The Door County Historical Society kicks off its Saturday afternoon yesteryear programming with “Confederate Rest”, presented by Larry Desotell on Saturday, July 1 at 2:00 in the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek.
Following the battle of Island No. 10 across from New Madrid, Missouri in March/April, 1862, over 1,100 Confederate prisoners were sent to Camp Randall in Madison. Of those, 140 died and were buried in a section of Forest Hill Cemetery called Confederate Rest. This presentation will focus on the battle, the decision to use Camp Randall as the site of a prison, and the interaction of the 19th Wisconsin, which acted as guards for the prisoners. Insight will be given on Confederate prisoners from Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky. The program will focus on the deadly confrontation between Corporal George Washington Spears of Desotoville, Alabama and Private Clarence Wicks of Dayton, Green Lake County. The program will conclude with a description of a transplanted southern belle who became determined to make sure the burial place of “her boys” would be preserved.
Larry Desotell became interested in “Confederate Rest” after reading a short description of the cemetery which at that point, he did not know existed. He first visited the cemetery on a cold winter day and came away with the perception of melancholy that these men died a slow, lonely death so far from home in a place that may have seemed like an alien world. Larry reminds us, “Whatever your view of the Civil War, the cemetery is not about causes, ideology, or philosophy but a reminder of people being caught up in a series of events over which they had no control.”
Larry Desotell taught history and political science at The Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin for 32 years. He continues his passion for history by teaching classes for Learning in Retirement. He retired to Sturgeon Bay and is currently working a book about his topic “Confederate Rest.
The program will be held on Saturday, July 1, at 2:00 pm in the Collins Center, at 2041 Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay, adjacent to the Society’s Heritage Village. This program does not have an admission fee, but a free will offering will be taken to support the Heritage Village at Big Creek. The Heritage Village is open for tours prior to the presentation beginning at 10:00 am. For further information, contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332 or email Director.DCHistoricalSociety@gmail.com
The Door County Historical Society is an organization dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations through the collection, preservation and sharing of the heritage of Door County. The Society is a membership organization that operates two interpretive sites: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park and the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.
Title: Confederate Rest
Location: Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek
Description: The Door County Historical Society kicks off its Saturday afternoon yesteryear programming with “Confederate Rest”, presented by Larry Desotell on Saturday, July 1 at 2:00 in the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek.
Start Time: 14:00