15th Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium April 13-15

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2012

The Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will host its 15th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium April 13-15.
It begins with the traditional Friendship Banquet on Friday from 5–9 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Landmark Church. The evening speaker will be archaeologist Ken Robinson, who will discuss past research done on the prison site and goals for future exploration. Musical entertainment, recognition of veterans and door prizes will also be a part of the program.
Saturday’s symposium site moves to the Tom Smith Auditorium in Ketner Hall on the Catawba College campus. Starting at 9:15 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m., there will be a series of six lectures on subjects relating to the Salisbury Prison. Dr. Gary Freeze, Professor of American History at the college, will present an overall synopsis of the prison’s history from 1861 to 1865. Author Michael Coker of South Carolina will talk about prisoners who were incarcerated at both Salisbury and Charleston. Medical historian Dr. Charles Cooke of Virginia will return after a year’s absence to share information about typhoid in the prison and in the field. Baseball executive Dave Chase of Tennessee will speak on the history of the sport and how it was played at the prison in the spring and summer of 1862. Author Brenda McKean of North Carolina will provide information on a Confederate guard from Mecklenburg County who was in the NC Senior Reserves. Historian Ron Vinson of North Carolina will discuss military chaplains and civilian ministers at Salisbury and other locations.
On Sunday morning, two memorial services will be conducted. Both are free and open to the public. The 10 a.m. service at the Old Lutheran Cemetery will remember the Confederate soldiers who died while on duty at the prison as well as others who died in Salisbury while hospitalized and after the war. The 11 a.m. service at the Historic Salisbury National Cemetery will remember the Union prisoners who died in Salisbury. Each service will include a memorial address, music, poetry and members of the 88th NY Infantry, 4th NC State Troops, and 40th NC Light Artillery.
The final activity of the Symposium weekend for registered attendees will be a tour of the prison site on Sunday afternoon.
Registrations for the Symposium are now being accepted. The event is open to anyone interested in the history of the prison. Cost is $75 per person. Checks should be made to Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78, UDC and mailed to PO Box 83, Salisbury, NC 28145-0083. For additional information, contact Symposium Chairman Sue Curtis at southpaws@salisbury.net or 704-637-6411. Last year’s event drew registrants from nine states and Canada.