Camp Butler National Cemetery
5063 Camp Butler Road
Springfield, IL 62707
Phone: (217) 492 - 4070
Situated in Sangamon County near Riverton, six miles northeast of Springfield, Ill.
The cemetery is located 2 ¼ miles east of U.S. Highway 55 (Exit 100 – Clinton exit), on Camp Butler Road (old U.S. 36)
In 1861, the War Department dispatched General William Tecumseh Sherman to Springfield, Ill., to select a site for a military training camp. Illinois Governor Richard Yates tasked the state treasurer, William Butler, with assisting the general. The men found an ideal location six miles outside of Springfield with a high ground for camping purposes and a lower, more-level area for drills and training, as well as space for a cemetery. General Sherman was pleased with the site and named it Camp Butler to honor his companion.
The first troops arrived at Camp Butler in August 1861 and by the end of the month, 5,000 men occupied the camp. As the war progressed, additional uses were found for the grounds, including a prisoner of war camp. In February 1862, approximately 2,000 Confederate soldiers captured when Fort Donelson was surrendered, arrived at Camp Butler. As the POWs arrived–from all 11 southern states except Florida—they were put to work constructing a stockade and hospital. The hastily constructed barracks were inadequate and poorly constructed. Sanitation facilities were primitive and the daily ration of food often consisted of little more than hard biscuits and a cup of thin coffee. Almost immediately, the POWs began to die at a rapid rate. The heat of the summer combined with the severe winter cold, as well as diseases such as smallpox, typhus and pneumonia, decimated the prisoner population. Roughly 700 POWs died in the smallpox epidemic of summer 1862.
Along with soldiers who fought for both the Union and Confederate sides during the Civil War, veterans who lost their lives in the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, the Korea War and the Vietnam War are also buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery. Camp Butler was the final resting place of many remains returned from overseas following World War II. Camp Butler National Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. [Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs]
[Partial list of burials There are over 20,000 burials in this cemetery]
Catherwood, John H. - b. August 7, 1888 d. November 18, 1930
Dickson, Frank S. - b. Oct. 6, 1876; d. Feb. 24, 1953; Co I, 4th IL Inf, Spanish-Am. War
Duncan, Otis Beverly - b. November 18, 1873 d. May 17, 1937 - Lt. Col. US Inf.
Ivey, John L. - d. 1965
Ramsey, Ray - b. July 18, 1921; d. August 25, 2009 - LT US Navy WW2 "We Love You Dad"
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