Monday, November 15, 2010

New Fort Fisher Book-- Part 3

Continued from November 10th.

Conditions at Elmira were horrible. Of 12,000 Confederates incarcerated there, 2,000 died. Of the 1,100 from Fort Fisher, 518 died, many buried in the Woodlawn National Cemetery.

Triebe said he was inspired by reading a letter home from captured Private Benjamin Kinlaw that was reprinted in a January 1865 Wilmington Daily News. He wanted to know if Kinlaw made it home. Unfortunately, the Bladen County farmer of the 3rd NC Artillery did not, dying of chronic diarrhea on April 16, 1865, just days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Many a Tarheel soldier died of this as well as pneumonia, smallpox (or variola as it was often called in the records), measles, "periocarditis" and "remittant fever."

The book was compiled mostly from diaries and letters.

Richard Triebe argues that Elmira was used as a "retaliatory camp" because of the horrible conditions at Confederate prisons. The death rates at Elmira were twice that of most other Union camps. Point Lookout, Maryland had a 6.8% death rate.

One excellent source that Triebe provides is his list of the Confederate prisoners at Elmira including their name, rank, age if known, hometown, occupation if known, unit and ultimate fate.

Some were exchanged and most took the Oath of Allegiance after the Confederate surrender.

The book can be ordered through Amazon or in local bookstores

Looks Like a Good One. --Old B-Runner

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