Should a Kohein Be Afraid of Confederate Ghosts?
From early 1843 until August 1859, the only authorized burial location within the city of Chicago was in a location then called City Cemetery. This plot also included the first Jewish cemetery in the city of Chicago. During the Civil War, this graveyard served as the final resting place for thousands of confederate prisoners of war who died in nearby Camp Douglas, which was used as a prison camp. About 145 years ago, this cemetery was closed to new burials, and many of its graves were later exhumed. Subsequently, the city constructed residential and commercial areas, city streets, and a major park, Lincoln Park, which includes a zoo and museums, atop the seventy-two acres of the cemetery. Lincoln Park and its zoo and museums are very popular, particularly as locations for family chol hamoed outings. Our halachic question is: May a kohein visit these parks or must he be concerned about the tumas meis to which he may be exposing himself?