The Rock Island Civil War Prison: Andersonville of the North?

Please watch the trailer for our documentary, The Rock Island Civil War Prison: Andersonville of the North?.

The winter of 1863-64 was very cold in the Midwest, temperatures reaching as low as 32 degrees below zero Fahrenheit at Rock Island. During December of 1863, about 5000 Confederate prisoners were brought on dreadfully long train rides to a new, and ill-prepared, prison camp on Rock Island. Over the following twenty months the camp housed over 12,000 prisoners of war from the South of whom almost 2,000 would perish there. A severe winter and a cholera epidemic caused hundreds of prisoner deaths in its first months. However, its overall death rate was much lower than the rate at the Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia.

Special emphasis in the documentary is placed on how the Rock Island Prison got its undeserved reputation as, "The Andersonville of the North." "This is an excellent documentary, laying out the issues, making use of real evidence, rather than hearsay or tradition, to demonstrate an important point about the history of the Civil War and the construction of memory, and reminding us that despite the hoary adage, history is not always written by the victors." - A. A. Nofi- Strategy Page


On Sale At These Locations:

Rock Island County Historical Society, 822 11th Avenue, Moline, Illinois

Rock Island Arsenal Museum Store, Building 60, Arsenal Island

Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, 601 River Drive, Moline, Illinois


Order Online:

See our Shop to purchase through the Heritage Documentaries website.

The DVD also can be ordered online through the Rock Island County Historical Society.


Order By Mail:

The documentary on DVD may be purchased by mail for $10 per copy (packaging and postage, $3.00 for the first item and $1.00 for each additional item sent in the same package).

Send a check payable to Heritage Documentaries, Inc to:

Heritage Documentaries
2120 12th Street
Moline, Illinois 61265 USA