The Civil War prison camp at Elmira, New York, opened on July 6, 1864, and closed the following July. During that single year, almost 3,000 Confederate prisoners died. The prison's death rate of nearly 25 percent was the highest of any camp in the North, compared to an average death rate of just over 11 percent in all Northern camps and about 15 percent in the South. Clearly, something went wrong in Elmira. Drawing on ten years of research, this book traces the story of what happened.
Michael Horigan taught American history for more than twenty years. Recognized as an expert on the Elmira prison camp, he appeared in a 1993 public television documentary on the subject, Helmira: 1864-1865. He lives in Elmira, New York.