|Archeology dig site showing where a tent was with a small |
fireplace/oven, and the ditch that was dug around it.
A sifter for sorting through
dirt for artifacts.
Leading the dig was University of South Carolina archeologist Chester DePratter whose team of about a dozen members were allowed only four months to try to salvage the remains of the camp before development begins on the site.
|Drawing of Camp Asylum|
|A "shebang" for two prisoners.|
Because the prisoners had few, if any, possessions, the team didn’t uncover many artifacts, which included uniform buttons, combs, coins, and pieces of cloth.
***Anecdote about Camp Asylum --
Adjutant SMH Byers, an officer in the Fifth Iowa Infantry, escaped from the POW camp on the day General Sherman entered the city. He approached the general and handed him a piece of paper. That evening, as was Sherman’s custom, he emptied his pockets and took a closer look at the paper. It proved to be Sherman’s March to the Sea, which Byers composed while a prisoner at Camp Asylum. Sherman was so impressed, he attached Byers to his staff. Byers later became the United State consul to Switzerland. In various diaries several Columbia women recall being entertained by the Camp Asylum glee club, who sang Sherman’s March to the Sea as well as Dixie.
Deborah helped load the food onto a mule-drawn cart, slipped a basket ﬁlled with biscuits onto her arm, and then she and Becca guided the mule down the hill. As they neared the camp, they heard singing and stopped to listen. Deborah hummed along with the voices that blended in perfect harmony.
“What’s that tune they’re singing?” Becca asked.
“It’s Stephen Foster’s ‘I Dream of Jeanie’. The glee club sounds better every time I hear them.”
“Yes. Those Yankee boys can sing all right. Sometimes, on real quiet nights I can hear them, and the sound is so sweet, it almost makes me cry.”
Susan F. Craft is the author of the award-winning Revolutionary War novel, The Chamomile.