Johnson's Island Confederate Cemetery, Marblehead

#3 of 8 in Things to do in Marblehead
Johnson's Island is a 300acre island in Sandusky Bay, located on the coast of Lake Erie, 3mi from the city of Sandusky, Ohio. It was the site of a prisoner-of-war camp for Confederate officers captured during the American Civil War. Initially, Johnson's Island was the only Union prison exclusively for Southern officers but eventually held privates, political prisoners, persons sentenced to court martial and spies. Civilians who were arrested as guerrillas, or bushwhackers, were also imprisoned on the island. During its three years of operation, more than 15,000 men were incarcerated there.
The island is named after L. B. Johnson, the owner of the island beginning about 1852. It was originally named 'Bull's Island' by its first owner, Epaphras* W. Bull, about 1809.
In late 1861, Federal officials selected Johnson’s Island as the site for a prisoner of war camp to hold up to 2,500 captured Confederate officers. The island offered easy access by ship for supplies to construct and maintain a prison and its population. Sandusky Bay offered more protection from the elements than on other nearby islands, which were also closer to Canada in the event of a prison break. Woods of hickory and oak trees could provide lumber and fuel. The U.S. government leased half the island from private owner Leonard B. Johnson for $500 a year, and for the duration of the war carefully controlled access to the island.
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Johnson's Island Confederate Cemetery Reviews
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97 reviews
  • And some gave all.” This was very moving to see. Well kept memorial and gravesites on an absolutely stunning island.  more »
  • My family, including my teenagers, thought this was a very interesting stop. This is a beautiful cemetery with a beautiful memorial to the soldiers who are buried there.  more »

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