Saturday, March 18, 2006

Unnatural War

Missouri lawyer Greer W. Davis wrote an 1862 letter to the state's governor on behalf of a young Confederate officer who had been captured. In his letter, Davis plead the soldier's case. In the course of his comments, he referred to the conflict as an "unnatural war." I like the choice of words.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

POW Statement

Came across an interesting document in the military service file of Lt. Washington L. Watkins of the Eighth Missouri Cavalry:

The first paragraph of the four-page document, which details Watkins' capture at a Missouri farm house in 1863, explains itself: "STATEMENT to be made, and forwarded with the prisoner, to be delivered, along with the prisoner, to the Provost Marshal General; and no prisoner shall be sent to St. Louis without this statement duly signed, and accompanied by the EVIDENCE against the prisoner. The transportation of prisoners and guard, sent without both this statement and the evidence, will be charged against the officer sending them."

This is the first time I've come across such a document. It provides a wealth of detail that really helps to tell this soldier's story.