Going Home at the End of the War

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First Sergeant
Mar 18, 2011
Clinton, Mississippi
I found the following interesting reminiscence in the Southern Sentinel (Ripley, Mississippi), April 18, 1907:


Editor Sentinel: -
Perhaps it would interest some of my old comrades and certainly the young people of our county to know something of the route I was forced to travel and the number of miles covered in reaching my home from Rock Island prison during the war between the states. I left Rock Island for exchange on the 13th day of March, 1865, and passed through the following named cities. From Rock Island to _____ Junction, 180 miles; Toledo, 203; Cleveland, Ohio, 60; Pittsburg, Pa., 249; Harrisburg, 150; Philadelphia, 113; Baltimore, Md., 90; Ft. Henry, 5; Point Lookout, 135; James River, 144; City Point, 60; Akins Landing, 86; Confederate boat, 4; Richmond, 20; Camp Lee, 8; Danville, 142; Jonesboro, 48; Saulsbury, N.C., 52; Charlotte, 45; Blackstock, S.C., 57; Ashford Ferry, 29; Newberry, 16; Abeville, 45; Washington, G.A., 42; Covington, 90; Atlanta, 42; West Point, 86; Montgomery, 85; Randolph, 62; Backs Ferry, 16; Tuscaloosa, 35; Columbus, Miss., 58; to my home south of Ripley, 100. Total 2,557 miles of which distance I walked at least 500 miles. On the trip I paid $4.00 for one sweet potato and 50c for one boiled egg. Reached home April 19.
Yours truly,
Jno. W. Hodges, Sr.
Clarysville, Miss.

John Weatherall Hodges enlisted in the "Tippah Farmers," Company H, 34th Mississippi Infantry, on March 18, 1862. In July 1862 there was a notation on the regimental muster roll that he was entitled to pay as a musician. He was captured at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, on November 24, 1863.


Grave of John W. Hodges in the Old Hardin Cemetery, Ripley, Mississippi


Dec 7, 2008
Nashville TN
Ed Buford of the 3rd Tenn Inf (Clack's/Brown's) was exchanged on the same day. Had no idea his route would have taken him all that way around. His bio says he was thrown from a moving train in NC and was so badly injured in the fall that he didn't make it home to Nashville until July 7. I don't believe anyone threw him off the train, but rather it was just a figure of speech for accidently falling off by some violent lurch. He was probably riding on top of a box car. But then there's always the chance he just jumped in order to bug out.

It was his second stint as a POW. First was Fort Donelson, then sent to Camp Douglas. Second was being picked off while on leave and crossing the Tennessee River at Mckernan's Island in May 1864. They sent him to Rock Island. Well, from there you obviously have to be sent by rail to City Point, so it's only logical that your route would take you to all those places.
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