Restricted Black Lives Matter Demand Removal of Confederate Prisoner of War Dead Marker in Chicago Cemetery

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Jan 12, 2016
South Carolina
Sad. Let the dead rest in peace.

Several groups, including Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100, and Smash White Supremacy Chicago, have issued their demands calling the memorial to the dead prisoners of war “a monument to white supremacy,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Protesters set up a vigil outside the cemetery situated on the City’s near south side in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, only a few miles from Barack Obama’s former home in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

The demonstrators carried signs and banners, one reading, “Honor Black Lives, No Monuments to Racism.” But, in fact, the monument has little to do directly with “the Confederacy.”

Supporters of the federally protected monument, which has stood on the site since 1895, note that the statue was not erected to celebrate the Confederacy, nor any Confederate leader, but instead to mark the graves of more than 4,000 Confederate prisoners who died in U.S. custody. The prisoners died at Camp Douglas, a camp for Confederate prisoners that stood for the duration of the war just south of Chicago’s downtown section. Most of the prisoners died of starvation, exposure to the elements, and neglect due to the harsh conditions at the camp.

Indeed, the mass grave and the monument weren’t even erected by supporters of the south but were the creation of the U.S. government when the city of Chicago shut down an old city cemetery where the POWs were initially interred. Federal authorities chose the plot at Oak Woods Cemetery and moved the bodies of 4,200 POWs there between 1865 and 1867​
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