Burial Trenches and Salisbury Prison, National Cemetery, Salisbury
The rectangular plaque includes general information about the site (the 18 trenches and the former prison location). Additionally, it includes depictions of the area which function as maps of the trenches and the overall site. The seal of the United Daughters of the Confederacy is at the bottom.
BURIAL TRENCHES / AND / SALISBURY PRISON / YOU ARE FACING THE 18 TRENCHES USED / BY THE SALISBURY CONFEDERATE PRISON / FOR THE BURIAL OF PRISONERS, MOST OF / WHOM DIED AFTER OCTOBER 1864 / SALISBURY PRISON 1861-1865 / NATIONAL CEMETERY TRENCHES / ERECTED BY / THE UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / OCTOBER 1992
National Cemetery Administration
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The United Daughters of the Confederacy
Based on a need to house POWs, Confederate Secretary of War, L.P. Walker, requested property from several states. Out of this land, Salisbury was selected and a prison erected on the site. The four-story prison was designed to hold 2,000 but overflowed with 10,000 of more POWs. The entire prison site was surrounded by a high wall which was regularly patrolled by guards. The first prisoners arrived in December 1861 but, as the war progressed and required more munitions and supplies, the POWs were unable to get items such as clothing and medicine for protection against unfavorable weather. As such, death and illness increased until all of the site's buildings were converted into hospitals. Those who perished were interred in 18 burial trenches.
General George Stoneman burned the prison's buildings between April 12th and 13th, 1865.
The National Cemetery was established in 1865 to act as a memorial to all the Union soldiers who perished in the prison.
The plaque is located in the historic section of the National Cemetery and stands in front of the marked burial trenches associated with the Salisbury Prison. It is surrounded by several monuments, including the state of Maine honoring Maine's fallen soldiers. the Monument to 11700 Unknown Dead, and a monument erected by the state of Pennsylvania, located further down the hill.
The plaque stands in a grass area with little adornment other than grave and trench markers.