Camp Butler was the principal 'concentration' point for Illinois volunteer regiments from central Illinois during the Civil War. It was the starting point for many of the men from Athens and vicinity. It is located about seven miles east of Springfield, Ill., in Sangamon county, near present day Riverton.
During the Civil War it had several uses. Not only as a 'mobilization' point for the volunteers, but it also started their training as soldiers. During a portion of the war, it also served as a prison camp for about 3,000 Confederates captured during the western campaigns. Later, it became a military hospital as the war wounded increased. At the end of the war it served as a 'demobilization' center.
Today, it is a National Cemetery with burials there almost daily. In it are buried men from the Civil War, both Confederates and Union soldiers, along with men who served in all the subsequent wars.
During the Civil War it was the second largest such installation in Illinois. The largest being Camp Douglas at Chicago.