16th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium
The Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy has announced the slate of guest lecturers for its
16th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium, April 5-7, 2013. The event is dedicated to preserving, sharing, and expanding
the history of the Prison and those who were there.
Since 1998 the Hoke Chapter has hosted attendees from throughout the United States plus Canada and Scotland with speakers from almost
as many localities. Hoke members raise funds during the year in order to provide an economical registration fee for attendees. Speakers have
ranged from professional lecturers and noted authors to descendants who spoke at the Symposium for the first time about their ancestor who
was at the Prison. This event offers an opportunity to learn more about the military prison that was located in Salisbury by the Confederate
Government in 1861 which held thousands of prisoners until its close in 1865.
This year’s Symposium will begin with the traditional Friendship Banquet on Friday from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall of
Landmark Church. The evening speaker will be author Arlene Showalter of Georgia who will share information about Sarah Johnston and her
acts of benevolence in connection to the Confederate military prison that was located close to her home on East Bank Street. Musical
entertainment, recognition of veterans, historical displays, and door prizes will also be a part of the program.
Saturday’s Symposium site shifts to the Tom Smith Auditorium in Ketner Hall on the Catawba College campus. Starting at 9:15 am and
ending at 4:00 pm 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 a history of the Salisbury Prison. William Marley of Virginia, a descendant of a guard who served with the
68th NC Infantry that was stationed at the Prison, will talk about the November 1864 mass escape attempt. Historian Andrew Bullard, M.D.
of North Carolina will discuss soldiers’ pensions. Union soldiers or family members applied for pensions from the Federal Government and
Southern soldiers or widows applied for pensions from the state from which they served. POW descendant Michael DuMont of North
Carolina will speak on his ancestor of the 3rd New York Cavalry who died in the Prison in February 1865. Author Robert O’Connor of
West Virginia will provide information on Salisbury POWs from the United States Colored Troops. Historian and POW descendant Ron
Nichols of Wisconsin will discuss prisoners from his state who survived their imprisonment at Salisbury.
Displays on Friday evening that include images and maps of the Prison, images with biographies of selected prisoners, guards and
commandants, and the 68th NC Infantry will also be set up on Saturday plus an additional exhibit entitled "The Civil War & A New Era in
Veterans Benefits." This traveling exhibit was created by the Veterans Health Administration History Office as part of the national Civil War
150th Anniversary commemoration. The display of 6 panels, 15 feet long, highlights sweeping changes made in Federal veterans benefits
because of the War.
On Sunday morning two memorial services will be conducted which are free and open to the public. The 10:00 am service at the Historic
Salisbury National Cemetery will remember the Union prisoners who died in Salisbury. The 11:00 am 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. Each service will include a memorial address, music, poetry, and members of the 88th NY Infantry, 27th NC Infantry, and the
40th NC Light Artillery. Also assisting the UDC will be members of the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association, Inc.
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 $65 per person through March 16, $75 afterwards. 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org