“On the grounds of a Civil War training camp”
Camp Butler National Cemetery is located in Sangamon County near Riverton, Ill., and occupies a portion of what was the second-largest military training camp in Illinois during the Civil War. Soon after the firing on Fort Sumter in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for troops to defend the Union. Each state struggled to fulfill the president’s request but found the available men woefully unprepared for the rigors of war. The obvious solution, to federal officials, was to establish facilities for the receipt and training of war recruits. In 1861, the War Department dispatched General William Tecumseh Sherman to Springfield, Ill., to select a site for a military training camp. Illinois Governor Richard Yates tasked the state treasurer, William Butler, with assisting the general. The men found an ideal location six miles outside of Springfield with a high ground for camping purposes and a lower, more-level area for drills and training, as well as space for a cemetery. General Sherman was pleased with the site and named it Camp Butler to honor his companion.
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Camp Butler National Cemetery
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