A few years back I visited Shelby Springs as part of the Alabama Ghost Town Project, but I never really found much information, or ruins, so I decided to go back and do it right this time. The Shelby Springs Resort existed in 1839. By 1855, a two story hotel was built. During the Civil War, the facilities were used as a training center for the young Confederate soldiers. Later it was converted to a hospital for wounded soldiers. Many of the soldiers died at the hospital, and were buried on the ridge overlooking the Springs.
The training facility was known as Camp Winn. After being used to train Confederate soldiers, the hotel was turned into a 300 bed hospital. From an account in Haunted Shelby County, the author describes the Sisters of Mercy having “turned the ballroom into a surgical ward.” Over 900 soldiers were sent to the hospital at Shelby Springs and few spend eternity on the hilside above. The next discovery I made was the Shelby Springs Confederate Cemetery.
The cemetery, just a few hundred yards above the springs on the hillside is very impressive. Not as many headstones as you might think, but all are well taken care of an the grounds are manicured. Most of the headstones I saw were “unknown”, but there were several granite markers that told the story. In addition, it appears the graveyard may be haunted. Certainly worth a trip.