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Images of this historic complex. Unfortunately, no one is allowed inside these old buildings, as they are deemed dangerous. Perhaps no institution in recent history has polarized South Carolinians like the old hospital at 2100 Bull St. in Columbia. Opened in the 1820s as The SC Lunatic Asylum, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) changed the facility's name to The SC State Hospital for the Insane in 1896 and then to the SC State Hospital the following century. Today, its oldest buildings lie barren and rotting on the sprawling 178-acre campus near downtown. But, in its 176 years as a functioning mental hospital, the institution treated over 168,000 patients. During the Civil War, these grounds were used as a POW camp. They named it Camp Asylum. For the history of this camp, go here http://www.thestate.com/2013/08/04/2899231/an-archaeologists-dream-exploring.html and here http://www.sciway3.net/cmp-csa/camps/campluny.html Here is a brief description of Camp Asylum, by a Union POW. Per 1st Lieutenant John Gregory Bishop Adams, 19th Massachusetts Infantry "There were about two acres enclosed. On three sides were brick walks; on the fourth a high board fence which separated us from the insane. Sentry boxes were built around the place and two pieces of artillery were pointed at us through the fence. Inside was a wooden building used for a hospital. The frames of about thirty small buildings were up and eleven were covered. The work had been done by our officers, and the rebels promised to send in lumber to cover the rest, but it never came. The eleven would accommodate about three hundred, the rest being quartered in a few old tents. Our squad had neither buildings nor tents, and we huddled together on the bare ground. It was so cold that we walked most of the night to keep from freezing."
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