Cultural Resources at Atterbury-Muscatatuck
The Indiana National Guard (INNG) are stewards of publically owned land and is responsible for resources in the public trust and need to ensure compliance with federal law.
Currently there are 500+ Archaeological Sites and historic structures, and 2 historic districts located at Camp Atterbury, Muscatatuck, and across INNG managed lands.
Cultural resources under the stewardship of the INNG consist of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, buildings, structures, and objects; and previously collected prehistoric and historic artifacts. American Indian sacred sites and properties of traditional, religious, and cultural significance may also be present on INNG installations. An inventory of cultural resources at INNG installations has been compiled based on the results of previous archaeological surveys, historic architectural evaluations, and archival and site record searches.
A brief history of Camp Atterbury can be found HERE
The history of Camp Atterbury’s famous rock, which sits at the east entrance to the post, goes back to World War II, when the site was used as one of the nation’s prisoner-of-war camps. In 1943, around 3,000 Italian prisoners of war were held at the post. As reported by The Indianapolis Star on March 1, 2017, a reporter who visited Camp Atterbury during that time described the prisoners as “well-fed, clean, content and probably wouldn't try to escape if they got the chance.” These prisoners, of Roman Catholic faith, constructed their own chapel, and one of them, Libero Puccini, carved the famous rock. During the rock’s unveiling ceremony, it is reported that many of the American officials in attendance were surprised to see the Italian dagger—known since the 15th century as a stiletto, a secondary weapon of knights—had been carved into the stone. After the war, Puccini returned to the United States and became a citizen. He began attending reunions at the post after he was contacted for a 1992 rededication of the Chapel in the Meadow. Puccini died in 2008. He said in an interview:
"Everything now is a memory of a momentous past, and I have been quoted as saying that former enemies can become friends. My reality of that concept is my proud citizenship and marriage to a lovely American lady whom I met as a POW. Having resided in the United States for nearly fifty years; I am the proud father of three grown children and six wonderful grandchildren. Coincidentally, one of my sons now serves as a career officer in the United States Armed Services.”