chicago History Museum Executive Vice President and Chief Historian, Russell Lewis and  CHM President Gary Johnson for their participation.  Extra special thanks to Olivia (Libby) Mahoney, Neville Frierson Bryan, Dawn Griffin O’Neal, Elisabeth Caldwell Meeker and Ann Meeker Ryan who rang the bell in honor of their antecedents who were at Camp Douglas.  For details, see Bell Ringing Newsletter on the Newsletter page of the site.

March 31, 2015

On April 9 the Foundation and the Chicago History Museum will join the National Park Service in Bells Across America on the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.  The event will take place at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois where the chapel bell from Camp Douglas and the desk on which Robert E. Lee signed the surrender are on exhibit.

Three descendants of Camp Douglas prisoners and soldiers will be at the Museum to ring the Camp Douglas Bell at precisely 2:15 p.m. They represent John Bell Gallaway, prisoner at Camp Douglas February 1862 through September 1862; Thomas D. Wier, prisoner at Camp Douglas February 1862 through September 1862; and Charles H. Griffin, 29th United States Colored Troops, who entered Union service at Camp Douglas.

In conjunction with the National Park Service’s commemoration event, Bells across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox. At 2:15 p.m., bells from schools, parks and communities across the country will reverberate in unison. The bells will ring once every four minutes, each minute symbolic of a year of war.

Following the program author David L. Keller will sign copies of his new book, The Story of Camp Douglas, Chicago’s Forgotten Civil War Prison, available for purchase at the Chicago History Museum store. Visitors can also enjoy a rendition of American Trilogy from musician Mike Felten.

The event is open to the public with entry to the Museum

March 9, 2015

The bell from the chapel at Camp Douglas will be part of the Chicago History Museum’s new exhibit “The Secret Lives of Objects” opening March21.  The museum is located at 1601 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614.

The bell was was made in Springfield, MA from copper and silver coins collected from the garrison and prisoners at the camp in 1864.  After the war the bell was used by St. Mark’ Parish in Chicago.  Later the bell was given to the Chicago History Museum where it has been in storage for decades.

Stop by the museum and see this treasure.  While you are there, also see the Albert E. Meyer, oil on canvas, painting of the camp and a photo of Morgan’s Raiders located in the “Lincoln Exhibit.”

February 10, 2015

The Story of Camp Douglas, Chicago’s Forgotten Civil War Prison by David L. Keller, published by History Press is due in stores March 23. 250 pages of history of the camp and Civil War prisons.

The Foundation is offering a limited time presale offer with free shipping and autographed copies.  To order go to the store tab.

This offer expires March 10.

October 24, 2014

Volunteers representing CDRF and De Paul University discovered two major artifacts this week on the Camp Douglas excavation site, 33rd Street and Giles Avenue.  A letter “B” Union cap badge representing a company or battery was found at the Camp Douglas level. These badges were issued to Union soldiers beginning about 1863. This is the first military artifacts excavated in Chicago in nearly 100 years.  A “Brown Face Reed Pipe” was also found near the cap badge.  Pipes of this type were typical of those used by Confederate soldiers, according to the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, VA.  Both of these finds, along with window glass and nails confirms the location of Prisoner Square of Camp Douglas.

Clay Pipe-3-Unit 13 Level 4Company B




October 20, 2014

The historic marker was officially unveiled today.  Russell Lewis, President, Illinois State Historical Society and Executive Vice President, Chicago History Museum and David Keller, Managing Director, CDRF officiated.


October 3, 2014

Dedication of the Camp Douglas historic marker will take place at 10 am, Monday October 20.  The marker is located on on the west side of Martin Luther King Drive just north of 33rd street. Everyone is welcome and an escorted visit to the archaeological excavation will follow.

September 21, 2014

The third archaeological excavation at John J. Pershing School, 3200 S. Calumet, will begin October 16 and continue through October 21.  Volunteers interested in participating should contact Dr. Michael Gregory, De Paul University will again lead the excavation..

September 19, 2014

The historic marker will be installed on King Drive just north of 33rd Street near the former Griffin Funeral Home.  It is expected that the sign will be in place by the end of September with an official dedication in October.

July 25, 2014, Historic Marker is Complete

The historic marker sponsored by the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation * Alderman Robert Fioretti * Chicago Civil War Round Table * Salt Creek Civil War Round Table * Thornton Township Historical Society * and the Illinois State Historical Society. has been completed.  As soon as City if Chicago approvals are received the site for the erection of the monument will be selected and appropriate unveiling ceremonies scheduled.

June 30, 2014, Spring Archaeological Excavation Finished

CDRF and De Paul University completed a second excavation on the John J, Pershing Magnet School on May 23.  Over 35 volunteers participated in the “dig.” Results are being analyzed by De Paul and should be available later in the year.  Preliminary findings support another excavation in the fall.  The CDRF report on the excavation is contained under the Info tab of this site.

April 25, 2014, Historic Marker to be Erected

CDRF, the Illinois Historical Society, and Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti have completed fund raising for a historic marker to be placed the site of Camp Douglas.  The exact location of the marker has yet to be determined.  It is anticipated that it will be erected and dedicated this summer.  Special thanks to CDRF board member Bernard Turner who coordinated this program

April 18, 2014 Archaeological Investigation

In cooperation with De Paul University, CDRF will conduct an archaeological excavation, May 15 through May 19 on the campus of John J. Pershing Magnet School, 3200 S. Calumet.  This will supplement the investigation reported here November 1, 2013.  Students from De Paul University and other volunteers will conduct the excavation under the guidance of Dr. Michael Gregory.

April 7, 2014, Schedule of Spring Events

Presentations will be made on Camp Douglas at the following:

  • April 23, 5:30 pm, Harold Washington Public Library, 7th Floor, 400 S. State, Chicago
  • April 26, 1:00 pm, Rogers Park Public Library, 6907 N. Clark, Chicago
  • May 2, 8:30 am, National Conference of the Society of Civil War Surgeons, Weston Chicago-NW, Itacka, IL
  • May 3-4, Ohio Civil War Show, Mansfield, O.
  • May 16, 7:00 pm, Salt Creek Civil War Round Table, Oak Terrace, Downers Grove, IL
  • May 20, 7:00 pm, Prairieville Civil War Round Table, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI

December 4, 2013, WTTW, Public Television Video

A video produced by WTTW, Chicago Public Television, on the recent archaeological excavation can be found at:

November 15, 2013, Presentations at Hyde Park and Des Plaines Historical Societies

CDRF provided presentations on Camp Douglas, Chicago and Illinois during the Civil War at meetings of both societies. The events were well attended and information well received. Any organization interested in a presentation for your group contact David Keller at

November 1, 2013, Archaeological Excavation a Success

CDRF in cooperation with De Paul University and the Chicago Public Schools successfully completed an excavation at 3200 S. Calumet on Prisoners Square of Camp Douglas October 29. Nearly 30 volunteers under the direction of Dr. Michael Gregory began excavation on October 25. Artifacts and other data will be evaluated by Dr. Gregory by early 2014. These results will help determine future investigations. CDRF provided a special program for third grade students at Pershing East Magnet School including participation in the “dig.” Details can be found on the web site.

September 24, 2013, Special Artifacts Fund Established

A special fund has been established by CDRF to acquire and preserve artifacts relating to Camp Douglas.  The Houston drawings, Robinson Papers, D. F. Brandon photographs and  Col. Sweet 1865 Circular are part of the growing collection.

Donations are received at:

Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation

Artifacts Fund

1368 N. Mohawk 2S

Chicago, Il 60610

September 20, 2013 Foundation Acquires Historic Camp Drawing

CDRF announced the acquisition of pencil on paper drawings of Camp life attributed to Sam Houston, Jr., son of Texas statesman Sam Houston.  Sam Jr. was a prisoner in the Spring/Summer 1862.  These important historic items are important to the preservation of the history of Camp Douglas.

September 15, 2013 Archaeological Investigation

An archaeological investigation will be led by Michael Gregory, De Paul University at Pershing East School (formerly Pershing West School) beginning October 25 and running through October 28.  This site is in the south west corner of Prisoners Square.

August 14, 2013 Camp Artifacts found

The stem of a clay smoking pipe was one of the artifacts identified from the June 2012 archaeological investigation.  Students at Northern Michigan University, under the direction of Scott Demel, cleaned and cataloged over 3,000 artifacts.  This small piece, identified as produced by the Henderson Pipe Company, Montreal, Canada was the only artifacts believed to come from the camp

July 15, 2013 New Material Available

Now available at the Camp Douglas Store is the annotated diary of Robert Bagby. This diary, from the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, VA, was transcribed and annotated by the Foundation for the period Bagby was a prisoner at Camp Douglas- January 1863 until March 1865. His insight into camp life as a nurse in the prisoner’s hospital is most interesting. His reasons for not leaving the camp when he had the opportunity is telling.

Albert Meyers oil on canvas, housed at the Chicago History Museum, is one of the finest representations of Camp Douglas in 1864. This 19 inch by 11 inch reproduction is perfect for framing by the Civil War enthusiast.

Visit the “Store” tab to see more on these items.

June 28, 2013 Noninvasive Investigation Continues

The Foundation in cooperation with the Kenosha Civil War Museum have conducted a ground penetrating radar survey of the Griffin Funeral Home property (3232 S. King Drive) and Pershing West School (32d and Calumet). After results are analyzed the Foundation will consider an excavation. Watch the news for any updates.

May 15, 2013 Western Boundary of Camp Identified

Work by Illinois Institute of Technology has proven that the western boundary of Camp Douglas was Giles Avenue. This confirms the position taken by William Bross in 1878. Prior to that time King Drive was considered the boundary. Using photographs, maps, drawings and contemporary descriptions, the students of IIT’s IREO program created a computerized model of Camp Douglas. When placed on Google Maps, this model clearly showed the camp’s boundary.

February 18, 2013 Dean Rodkin and Leroy “Roy” Malone Elected to Board

Two new directors were elected to the Board of Directors of the Foundation.  Dean Rodkin and Roy Malone are both educators who have been working with the Foundation as liaison with public and private schools.  Biographical information can be found at “About” on the home page.

February 9, 2013 Chicago History Museum Presentation

The Foundation presented the history of Camp Douglas and the activities of the Foundation to volunteers and staff of the Chicago History Museum February 9.  Included in attendance were Russell Lewis, Historian and Sr. Vice President, Chicago History Museum. Authors George Levy and Robert Girardi, Tom Campbell, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, and special guest, Eileen Mackovich, Executive Director, Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library in Springfield, Illinois.

February 8, 2013 WBEZ Broadcast

David Keller was interviewed by Rick Kogan on WBEZ’s “Afternoon Shift” February 8.  Often considered “Mr. Chicago,”  Rick has been a supporter of the Foundation’s projects since the beginning of the foundation existence.

Exposure on the primary Public Radio outlet in Chicago has resulted in additional interest in Camp Douglas and the Foundation.

A pod cast of the broadcast is available on the home page.

January 28, 2013 IIT IPRO Second Semester Begins

The second semester of IIT’s development of Virtual Camp Douglas begins with 14 students under the direction of Laura Batson,PH.d.  12 new and 2 returning students will
continue the development of the project.  The next IPRO Day where the group will make a presentation to judges is scheduled for April.

January 24, 2013 Camp Douglas Presentations Scheduled

Te following presentations are scheduled to tell the Camp Douglas Story:

  • February 9, 2013-10:00 am, Chicago History Museum
  • April 13, 2013-7:30 pm, South Suburban Archaeological Society-Homewood, IL
  • April 27, 2013-9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Chicago and the Civil War Symposium, Glessner House Museum, Chicago

December 1, 2012 IIT IPRO Reports on Virtual Chicago

The IIT Virtual Chicago Program was presented to IIT judges, staff and faculty during IPRO Day on the campus, November 30.

The students have nearly completed the mapping of the camp and creation of 3D models of several of the buildings. The mapping will be superimpose it on GoogleEarth and resolve the western boundary question. Another group of the students have researched “camp stories” in preparation for embedded text and videos in the program. The web developers of the group are working on the packaging of the product that will be available to anyone at no cost.

The project will continue next semester with a goal of having Virtual Chicago completed by fall 2013.

September 30, 2012 Griffin Funeral Home to be developed

Prologue, Inc. announced plans to develop an alternate school, community center and Civil War museum on the site of the former Griffin Funeral Home, 3232 S. King Drive.  The announcement was made by Dr. Nancy Jackson, Executive Director of Prologue which operates alternate schools in Chicago providing educational opportunities to school drop-outs who are not eligible to reenter the public schools.  The Foundation has been in contact with Dr. Jackson and is cooperating with them on the development of the museum.

August 22,2012 IIT begins work on Virtual Camp Douglas:

Students from Illinois Institute of Technology’s IPRO have begun the development of Virtual Camp Douglas.  Led by Laura Batson, PhD., and supported by Jim Damato, AIA, Principal, zpd+a, Chicago architectural firm and Josh Anderson, Chicago History Museum, the students will research and create a 3D map of Camp Douglas circa: 1864-65 that will be superimposed on Google Earth.  The project, sponsored by the Foundation, is expected to last three semesters at IIT and will ultimately also provide a view of the camp including interior views of buildings and embedded videos.  Virtual Camp Douglas will be made available to educators and historians at no cost.

June 30, 2012 Foundation Stones of Headquarters  Building in Garrison Square are Found!

The archaeological investigation sponsored by the Foundation was conducted for six days beginning June 25.  Students from Loyola university and their professor Dr. Theo Karamanski made up the core of volunteers who worked under the supervision of Dr. Scott Demel, Norther Michigan University.  They investigated three separate sites in Garrison Square of Camp Douglas.  On day four of the dig, in 90 plus degree heat, what appears to be the foundation of the headquarters building in Garrison Square was discovered.  A portion of the foundation was removed for further study.

The dig was a great success not only from what was found but the activities of the foundation received media attention and we had an opportunity to meet and talk to a number of visitors from Lake Meadows, Bronzeville and Chicagoland.

Kudos to Ted Karamanski, Scott Demel and the volunteers led by students from Loyola University. 

June 4, 2012  DIG IT!!!

June 25 through June 29, in cooperation with the Chicago Park District, Loyola University, Northern Michigan University and the Abraham Lincoln Sesquicentennial Foundation, the Foundation will be sponsoring an archaeological dig in Lake Meadows Park (31st & Rhodes) on the site of former Camp Douglas.  This dig is the second phase of our investigation.  The first phase provided non-invasive imagery that warranted further investigation.  We will be excavating three sites each will be approximately four square meters in size and approximately one meter deep.

Subsequent investigations are planned for property owned by the Chicago Public Schools and Olivet Baptist Church.  These investigations will include the involvement of Chicago school students.  We continue to seek, without success, the cooperation of Draper and Kramer to allow investigation on their property.

May 23, 2012 Norwood Park Presentation

David Keller, along with Phil Grinstead, made a presentation to members of the Norwood Park Historical Society meeting.  The presentation included a brief history of Camp Douglas and the African American contribution to the Civil War as well as d summary of the Foundation activities.

May 14, 2012 Weiider Historic Group Adds Support to the Foundation

Weiider is the largest publisher of historic periodicals including Civil War Times and America’s Civil War.  They are donating 20% of subscription prices generated by the Foundation back to the Foundation.  Subscription prices are “Show Specials” that represent a 37% to 75% savings.  For information call 303-868-7976 and mention the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation.

May 10, 2012 Civil War Shows Offer Camp Douglas Exposure

Participation in the Chicago and Ohio Civil War Shows has offered the Foundation an excellent opportunity to increase exposure to current activities and plans.  The reception has been outstanding.  Not only has additional interest been generated, contributions at the shows has more than covered costs.

May 5, 2012 Johnson’s Island  Preservation Society Supports the Foundation

Johnson’s Island, OH housed Confederate officer prisoners during the Civil War.  The  preservation society has acquired 17 acres on the island to be developed aldactone as a museum.  They are also conducting ongoing archaeological investigations on the site.  Don Young and Dr. David Bush have offered their support to the efforts of the Foundation.  Guidance on museum development and support of our archaeological efforts are just two of the support offered.

February 28, 2012 Foundation to Participate in Civil War Shows

The Foundation will participate in the Chicagoland National Civil War Show, April 21 at the DuPage County Fairgrounds and the Ohio Civil War Show, May 5-6 in Mansfield, Ohio.  The goal of the Foundation at these shows is to increase awareness of the projects and goals of the Foundation.  Please stop by and say hello.

February 23, 2012 Beirne Roose-Snyder, J.D. Leaves Foundation Board

Reluctantly the Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Ms. Roose-Snyder at the Foundation meeting today.  Beirne was instrumental in organizing the Foundation and obtaining tax exempt status.  An attorney specializing in not for profit law, she and her husband Adam and son Wesley moved to New York City.  She stated that the move made her contribution to the Foundation significantly less than she believed necessary.  Special thanks to Beirne!  We will miss her insightful and enthusiastic support.

February 11, 2012 David Keller Interviewed by Students from Decatur Classical Elementary School

Fifth grade students from Decatur Classical (Chicago Public Schools) conducted a video interview about Camp Douglas for a school project.  Five students accompanied by their teacher, Mike Gibisser, had prepared questions on camp life and camp history.  The interest, enthusiasm and knowledge of these young people is an excellent example of why the Camp Douglas projects are so important.

January 4, 2012 Foundation Receives First Artifacts

Dr. Scott Demel, Northern Michigan University presented the Foundation the neck to a medicine bottle found on the Camp Douglas site as part of his earlier investigations.  The piece is of the right period and likely came from Garrison Square.

December 12, 2011 Foundation Receives the David Robinson Collection 

Martha Mason, Monterey, CA., trustee of the estate of John S. Barnes has donated to the Foundation the family Civil War collection originally preserved by David Robinson, Chicago businessman and Union soldier.  The collection consists of a number of orders relating to the 69th Illinois Volunteers at Camp Douglas, letters and enlistment certificates.

These important documents are being added to the growing original and copies of Camp Douglas and other Civil War documents entrusted to the Foundation.

Special thanks to Peter Alter, Archivist, Chicago History Museum for arranging the gift.


November 17, 2011 Josh Anderson to Head Virtual Camp Douglas Project

Josh Anderson,Chicago History Museum, has volunteered to head the Foundation Virtual Camp Douglas project.  Josh, a graduate of Lake Forest College, was instrumental in the development of the Virtual Burnham Initiative at Lake Forest.  He will coordinate the development of the virtual Camp Douglas that the Foundation plans to initially release to historians and educators in 2013.

October 10, 2011 Virtual Camp Douglas Project

Thanks to the encouragement and support of Professor Davis Schneiderman, Lake Forest College we are embarking on a project to produce a virtual Camp Douglas that can be superimposed on Google Maps™ including videos and photos of the Camp in the presentation.  For a preview of the virtual concept go to

October 1, 2011 Commemorative Camp Douglas Pins to be available for Purchase on the Web

A commemorative Camp Douglas pin will be available on the web site for $4.00.  Keep and eye out for a future announcement.

September 28, 2011 Lake Forest College Class

David Keller presenteda history of Camp Douglas and explained the Foundation projects to students from Professor Davis Schneiderman’s American Studies Class as part of his series tours on “Lost Chicago”

September 9, 2011 Stephen Demel Investigates Camp Douglas Site

Professor Stephen Demel, Northern Michigan University in the past conducted an archaeological survey of the SE corner of Camp Douglas.  He is currently seeking a permit for an excavation on the site.  The Foundation is in contact with Professor Demel and hopes to add his support to our project.

August 8, 2011 Alderman Will Burns  Offers Help with Draper and Kramer

At a meeting in his office, Alderman will Burns (4th Ward) offered to contact  Draper and Kramer in an attempt to open communications between the Foundation and D&K regarding our projects.  Up to now D&K has refused to discuss anything with the Foundation.

 July 23, 2011 Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation Grant

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation (ALBF) has awarded the Foundation $5,000 to provide support and co-sponsorship of the preliminary archaeological investigation at the Camp Douglas site.  The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation is dedicated to perpetuating and expanding Lincoln’s vision for America and completing America’s unfinished work.  More information on ALBF can be found at

July 7, 2011 Gary Benson Elected to the Board of Directors

Chicago attorney Gary Benson has joined the Foundation board of directors.  For details on Gary’s background see “About” on the web site.

May 23,2011 IRS Tax Exempt Status Approved

The foundation received notice from the Internal Revenue Service of exemption under section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS code

May 1, 2011 Confederate Mount Memorial

David Keller was guest speaker at the 2011 memorial to the soldiers buried in Oak Woods Cemetery.  The annual event was sponsored by Camp 516, Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Also participating was Company D, 2d Kentucky Cavalry and women from the Order of the Confederate Rose and United Daughters of the Confederacy.  Mr. Keller spoke about the plans for the Camp Douglas interpretive and educational center.

April 23, 2011 Bronzeville Meeting

Presentations by the Foundation, Bronzeville Community Development Partnership, Stephen A. Douglas Association, Archdiocese of Chicago (Old Soldiers Home) and the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council were well received by a full house at the Bronzeville Visitors Information Center.  All of the organizations present renewed their pledge of cooperation in the development of the historic sites significant to the Bronzeville community and the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area.

A special presentation was given by Maddy Tyler, Sophomore at Alcott High School in Chicago.  Maddy’s documentary on Camp Douglas successfully competed in the Chicago Public School History Fair and has been entered in the State of Illinois competition.

April 5, 2011 Archaeological Investigation Re-Scheduled

The investigation, originally scheduled for the summer of 2011 has been postponed until 2012.  This rescheduling will allow more thorough planning for the activity and permit additional time to obtain additional sites for the investigation.

March 28, 2011 Bronzeville Meeting

The meeting announced for April 2 has been rescheduled for April 23, 10:00 am at Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, 3501 S. King Drive.  In addition to presenting information on the Camp Douglas Project, there will be presentations on the development of the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area.  Participants will include the Stephen A. Douglas Society and the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership.  Everyone is invited to attend.

March 18, 2011  Olivet Baptist Church Partners with the Foundation

Pastor Michael Noble has agreed to provide the church property as a participant in the archaeological investigation.  This is especially significant since the church is directly on the site of the prison camp.  Pastor Noble and the Foundation have agreed to investigate other ways the church can be involved in the project.

January 20, 2011-Foundation Announces Bronzeville Town Meeting

The Foundation and the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourist Council will jointly sponsor a town meeting at the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, 10:00 am, Saturday, April 2.  This meeting will highlight the archaeological investigation and will include Chicago Public School students will participate in the project.  The program will also include a brief history of Camp Douglas and outline the Foundation objectives.

December 17, 2010-Foundation Co-Sponsors Bronzeville Historic Workshop 

The foundation co-sponsored the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Mobile Workshop at the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership’s Summit, December 17.  The workshop, celebrating the Civil War Sesquicentennial, 2011, included a tour of the Camp Douglas Area and Oak Woods Cemetery.  Support for the Foundation and the Camp Douglas project continues very strong in the Bronzeville community.

December 9, 2010-Draper and Kramer Refuse to Participate in the Archaeological Investigation

A representative from Draper and Kramer stated that D & K was unwilling to participate in any way with the investigation.  Unfortunately, D & K refused, when requested, to outline any concerns about the investigation and refused to have any further contact with the Foundation on the subject.

The Foundation and Loyola University continue to believe that the investigation is important to the history of Chicago and Draper and Kramer’s involvement can be a positive for the community and the company.  In spite of the extremely negative reaction by D & K, the Foundation and Loyola University intend to continue to keep lines of communication open for additional discussions.

November 15, 2010-Approval of Land Use for Archaeological Investigation

The Foundation has requested the participation of the Chicago Public Schools and Draper and Kramer in the investigation.  Three sites for the investigation have been identified.  Two on Draper and Kramer land and one on CPS property.  Initial indications from the CPS were positive.  Approval for use of the CPS site as well as participation by students from the Bronzeville area is expected in early 2011.  No information was available from Draper and Kramer.

November 1, 2010-Loyola Announces Class Relating to the Archaeological Investigation

Loyola University announced creation of a for credit archaeological field class beginning July 2011 relating to the Camp Douglas investigation.

October 1, 2010- Dig Receives Loyola University Final Approval

Professor Dan Amick, Loyola University, reported to the Foundation, “The dean and the provost are enthusiastic and willing to support an archaeological field school at Camp Douglas this summer.” This is great news and will offer new opportunities to find additional information about Camp Douglas and provide educational opportunities for the Bronzeville community. The project will involve students from a number of middle and high schools in Bronzeville. In addition to the dig, volunteers from the Foundation will develop a curriculum for use by the schools for pre and post dig activities. Our next steps in the process will be to investigate and obtain rights to the sites of the dig, develop a specific plan for the program and obtain necessary funding. Assistance in any of these areas will be appreciated. For more information contact

September 17, 2010 -Draper and Kramer Respond to Request for Land

Draper and Kramer have informed the foundation that they will be unable to support the restoration project because the City of Chicago Plan Commission and City Council approved their Lake Meadows master plan. The plan has four phases running until 2031 that apparently will have no changes from that which was presented.

September 12, 2010-Civil War Days, Lockport, IL

Andy Irvine and David Keller visited the Civil War encampment in Lockport to spread the word about the project.  We passed out flyers on the program and requests for donations, especially of worn out Confederate reenactment uniforms.  The sponsors were kind enough to allow us to leave brochures at the event entrance for the general public.  Our reception was excellent with reenactorsassisting us in passing out information.  We also received excellent response from sutlers at the event.  Of special note was support offered by Major Edw. A. Flewellen CSA Surgeon (aka Bob Fox) to establish interpretive material on medical treatment during the Civil War.

September 12, 2010-Rick Kogan, Sunday Papers, WGN-AM 720

The interview of David Keller by Rick Kogan was a great success.  A number of a-mails were received after the broadcast and there was a significant increase in subscriptions to the web site.  Rick was an engaging host and clearly a strong supporter of the project.  He has invited us back for a one hour session within the next few months.

September 2, 2010– Author George Levy offers support

George Levy, author of the definitive history of Camp Douglas, To Die in Chicago, met with David Keller and offered his complete support to the project.  He has already provided some additional, unpublished facts and anecdotes about the Camp that will be invaluable in telling the story.  Welcome and thank you George.

August 31, 2010-DuSable Museum to provide assistance in developing galleries

Charles Bethea, CEO/Curator of the DuSable Museum reviewed the objectives of the Foundation and has offered the assistance of the museum in the development of the galleries, especially the gallery devoted to the African American contribution to the Civil Was.  He and his staff will be working closely with the Foundation as we move forward.

August 30, 2010– Archaeological Dig Up-date

Dr. Daniel Amick, head of the anthropology department is putting together a team to conduct the dig on the site of the camp.  His team includes Theo. Karamanski, author Rally ‘Round the Flag, from the history department and several imminent anthropologists.  They are eager to have high school and middle school students from the Bronzeville area participate. Preliminary contacts with local schools is finding strong support for the project.

August 24, 2010-Son’s of Confederate Veterans

Jim Barr, past commander of the Son’s who conduct an annual ceremony at Oak Wood Cemetery learned about the Foundation from the web site.  George and the organization support the objectives of the Foundation including the Aftican American contribution to the Civil War.  While the goals of the organizations may differ, the Son’s response shows the broad support for the project.

August 24, 2010-Stephan A. Douglas Society Support.

George Buss has offered the support of the Society to the Foundation.  In addition, George will present the concept of an archaeological dig to his contacts in the Chicago Public Schools.

August 13, 2010-Support from Harold Lucas of the Bronzeville Tourism Council.

In a meeting today Harold Lucas was very supportive of the Camp Douglas project and is eager to work with the foundation toward our goal.  Harold indicated that the project will be an important part of the historic corridor being developed in Bronzeville.  He also commented that the project will have a positive impact on the economic development of the area and will bring additional tourism to the area.

August 10, 2010-Meeting with Draper and Kramer

David Keller met with Gordon Ziegenhagen, Project Manager of the Lake Meadows redevelopment project.  The meeting failed to obtain any commitment from Draper and Kramer; however, the subject will remain open with D & K.  Gordon’s primary concern is the lack of community support for the project.  Development of the northern portion of the site is likely to be delayed for up to 10 years.

July 27, 2010-Contact with the Olivet Baptist Church

ArnoldRomeo, representing the church and David Keller met to review the foundation’s proposal for development of the Camp Douglas project.  Arno;d is very supportive of the project and will discuss the program with the church congregation.  Future meeting are anticipated.

July 25, 2010-Rick Kogan’s “The Sunday Papers”-WGN-AM radio.

David Keller will be appearing on Rick Kogan’s radio show between 7:30 and 9:00 am, Sunday, September 12 to discuss the Camp Douglas project.  Tune in and tell your friends to tune in.

Rick Kogan comes from a celebrated Chicago family that understands the importance of history to all Chicagoans.  Rick a well known and respected journalist, author and media personality who has a unique understanding and appreciation of all that is Chicago.  His father Herman Kogan was a noted critic and chronicler of the Chicago scene.  Rick’s interest in the Camp Douglas project will be instrumental to our success.

July 13, 2010– Archeology support likely for Camp Douglas.

Dr. Charles Faulkner, Distinguished Professor of Archeology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville has volunteered to provide introductions to the archeology community to work on a potential survey of the Camp Douglas site, prior to Draper and Kramer’s restoration of the site.  Hopefully, the survey will provide information on the exact location of the Camp and perhaps uncover valuable artifacts for the historic reproduction of the barracks.

Dr. Faulkner, who received his PhD from Indiana University and a 41 year faculty member of the University of Tennessee, is an expert on the Indian history in the Lake Michigan and Chicago area.  He is currently a consultant for the Knoxville Civil War sesquicentennial celebration.

June 28, 2010 Chicago:Alderman Preckwinkel Offers Support to the Project:

4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle and candidate for President of the County Board offered her support and encouragement for the Camp Douglas Restoration Plan. She also shared the Lake Meadows Master Plan developed by Draper and Kramer for the site of Camp Douglas. She also provided contact information for a number of individuals and institutions that may have a role in the project.

June 26, 2010, Chicago: David Keller meets with John Zukowski, Acting Director Pritzker Military Library and Author, Robert Doyle, The Enemy in our Hands, 2010.

Director Zukowski and Bob Doyle offered their support and encouragement to the objective of the Foundation. Bob Doyle offered to provide information on Camp Douglas from his personal collection and to collaborate on interpretation and education activities of the program.

June 23, 2010, Chicago: M. Weeks Joins the Board

Michael Weeks, author and member of the Chicago Civil War Round Table agreed to join the board of directors of the foundation. Michael brings extensive experience in Civil War history and Camp Douglas.

June 22, 2010, Chicago:Support from Bronzeville Community Development Partnership

At a meeting with Paula Robinson, Managing Partner and Bernard Turner, author and publisher, The Foundation received support and encouragement from the Partnership and an agreement to cooperate in the development of the tribute to Camp Douglas. As an alternative to construction of the barracks, Paula offered space in the project being developed at the Griffin Funeral home building at 32d and King Drive.

June 16, 2010, Washington D.C. Historic Drawings Found

The National Archives has located and provided to the Foundation drawings of Camp Douglas prison barracks locations and a cross section drawing with dimensions. This find will allow the barracks to be built with historic accuracy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently looking for architectural plans for the barracks.

June 14, 2010, Carlisle Barracks, PA. Illinois Adjutant General’s Report on Camp Douglas Located

David Keller, with the excellent assistance of the U.S. Army History Institute located and copied a 1865 report by I. N. Haynie, I. N. A history of Camp Douglas, A Prisoner of War Camp at Chicago 1861-1865, From a Report by the Adjutant General of the state of Illinois, Volume 1. This report offers an excellent summary of the Camp and camp facilities.

May 25, 2010, Chicago: Chicago Civil War Round Table Supports Camp Douglas Restoration

Tom Trescott, President of the Round Table agreed to distribute a flyer about the Camp Douglas project to all Round Table members at the June meeting. He indicated strong support for the project and will discuss the project with his trustees.