Last Days

After Sergeant Lamb left, it appears that life at the camp continued as he described it for one more year. The soldier’s of Cornwallis’ army remained under heavy guard, but the residents of Camp Indulgence lived in the village, producing handmade articles and raising their children there.

However, in the winter of 1782-1783, a camp fever broke out among the prisoners, and a large number of them died. They were buried in a small valley near the camp. Gibson, reporting in the 1880’s, said, “the graves are still visible, marked with stones”. It was rumored at the turn of the century that the gravesite was robbed by doctors needing specimen collections, and the bones of the British soldiers were said to inhabit the doctors’ offices of the time. It was also at this time that the gravesite became the location for a haunted ghost story. The tale, written in a poem entitled “Hessian Thal”, tells of the ghosts of the British soldiers that come awake every Christmas Eve, to jeer at their commanding officer who caused them to lose the battle and become captured, only to die at Camp Security.

The prisoners were held at Camp Security until the British signed the Treaty of Paris, formally ending the war, on April 19, 1783. After their release, some former prisoners stayed in America, while others returned to their former homes.