Soldier: Allen, Henry A.
Unit/Service Branch: 9th Infantry
Home State: Virginia
Date Written: Saturday, May 21st, 1864
Location: Officers camp Point lookout Md.
Of the 50,000 soldiers held in the army prison camp, who were housed in tents at Lookout Point between 1863 and 1865, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, nearly 4,000 died, although this death rate of 8 percent was less than half the death rate among soldiers who were in the field with their own armies, The camp, originally built to hold 10,000 men, swelled to between 12,000 and 20,000 prisoners after the exchange of prisoners between armies was placed on hold. The result was crowded conditions with up to sixteen men to a tent in poor sanitary conditions. It was the largest Union-run prison camp, its reputation being one of the worst.
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Prisoner, Prisoner Camp
The last from you was dated 9th which was answered and as I have not received one later I thought it best to pen you a few lines. I cannot imagine why it is that I have not heard from you lately. I received a letter from Geo Smith a few days ago I think I told you of having written to him to send a suit of clothes he says he has the article ready to send but having heard that I had been removed thought it best to write one first saying I must answer immediately which I did. Mary Griffith sent me a pr shoes, two shirts, two prs drawers, and several other little articles, which I received yesterday. I am sorry to say the shirts & drawers were too small but they will come in for some of my smaller comrades. she sends much love to you and all friends I wrote to her today. the box you sent to the Island has been distributed among my comrades there by my order as I might have lost it if they had sent it to me. one of the boys wore my coat here form the Island, and it reminded me of home. brother has been transferred to another Battery, and I am sorry to say has been badly wounded and had to have his leg taken off. I was told by one of the officers who has been taken prisoner lately he was doing well and is in Richmond. he is among the many who if he lives will be crippled for life. it will be sad news for his Ma, let her know it yourself. strange I do not hear from Gus. I wrote to him on the 22nd April. give my love to your Ma, and the children, also to all relatives & friends kiss my dear little girls for me and accept the sincere love of your affectionate Husband
Henry A Allen.
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