Which U.S. president was memorialized at Davenport’s Camp McClellan?

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Looking north across River Drive and to the right is a tree-covered neighborhood known as McClellan Heights. It takes its name from the Civil War military compound located here between 1861 and 1866 – Camp McClellan.

Soon after the Civil War began in April 1861 with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, SC, locals discussed establishing a military campground in the city.

Camp McClellan opened in August 1861 and was the largest of the five campgrounds built in Davenport. It was originally equipped with barracks for 1,300 men and stables for 100 horses.

Thousands of troops passed through Camp McClellan, but by early 1862 most Davenporters expected the war would be over soon and the Camp was disbanded. Plans were considered for making the camp into a military hospital for the returning wounded. It was decided the camp should be a Confederate prison and tall fences were built. However, the prisoners incarcerated here eventually came from the North, not the South.

In early 1864, the camp’s hospital housed dozens of returning injured soldiers. Iowa Sanitary Agent Annie Wittenmyer’s recommendations influenced the hospital design that included a full pharmacy, clean rooms and a dietary kitchen. A week after the war ended in April 1865, the hospital was the site for a memorial service for the assassinated President Lincoln.

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