Founded in 1861 as a Union Army training camp, it was named after Stephen A. Douglas who provided the land on which the camp was built. Early in 1862, it became a prisoner-of-war camp until the end of the war.
By 1863, Camp Douglas had the highest mortality rate amongst prisoners of any prison camp in the Union Army. Freezing conditions, smallpox and other maladies contributed to the deaths of 1,500 already weakened and injured Confederate soldiers.
After being captured on January 11, 1863 at the Battle of Arkansas Post, Bret and Bart Maverick were sent to Camp Douglas for internment. In April of 1865, the Mavericks took the opportunity to join the 5th U.S. Volunteer Infantry as Galvanized Yankees to get out of the camp's festering conditions to fight Indians for the Union Army. On April 28 of that year, they were ordered to Fort Leavenworth.
See: Trail West to Fury
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