Hello from the New Civil War Prisons Host!

Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Because I have a pretty narrow focus, I suggested that we start a new forum on Civil War Prisons, and I even volunteered to host it, so here we go!

A few words of introduction are probably in order. The first thing you need to know, but it's okay if you forget, is that I am a female. Been one all my life. This was a shock to my father, who told them to go back and look again when I was born, since I was the first girl born into his family in over 50 years. As a result, they had no girl names picked out and couldn't agree on one, and so my original birth certificate lists "Baby" as my first name and "Girl" as my middle. It took them over a year to come up with something different.

I live in Western Massachusetts with a small herd of cats. I used to have children (all girls), but they grew up and moved on, so I replaced them with cats (all boys). Cats are easier.

I know more about the Andersonville Raiders than any living soul on the planet, and my book on them, The Andersonville Raiders was published by Stackpole books last March. It's the first book ever to deal exclusively with the Raiders, who were a group of prisoners of war at Andersonville Prison who were arrested, tried, and six of them hanged by the other prisoners with the cooperation and blessing of the Confederate Prison officials. I got started by reading a prisoner's diary and he wrote about the hanging, but left a blank where the names of the six who were executed should have gone. I wanted to fill in the blank, and off I went, trying to figure out why there were seven names for six men hanged, and why two of the names on their headstones did not match any man in the Union military. I learned not to trust later prison memoirs, because they frequently didn't match the diaries and records (points of fact: only one of the six was a bounty jumper, and not a single source has Confederate Captain Henry Wirz say "I haf had nutting to do vit it" at the foot of the gallows until John McElroy's 1879 memoir and then ALL of the subsequent memoirs put those words into his mouth; in fact, there were two general orders issued by the Confederate prison officials that authorized the trials and executions).

I have the distinction of having spent five nights alone in Andersonville, which proves that I am braver than I thought. I had the honor of giving a presentation at the National POW Museum at Andersonville Historic Site in 2018 for the National Park Service. If the pandemic lessens, I'm supposed to go down there again this coming July and lead a Raiders-themed tour of the prison site on the anniversary of the hanging (It's July 11th at 10 AM, if any of you happen to be in the area....)

I'm currently working on a second Andersonville book, tentatively called "Unknown Andersonville" made up of stories and incidents that I came across or wondered about while researching the Raiders. I want to tell stories that aren't commonly known, writing a chapter on a black prisoner, one on a guard, one on a prison doctor, a Southern Unionist prisoner, a hangman, one of the last identified prisoner to die, etc. All I need now is for the National Archives to reopen!

I'm also a member of the Salisbury Confederate Prison Society, a small but dedicated group of people interested in the History of Salisbury Prison. I'm supposed to be presenting to them down in North Carolina in April, again, if the pandemic abates in time.

Someday, I would like to do a book on the Naval Academy class of 1862, but that will probably take ten years just to research.

So here we are! I'm looking forward to sharing what I know and learning from all of you along the way, and I'd like to thank Mike for making this forum a reality.

Yours,

Gary

Gary Morgan at POW Museum.jpg


20200503_085557.jpg
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
Congratulations and thank you for becoming a Forum Host. I had 2 GGGrandfathers who were POWs one at Point Lookout and the other who died at Harts Isand in May of 1865. I was fortunate to have a CWT member, @Pat Young, who kindly took me to his grave when I was in New York. I have found little information about Harts Island as it was a short lived POW camp.
I look forward to reading more and sharing with our members.
Regards
David
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
Congratulations and thank you for becoming a Forum Host. I had 2 GGGrandfathers who were POWs, one at Point Lookout and the other who died at Harts Isand in May of 1865. I was fortunate to have a CWT member, @Pat Young, who kindly took me to his grave when I was in New York. I have found little information about Harts Island as it was a short lived POW camp.
I look forward to reading more and sharing with our members.
Regards
David
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
Because I have a pretty narrow focus, I suggested that we start a new forum on Civil War Prisons, and I even volunteered to host it, so here we go!

A few words of introduction are probably in order. The first thing you need to know, but it's okay if you forget, is that I am a female. Been one all my life. This was a shock to my father, who told them to go back and look again when I was born, since I was the first girl born into his family in over 50 years. As a result, they had no girl names picked out and couldn't agree on one, and so my original birth certificate lists "Baby" as my first name and "Girl" as my middle. It took them over a year to come up with something different.

I live in Western Massachusetts with a small herd of cats. I used to have children (all girls), but they grew up and moved on, so I replaced them with cats (all boys). Cats are easier.

I know more about the Andersonville Raiders than any living soul on the planet, and my book on them, The Andersonville Raiders was published by Stackpole books last March. It's the first book ever to deal exclusively with the Raiders, who were a group of prisoners of war at Andersonville Prison who were arrested, tried, and six of them hanged by the other prisoners with the cooperation and blessing of the Confederate Prison officials. I got started by reading a prisoner's diary and he wrote about the hanging, but left a blank where the names of the six who were executed should have gone. I wanted to fill in the blank, and off I went, trying to figure out why there were seven names for six men hanged, and why two of the names on their headstones did not match any man in the Union military. I learned not to trust later prison memoirs, because they frequently didn't match the diaries and records (points of fact: only one of the six was a bounty jumper, and not a single source has Confederate Captain Henry Wirz say "I haf had nutting to do vit it" at the foot of the gallows until John McElroy's 1879 memoir and then ALL of the subsequent memoirs put those words into his mouth; in fact, there were two general orders issued by the Confederate prison officials that authorized the trials and executions).

I have the distinction of having spent five nights alone in Andersonville, which proves that I am braver than I thought. I had the honor of giving a presentation at the National POW Museum at Andersonville Historic Site in 2018 for the National Park Service. If the pandemic lessens, I'm supposed to go down there again this coming July and lead a Raiders-themed tour of the prison site on the anniversary of the hanging (It's July 11th at 10 AM, if any of you happen to be in the area....)

I'm currently working on a second Andersonville book, tentatively called "Unknown Andersonville" made up of stories and incidents that I came across or wondered about while researching the Raiders. I want to tell stories that aren't commonly known, writing a chapter on a black prisoner, one on a guard, one on a prison doctor, a Southern Unionist prisoner, a hangman, one of the last identified prisoner to die, etc. All I need now is for the National Archives to reopen!

I'm also a member of the Salisbury Confederate Prison Society, a small but dedicated group of people interested in the History of Salisbury Prison. I'm supposed to be presenting to them down in North Carolina in April, again, if the pandemic abates in time.

Someday, I would like to do a book on the Naval Academy class of 1862, but that will probably take ten years just to research.

So here we are! I'm looking forward to sharing what I know and learning from all of you along the way, and I'd like to thank Mike for making this forum a reality.

Yours,

Gary

View attachment 388317

View attachment 388318
Gary, we are lucky to have you and I look forward to your posts and contributions..
 

lelliott19

Brigadier General
Moderator
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Welcome and thank you @Gary Morgan !!! Civil War Prisons is a topic of great interest to many members of CivilWarTalk and I can't think of anyone better to host it! We are so lucky to have you as Host of this new forum. I enjoyed hosting your Zoom presentation a few months ago and am so excited that the members will have the opportunity to discuss Civil War prisons in one dedicated place. Thanks again for volunteering!
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Congratulations and thank you for becoming a Forum Host. I had 2 GGGrandfathers who were POWs, one at Point Lookout and the other who died at Harts Isand in May of 1865. I was fortunate to have a CWT member, @Pat Young, who kindly took me to his grave when I was in New York. I have found little information about Harts Island as it was a short lived POW camp.
I look forward to reading more and sharing with our members.
Regards
David

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/co...ts-island-are-told-of-lincolns-murder.132156/
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Thank you East Tennessee for the thoughtful gesture of sharing the link about Harts Island!
Regards
David

There are documentaries on Hart (or Hart's) Island online (YouTube). I assume it's still used as a "potter's field" burial site by the City of NY. There is a monument to some of the Union troops stationed there (originally a Union training camp). A very forlorn looking place. Especially I would think, to a southerner!
 

lelliott19

Brigadier General
Moderator
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Hey @Gary Morgan just wanted to let you know that author, Derek Maxfield, will be our guest February 10th at 8:30pm on CivilWarTalks Presents. He will be discussing his book,

Hellmira: The Union’s Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp—Elmira, NY​

It was just released by Savas Beatie in April 2020 and is part of the Emerging Civil War series. Hope you will be able to join us that night?
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Hey @Gary Morgan just wanted to let you know that author, Derek Maxfield, will be our guest February 10th at 8:30pm on CivilWarTalks Presents. He will be discussing his book,

Hellmira: The Union’s Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp—Elmira, NY​

It was just released by Savas Beatie in April 2020 and is part of the Emerging Civil War series. Hope you will be able to join us that night?
I saw that and made a note of it on my calendar. I"m really looking forward to it. In fact, I'm working on a post now about the man who was in charge of burying the dead at Elmira. I stumbled across him this past weekend and went, "How come nobody knows about this guy?" But pretty soon the folks on the board will know!
 
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