POW Documents
These are an assortment of primary documents on the Web - diaries, letters, orders, receipts, that deal with people's POW experiences.  If you know links that ought to be added to this site, or you discover a broken link, please drop me a line at morgieisme@hotmail.com.

Accessible Archives  Search and Information Server

This is  a collection of databases drawn from several newspapers...The Pennsylvania Gazette 1728-1800, The Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective November 1860 - April 1865
from the Charleston Mercury * The New York Herald * Richmond Enquirer, a database of 19th
century African American newspapers, The Pennsylvania Newspaper Record: Delaware County
1819-1870.  It has some nice CW era material...click on the cw database, put prisoner of war or the name of a prison, like Andersonville, and see what you get.

Accounts of  Prison Life at Elmira

This document contains several short accounts of life for those incarcerated at Elmira Prison.


Captain W.W. McCarty's POW Story

Captain McCarty was a Union Officer from the 78th Ohio Volunteer Infantry who was captured, escaped and was captured again.  This site links to two letters he wrote about his adventures.

Civil War Diaries of Van Buren Oldham

These diaries cover the time from Jan 63-August 64, during which time he was a prisoner at Camp Dent and Camp Douglas.

Civil War Images:Union Armies: Missouri

The first image on this page has the picture of three men who
would be captured at the Battle of Shiloh


A Cry from Andersonville Prison

A soldier's poem.  Click on the title link when you get to the page to learn more about the soldier who wrote it.


Diary of Virgil Hester Walker

This discusses a recounting of his time as a POW in the Old Capitol Prison and at Ft. Delaware


Document Archive, Tennesee Division Sons of the Confederacy

On this page, there are two documents of interest especially to POW researchers: Nine Months in a Nothern Prison, an article by Sgt. G. W.D.Porter, 44th Tenn. Infantry  and The Trial of Major Henry Wirz: A National Disgrace by Captain Glen LaForce These are zipped .doc/.wri files.


Elmira Prison Camp Online Library

This site contains many documents, first person accounts and other information about life in the Elmira prison camp.


The Execution of Captain Wirz

These are 4 photos of the execution of Captain Wirz, the man in charge of Andersonville...



This is a selection in his journal about the time he spent around the Florence, SC stockade, a depot camp for those being tranferred from Charleston to Andersonville.


"Give oceans of love to all.."

 The prisoner-of-war letters of Brigadier General Montgomery Dent Corse, CSA, 17th Virginia Infantry to his wife, Elizabeth Beverley, along with his commission as Colonel, Active Volunteer Forces of Virginia, May 17, 1861, and  his Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, July 24, 1865. Selected      from the Montgomery Dent Corse Collection which was donated to the  Alexandria Library in 1981


Fitz-Hugh Lee

This is two accounts of the capturing of General Fitz-Hugh Lee and his exchange for three Union soldiers condemned to death in a retaliation action at Libby prison.

James R. Collins

It chronicles the Civil War recountings of Pvt. James R. COLLINS, Co. F, 3rd TN Cavalry, from fighting Forrest in AL, to his capture and imprisonment at Cahaba, through his surviving of the Sultana disaster


Letters from William Montgomery

These six letters are a sample of those written by Montgomery to family members. Born January 30, 1838, Montgomery enlisted in Co. A June 6, 1861 as a Sergeant and was wounded at First Manassas. In June of 1862, he deserted the Infantry and joined Co. C, 18th Virginia Cavalry which was primarily men from his home in Hampshire County. He was captured at Spotsylvania and was a POW at Ft. Delaware. After taking the oath, he was released June 20, 1865. He died June 6, 1921 and is buried near his home in Springfield (W)Va. The letters are edited for spelling and known
discrepancies and some footnotes are included for references to various people or places; they were all written before his capture as a prisoner of war.


Letters of John Garabaldi

These letters, part of the VMI experience don't have a lot to do with Garabaldi's POW experience, but the background note explains how he was captured and exchanged twice, serving both times at
Ft. Delaware


Lyman Parrish’s Diary

This  includes his notes about Andersonville POW camp


Major Abasalom Grimes, Confederate Mail Carrier

This site includes his personal account of time spent at the Gratiot St. prison in St. Louis

http://www.geocities.com/~sterlingprice/prison.htm#Maj. Abasalom

Memoirs of Thomas Newton, Pvt. CO I, 6th Wisconsin

This site consists of 3 documents: a document based on two obits published after his death, then a document that relates some of his war experiences, emphasising his imprisonment at Andersonville, and finally, a rebuttal to a letter about his experiences.


Military Record of George Haile

He served in the 11th TN Infantry, and was a POW in Rock Island.


My Experience in the Confederate Army and in Northern Prisons - John R. King

An etext publication of the account of life during the war of Mr. King, who served time in Elmira prison.


Milton Ashbury Ryan

This site is a copy of a document he wrote about his experiences as a POW at Camp Douglas.


Point Lookout Camp Records

This site includes indexes of camp records, such as sutler’s receipts, official and prisoner correspondence, some of which are online for your searching.


Prison Bars By Jeff Thompson

This is a poem by a soldier who was held prisoner in the Gratiot St. Prison in St. Louis.  If you click on the title of the poem, the link takes you to a brief biography of the soldier.



Another soldier's poem written during time spent in the Johnson's Island POW prison in 1863.  Written by Col. B. H. Jones  Click on the title to learn more about the soldier.


Reverend Emanuel Yeisley

A member of the Ohio 76th Volunteer Infantry, spent time at the Cahaba prison, and then survived the explosion of the Sultana.  This site is an excellent example of biography, including newspaper articles and other documentation.


The Southern Prisoner

The Southern Prisoner Gives His Thanks to the Ladies of Baltimore - This is a scanned image of a broadside song about a southern prisoner who is nursed back to health in the town of Baltimore


Simpson Simmons

This page is a collection of letters.  The first letter is by a man named Simpson Simmons, who would be later captured.  The second letter is a letter by his superior officer breaking the sad news to his people back home.  As far as I could tell, the other letters on this page don't have
POW information.


A Soldier’s Story

This is an etext I found on the net...it's called "A Soldier's Story: Prison Life and Other Incidents in the War of 1861-65", written by Miles O. Sherril, a soldier from NC


Tennessee Heroes Of the Confederacy, Page 4
Charles H. Bailey, Eddie Read, and Charles D. Shanklin

On this page is a picture of 3 soldiers from the 49th TN Infantry, who would be imprisoned at Camp Douglas


Tennessee Heros of the Confederacy Gallery 13 - Marcenus D. Aydelotte

Photograph of a survivor of Rock Island Prison