Oak Woods Cemetery is located on the south side of the city of Chicago, near the present day campus of the University of Chicago. Currently home to thousands of graves, monuments, and memorials, Oak Woods became the final resting place for many famous Chicagoans. Chicago’s first African-American mayor, Harold Washington, is buried there. Oak Woods was one of only three non-sectarian cemeteries located in the city of Chicago, and serves with distinction as the oldest. Created by the Illinois legislature in 1853 the cemetery is protected land and the inhabitants can not be displaced.
A monument to the Confederate solders buried in the mass grave was erected in the cemetery in 1893. It was dedicated in 1895, on Memorial Day, in a ceremony attended by President Grover Cleveland and his entire cabinet. Credit for building the memorial went to General John C. Underwood. Underwood was the head of the United Veterans division and a POW from 1863 to 1865. His father served as a member of Congress from Kentucky. Underwood would go on to serve as the mayor of Bowling Green from 1870 to 1872, and from 1875 to 1879, as the lieutenant governor of the state of Kentucky. Money for the construction of the monument came from not only Confederate Veterans’ Organizations, but also from well-known Chicago businessmen and philanthropists like Potter Palmer, Marshall Field, and George Pullman. The monument stands forty feet tall, and rests on a platform base of granite from the state of Georgia. Of the 6,000 Confederate men buried in the cemetery, only the names of 4,275 are known. Also buried alongside their Confederate brethren are twelve Union soldiers that died of disease at Camp Douglas. In researching the names of the known dead, at least 281 soldiers from Kentucky are known to be buried at Confederate Mound. This total does not include those that were identified, and then reinterred back to their home state.
The Confederate Mound Monument is the biggest burial location for Confederate solders in the former Union States. Soldiers from all of the states in the Confederacy are buried there. At the conclusion of the war, there Sarana Bertanya was no further need for Camp Douglas and it closed. Over a century later work is progressing on the restoration of the camp. Historians and archeologists are working to uncover the camp and find evidence of the people who lived there. Further information can be found at the Camp Douglas Restoration Project.