Monday, March 18, 2013 — The Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy has announced the slate of guest lecturers for its 16th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium, April 5-7, 2013. The event is dedicated to preserving, sharing, and expanding the history of the Prison and those who were there.
Since 1998 the Hoke Chapter has hosted attendees from throughout the United States plus Canada and Scotland with speakers from almost as many localities. Hoke members raise funds during the year in order to provide an economical registration fee for attendees. Speakers have ranged from professional lecturers and noted authors to descendants who spoke at the Symposium for the first time about their ancestor who was at the Prison. This event offers an opportunity to learn more about the military prison that was located in Salisbury by the Confederate Government in 1861 which held thousands of prisoners until its close in 1865.
This year’s Symposium will begin with the traditional Friendship Banquet on Friday from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall of Landmark Church. The evening speaker will be author Arlene Showalter of Georgia who will share information about Sarah Johnston and her acts of benevolence in connection to the Confederate military prison that was located close to her home on East Bank Street. Musical entertainment, recognition of veterans, historical displays, and door prizes will also be a part of the program.
Saturday’s Symposium site shifts to the Tom Smith Auditorium in Ketner Hall on the Catawba College campus. Starting at 9:15 am and ending at 4:00 pm there will be a series of six lectures on subjects relating to the Salisbury Prison. Dr. Gary Freeze, Professor of American History at the college, will present a history of the Salisbury Prison. William Marley of Virginia, a descendant of a guard who served with the 68th NC Infantry that was stationed at the Prison, will talk about the November 1864 mass escape attempt. Historian Andrew Bullard, M.D. of North Carolina will discuss soldiers’ pensions. Union soldiers or family members applied for pensions from the Federal Government and Southern soldiers or widows applied for pensions from the state from which they served. POW descendant Michael DuMont of North Carolina will speak on his ancestor of the 3rd New York Cavalry who died in the Prison in February 1865. Author Robert O’Connor of West Virginia will provide information on Salisbury POWs from the United States Colored Troops. Historian and POW descendant Ron Nichols of Wisconsin will discuss prisoners from his state who survived their imprisonment at Salisbury.