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Beyond Wolf Mountain

COOK Family Genealogy

Confederate Mound
Oakwood Cemetery



The prisoners who died at Camp Douglas during the Civil War were buried in either the Chicago city cemetery or the small pox cemetery at the prison with individual grave markers. Shortly after the war all the graves were disinterned and the bodies placed in one mass grave in a new cemetery called Oakwood on the south side of Chicago. A curved ditch was dug and several bodies were placed in it. Then another ditch was dug parallel to the first using the dirt from the second ditch to fill in the first. This continued around in a circle until the last ditch was beside the dirt from the first ditch which was used to fill in the last ditch after the bodies were placed in it. Officially the count of the bodies is a little over 4000 but could vary between 6000 and 8000 since records were poorly kept at the POW camp.

My Great-grandfather Solomon Floyd Cook was one of the prisoners buried in this mass grave. I had the opportunity to go to Chicago for some training in March of 2000 and was able to visit the grave site and these pictures were taken then. In a couple of pictures it would appear that the mounument area is sunk in compared to the surrounding area. This is because the cemetery is located in what was a swampy area about a half mile from Lake Michigan. Since the Confederate soldiers were buried before the cemetery offically opened, they were buried at the original ground level. It was soon seen that the water table was relatively high so dirt was brought in to raise the level on the rest of the cemetery which gives the appearance that the Confederate Mound is sunken when in actuality the rest of the graves are raised.


Oakwood Cemetery
Confederate Mound
Confederate Mound
Confederate Mound

The Confederate grave site was basically unmarked for about 25 years until the 1890's when a group of former Confederates who lived in the Chicago area raised money to build a mounument. They ordered the marble and other construction material from Georgia. The monument is faced with several bronze plaques and panels. The plaques list the names of all known soldiers who are buried here (there are perhaps 2000 more due to poor record keeping at the prison).
Solomon Floyd Cook's name
Sgt. Solomon Floyd Cook (Company G of the 62nd NC) on the list of interned


Confederate Mound
A plaque beside the monument explaining the various panels of the face of the monument.


Dedication Plaque
The Dedication Plaque


Call to arms panel
The "Call to Arms" panel


Oak Woods Confederate Links:



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We will continually update our website as information is made available. Anyone wishing to add to or correct information on our website can contact John M. Cook, Jr at jr571@bellsouth.net or write to:

Cook Family History
c/o John M. Cook, Jr.
PO Box 165
Norris, SC 29667-0165



This Site visited times since 10/24/99.