The Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Merrill Pence (1994) Chapter 6


One great myth that man has been compelled to deal with down through
history, has been his ability to deny negative things like death and
dying. This is especially true when enormous numbers are involved such as
those from the 19th Arkansas who died in captivity. The chief cause of
death among all prisoners during the Civil War was Smallpox and numerous
other diseases and illnesses. Far more succumbed to disease than were
killed in battle. No exception to this rule is found among the prisoners
in Camp Douglas, Ill. Without a doubt, some prisoners died of wounds in
the prison hospital at St. Louis, but the one major cause was
disease. John C. Barnes (A). died at Baltimore, Md., on the way to being
exchanged. P. H. Braden had been wounded in the left hand at Arkansas
Post. Some errors found in the records, such as John Yandell (H) being
reported as died March 22, 1863 at Camp Douglas, Ill., but was exchanged
and with the regiment later. Among the various reports, two or more dates
were sometimes entered as to the actual date on which a man died. For
those in Co. I, we have used the date given in D. J. McWhortor's
journal. Men from the 19th Ark. who died while in prison were:

Three, unknown, died, July. J. Bell (I) 3-10.

Jackson Anderson (E) 3-18. Phillip Anderson (I) 2-25.

R. S. Bachelor (I) 3-16. Matthews Bailey (A) 1-31.

R. P. Barker (E) 3-5. John C. Barnes (A) 5-23.

James H. Barnett (F) 3-10. Robert Barnett (K) 3-4.

G. W. Bell (I) 2-14. G. A. Bibb (F) 3-15.

James Blanks (B) 3-25. P. H. Braden (K) 4-19.

Needham B. Branch (I) 3-18. James Brazier (H) 2-14.

Hugh A. Brothers (H) 3-10. Benjamin Brown (F) 3-15.

Thomas W. Brown (F) 3-7. J. N. Burchett (F) 3-10.

Thomas N. Burk (F) 3-14. ? Carey (D) 1-8.

Thomas Carey (C) 3-5. A. J. Campbell (H) 4-2.

O. Campbell (C) 3-12. J. E. Chandler (I) 3-10.

John R. Chandler (I) 2-18. G. Chessir (C).

Moses W. Chessir (C) 1-29. Zachariah Chessir (C) 3-6.

Joseph Clark (H) 4-9. William C. Clemens (K) 2-14.

William H. Cooper (D) 2-7. Henry F. Covy (B) 1-28.

Thomas C. Covy (C) 3-5. James Cowley (B) 3-18.

Johnson Crabtree (H) 3-30. J. E. Craig (I) 2-18.

Thomas Craig (C) 3-4. H. J. Davenport (F) 2-15.

A. J. Davis (G) 2-11. James Doland (F) 7-22.

Milton Draper (I) 2-10. James Eddy (G) 2-22.

E. M. Farer (I) 5-20. Joshua Falkinberg (F) 2-15.

F. P. Faulkner (D) 1-27. Richard Faulkner (D) 3-12.

J. W. Findale (B) 2-7. A. Fisher (A) 3-17.

Anderson Flanagan (F) 5-20. George W. French (F) 1-27.

John Fry (H) 2-6. Robert Frye (E) 3-30.

Garlington Fuller (F) 3-12. Israel Fuller (F) 3-19.

Pose J. Garmon (A) 4-10. D. L. Gaston (H) 11-12.

Harrison Glass (H) 3-22. S. T. Goodson (B) 2-2.

W. D. Goodson (F) 3-9. J. T. Gregory (E) 3-12.


James P. Grey (F) 4-9. John Hale (I) 2-9.

William Hall (I) 2-14. John D. Hammett (A) 3-11.

J. T. Hammock (G) 3-3. M. L. Harder (B) 2-2.

W. Hargus (F) 2-28. R. S. Hendricks (G) 3-13.

Robert Henial (F) 7-3. L. F. Henry (B) 2-25.

D. S. Highfield. (H) 3-12. M. J. Hill (C) 3-5.

Robert H. Holly (H) 3-21. J. E. Holt (I) 2-22.

A. J. Huffman (A) 3-27. Isaiah Hulsey (F) 3-3.

R. M. Johnstin (E) 4-?. William Keller (B) 2-18.

A. F. Kenberry (F) 2-14. T. J. Kiziere (A) 2-7.

Robert P. Laird (E) 2-15. James Lee (A) 2-25.

H. J. Lum (D) 3-3. Robert Mackey (D) 2-14.

Charles Magby (C) 3-19. John Malbreath (H) 3-3.

J. F. Malone (I) 2-16. Peter Marberry (C) 4-6.

J. A. Maroon (C) 2-6. P. Mason (?) 2-5.

John N. May (E) 3-7. Willis E. Mason (E) 3-7-65.

Henry Mayben (I) 2-12. R. S. Maybin (G) 2-6.

Nathaniel Mayham (H) 2-6. George B. McAtee (B) 2-25.

Thomas McAtee (G) 3-3. William C, McAtee (E) 3-7.

A. W. McClure (C) 2-17. F. M. McCowen (G) 2-15.

Robert McDowal (F) 3-23. John McDroth (H) 3-21.

F. J. McFarland (C) 4-8. J. C. McGaughey (A) 4-29.

F. G. McKean (F) 3-23. T. W. McLaughlin (A) 2-8.

D. M. McMillion (E) 3-20. Thomas Meatee (G) 3-9.

William C. Meatee (G) 3-7. Benjamin S. Merrell (I) 5-20.

Herman Millard (H) 5-14. Zion Mitchell (B) 2-10.

James E. Moore (H) 3-17. S. A. Morgan (E) 3-3.

T. C. Morton (D) 2-6. Benjamin Mow (F) 2-2.

David Nelson (F) 3-31. James Nelson (F) 2-3.

William Nelson (B) 3-26. E. W. Oneal (E) 2-8.

George O'Reilly (?) 7-15. Robert Owens (F) 3-8.

William L. Page (K) 1-28. David Patten (C) 2-18.

James Patten (C) 2-20. John R. Payne (F) 2-17.

John Pennington (G) 5-1. John Peppers (F) 3-4.

J. Perkins (F) 2-15. J. Philips (I) 3-13.

T. V. Philips (F) 2-21. J. A. Phillips (C) 2-20.

John W. Phillips (E) 5-30. (J.M.) & James Pickens (F) 2-5.

W. W. Pearce (E) 2-7. F. T. Porter (C) 2-6.

John Pritchard (I) 4-14. L. L. Rhodes (B) 3-11.

C. J. Rivers (B) 3-27. James Y. Robinson (K) 2-3.

John S. Robinson (K) 2-16. William Robinson (C) 2-9.

C. J. Roe (B) 3-25. John Russell (I) 1-31.

William Sanders (G) 2-3. Thomas Sayles (F) 2-19.

N. P. Shelton (E?) 4-23. C. W. Sides (B) 2-7.

Jesse Skinner (F) 3-15. J. W. Standlee (B) 2-21.

S. G. Standlee (B) 4-13. John Starr (H) 3-17.

John Stewart (H) 2-28. Andy Stout (H) 2-25.

J. C. Stuart (I) 2-9. George W. Tabor (F) 3-17.

Charles M. Taylor (F) 4-10. G. W. Taylor (G) 3-12.

John Thompson (H) 3-5. R. Thompson (B) 3-15.

Richard Thornton (B) 3-5. James F. Tidmore (B) 3-25.

J. A. Townsend (D) 3-14. S. C. Trotter (F) 3-7.


William H. Tucker (H) 3-3. J. M. Turquett (B) 2-4.

Addison Turrentine (B) 3-5. Albert Tyre (E) 3-30.

John Waldren (D) 4-14. S. P. Walker (B) 3-18-64.

Joshua Wallis (F) 2-22. D. M. Watson (C) 3-7.

J. W. Watson (C) 3-7. J. V. Weaver (F) 2-26.

Benjamin F. White (F) 2-28. W. H. Whitenton (E) 2-14.

L. S. Williams (E) 2-11. Rolin Williams (F) 2-23.

C. Wilson (E) 2-26. James Wilson (K) 3-15.

William Wilson (B) 3-25. James Woodruff (K) 2-10.

James Yandell (H) 3-13. William A. Yandell (H) 4-16.

J. H. Young (E) 2-25. M. A. Love (I) 1-64?

There is no doubt that some men who signed the Oath of Allegiance to the
United States while imprisoned, did so because they would be of no further
value to the service. Perhaps they had suffered the loss of an arm or leg,
or were in such tragic state of health they would do well just to
survive. For them to remain in the prison, where death was a daily affair,
would lessen their chances of survival dramatically. It is also reasonable
to think that some did not want to continue in opposition to the Union. As
a rule, it was a traumatic experience to have severed with the country of
their first love to begin with, but the pressures exerted on them in the
local communities compelled them to enlist. On being released from prison,
after signing the Oath, they were required to remain north of the Union
lines. This posed a difficulty for those who were married and had families
in Arkansas. Among the sick and wounded at St. Louis, those who signed the
Oath of Allegiance included:

E. L. Butt (B), left sick with Pneumonia, signed 3-3.

John E. Cassell (K), Diarrhea 1-26, signed in the hospital 2-24.

Benjamin S. Davis (A), left sick with Hepatitis, signed 2-26.

William McCartee (G), shell wound, r. side of head, signed 7-15.

William W, Pearce (E), left sick, likely wounded, signed 4-25.

W. H. Williams (E), likely wounded, signed at St. Louis 2-24-64.

W. W. Yeaszin (B), left sick with Nephritis, signed 2-24.

Those who signed the oath at Camp Douglas were:

John Baker (I), 3-17. Elisha Brown (D), 3-12.

John Byford (B), 5-8. Y. J. Campbell (H), 3-13.

James H. Dosier (H), 3-19. Andrew P Dyer (B), 3-15.

James A. Dyer (B), 3-19. Francis A. Evatt (H), 3-13.

Milo Freeman (E), 2-26. Elias Hays (H), 3-19.

William H. Hays (H), 3-19. F. J. W. McCoy (K), 2-25.

H. W. Porter (I), 5-10. Theodore C. Salvator (H), 3-18.

Daniel W. Shepherd (E), 6-28. Francis M. Sorter (E), 2-26.

George H. Speer (H?), 3-19.

1st Lt. William J. Walker (C), a prisoner at Camp Chase, Ohio, signed the
oath and was released. Below are given some examples of basic forms used
by the Union Army. One was signed at Camp Douglas, Ill. two months after
the capture, the other when the war was about over.

A. P. Ledbetter, signed at the hospital in Greenville, Ala., after being
wounded in the Battle of Nashville near the end of the war. He is not
included in the list above. All men were required to sign such a document
when the war ended.

I John Baker, Private, Co. I, 19th Arkansas Infy, County of Sevier,
State of Arkansas, taken prisoner at Arkansas Post January 11, 63, and now
in confinement at Camp Douglas, Ill., do hereby solemnly renounce all
allegiance to the so called Confederate States, and all military
organizations hostile to the United States, and do solemnly swear that I
will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the
United States against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign: that I will
bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance,
resolution or law of any State Convention or Legislature to the contrary
notwithstanding: And further, I will and faithfully perform all the duties
which may be required of me by the laws of the United States. And I take
this oath freely and Voluntarily, without any mental reservation or evasion
whatsoever, with a clear and full understanding that death or other
punishment by the judgment of a military commission will be the penalty
for the violation of this my solemn oath and parole of honor. And I also
swear that under no consideration will I go beyond the military lines of
the United States Forces. Subscribed and sworn before me on this 17th day
of March, 1863, D. C. Bradley, Lt., Asst. Prov. Marshall. (Signed) John
Baker, Description, Age 35; Height 5' 5"; Color of eyes, brown; color of
hair brown.

I, A. P. Ledbetter, Pvt., Co. H, 19th Ark. Regt., do solemnly swear
that I will not serve in any army of the Confederate States of America,
until duly and properly exchanged. This parole is accepted of my own free
will and accord, knowing that the punishment for violation the same will be
to me death. Given this 22nd day of April, 1865, Attd. respectably, Asst.
Surgeon in Charge, Gen'l. Hospital Brudie. Headquarters, 16th Army Corps,
Greenville, Alabama. (Signed) A. P. Ledbetter.

1st Lt. William J. Walker, included in the list of men who signed the Oath
above, is an interesting case of study. Apparently he had travelled from
Washington County, Michigan to Pike County, Arkansas some time previous to
the war. On October 19, 1861, at age 25, he enlisted in Company C of the
19th Arkansas, and was inducted on November 21. Being a capable young man,
he was elected by his peers to serve as 1st Sgt. On May 15, 1862, while
the company was stationed at Ft. McCulloch, Indian Territory, he was
promoted to 2nd Lt. and then on July 15 to 1st Lt. at Little Rock. In the
reorganization of August 13, he was again honored by his peers, being
retained in this position. Being captured at Arkansas Post on January 11,
1863, he was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio for imprisonment. By the following
communications, we determine that Walker was from an influential family in
Michigan, who exerted that influence to obtain his release from prison.

Office of Commissary General of Prisons, Washington D. C., March 5,
1863. Captain E. L. Webber, Commanding Camp Chase Prison, Columbus,
Ohio. By direction of the Secretary of War you will release Lieut. W. J.
Walker, 19th Ark. Regt. on his taking the Oath of Allegiance. Send a copy
of the oath to this office. Very Respectfully, Your Obed't. Serv't. W.
Hoffman, Col., 3rd Infy. Commd'g Gen'l. of Prisons. I, W. J. Walker do
solemnly and voluntarily swear that I will support, protect and defend the
Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies,
whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance
and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution, or law, of any State
Convention or legislature, to the contrary notwithstanding; And further,
that I will do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose, without
any mental reservation or evasion whatever; and will neither directly nor
indirectly give aid or information to the enemies of the United States, so
help me God. (Signed) W. J. Walker. Sworn to and subscribed before me
this 20th day of March, 1863. Capt. Edwin L. Webber, Battalion,
Governor's Guards, Prisons.

Release. Headquarters, Camp Chase, Ohio, March 20th, 1863. By virtue of
an order received from the Commissary Gen'l. of Prisons, dated, Washington,
March 5th, 1863, W. J. Walker, resident of Washington County and State of
Michigan, prisoner of this post, after having complied with the
requirements of and subscribed the following oath and declaration, is
hereby released from confinement. Description, Fair; Hair, Black; Height,
5" 8"; Eyes, Hazel; Age, 25; Whiskers, Black.

Additional information of interest about some of the men who signed the
oath was found in the records. Elisha Brown appears to have returned to
serve in Dawson's Regiment in Arkansas after being released, but deserted
from that post later in order to joined a Texas Cav. Unit. Benjamin Davis,
who had a wife and 4 children in Pike County, Ark., stated that he "voted
against secession". John E. Cassell was also married, with one child. His
brother, William Cassell, a prisoner at Camp Douglas, Ill., was exchanged
April 10 in Va., only to die in a Georgia hospital Nov. 19, 1863 of wounds
suffered in the Battle of Chickamauga. W. H. Williams also had a brother
in the Confederate Service, he also had a wife and one child back in
Arkansas. H. W. Porter was working as a nurse in the hospital at Camp
Douglas when he signed the oath. Pvt. W. R. Pierce of Co. E, was listed as
having died on Feb. 7, 1863 at St. Louis, Mo., buried in the Nat'l.
Cemetery, grave # 4793, yet he was listed as signing the oath on April 25,
1864. We have included him among those who signed the oath, not among the

Ten men, were not exchanged until late in the war. These probably remained
in prison by their own request. Likely, they did not want to participate
in the struggle any more, and may have suffered wounds or illness, to
complicate further activity. Since they would not be permitted to go home
until after the war, they simply decided to stay where they were for the
time being. These men included:

Jonathan H. Ayres (K), sick at Camp Douglas, exchanged at Point
Lookout, Md. on March 2, 1865.

Robert Beard (F), Paroled at Point Lookout, Md., exchanged March
12, 1865. Listed as a Miner and Sapper prior to his capture.

William Flannigan (C) transferred to Ft. Delaware, Del., April, 1865, to
New Orleans, exchanged, mouth of the Red River La. May 2.

T. N. Karling (G), retained at Camp Douglas when exchange occurred.

Henry F. McLaughlin (A), had Smallpox at St. Louis, Mo., later to Cairo,
Ill. on April 11, 1865, through Ft. Delaware, Del. to New Orleans and
exchanged at the mouth of the Red River on May 2, 1865.

Theoderick Miller (K) left sick at Camp Douglas, signed the oath June 10,
1864, sent on to Point Lookout, Md., on to the James River for exchange on
March 12, 1865.

Charles L. Rodgers (B), sent to Point Lookout, Md. for exchange March 2,
1865. After exchange, he was sent to the Confed. Hosp., in Meridian, Miss.
April 1, 1865, from which he was retired.

William W. Swipes (G), sent from Camp Douglas, Ill. to Point Lookout, Md.
March 2, 1865. After exchange, he was taken to Howard's Grove Hospital at
Richmond, Va. with Edema to the right leg. When Richmond fell, he was
captured again. He was sent to Hammond General Hospital at Point Lookout,
Md. where he signed the oath on July 25, 1865. He appeared at the Provost
Marshall's Office in Washington, D. C. July 29th, where he was granted
transportation to Shreveport, La.

Joseph H. Wilson (B), sick at Camp Douglas, Ill., exchanged at Point
Lookout, Md. March 21, 1865. Admitted to the Confederate Hospital at
Richmond, Va. with Phthisis, leaving April 15, he was admitted to St.
Mary's Hospital in Montgomery, Ala. July 12, 1865.

James H. Yarbrough (K) sick at Camp Douglas, Ill., forwarded to Point
Lookout, Md., exchanged Feb. 20, 1865. 40 days leave on March 6,
1865. Surrendered by Gen. Richard Taylor at Citronella, Ala. May 4, 1865,
paroled at Grenada, Miss. May 18, 1865.

Rumors of an exchange coming circulating through Camp Douglas on March 31,
1863, these rumors proved true the next day, Drewing and cooking 4 days
rations on April 2, they left by rail in passanger cars by rail on the 3rd,
headed for City Point, Va., Travelling day and night, they passed towns
along the way, arriving at Pittsburg, Pa. on the 5th. Changing trains
here, they left for Baltimore, Md. the same day, arriving on the 6th, and
spent the night in a warehouse, The citizens there provided bread and
meat. On the 7th, they boarded a steamship and started for City Point,
Va., passing Point Lookout, Md., where they saw ships tied at the dock.

Passing Ft. Monroe, they could see an English Man of War moored at the
dock, and finally landed at City Point about 4 P. M. on the 9th. Those too
ill to travel were retained at the prison, but were exchanged on May 21,
and in June of 1863. These included:

Adams, Henry (H). Allen, William S. (D). D. F. Arnold (B).
Bell, James A. (C). Champion, John F. (A). Garmon, W. H. (A).
Highfield, J. W. (A) Highfield, William H. (H) Hipp, John T. (A).
Holt, J. H. (I). Huffman, James M. (A). Johnston, N. J. (E).
Leslie, H. R. (I). Logan, Henry A. (D). Long, J. H. (B).
McCord, B. P. (H). McGee, William (H). Merrill, W. E. (I).
Millard, James R. (H) Palmer, J. J. (K). Rivers, James H. (B)
Sumner, George W. (B) Taylor, L. C. (G). Taylor, W. L. (G).
Vickry, James (K). Welch, Lawrence (F). Wilson, H. D. (A).
Wilson, John W. (A). Wingfield, Isaac W. (A).

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