Friday, October 17, 2008

80 Acres of Hell

I had the opportunity to view the A&E and History Channel documentary “80 Acres of Hell.”

The two-hour documentary reveals the strange and horrible conditions at a Union prison camp in Chicago and its impact on the community.

During its war-time service approximately 6,000 - 8,500 prisoners died in the camp. The numbers are uncertain because the camp administrators stopped keeping records.

The story also reveals a new Civil War villain. Colonel B. J. Sweet reduced rations, rewarded guards for shooting prisoners, and tortured prisoners. In an even more amazing act, Sweet believing a rumor that Chicago citizens were planning to aid an escape, declared martial law in Chicago and arrested 100 citizens.

The video can be ordered from the History Channel - "80 Acres of Hell."

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