Northern Illinois University Press

Rebels at Rock Island

The Story of a Civil War Prison

Benton McAdams

"The best treatment of any Northern camp.... Sweeps away many of the myths and exaggerations regarding Rock Island."—Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia

"A meticulously researched and extraordinarily detailed account of the prison.... A tale of drama, suspense, and turmoil."—Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

"Captivating.... The author has dug deeply into every aspect of life at Rock Island."—Civil War Book Review

Ashley Wilkes of Gone with the Wind helped to seal Rock Island's reputation as the "Andersonville of the North." McAdams separates truth from fiction about the Rock Island Barracks, the prison that held tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers. Revealing that Rock Island was not without its problems—ignominious punishments, inadequate facilities, malnutrition, and lack of basic supplies—McAdams shows how Union officers sought to maintain humane conditions in the face of a war that raged on longer than anyone anticipated. Two dozen rare photographs round out the unflinching descriptions of prison life.

(2000) 274 pp., illus.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-267-1
cloth $35.50

Table of Contents

One: "That is the Way You Do Here, is It?"
Two: "They are Dying Off Very

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-267-1
cloth $35.50