Thursday, January 1, 2009

Confederate Cemetery at Johnson's Island

In 1861, Johnson's Island, a 300 acre island in Sandusky Bay, was selected as the location for a prisoner of war camp, built to house primarily Confederate officers. (While my ancestor, James Cross, served in the Ohio 123rd Infantry during the Civil War, my husband's ancestor, Ancel Spragg Paul, was 2nd Sergeant in Company F of the 48th Regiment of the Georgia Infantry. Thus I am interested in the history of the soldiers and sailors who served in both the North and the South.) Johnson's Island was thought to be a good location for the prison, due to receiving supplies easily by ship,as well as being an efficient location for keeping the inmates imprisoned.

The prison had barracks for the prisoners, a hospital, and a mess hall. Outside the prison, were barns, barracks for officers, and other buildings. The Ohio 128th Volunteer Infantry was the main infantry that guarded the prison, though at times other units were brought in. While some of the prisoners did lose their lives at Johnson's Island, others prisoners had occasion to engage in recreational activities such as baseball games and amateur theatrical productions.

On June 8, 1910 over one thousand people witnessed the unveiling of the Confederate Cemetery Monument at Johnson’s Island. Moses Jacob Ezekiel sculpted the monument, which had been commissioned by the Robert Patton Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Funding was obtained by donations from Masons and military organizations from several states. After the unveiling ceremony, several former Confederate officers were escorted to dinner at the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home where they toured the grounds. There was also a parade in which former soldiers from both the Union and Confederate armies participated.

Listings of the soldiers who were buried at the cemetery at Johnson's Island are found in several sources, including this list from as well another listing from the U.S. Civil War Center.

Below left is the tombstone of Second Lieut. B. J. Blount, who served in Co. H of the 55th North Carolina Infantry, C.S.A. Below right is the tombstone of Lieutenant James Lawshe,who served in Co. C of the 18th Mississippi Cavalry, C.S.A.

In sharp contrast to the hundreds of grave markers at the Confederate Cemetery, and the statue of a solider overlooking Sandusky Bay, you can see the outline of several roller coasters from the Cedar Point Amusement Park across the Bay.



This is wonderful! I've often wondered about the Confederate Cemetery and I'm glad you chose to spotlight it. The pictures were wonderful and I particularly liked the contrast you made of the soldier and the roller coasters in the background. Great Job!

Dorene from Ohio said...

Thanks Terry!

Reference Services said...

See another list of burials at Johnson's Island at: