CDV OF CONFEDERATE PRISONER CAMP AT ELMIRA

$550.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 1139-422

A horizontal view of the Elmira Prison Camp taken from above and looking over the stockade and guard-walk, showing rows of tents in the foreground and wood barracks buildings in the background. A guard with rifle stands on the guard-walk to the right of a small guard shack on the platform. In the streets below, between the rows of tents, and in the distance in front of the barracks buildings, crowds of Confederate prisoners are visible, perhaps being drawn up for a roll call.

The card is in good condition with nice tones to the image and has a Moulton & Larkin, Elmira, photographer’s backmark and a two-cent tax stamp on the reverse. Nicely inscribed in period brown ink on the front is, “Rebel Camp Elmira From Observatory.”

Established in the summer of 1864, the prison camp was established in one of the barracks complexes originally erected around the city to house New York regiments while they recruited up to war strength before heading south for field service. The camp only existed for one year, but over that time some 3,000 prisoners out of 12,000 confined there died from sickness, malnutrition and disease. Though the inscription is dated November 1864, the view was probably taken earlier. The tents in the foreground were eventually replaced by more barracks buildings.  The camp and its prisoners were a novelty in the city and something of a tourist attraction. One entrepreneur erected a viewing platform for the curious, charging an appropriate fee, of course. This view was taken either from that platform or a neighboring building. [jet] [ph:L]

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