Camp Anderson was a Civil War Camp, situated in Michigan Township, now within the boundary of Michigan City. This dedication at the northeast corner of East Michigan Blvd. and Carroll Avenue is not the actual site of the camp. That was about one-fourth mile west of the marker location on the old Michigan Road, then a plank road, between present day Grace Street and Woodland Avenue and is so noted on the marker itself.
The camp was used from 1863-64 as a training and rendezvous camp and the 12th Cavalry (127th) Regiment, 128th and 129th Indiana Infantry Regiments were stationed here.
It is assumed the camp was named for Rev. Edward Anderson, Colonel commanding the 12th Cavalry. I say “assumed” because there is no proof beyond the fact that many Civil War camps were named for their post commanders. It was under his command that the 9th Congressional District raised more volunteers than any other district in the State of Indiana.
Initially two buildings were built; one 18 x 25 feet to be used by the officers for headquarters; and another 18 x 100 feet divided into five rooms capable of accommodating 124 men. Both of these buildings were built at a cost of $100. The camp was noted as being built on high ground "not liable to become wet and muddy, in a healthy location, and near sufficient water for all useful purposes."
By the end of November 1863, additional buildings were in place. Lumber was being delivered as fast as possible and it was expected that other buildings would soon be completed.
The camp was described in January 1864, as being “splendidly arranged on high descending sandy land, where it is impossible to have mud. It was as dry and nice as the pavement... The barracks are of superior quality, furnished with good stoves, floors, sleeping arrangements and closely battoned, so that they were comfortable during the coldest weather.”
There was also a hospital on the premises. A surgeon, Dr. Brown of Logansport was the superintendent and was assisted by Lysander Meeker of La Porte. There were a great many sore arms as all of the men had just been vaccinated.
One might wonder what remnants of this camp might be found today or what may have happened to the buildings. We feel fortunate to have found as much information as we have on the camp itself and find very little about its abandonment or dismantling. Patrica Harris, who wrote a paper entitled Camp Anderson--Michigan City’s Cornstalk Militia, indicates that some of the lumber from the buildings along with timber from Scott’s Grist Mill was used by Martin Krueger to build a barn on the old Gould farm on Eighth Street after he purchased that place in 1905. It can only be assumed that most of the buildings merely reached a deteriorated condition.
Considerable research has been done regarding this camp and anyone wishing to further pursue the history of it is invited to utilize the information contained in the files maintained by the La Porte County Historical Society in the research area in the society's museum.
History presented by Fern Eddy Schultz