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e-book Ship Island, Mississippi: Rosters and History of the Civil War Prison

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This volume traces this fascinating and somewhat sinister history of Ship Island. The main focus of the book is a series of rosters of the men imprisoned. Organized first by the state in which the soldier enlisted and then by the company in which he served, entries are listed alphabetically by last name and include information such as beginning rank; date and place of enlistment; date and place of capture; physical characteristics; and, where possible, the fate and postwar occupation of the prisoner. Terry G. Scriber is a writer, researcher and museum security professional.

He lives in Louisiana. Theresa Arnold-Scriber and Terry G. Legend on the Coast states that of the four men who escaped. Victor Desporte p. The camp commander at Ship Island wrote Dec. Getty, there was no proper means at hand to provide for the prisoners. They arrived there destitute of tents and none could be furnished on the island. The cooking of the rations, even until shortly, were prepared in the open air, as not a board of lumber, not even for coffins, could for a time be procured at this place.

The prisoners must bring their firewood, stick for stick, on their shoulders about three miles and a half, and on pleasant days it is rather beneficial f or them but on bad days it is sometimes difficult to get 10 per cent of them able to perform the necessary labor. Some provision ought to be made to supply the prison camp with fuel. For my own command I have a detail of soldiers chopping firewood on Cat Island, fifteen miles from here, and by the occasional use of light-draft steamer I am able to keep enough wood on had for immediate use. I have the honor to forward a report made by my post surgeon, Dr.

Ship Island Excurions

Holmestedt, Colonel, Commanding Post. Getty arrived at this post on his tour of inspection a very short time after the arrival of a large number of prisoners of war, who came uh-announced, and for whose reception and proper care no previous provision had been made. We were without houses, tents, blankets, bedding, or any of the necessary means of furnishing a hospital.


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The men themselves were in a most filthy condition-all regard for cleanliness, either of clothing or person, having been f or a long time entirely neglected. Out of nearly fifteen hundred there were not over who did not report themselves to the surgeon as being afflicted with diseases. The prevalent p. Many of the men were the refuse of the rebel hospitals, taken from sick beds to garrison forts.


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Others were lads from eleven to fifteen years of age, and old men from fifty to seventy five. The cooks and nurses are selected from among their own body and furnished with everything that is afforded our own troops, and if there is any neglect of proper attention to the diet, cooking, and care of sick the fault rests with themselves.

At the time of surgeon Getty's inspection the prisoners were without clothing to wash, and on that account no provision for washing was made.

Ship Island, Mississippi

Since then the sick have bee provided with beds, blankets, etc. Most of the deaths that have taken place were cases of chronic diarrhea and dysentery, pneumonia, consumption n, typhoid, and other fevers. All of these were sick and most of them helpless at the time of their arrival at the post. Colored Infty. The camp had no latrines and he men used the sandy beaches in order for the tides when they came in to Page 8 Cain wash away the discharges. All work stock was carried away, cattle were either carried away or slaughtered and left for the buzzards: any boy large enough to plow was considered a food producer to the island and the men too old for military service or deferred for occupational reasons, shared the same fatherly effectiveness of this plan became evident in May, , when letter from the citizens on the coast told of the destitute condition of the populace.

The Confederates had made desperate efforts to relieve this starvation. Lang tells how he as a lad of a boy had gone with his mother in a wagon to Biloxi River in order to receive some of the corn which had been shipped from Enterprise down the Chickasaw Bay and Pascagoula Rivers to the mouth of Bluff Creek, up Bluff Creek to Vancleave, hauled in wagons across to the head of Fort bayou, down the stream to Back bay and then up the Biloxi River to be distributed to those in dire need.

That this was done more than once is evidenced by the fact that A. Holland a Confederate soldier who helped in this hauling of the corn at Vancleave, said there was a plan at one time to cut a canal across from Bluff Creek to Fort Bayou in order to facilitate this transfer. It was in January, , before any clothing was issued to the prisoners.

American Civil War prison camps - Wikipedia

They had evidently used the clothes in which they were captured until this time. On January 7, five hundred sets of clothing were brought Page 9 Cain from New Orleans but by February 9, an order was received from Washington saying that these clothes could not be issued to the prisoners because of an agreement between the U. And the rebel government that each was to furnish its own supplies.

Clothing-good considering the cold weather abated. State of quarters — tents rotten.

American Civil War prison camps

State of mess House- none, State of kitchen-good. Food quantity of-plenty. Police of ground-good. General health of prisoners-good. K, 74th U. Colored troops, on the 15th of December, A thorough and complete investigation has been made. The Cooks for the prisoners of war have repeatedly complained about being unable to attend to their duties if not protected from the annoyance of other prisoners of war who crowded around the cook-houses in violation of existing orders On Dec.

Dunclin persisted in cooking some victuals for himself in spite of repeated warnings. A corporal was called. The annoyance ceased for a time, but Private J. Dunclin obstinately refused to obey when Private george rice raised his gun and shot him dead.

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I attach no blame. The shooting has had a good effect on the surviving undisciplined crew. At a steamboat landing up the Alabama River, an ex-prisoner from Ship Island and one of those who had vowed retribution, saw this trigger-happy colored ex-soldier from Ship island landing from a steamboat. A plan was formed quickly to give him a shroudless, coffinless burial such as that to which he had sent the hungry lad to on the island. He was securely bound to a large rock and without benefit of clergy was rolled from a high bluff into the Alabama River. In may,, all prisoners of war wire sent to Vicksburg and paroled or exchanged from there.

As these men walked back home they had ample opportunity to see what they might expect when they arrived- horses gone, stock killed, barns burned, and desolation everywhere.

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The lists of those who died on ship Island, which follows, and the cause of these deaths, need very little explanation for the pointing out of indications as shown. The fact that of the deaths were caused by diarrhea and dysentery points to the causative factors of unsanitary food and water. This is not surprising since the water supply came from surface springs and the lacking of housing facilities caused food to spoil.

The other leading causes of death were consumption and pneumonia. If not caused by exposure certainly aggravated by the lack of tents and clothing. NOTE: Pvt. Dunclin Co. Dunklin entered service at Selma, Alabama, June 20, he was enlisted by Capt. He was captured at Fort Gaines, Alabama, August 7, His age is shown as Card 4 shows he arrived at Ship Island October 25, Dusklin, he is admitted to St.

August He is the son of J. Sixty-Second Alabama Infantry Regiment Lockhart's Battalion, the nucleus of this regiment, was organized at Selma, in January , and was on duty in the State till July, when it moved up to Cheha, and lost severely in the fight there with Rousseau.