Public invited to Confederate Prison exhibit Friday
SALISBURY — The public is invited to view a free exhibit on the Salisbury Confederate Prison from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday in the Stanback Auditorium in the Rowan Public Library, 201 W. Fisher St.
The exhibit is presented by the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association Inc. Association members will be available to provide information about the prison, which was active between early December 1861 and late February 1865, and to distribute its pamphlet, “North Carolina’s Salisbury Confederate Prison.”
On display will be handmade replicas of prison buildings based on the 1886 lithograph of the prison drawn by Salisbury resident Charles A. Kraus, a former Confederate soldier of Maryland. The late Don Weinhold Sr. constructed a model of the former cotton factory as well as ones of many of the one-story brick buildings that were used for shelters and later as hospitals.
A copy of the Kraus lithograph along with all known images depicting the Prison will be a part of the exhibit. A few bricks thought to be part of the original buildings will be displayed along with some brick pieces found during the March 2012 archaeological dig. Near the tables holding the model of the prison will be a transcription of the 1861 deed for the prison, 40 copies of letters and newspaper articles written during or shortly after the war, 50 images of soldiers and civilians connected to the prison and flags representing the prison personnel and prisoners from 32 states and the District of Columbia.
An area of the exhibit in memory of those who were at the prison will include a photograph from the Old English Cemetery of the gravesite of Frederic M. Kent, the only prison commandant to die while in service at Salisbury.
Additional photographs will be shown of the two cemeteries where Confederate and Union soldiers from the prison were buried, the Old Lutheran Cemetery and the Salisbury National Cemetery, where each April memorial services are held during the Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium hosted by the Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78, United Daughters of the Confederacy
Images of most of the prison’s 10 commandants will be displayed. A wooden spindle from the front porch of Prison Commandant Swift Galloway’s home in Snow Hill will be shown. A poster will list the charges against Commandant John Gee, who was tried in 1866 in Raleigh for war crimes and found innocent.
In addition, a dressmaker of period clothing will be present to talk about fashions during the war years in the Hurley Room, and outside there will be uniformed reenactors representing the Union prisoners and Confederate guards.
Individuals interested in reading more about the prison may visit the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association Inc. website at www.salisburyprison.org. Questions also may be directed to Sue Curtis, president, at email@example.com
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