Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Saving a Civil War Prison Volume 55 Number 2, March/April 2002
by Eric A. Powell

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Development is threatening Johnson's Island Prisoner of War Depot, a Civil War prison camp for Confederate officers in Ohio (see "Doing Time," July/August 1999). The site's owner intends to put the landmark on the market. At stake is 16.5 acres that includes the remains of the prison compound and the earthen fortifications of Fort Johnson. In response, David Bush, an archaeologist at Heidelberg College, has formed the Friends and Descendants of Johnson's Island, a nonprofit group dedicated to buying the prison to ensure its survival. Bush hopes to raise $50,000 to secure a bank loan for a down payment on the property. Provided the nonprofit can come up with the money, Bush expects the prison, which housed 10,000 Southern officers, to escape destruction. For more, visit

© 2002 by the Archaeological Institute of America