After the outbreak of the Civil War, escaped slaves sought refuge at Union Camps and thousands crowded into the Federal City. In response to the unhealthy conditions in Washington, the government selected a site on Arlington Heights in May, 1863, to provide freed slaves with housing and opportunities for work, training and education. Freedman's Village, which was located in Arlington National Cemetery, was soon built and formally dedicated on December 4, 1863. There were over 50 two-story duplex houses, two churches, a school, a meeting hall, hospital and home for the aged and infirm. In time the population exceeded 1,000. Though intended to be temporary, the village lasted into the 1890s, when it was closed and its residents dispersed.