LECTURE: “Elmira Prison” with Doug Oakes and Terri Olszowy
Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 9:40 PM
What: The Western PA Civil War Roundtable Monthly meeting
Where: Edgeworth Elementary School (200 Meadow Ln, Edgeworth, PA 15143)
Title: LECTURE: “Elmira Prison” with Doug Oakes and Terri Olszowy
One of the uglier aspects of the Civil War has to be the story of military prisons on both sides during the war. Though the Confederacy’s Andersonville Prison is probably the best known, Union prison camps were no picnic either. At this month’s meeting, Doug Oakes and Terri Olszowy will discuss the notorious Union prison camp in Elmira, New York. Located in west central New York and about six miles from the Pennsylvania border, one Confederate prisoner said “Elmira was nearer Hades than I thought any place could be.” So how did Elmira, New York end up as a prison camp for Confederate prisoners? Doug and Terri will explain Elmira’s role as military depot, a mustering and draft enrollment center, and finally as a prisoner of war camp from July 6, 1864 to its closure in August, 1865.
Doug and Terri are eminently qualified to speak on this subject. Both are Board Members of the Friends of Elmira Civil War Camp, whose mission is to protect and preserve the history of the American Civil War in Elmira and surrounding areas. Doug and Terri are both actively involved in living history and historical research. They are hard at work on a regimental history of the 86th New York Volunteer Infantry.