Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium starts Friday

  • Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:39 a.m.

SALISBURY — The 16th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium, sponsored by the Robert F. Hoke Chapter 78, United Daughters of the Confederacy, will be held Friday-Sunday, April 5-7.

The chapter’s interest in this military prison resulted from being contacted over the years by descendants who asked for more information than could be easily found.

Although the military prison that was located in Salisbury by the Confederate government was written about by some who were there, it was not as well-known until Louis Brown wrote “The Salisbury Prison.” The first symposium was held in 1998 at the depot, the library, the Salisbury National Cemetery and the Old Lutheran Cemetery, but now it is conducted at Landmark Church, Catawba College and the two cemeteries.

At the second symposium, the charter for the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association Inc. was signed and this nonprofit organization continues to grow and work toward expanding the history of the prison.

The UDC’s symposium has made a successful effort in locating new information and sharing the history of the Salisbury Prison in a friendly atmosphere. Descendants, historians, physicians, educators, etc. have been located and invited to Salisbury to share their knowledge.

Past speakers and guests have included Brown, Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. of Virginia Tech, a son and daughter of guard Robert Phipps, teacher Susan Johnson of Scotland and local historian Dr. Gary Freeze.

This year the speakers include two authors, a college professor and a physician who have no direct link to the prison but do have information to share. Three descendants who are retired from the Army National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Va., Princeton University, and the VA Medical Center in Madison, Wisc., will speak. Subjects range from acts of kindness toward prisoners by a town resident to an attempted escape, individuals who were at the prison and pensions.

Guests from Canada, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia are expected.

Registration will remain open through Wednesday, April 3, and cost is $75 for seven lectures, a banquet, two memorial services and a tour of the prison site.

If interested contact Chairman Sue Curtis at 704-637-6411, or

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