Confederate Memorial Service at Mallory Cemetery near Toolesboro, Iowa on September 24, 2016

The Rock Island Confederate Prisoner of War Camp opened in December of 1863 and closed in June of 1865. Over 19,000 POWs were were housed at this facility during this time. Confederate POWs were housed at the facility during that time. 

Confederate POWs were transported by train and by steamboat to this location according to information from the archives at Rock Island Arsenal, but little is know about the actual methods and conditions of this Transportation system.

Prisoners were initially brought by train in which POWs were housed in cattle cars with no food or water. Later, steamships sailing on the Mississippi River were used by the Union to move the POWs to the Rock Island camp, however, very few records of the transport remain. 

POWs were often emaciated , many with dying in route to the Rock Island facility. There were hints of deceased POWs being dumped in into the River or buried in unmarked graves either before their arrival at Rock Island or at stops by the train or steamboat as the POWs were transferred to prison camp.

Rumors from Louisa County of clandestine stops by steam boats to bury dead Confederate POWs have been mentioned for many years as remembered by various family members who lived in the area at that time.

The Louisa County Historical Society and the Mallory Cemetery officials recalled those memories and placed a monument at the Cemetery recognizing the various burials, some as mass graves and others as individual graves of the deceased POWs who died along the way to the Rock Island Camp.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, Iowa Division, is proud to honor the forgotten men who gave their lives for their Country and were buried in unknown and unmarked graves so far from their homes and families.

The Iowa Division, SCV, extends it's deep appreciation to the Mallory Cemetery officials, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors and the Louisa County Historical Society for honoring the men who died and ignoble death and were buried unceremoniously in unmarked graves.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a genealogical, historical organization whose members had a direct or collateral  ancestor who served in the Confederate Armed Forces and honor the charge by General Stephen Dill Lee, from 1896, to see that the memory and story of the Confederate Soldier is not forgotten in the history of this great nation.

Charles Lott,
Sep 30, 2016, 8:19 AM