Devil's Punch Bowl - US Concentration Camp Where Thousands Died Has Been Erased from History

Historians concerned about the fate of African-Americans in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War are working to piece together the story of the Devil’s Punchbowl, a hellish concentration camp in Natchez in Mississippi which might be one of the most disturbing incidents in all of American history.

America’s hellish concentration camp: The Devil’s Punchbowl

Following the end of the Civil War, there was a mass exodus of former slaves from the southern plantations. These men, women, and children migrated north in the hopes of building new lives for themselves. The migration of former slaves was deeply unacceptable for the former Union soldiers who were bitterly disappointed about the outcome of the brutal war and decided to take their revenge. The most brutal example of this was in Natchez in Mississippi.

Natchez experienced an enormous influx in its population following the conclusion of the war, with the vast majority of the new inhabitants being former slaves. In response, the local people built an encampment at Devil’s Punchbowl and rounded up all of the black people and forced them to enter. Once they were there, they walled off the area and refused to let them out.

Inside the Devil’s Punchbowl, the former slaves endured even more hellish conditions than they had experienced on the brutal southern plantations. Thousands of men, women, and children perished because of exhaustion and starvation. The people there were also struck with serious epidemics of disease. Don Estes says that thousands of the people there died of smallpox. Despite the intense suffering of the people inside the encampment, the former soldiers had no compassion and simply gave the men shovels to bury the dead where they had fallen. The conditions became so intensely bad that the former slaves inside would plead with their white guards to let them return to the plantations.

It is very difficult to definitively explain what happened at Devil’s Punchbowl. Much of the evidence about this incident has been gleaned from the oral reports of local people which means that any conclusions have been criticized. Some people have claimed that only a thousand people died at the encampment, whereas others have said that the prisoners preferred life there to their existence there to the plantations. As there was no methodical record-keeping, it is very difficult to definitively dispute these criticisms.


That’s gruesome. Let’s hope history does not repeat itself.

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I have to stop the author of this post for a moment to correct an error you made in regard to information-
You said that former Union soldiers were embittered because they lost. That is incorrect. It was the former CONFEDERATE soldiers of the SOUTH who were embittered and wanted to get revenge. You must not be from the United States of America or you would for sure know that.
Thanks :slight_smile:


Yeah this had me :eyes:

So the South turned racist because they lost the war and needed somebody to take their anger out on wow!

Seems some cities in America would seem similar today.
Just they walked themselves in.

Heartbreaking and must never happen again to any group of people!


Actually, it was not Confederate, but Union soldiers here.

However, the video is quite loose with the truth–I found a better-researched story on line. That article accuses the linked video of selectively editing the featured ‘‘documentary’’ video of the Devil’s Punchbowl, which a bit misleading to begin with, but the article also accuses the original ‘‘documentary’’ (produced by a local TV station) of relying on the word of the woman shown in the video, even though she seems to be basing much of her story on the testimony of ghosts, as she claims to be a sort of spirit medium.
While I have no way of checking all this, I think there is room for doubt about the claims here. The online article states that what really happened was: when liberated, great numbers of freed slaves suddenly gathered at Union Army encampments, basically overwhelming their resources, and also, due to the sudden population density and substandard living conditions, diseases spread among the refugees. This obliged the Army to set up a perimeter, keeping the refugees separated outside of the army encampment.
The article also points out that many of the Union soldiers were Afro-Americans, and were likely even relatives of the refugees, so the idea of creating a forced death camp is highly unlikely, while of course, many deaths due to disease very likely did occur. The article states that the figure of 20,000 deaths is based on the testimony of the ‘‘spirit lady’’ talking to the dead, and thus at best, should be considered unconfirmed, and at worst, likely a total fabrication.

Here is a link to the article I read on line:

Once again, I have no personal knowledge of this matter, but am just relating what is in the article.

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I was able to confirm the 20,000 number by talking to a bottle of Aunt Jemima pancake syrup.


That was a nice piece of correction,

Good one! I almost lost a mouthful of tea when I read that. :slight_smile:

Wow I bet most the folks on dtv took great pleasure in reading this story being that they’re mostly racist , sexist and homophobic.

Erasing history? Never! I mean it’s not like history overlooked the largest halocaust in history during the bulshavic revolution in favour of overstating Jewish deaths in Germany is it.

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