Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Point Lookout, September 1863, Part 1

Last month I covered the first chapter in Joseph Thomas Jones' ordeal as a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware in 1863. In September of that year, Joseph was transferred from Fort Delaware to Point Lookout, Maryland. He was held there until released in a prisoner exchange in February 1864. This post provides further detail on the conditions at Point Lookout during Joseph's detention in the POW camp from the first hand accounts of other prisoners.

Bartlett Yancey Malone
The Diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone (see University of North Carolina Collections, http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/malone/malone.html, scanned 1998) provides a first-hand account from a Confederate prisoner whose time at Point Lookout overlapped with Joseph Thomas Jones. Sergeant Malone was captured on 7 November 1863 and sent to Point Lookout. He was paroled from Point Lookout on 24 February 1865. Malone's account gives a sense of the conditions and weather at Point Lookout between November 1863 and February 1864.

"Our rations at Point Lookout was 5 crackers and a cup of coffee for Breakfast. And for dinner a small ration of meat 2 crackers three Potatoes and a cup of Soup. Supper we have non. We pay a dollar for 8 crackers or a chew of tobacco for a cracker.

A Yankey shot one of our men the other day wounded him in the head shot him for peepen threw the cracks of the planken.

The last day of November was very coal indeed and the Yanks had inspection of ous Rebels. One of the Yankee Sentinerls shot one of our men the other morning he was shot in the head: soon died.
All the wood we get to burn at Point Lookout is one sholder tirn of pine brush every other day for a tent 16 men to every tent

The 16th of Dec. 63 a Yankey Captain shot his Pistel among our men and wounded 5 of them; sence one has died - he shot them for crowding arond the gate. The captain's name that shot was Sids. Him and Captain Patison and Segt. Finegan was the 3 boss men of the prisoners camp.
The 24th of Dec. 63 was a clear day but very cool. And Generl Butler the Yankey beast revenged the prisners camp:

The 25th was Christmas day and it was clear and cool and I was boath coal and hungry all day onley got a peace of Bread and a cup of coffee for Breakfast and a small Slice of Meat and a cup of Soup and five Crackers for Dinner and Supper I had non:

The 26th was clear and cool and dull for Christmas

The 28th was cloudy and rained a littel The 28th was a raney day.

The 29th was cloudy in the morning and clear in the eavning. And Jeferson Walker died in the morning he belonged to the 57th N. C. Regt. The 30th was a beautyfull day.

The 31st which was the last day of 63 was a raney day. And maby I will never live to see the last day of 64. And thairfour I will try and do better than I have. For what is a man profited if he shal gain the whole world and loose his one Soul: Or what Shal one give in exchange for his Soul:

I spent the first day of January 64 at Point Lookout M. D. The morning was plesant but toward eavning the air changed and the nite was very coal. was so coal that five of our men froze to death befour morning. We all suffered a great deal with coal and hunger too of our men was so hungry to day that they caught a Rat and cooked him and eat it. Thir names was Sergt. N. W. Hester & I. C. Covington.

The 6th was coal and cloudy and we had 9 men to die at the Hospital to day. Our beds at this plaice is composed of Sea feathers that is we geather the small stones from the Bay and lye on them

The 7th was very cool a small Snow fell after nite

The 10 was a nice day and I saw the man to day that makes Coffens at this plaice for the Rebels and he sais that 12 men dies here every day that is averidgs 12

The Commander at this point is named Marsto
The 22th day of January 64 was a very pritty day And it was my birth day which maid me 25 years of age I spent the day at Point Lookout. M. D. And I feasted on Crackers and Coffee The two last weeks of January was beautyfull weather

The Month of February. 64

The first day of February was warm but cloudy and Sum rain:
Be content with such things as you have: For he hath said I will never leave the nor forsake thee So we may boldly say the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me
There fell a Small Snow the morning of the third Sergt. A. P. Rudd & Gidney King arived at Point Lookout from Washington the 4th. We changed Cook houses on the 7th of Feb.
Anthony M. Keiley
This narrative comes from the book by Anthony M. Keiley, In Vinculis: or, The Prisoner of War. This was published in 1866, and is available as a Google eBook at http://books.google.com/books/about/In_vinculis.html?id=0UIOAAAAYAAJ.
 Keiley's account is a long one. I'm still reading it, and will provide further information in parts.

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