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Re: Confederate imprisonment post-Iuka/Corinth

Hello Pete:

You wrote: >>>I know about Union terms for parole, in which captured Johnny Rebs were required to offer an oath of allegiance --.<<<

The parole promise required of both the Confederate and Union prisoners of war under the terms of the Dix-Hill Cartel was not an "Oath of Allegiance" but merely a promise to not take up arms or render any kind of military service to their own government/army until properly exchanged. In return, they were released and returned to their own side to await a declaration of their exchange based upon a complex accounting of "man-for-man, or equivalents" which was done between the respective Agents of Exchange at Richmond and Washington (or Fort Monroe).

You first asked: >>>My essential question is this: would a captured member of the 3rd Louisiana Regiment, after either the battle of Iuka or Corinth, find himself shipped up-river and eventually interred at camp Douglas, IL, the "Andersonville of the North"? If not, where might he have been sent? To a temporary holding pen near the battle site perhaps? To Alton? Does anyone know where such prisoners were in fact sent?<<<

Anything is or was possible during this period. However, if this did happen (i.e. being shipped North), you would likely be dealing with an aberration. The Official Records, Series II, Volume 4 contains several pieces of correspondence that lead me to conclude the following:

(1) Able bodied Confederate POWs were generally released on parole to Generals Van Dorn and Price in northern Mississippi to await the exchange accounting which followed in November 1862. Van Dorn had withdrawn the bulk of his army, including General Price's command, back to Holly Springs. Will Tunnard, 3rd Louisiana Infantry, wrote that "Lieutenant Washburn, taken prisoner at Iuka, returned again to the regiment at this place (Holly Springs in mid-November 1862), and resumed his duties as Adjutant." (OR, II, Vol 4, pp. 617, 651; Tunnard, p. 214)

(2) Sick and wounded Confederates were sent from Corinth to a temporary hospital complex set up by the Federals at Iuka.

On October 9, 1862, Captain P. E. Burke, 14th Missouri Volunteers, wrote to General Grant from Corinth giving an accounting of the number of captured Confederates he had paroled at Corinth. He asked "Shall I send any wounded Confederates to Saint Louis? Our hospitals are full of them." I did not find any answer from Grant. The solution apparently was to send them to Iuka instead. (OR, II, Vol 4, p. 608)

General Rosecrans wrote to General Price on October 16, 1862 from Corinth: "--I beg to state for the better accommodation of the sick and wounded Confederate prisoners, I have sent them to Iuka and have detailed some able-bodied prisoners to police the garrison. ---" (OR, II, Vol 4, p. 627)

Brigadier General C. S. Hamilton, commanding the District of Corinth, wrote to General Grant on October 19, 1862 asking Grant for instructions on what to do with the sick and wounded at Iuka for which Hamilton was responsible. In urging their release, Hamilton complained that "Many of the prisoners leave daily and go where they choose." (OR, II, Vol 4, 663)

I did not find anything further in the OR to indicate when these sick and wounded hospitalized at Iuka were released. This information might appear in the footnotes of the CMSR of the men who were captured sick or wounded and held at Iuka.

Captain David Pierson, Company C, 3rd Louisiana Infantry, was wounded in the head at Corinth and captured in a Confederate field hospital after the battle in early October 1862. He was returned to Confederate authorities (date unknown), furloughed home, and returned to duty on December 24, 1862 at Jackson, Mississippi where he learned that he was exchanged. (Cutrer & Parrish, "Brothers in Gray" {LSU Press, 1997}, pp. 124, 126, 140)

(3) There were some number of Confederate prisoners who refused to be released on parole. General U. S. Grant wrote to General Curtis from Jackson, Tennessee on October 20, 1862: "I have given no authority for paroled prisoners to go North. None have been permitted to go who declined being paroled, but wanted to take the oath of allegiance and get where they could not be made to serve again." Tracking down the flow of these "refuseniks" is an entire research subject in itself. The same thing happened in the aftermath of the surrender of Vicksburg in July 1863.

You wrote: >>> But what about Pea Ridge? I'm fairly certain Camp Douglas got its mitts on some Confederates afterwards, no? And Vicksburg?<<<

I found some correspondence between Generals Curtis and Hindman in the fall of 1862 relative to prisoners of war being exchanged between the two of them in OR, II, Volume 4. They were accounting for prisoners exchanged "man-for-man, or equivalents" indicting that both then knew about the terms of the Dix-Hill Cartel. Some Confederate POWs may have ended up being sent north from Arkansas. You would have dig through OR, Series II to see.

From August 1862 through May/June 1863, captured Confederate prisoners were often sent directly to City Point on the James River in Virginia, or briefly handled at various Federal POW camps before being sent to City Point. There are also examples of parolees being returned close to the point of capture. Beginning in December 1862, Vicksburg no longer served as an exchange point because it was Grant's next military target. Prisoners captured by Sherman and Grant in November/December 1862 were generally sent north on a circuitous route to City Point. The large scale accumulation of POWs by either side did not begin again until July 1863.

Hopefully, this will help point you to an answer of your "essential question" which was specific to the 3rd Louisiana Infantry and the battles at Iuka and Corinth in the fall of 1862. If you want to know more about Camp Douglas, let me recommend George Levy's "To Live and Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas 1862-1865" (Evanston Publishing Company, Illinois, 1994).


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