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"Urban Exploration", "Haunted Cemeteries", and "Road Geekery"

Camp Chase was a Civil War camp located near Hague & Sullivant at 2900 Sullivant Ave. I happened to stop there as a lark one sunday evening as it was starting to get cold, rainy, and dark (what a combo). I had to park afew blocks away as there is no parking anywhere near the site. Camp Chase had originally been a training ground for Union troops. Three future presidents passed through this camp. Lieutenant Colonel James Garfield served in the 42nd OVI. Major Rutherford B. Hayes and Private William McKinley were both part of the 23rd. The camp also was used to muster troops, discharge Union POW's from service, and hold Confederate POW's.

The camp was located on about six acres of land between the National Road (US 40) (now Broad Street) and what is today Sullivant Avenue. Its eastern border was what is currently Hague Avenue. After the Civil War, the camp was dismantled. Some of the shacks that housed POW's had been housed were used as shanties. Most indications that the military camp had been there was gone; except for the graveyard, which was left to be forgotten.

Many soldiers who died at Camp Chase died in the smallpox epidemic of 1863. Overcrowding forced two or three men to share a bunk, and led to severe shortages in food, medicine, clothing, and blankets. The men were malnourished and cold, and therefore susceptible to disease. In the February of 1863, 499 men died from smallpox alone.

I felt very uncomfortable in this cemetery. I'm not sure if it was the history, or the weather conditions outside. This is the first time I have every been uneasy in a cemetery. I remember thinking that if I was ever going to do something stupid in a cemetery, this would not mess around. The feeling was more or less an anxious feeling that I did not want to linger any longer than need be.

2263 Confederate POW's are buried at Camp Chase. I really like the arch with the word "Americans" on it. Because even in death and defeat, they are still Americans.

Monument in the middle of the cemetery.

On the left is a bronze plaque on one of the gateposts, and on the right is a monument just inside the gate.

On the left is a look down the cemetery, showing the sprawl that has grown up around the cemetery. On the right is looking from near the large monument foward towards the front gate (and Sullivant Ave).

Click here to see the full gallery of pictures from Camp Chase.

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