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ELLIS FAIRBANKS DAVIS - 1813-1885

His participation in

 The Battle of Marianna, 27 September, 1864

 and Imprisonment at Elmira Prison, NY

 

by

 

Betty L. Norem

©1998

 

     My maternal great, great grandfather, Ellis Fairbanks Davis, was born in Pascagoula, Jackson County, MS about 1813-14 (his exact birthdate is unknown). He was about 12 years old when he moved to the Marianna, Jackson County, Florida area with his father, mother and siblings, from Pascagoula. His parents, John Walter and Rebecca (Harvey) Davis, had moved to Mississippi from Effingham County, Georgia in December 1809, and then moved the family again about 1822 to Jackson County, Florida. On Nov 10, 1824, Walter was listed as one of the signers of  a Petition to Congress by the Citizens of Jackson County, Florida, which states that most of the signers had moved to Jackson County in the early part of 1822. He was also listed on the property tax records of Jackson County, Florida in 1825. In 1827 Walter and his son, John Davis, bought land in Jackson County, FL located on the east side of where the town of Marianna now stands(3). Walter was listed as the Head of Household on the 1830 Federal Census of  Jackson Co., FL., but had moved to Franklin County by February 12,1832 where he was appointed as one of two Justices of the Peace by the Governor. This is the last record on which he was listed, and his wife, Rebecca, was listed as Head of Household on the 1840 St Joseph, Calhoun Co., Fl Census, so evidently Walter died sometime in the 1830's.

By 1850 his widow had married a man named Devaughn and was again a widow  living in the home of her son, John Davis, in Marianna. Ellis moved back to Jackson County in the early 1850s, where he resided for the remainder of his life.

     Ellis was about 51 years old on 27 September 1864 when the Battle of Marianna took place during the Civil War. He had already lost one young son to the War. Walter B., 18 years old, enlisted on 20 March 1862, as a Private in Captain Richard L. Smith's Company, Cavalry, Marianna Dragoons. (This company was organized about 15 March 1862, and served as an independent company until assigned as Company B, 15th Regiment, Confederate Cavalry, about 24 Sept. 1863.) Walter was signed in, mustered and inspected in Jackson County, Florida, by Col. J. J. Finley, 6th Fla. Regiment, for a period of three years or the duration of the war. He furnished his own horse, valued at $200, and his equipment, valued at $30. This third son of Ellis F. and Ruth Davis, was to serve only a little over three months before he died of disease (not named) at Camp Jackson on 28 June 1862. His father filed a Claim of Deceased Officers and Soldiers from Arkansas and Florida for settlement in the Office of the Confederate States Auditor for the War Department, on 24 August 1863. The document does not state how much the settlement was for.

     Another son, William E. ( "Will" ), not yet 21 years old, enlisted in the Confederate Army on Aug. 11, 1862, at Merrill's Bridge, Marianna , Fla. He was signed up by Lt. Joseph C. Dykes for the duration of the war. He was a Pvt. in Capt. W. J. Robinson's Co. A, 11th Fla. Infantry. Sometime in  late  September, 1864,  during  a  skirmish  at  Turkey  Ridge   between 

Petersburg and Richmond, Va., he received a gun shot wound to his left hip. He was admitted to the General Hospital, Howard's Grove, Richmond, Va. on Oct. 4, 1864, for medical treatment, (at about the same time that his father, Ellis, was being imprisoned at Ft. Barrancas in Pensacola). He was released on a 60 day furlough on Oct. 11, 1864, and he went home to Sink Creek, a few miles south of Marianna, Fla., and was there when the war ended and  was marked AWOL. He states in his applications for a veteran's pension in 1909 that he was unable to return to his unit because of the bad conditions of the railroad, and was advised in December, 1864,   when his furlough was up, by Gen. A. B. Montgomery, Commander of the military Headquarters of the district between the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers, that he should go home and await further orders from Capt. Robinson, his Company Commander.  He states that he "never received any further orders from said Captain or anyone else at any time thereafter." He finally received approval for his pension in 1913, but only after successive applications and numerous affadavits attempting to prove that he was not a deserter. He died on 16 March 1919 of cancer.

     One can only imagine the state of mind that Ellis was in when he answered the call to arms in defense of his home and family, after loosing one son and not knowing whether or not another was dead or alive in the fighting in Virginia. Left at home was Laura, 19, John Ellis, 17, Martin, 14 (who was to become my Great grandfather), Frank, 11, and Ellen, 7, with no mother to care for them in his absence. His first wife, Ruth, had died in 1853, probably at the birth of Frank in March, or shortly thereafter. He had married again almost a year later on 2 February 1854, to Elizabeth, daughter of widow, Abigail Brickhouse. She gave him another daughter, Frances Elexena (called Ellen), born 20 October 1857. Elizabeth died in 1862, leaving all of the children completely motherless. So it must have been with very mixed emotions that Ellis left his children at home alone while he took his old squirrel rifle and answered the call, which had gone out over the county, for all able bodied men and boys to report to Marianna to help defend the town from the eminent raid of Federal soldiers. His brother, Joseph,  and his family, lived fairly close by, so we can assume that he helped to look out for Ellis' children in the absence of their father.

 

     The following account of the battle is an excerpt from The History of Jackson County, and gives a much better account than this author is capable of.

 

 

The Battle of Marianna

 

     The Battle of Marianna was the most tragic event in the history of Jackson County, as it is the most memorable. It was not, however, an engagement of great historic importance, but it was a typical example of the indomitable  spirit of the South, which, in face of almost insurmount-able odds, had sustained the Confederacy through the years of the Civil War.

     The Federal raid on Marianna did not come as a surprise, but had been anticipated & feared by Governor Milton for many months. He had warned the Confederate military authorities, time and time again, of the defenseless position of West Florida - one of the chief sources of food supplies and salt remaining to the Confederacy - which had been stripped of its military strength to bolster the crumbling armies of Lee and Johnston.

     In 1864 Marianna was the military headquarters of the district between the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers, under the command of Col. A. B. Montgomery, who, before the Civil War was a lieutenant in the U. S. Army, and a Major in the 5th Florida Infantry; wounded at Second Manassas. His troops at, or near, Marianna, consisted of a small detachment of Confederate Cavalry of about 300 men, recruited largely from Jackson and neighboring counties. One company, commanded by Capt. Robert Chisholm, was stationed at Marianna; a second company, led by Major William H. Milton, was located about 25 miles south of headquarters; and a third, under Capt. William A. Jeter, was 20 miles west at Hickory Hill. The Cavalry was used principally for patroling the district, which was infested by deserters and frequently raided by small parties of Federals from patrol boats, in an effort to destroy the salt works on the Gulf coast in the St. Andrews Bay area of Washington County (now in Bay County).

     The Marianna raid was planned by Gen. Alexander Asboth with a definite objective in view, as shown by the following communi­cation:

 

Headquarters District of West Florida

Barrancas, September 12, 1364.

 

Major-General Drake,

Assistant Adjutant-General,

Department of the Gulf:

 

Major:  I have the honor to report that owing to the information received and forwarded yesterday, under No. 1045, I am to start a cavalry raid into the northern portion of West Florida. Going up to the Santa Rosa Island and swimming the horses across the East Pass to the mainland, I will proceed to Port Washington, and from thence to Marianna and vicinity, returning via St. Andrews salt works. My object is to capture the isolated rebel cavalry and infantry in Washington and Jackson Counties, and to liberate the Union prisoners at Marianna; to collect white and Negro recruits, and to secure as many horses and mules as possible.

 

Very Respectfully, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH, Brigadier-General.

 

    About a week before Federal Gen. Alexander Asboth's raiders appeared in  Marianna, news was received at Confederate headquarters that the Federals had surprised and captured a part of Capt. Chisholm's cavalry at Eucheeanna in Washington County, and were advancing toward Marianna. On 26 September, the Yankees were reported to be at Campbellton, only about 18 miles away, and the long dreaded appearance of Federal forces in Marianna seemed only a matter of hours away. A call was immediately sent over the county for all men able to bear arms to report to Marianna at once. The following morning - the day of the raid - the town was filled with volunteers, mostly old men and boys, who paraded the streets with their squirrel guns and old rifles, anxious to fight, and each one was fully confident that he could "lick a dozen Yankees."

    Col. Montgomery left town on the morning of September 27th with his staff and two companies of cavalry to intercept the Union raiders, but finding the enemy in greatly superior force, he fell back to Marianna, arriving about an hour ahead of Asboth's mounted Infantry and cavalry. Col. Montgomery immediately ordered his troops to retire across the Chipola river bridge to the comparative safety of the east bank, leaving the town to be defended by the old men and boys with their antiquated guns, to the best of their ability. This brought a storm of criticism down on the head of the Confederate com­mander. Editor Edward J. Judah,  publisher of the West Florida News, wrote, a few days later, that Montgomery's conduct was "too disgraceful for us to dwell upon."

     In the meantime the organization of the volunteer defenders of Marianna had been hastily perfected. Capt. Jesse J. Norwood was chosen to command the volunteers, which consisted of members of Norwood's Marianna Guard, Capt. Henry Robinson's Greenwood Guards, and several members of Capt. A. R. Godwin's Cavalry Company at Campbellton. The rank and file included boys under 16 & elderly men between 50 and 75 years old, which is the reason these volunteers were called Norwood's "Cradle to Grave Volunteers." Capt. Norwood was a 30-year old local attorney who had earlier served in the 5th Battalion of Florida Cavalry.

 

    The Federal forces consisted of three battalions - the 2nd Maine Cavalry, Lt. Col. Spaulding in command; one battalion of the 1st Fla. Cavalry, who  were Confederate deserters, led by Major Rutkey; and two companies of Negro mounted infantry from the 56th and 82nd Louisiana regiments. In all about 900 troops, well armed and under the command of Gen. Asboth, a Hungarian adventurer and soldier of fortune who had sold his sword to the Yankees.

    Capt. Norwood deployed his little army behind trees, fences and any other cover they could find, along the road from Ely's Corner, (at Lafayette and Russ streets), east to the Episcopal  church. The Yankees came into town from the west over the old Campbellton road and were met at Ely's Corner, with a devastating fire from the home guards that killed one of the raiders and wounded several others, causing the front ranks of Federals to wheel and retire in confusion. The enemy's lines were quickly reformed, however, and led by the Union general himself, they charged back down the road, two & three abreast, literally running over the old men and boys, forcing the defenders to retreat to the Episcopal church yard. Here the defenders encountered a detachment of the enemy that had skirted the northern part of town as far as the home of Mrs. Edwin Whitehead and then turned south to outflank the home guards. At this point, an eye-witness related, the Union troops halted, many dismounting, and appeared to be watching the church. Soon it was rumored the general (Asboth) had been shot, and in a few minutes orders came to fire the church and the homes of Mrs. Hunter and Dr. R. A. Sanders. When the church burst into flames, men were shot down as they came running out of the building, trying to escape the flames.

 

    Gen. Asboth had been shot and wounded in that first skirmish, and he was in an ugly mood. He had been told, "there'll be no fight at Marianna; you'll be welcomed with open arms," and here he had been painfully wounded, three of his officers killed and there were many casualities among his troops. He not only ordered the burning of the church, over the protest of one of his officers, but he also ordered the town sacked and burned and permitted his blood-thirsty Negroes to shoot and club defenseless prisoners. Someone interceded and the order to burn the town was counter­manded. Who had sufficient influence with General Asboth to save Marianna from total destruction is not  known, but Dr. Burke said it was a Mr. Moore.

     Five of the defenders of Marianna were killed in the church yard after they had laid down their arms, and their bodies burned beyond all recognition in the church fire. The victims were Woodbury (Woody) Nickels, Littleton Myrick, 15th Confederate Cavalry, John Carter, 6th Florida Infantry; Rev. Frank Allen and Dr. M. A. Butler, both  of Greenwood.

    John Davis, Sr., who was 63 years old, had joined the Volunteers in the defense of their home town, also. He had served as the captain of a state militia company during the Second Seminole War in 1836 and was also the original captain of the Jackson Home Guards. He sus­tained a compound fracture of his thigh during the fighting and fell on the north side of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. He was probably treated at home and lived another 11 years before his death on 5 Aug 1875 at 74 years old. . (This was one Ellis F. Davis’s 5 brothers - BN)

 

     Major Nathan Cutler, 2nd Maine Cavalry, one of the few Yankee officers with whom the people of Marianna became friendly, told the late John H. Carter, Sr. in 1916 that the destruction of the church was "a piece of vandalism, committed by Negro troops by order of General Asboth." The Major said he did not remember all the circumstances as he was shot from his saddle about that time, but he afterwards learned that an express order was given to fire the church. Someone, he stated, from the Federal forces protested, but the command from the same source was repeated, at which time kerosene swabs were run up the sides of the building. The flames licked furiously upward - the whole church stood ablaze - and soon burned to the ground. Armstrong Purdee, a Negro law­yer, born a slave, was an eye-witness and, years later, he wrote: "It was fired (the church) on the west side, on the side of the steeple. I was about 40 steps from the church on the south side of the road in line with it." All the records of the church were destroyed but the Bible, which tradition credits Major Cutler with saving, notwithstanding he was painfully wounded at the time and in no position to do so.

     The incident which endeared Major Cutler  to the people of Marianna was his clemency to the two boys who shot him from his horse, seriously wounding him, and resulted in his imprison­ment at Andersonville, Georgia, for a time before he was paroled. He told Mr. Carter the boys "literally peppered me with shot until I fell from my saddle." One of the boys was Frank Baltzell, 14 years old, Major Cutler remembered, but he could not recall the name of the other boy.

 

     There are no official records of the Confederate and Union casualties in the Battle of Marianna. General Asboth's official re­port mentions two Union officers killed and six wounded, namely:

Capt. Young, 7th Vermont, and Lieutenant Ayer, 2nd Maine Cav­alry, killed; Majors Cutler and Hutchinson, 2nd Maine Cavalry; Captains Stanley  and Adams, Lieutenant Moody, and Lieutenant Raleigh, his aide-de-camp, wounded.  He made no report of the killed and wounded among his troops.

     Asboth's report is a happy mixture of fact and fiction, designed to substantiate his claim of a "brilliant victory." He referred to the rebel cavalry in the front line and the sharp-shooters who had ambushed his troops, as a  purely fictional force, as the home guards had neither cavalry support nor sharpshooters. The General further stated, "We captured 81 prisoners of war, 95 stands of arms, over 200 fine horses, 400 cattle." There was probably not a single gun used in the defense of Marianna that could be classed as a military arm, and the number of prisoners was a gross exaggeration. Asboth also claimed to have captured Brig-Gen. William E. Anderson of the state militia. This was not, however, General Anderson, but an elderly man of the same name and initials. (War Department records show General Anderson was captured and imprisoned).                                                    

     The Federal General ended his report with the statement. "I, myself, was also honored by the rebels with two balls; the first in the face, breaking my cheek bone, and the second fractured my left arm in two places."  Davis Gray, a plantation owner of Greenwood, was credited with firing the shots that wounded General Asboth. He escaped across the Chipola River.

     Edward J. Judah published in the West Florida News, October 5, 1864, a list of the casualties of the home guards, reporting 9 killed, 16 wounded. and 54 taken prisoner. The article also states, "The Yankee loss is estimated at about 15 killed, and 40 wounded." The Union wounded, who survived, were sent to the prison at Andersonville, Georgia. The Federals carried away all their wounded except six, who were treated at the Post Hospital, except Major Cutler and Lieutenant Adams, who were taken to the home of Thomas M. White. The Federals left their dead unburied.

(Some years ago I saw some graves of Federal soldiers in the cemetary in the town of Marianna with no names or inscriptions except to identify them as Yankee soldiers - evidently the towns people buried them after the Yankees left them behind.) (Author)

     Among the prisoners taken away by the enemy was Colonel Montgomeny, commandant of the Marianna post, who is said to have been thrown from his horse and captured while trying to escape across the Chipola river bridge. Dr. Robinson and some others did escape to the east bank of the river, after which the planks of the bridge were removed. Dr. Burke wrote that Col. Montgomery "was captured at Mr. White's residence, or was soon thereafter carried there, probably by prearrangement." Among the other prominent prisoners taken by the Yankees, many were paroled, some escaped, and  others were taken to Ft. Barrancas and later transferred to Federal prisons in the North. Several died in prison while others lived to come home after the war and start life anew.

     In addition to their prisoners and loot, the Federals carried back to Ft. Barrancas about 400 Negro women and children. Armstrong Purdee, the 8-year-old slave boy, was picked up by a Union cavalryman at the Waddell plantation, about 11 miles west of Marianna, and rode into town with him. Purdee, who later became a prominent Negro lawyer, witnessed the battle and the burning of the church and was one of the Negroes taken back to Pensacola by the Federals. He wrote, "The women and children were put in wagons, and the men and prisoners all walked, until reaching Point Washington. Here the women and children were put on a steamboat, while the men and soldiers crossed the Bluff to Ft. Barrancas and Ft. Pickens, I being with them. My father found out where I was and came after me. We came back by the way of Apalachicola."

    

     The only white man to leave Marianna voluntarily was the telegraph operator, Charlie  Philips,  who had turned over to the enemy all the telegrams that had passed between Major W. H. Milton and Tallahassee, asking for reinforcements. This information speeded the departure of the Federals,  who pulled out of Marianna during the night, two days before Col. G. W. Scott arrived with reinforcements.

     Editor Judah, in the News on October 5, 1864, told how the noble women of Marianna opened their homes to the wounded and ad­ministered to them "with all the attention which can be bestowed by sleepless, untiring, ministering angels." He reported that Mr. Adam  McNealy and Mr. Solomon Sullivan were being treated at the home of Mrs. W. J. Armistead, Sr.; Dr. A. F. Blount, at Mrs. W. S. Wilson's; and young Payton Gwin (printer's devil), at the residence of Mrs. Robert Johnson. Dr. Burke also spoke in the highest praise of the women of Marianna. "Mrs. Armistead." he wrote, "threw open her house and told me to bring in all that it would hold." and the doctor paid tribute to her two daughters, Misses Sallie and Baker, as well as many other young ladies who came in that night to aid in caring for the wounded.

 

     Extreme youth and age were equally conspicious in the defense of Marianna. The teen agers who shared the honors with their older comrades-in-arms were Charles Nickels, Richard Baltzell and Robert Armistead, only 15 years old; and Frank Baltzell who had not yet reached his 14th birthday. They were mere school boys but they fought like veterans. Frank Baltzell was painfully wounded, taken prisoner, but released. He is said to have gone to sleep under a bench in the courthouse where the prisoners were confined, and was overlooked by the Federals in their haste to get out of town. The other boys were also taken prisoner and carried as far as Vernon, in Washington County, where they were released. Woody Nickels, 17, was one of the ten defenders to lose their lives when the Federals raided their home town.

 

    Among the minor engagements of the Civil War there were few, if any, which surpassed in fierceness the clash between Asboth's Federal raiders and the Home Guards at Marianna, September 27, 1864. It was a moral, if not an actual, victory, for the "old men and boys," as the objectives of Asboth's raid through northwest Florida - the capture of the isolated Confederate cavalry and the destruc­tion of the St. Andrews salt works - were never attained because the "rebels" at Marianna did not give up without a fight.

[End of excerpt.]

 

     Among the prisoners taken away by the Federal troops was my Great Great Grandfather, Ellis Fairbanks Davis. Copies of his military papers shows the following:

"Captured at Marianna, Fla., Sept. 27, 1864, by a portion of the Federal Troops under command of Brig. Gen. Asboth, on the late raid into the interior of Western Florida.

Remarks: Member of the Legislature." (I have been unsuccessful in finding any documentation of him being a member of the FL Legislature - however, his nephew who was named for him, Ellis Fairbanks Davis, Jr., later became a lawyer and member of the legislature).

 

     Ellis next appears on The Roll of Prisoners of War at Ft. Barrancas, Pensacola, Florida, and "forwarded to New Orleans, LA, per Steamer "Clinton" on Oct 8, 1864." The Roll of Prisoners of War Received at New Orleans, LA., shows Ellis as arriving there "during the 5 days ending Oct 10, 1864."  He appears again on the roll of prisoners at New Orleans,  who were "transferred to Ship Island, MS on Oct 20, 1864, by order of Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby, and received there on Oct 21st." He next appears on the Roll of Prisoners of War at Ship Island, Miss., "sent to New York Nov. 5, 1864, by order of Capt. M. R. Marston." It does not indicate whether the prisoners were  sent by ship or train, & it is not known just what date that Ellis arrived in New York at Elmira Prison, but the following account of that prison, where so many of the Confederate soldiers were confined, leaves no doubt that the next several months of his life, and those of his fellow soldiers, must have been a living hell.

 

Excerpts from:  Civil War Prisons, Kent State University Press,

                         edited by William B. Hesseltine.

           

ELMIRA PRISON, NEW YORK

1864 - 1865

THE SHAME OF THE UNION

 

Elmira was outside of New York City. It was only there for one year, yet it had the highest death rate, per capita, of any prison camp North or South. It is a shamful spot on American history. The the vindictive U.S. commissary-general of prisoners & the camp's Chief Medical Officer, Col. William Hoffman, bragged in public, that he had killed more Confederate soldiers then any union soldier in the field. When a soldier dies in the field, that's war. When he dies this way, it's cold blooded murder. After the war, the yankees tried their best to keep the whole incident hidden from the public. They gave the Chief Medical Officer a promotion in rank and a medal for services rendered. Elmira had a death rate of 24 percent. The mad doctor and everyone associated with Elmira should have been tried for war Crimes.

 

Official statistics for the worst six month period at Elmira:

 

 Month           Prisoners        Sick     Dead

 

September      9,480              563       385

October          9,441              640      276

November       8,258             666       207

December       8,401             758       269

January           8,602          1,015       285

February         8,996          1,398       426

 

Elmira was on a 30 acre site, along the banks of the Chemung River. A one acre lagoon  of stagnant water, called Foster's Pond, stood within the walls of the stockade. The lagoon was a backwash from the river and served as a latrine and garbage dump. Prison buildings were located on the high northern bank of the pond. The lower southern level, known to flood easily, later became a hospital area for hundreds of smallpox and diarrhea victims. Remember Foster's Pond, it will be important later in the story. A more unsanitary spot could not have been chosen.

Elmira prison camp was established on May 15th, 1864, when Adjutant General E. D. Townsend reported several empty barracks could be used to house a large number of "rebels" recently captured. The buildings were to house as many as 10,000 men.

Two barracks, "built to comfortably accomodate 3,000 troops without over crowding," had been set aside for 4,000 prisoners. An additional 1,000 men could be quartered in tents on surrounding grounds. The Camp Bakery had adequate facilities for feeding 5,000 prisoners. No camp hospital existed, but tents were available for any men who might become ill. Not until two weeks before the first contingent of confederate prisoners arrived did Commissary General of Prisons William Hoffman point out again that as many as 10,000 prisoners might be sent to Elmira. Preparations were never made for more than 5,000 men. On June 30, 1864, Elmira was said to be ready to receive prisoners.

Inside the fenced in area (known as "the pen") stood 35 two-story barracks, each of which measured 100 by 20 feet. Ceilings were barely high enough to accommodate two rows of crude bunks along the walls. Unsealed roofs characterized the wooden buildings. The floorings were of green lumber, without foundations, and had little resistance to wind and water. Behind the rows of barracks was a group of buildings converted into a dispensary, adjutant's office and guard rooms. To their rear, extending to the northern bank of Foster's Pond, were the cook houses and mess halls. The first group of prisoners to arrive at Elmira quickly crowded the allotted barracks. Subsequent arrivals lived in "A" tents scattered around the prison area.

At the time of their arrival, most prisoners were unaware of one last and deadly factor. Elmira was located in a region of New York State, where for at least four months of the year, the weather was bitterly cold. One prisoner from Virginia wrote the compound was, "An excellent summer prison for southern soldiers, but an excellent place for them to find their graves in the winter."

The first contingent of prisoners arrived from New York by train. Prisoners were pleasantly surprised when sympathetic citizens, at many stops, distributed food and clothing to them. Yet, wrote one prisoner, "these agreeable incidents were occasionally diversified by the insults of some sleek non-combatant, whose valiant soul found congenial occupation in fearful threats of our indiscriminate massacre, if he could only lay hands on us."

 

The first group reached Elmira at 6 am on July 6th and numbered 399 men - one soldier escaped enroute. The second group arrived early in the morning of July 11th, followed by 502 Confederates the following day. Before departing their earler prison camps, the prisoners received vaccinations for smallpox. The injections were of poor quality  vaccines, and seen on many arms "were great sores, big enough, it seemed, to put your fist in."

On July 15th, an Erie Railroad train jammed with prisoners, collided with a freight train near the hamlet of Shohola. Forty-eight prisoners and seventeen guards were killed. 100 prisoners and eighteen guards were injured. The injured prisoners were put in wagons and transported to Elmira. Several days after the accident the Confederate prisoners still lay on the floors of the makeshaft hospitals of Elmira, their wounds still untreated and clothing stuck fast to the dried blood of cuts and fractures.

By the end of July, 4,424 prisoners were packed in the compound, with another 3,000 enroute. The total number leaped to 9,600 by mid-August. It took three hours to feed 10,000 men in shifts of 1,800 at a time. The camp commander complained of the over crowded conditions, and was told as long as the men got through their breakfast by 11 a.m., and dinner by 6 p.m., nothing more was necessary.

The runoff and sewage going into Foster's Pond was beginning to have it's effects on the prisoners. It was getting to be offensive to the nostrils and a danger to the health. One of the surgeons at the prison stated the case more pointedly. An average of 7,000 prisoners released daily over 2,600 gallons of urine - "highly loaded with nitrogenous material"- into Foster's Pond. Moreover, he noted, the pond received the contents of the sinks and garbage of the camp until it became so offensive that vaults were dug on the banks of the pond for sinks.

Washington was notified as early as August 17; not until late October was permission received to use prisoner labor to dig drainage ditches to remove the water and it's rotting matter. By December the odor was gone, but by then scores of prisoners were down with disease.

Housing was still a problem and getting worse. Less then a month after the camp opened, almost 10,000 Confederates were inside it's crowded compound. Tents ran out on August 7; a new shipment arrived on August 12, but there wasn't enough of them. Hundreds of half-clothed prisoners had to sleep in the open, many of them without blankets. Late in November, a Medical Inspector pronounced the barracks to be "of green lumber, which  is cracking, spliting, and warping in every direction."

In a feeble effort to lessen the number of prisoners at Elmira, late in September, Washington issued a directive that prisoners physically unfit would be exchanged. The order stated that no Confederates would be shipped southward that were "too feeble to endure the journey." The Camp Commander was ordered to "have a careful inspection of the prisoners made by Medical Officers to select those who shall be transfered."

On October 14, five Washington Surgeons examined the 1200 prisoners who arrived by train at the Capitol. Five had died en route; scores of others were reported by one doctor as being "unable to bear the journey." The physical condition of many of these men, he added, "was distressing in the extreme, and they should have never been permitted to leave Elmira." By the time the train halted at the city point exchange base, forty men were reported dying and another sixty were reported as being "totally unfit for travel."

Surgeon C.F.H. Campbell wrote a strong letter to Col. Hoffman: "these men are debilitated from long sickness to such a degree that it was necessary to carry them in the  arms of attendants from the cars to the ambulances, and one man died in the act of being thus transfered." the spectacle, he concluded, was "disgraceful to all concerned."

Dispite an outcry that the deed showed "the grossest indifference on the part of the government" the Officers responsible for the prisoner transfer remained at their duties. The episode became one of the major marks against the prison it's occupants had dubbed "Hellmira."

 

In the mean time, life at Elmira had become routine and, in most instances, revolting. Prisoners not packed in the flimsy barracks swarmed around the yards and vied for space within the few ragged tents. The first troops designated as guards at Elmira were Negros who, one Georgia soldier sneered, "had been decoyed north and Organized into companies and regiments to guard their former masters." Units of the Veteran Reserve Corps, and New York state troops later became the provost guard.

Late in July the prisoners underwent a unique indignity. A group of townspeople erected two observation platforms immediately outside the prison walls. For the nominal sum of 15 cents, spectators could observe the prisoners as they endured life inside the compound.

Initally, one of the more pressing needs of the prisoners was for clothing. The cry for clothing brought an instantaneous response from southern families and friends. Yet Col. Eastman withheld issuance of the clothing until he could get permission for distribution from Col. Hoffman. The permission came in late August, but only clothing of the color of gray could be issued. Piles of clothing of other colors were burned. All but a few coats, shirts and pairs of trousers were destroyed.

Winter struck early at Elmira. Prisoners lacking blankets and clad in rags collapsed in droves from exposure. By early December, 1,600 half naked men "entirely destitute of blankets," stood ankel-deep in snow to answer morning roll call.

In the second week of December, the federal government issued clothing for 2,000 men to 8,400 confederates then quartered at Elmira. In January, Confederate authorities sent a shipment of cotton northward under a flag of truce, the proceeds, from the sale of the cotton, went to purchase clothing for the prisoners.

If insufficient clothing, inadequate quarters, and the stench of disease-laden Foster's Pond were trying ordeals for the men, other factors taxed human endurance. High on the list were food rations. On August 18, in retaliation for the conditions in Southern prison camps, Col. Hoffman ordered prisoner rations restricted to bread and water. The results were, by late August, an epidemic of scurvy was in full force; on September 11, no less then 1,870 cases had been reported. In October the prisoners received a single small ration of fresh vegetables. Onions and potatoes, wrote a prison doctor, constituted three of every five rations for two weeks of that same month; then their distribution stopped. Not until December was the meager diet of bread and water supplemented with a meat ration. However, stated Captain Bennet Munger, a prison inspector, the meat was of such inferior quality that a quarter-beef weighing 92 pounds yielded but 45 1/2 pounds of meat, "when carefully taken off the bone." Men were dying of starvation at the rate of 25 a day. The prisoners turned to a large rat population that inhabitated the banks of Foster's Pond. Once, a small dog followed a wood cart into the compound. The dog was captured and slaughtered, and it's carcass was hidden in the barrack rafters until dark. The prisoners were caught in the act of devouring their meal, and arrested by guards.

Close on the heels of the scurvy epidemic came an even larger outbreak of diarrhea. Moreover, by November 1864, pneumonia had reached plague proportions. A month later dreaded smallpox came to Elmira and in it's first week struck 140 men and killed ten. Smallpox was ever-present thereafter.

One prisoner wrote, "there is not a day that at least twenty men are taken out dead."

Medical treatment of prisoners from the outset was bad, and it just got worse as time went on. As early as July 11, 1864 - five days after the arrival of the first group of prisoners, Surgeon Inspector C.T. Alexander reported, "I found the sick.... in no way suitably provided for except for shelter; diet not suitable; some without bedsacks; blankets scarce." On September 21, Ward Assistant Anthony Keiley wrote in his diary: "as I went over to the first hospital this morning early, there were 18 dead bodies lying naked on the bare earth. Eleven more were added to the list by half past eight o'clock." By November the death toll in the hospitals had reached 755 men. A large portion of mortalities stemmed from nearby Foster's Pond - which one observer described as being "green with putrescence, filling the air with its messengers of disease and death." At the rate of sickness then present, a Doctor informed Washington, "the entire command will be admitted to the hospital in less than a year and thirty-six percent will die."

Washington ignored or denied repeated requisitions for badly needed medicines. An urgent request for straw on which the sick could lay was ignored. Hoffman turned down repeated requests to complete the ceilings and roofs on the hospital buildings without any reasons given.

An official in the U.S. Sanitary commission was turned down flat when he asked permission to attend to the sick and dying. By late December at least 70 men were lying on the hospital floors because of a lack of beds and straw; another 200 diseased and dying men lay in the regular prisoner quarters because there was no room for them in the wards. As one guard wrote, "prisoners died as sheep with the Rot." A federal inspector wrote in October with a sense of relief, "The number of deaths this week is but 40."

The number of sick and dead rose sharply at the end of 1864, when prisoners, fighting disease, filth and starvation, could not weather the bitter cold of a New York winter. The winter was so severe, and clothing so scarce, that prisoners stood in deep snow with only rags tied around their frozen and swollen feet to answer morning roll calls. Late in December, after repeated urgent pleas, Washington sent a few stoves to Elmira. There were two small stoves for each barracks, and a few for the men still housed in tents. Prisoners received small wood rations only at 8 am and at 8 pm. During the 12 hour intervals they had to get warm as best they could. Moreover, with an average of 200 men to a barracks, each stove therefore was the sole means of warmth for 100 men. Imagine, if you can, the weather 10 to 15 degrees below zero, 100 men  trying to keep warm by one small stove. Each morning the men crawl out of  their bunks (those that had bunks) shivering and half frozen to fight for a place by the warm stove. The sick and weak were literally left out in the cold.

On the night of March 16, 1865, unusually hard rains caused the Chemung River to over run it's banks. Federals and Confederates alike hastily assembled crude rafts to evacuate prisoners from the smallpox hospital in the flats, and they did succeed in floating most of the sick to safety. Other prisoners crowded the upper stories of the barracks as icy water rose halfway up the first level. The camp's Col. Tracy reported jubilantly that the transfer of prisoners to high ground resulted "with but slightly increased loss of life."

A month later General Lee surrendered at Appromattox, and the prisoners received much improved treatment, and were not guarded as closely.

The paroling of Elmira's prisoners began late in May. Except for those still confined to the hospitals, the prison camp was vacant on July 5th, and ready for demolition a month later. The last prisoner, named Kistler, did not leave the hospital and start home until September 27, 1865.

Elmira's death rate in March of 1865 was an average of sixteen Confederates a day. Of a total of 12,123 Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Elmira, 2,963 died of sickness, exposure, and associated causes. Of the survivors who stumbled forth from the stockade, an eyewitness made the observation; "I speak in all reverence when I say that I do not believe such a spectacle was seen before on earth... on they came, a ghastly tide, with skeleton bones and lusterless eyes, and brains bereft of but one thought, and hearts purged of but one feeling - the thought of freedom, the love of home."

Today all that remains of Elmira is a well kept cemetery.

[End of excerpt]

 

      Ellis Fairbanks Davis somehow managed to survive those inhuman conditions for his 3 months of imprisonment at Elmira and was transferred for exchange on February 13, 1865. He returned to Jackson County where he resumed farming and taking care of his family.  Family traditions says that he walked almost all the way home, and since the railroads had almost all been destroyed by the Union, this story is probably true. Ellis lived another 20 years after his ordeal, and lived to see his surviving children all married and starting families of their own.

 

     Will married Delaura Pledger on Dec 24, 1867, and they had 4 sons and 1 daughter.

     Martin married Lovest (Lovey) Syrena Cooper on 15 April 1871, and they had 6 sons and 2 daughters, including Mary Ann Elizabeth, who would later become my Grandmother Faircloth.

     John Ellis married Sara Porter about 1875, and they had 7 sons and 4 daughters.

     Ellen married  Warren Frederick Laramore on 25 May 1876, and they had 3 sons and 3 daughters.

     Frank married  Josephine Nixon on 3 Feb. 1877, and they had 9 sons and 3 daughters.

     Laura married last, when she was 35 years old, on 28 Feb. 1880, to Jack Tanner. Being the eldest living child and a daughter, it most likely fell to her to see all of her brothers and one sister through their childhood and into adulthood. At this point in time, I have no further information on her, and do not know if she ever had children of her own.

     Ellis died on Oct. 10, 1885. At this time, his burial place remains unknown, but he may be buried in the Pledger Cemetary in Marianna where several of his descendants are buried. 

====================================================

Footnotes:

(1) Before the Civil War, Col. Montgomery was a lieutenant in the U. S. Army; was a major in 5th Florida Infantry; wounded at Second Manassas.

(2) These companies were detached from Col. George W. Scott's 5th Florida Battalion Cavalry, including Companies I, G. and E.

(3) War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Vol.  Part 2.

(4) From letter of Dr. Burke now in possession of Mrs. Ella Lewis Pierce, Mari­anna.

(5) Col. Montgomery's decision was undoubtedly sound from a military stand­point

(6) Capt. Henry Robinson  was H. Robinson, surgeon at Marianna post.

(7) Runnymede Hotel, originally the Baltzell hospital, stands on Ely's  corner at Lafayette and Russ streets.

(8) Asboth reported officially  " ... all my troops, except the repulsed battalion, reportedly of the 2nd Maine Cavalry, behaved with utmost gallantry."

(9) From information furnished W. H. Milton by Armstrong Purdee, a Negro lawyer and eye-witness of burning of Episcopal church.

(10)Woody Nickels was the 17-year-old son of William Nickels, an alleged Union­ist, as was John T. Myrick, father of Littleton Myrick. Myrick was sheriff of Jackson County (1845-7). State Senator (1854-1856). a Whig, he later joined the  "Know-Nothing" party.

(11) Dr. Henry Robinson married Margaret A. Dickson of Greenwood in 1865; moved to Jacksonville where he became a prominent banker, serving as presi­dent of the Commercial Bank for 30 years. In Dr. Webster Merritt's history, "A Century in Medicine," Dr. Henry Robinson is referred to as one of the promi­nent "Builders of Jacksonville," who were members of the medical profession.

(12) War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Vol. 25,  Part 1.

(13) William E. Anderson served as Brigadier General of Florida Militia [date of commencement or terrnination unknown]; was elected Captain of Co. H, 11th Florida Infantry, March 17, 1863; resigned Nov. 27, 1863; private in Marianna Home Guards and captured at Marianna Sept.27, 1864; imprisoned at New Orleans, Ft. Lafayette, N. Y. Harbor, and Ft. Warren, Mass; released June 26. 1865, on taking oath of allegiance to U. S. (Letter dated June 24, 1936, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C.)

(14) Davis Gray of Greenwood is credited with firing the shots that wounded Asboth.

(15) Dr. Robinson wrote in 1916 that Col. Montgomery's loyalty could not be questioned.

(16) Charlie Philips was telegraph operator who left Marianna with the Federals.

(17) Mrs. Wilson was wife of Dr. W. S. Wilson and daughter of Judge Jacob Robinson.

(18) Dr. Burke married Elmira McNealy, whom he met while treating her father, Adam McNealy; they moved to Texas and were pioneers of Texarkana, Texas.

(19) Frank BaltzeIl is said to have gone to sleep under a bench in the courthous where the prisoners were confined, and was overlooked by the Federals in their haste to get out of town.

(20) Robinson's praise of Major Cutler did not please some members of the UDC and he was asked to eliminate it from his history of the Marianna raid.

(21) Downloaded from the Civil War BBS - posted by David Cole & Steve Bowers.

 

====================================================

Roster of participants sent to Elmira Prison in New York:

(Data & names in Italics are from the book The West Florida War by Dale Cox)

 

Blarney, John J. was a member of the legislature and was captured at Marianna 9/26/64. He died of pneumonia 12/15/64 at Elmira prison and was buried in the prison cemetery, grave # 1216.8

Blaney, John. Fifty years old, Blaney was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He died at the latter place on December 15, 1864, and was buried in Wood­lawn Cemetery.

Bush, Albert G. Forty-nine years old, Bush was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship island and Elmira. He returned home to his farm after the war.

Bush, Allen Henry. Fifty-five years old, Bush was the local circuit judge and had been a practicing Marianna attorney since the early 1840's. Imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira, he returned home after the war and resumed his law practice. Judge Bush was delegated to the ill-fated state constitutional conven­tion on October 25, 1865, and was listed a year later as being friendly to the Carpetbaggers then controlling local politics.

Davis, Ellis F. (b. 1814 MS; m. [1st]; m. Elizabeth Brickhouse 2/2/54 [2nd]) came to Jackson Co. in the 1840s and was a successful farmer before the war. He was a member of the legislature during the war and was captured 9/26/64 at Marianna as a member of this company. He was sent to New Orleans then Ship Island prison then onto Elmira prison where he arrived in November 1864. He was transferred for exchange 2/13/65 and returned to Jackson County where he resumed farming. According to an ancestor, Ellis had at least nine children by his two wives. One of his sons, Walter B., served in Captain Smith's Cavalry Company and died of disease 6/28/62.

Davis, Ellis. A local farmer, Davis was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. Paroled from Elmira during early 1865, he evidently returned home.

Everett, Miles. Captured during the fighting, Everett was imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He was released from the latter place on March 2, 1865 and hospitalized in Richmond, Virgin­ia, until the 14th of May, when he was furloughed and allowed to return home.

Harrison, Samuel was captured 9/27/64 at Marianna and released on oath 5/29/65 at Elmira prison. He was 5' 7", blue eyes, auburn hair, fair skin.

Hentz,Thaddeus W. Gamble's Light Artillery. The 30-year old dentist was also a member of a company of state artillery reservists. Suffering the loss of a finger during the

fighting, he was captured and imprisoned at New Or­leans, Ship Island and Elmira. Hospitalized during his stay at Elmira, he was released on March 2, 1865. Again

 

[ 15 ]

hospitalized at a Confederate hospital in Richmond, Virginia, until March 14, 1865, he returned home and resumed his dentistry practice.

Justus, J. B. was a Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veteran. He was a member of the legislature and was captured at Marianna 9/27/64. He was sent to Elmira prison then transferred for exchange 2/20/65. He was hospitalized in Richmond then furloughed 3/16/65.

Justiss, J. B. Sometimes called "Captain" Justiss, the volunteer was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He was exchanged during March of 1865 and hospitalized at Howard's Grove Hospital in Richmond for two weeks before being released on March 15, 1865.

McBright, Israel does not appear on any rolls but was released on oath 5/29/65 from Elmira prison. He was 5'7", blue eyes, dark hair, fair skin.

McBright, Isreal.  Background unknown, McBright identified himself as a member of Norwood's company and was impri­soned at New Orleans, Ship Island and probably Elmira. His name does not appear on Asboth's p.o.w. list, but does appear on subsequent Northern prison records. Fate un­known.

Merritt, Alexander S. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and paroled at Elmira prison 12/12/64. He was 5'9", dark eyes, black hair, fair skin. He was believed to have been a Unionist.

Merritt, Alex S. A 32-year old local merchant, Merritt was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He was released from Elmira on December 12,1864, and returned home.

Morning, E. W. was a member of the legislature and was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was sent to Fort Columbus prison and was released from prison after the war.

Mooring, Edwin W. Thirty-six years old, Mooring was a local merchant and whiskey distiller. Captured, he was imprisoned at New Or­leans, Ship island and Elmira. At the latter facility he was listed as an "adjutant." Eventually released, he returned home after the war.

Myrick, J. F., Sr. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and released on oath 5/29/65 from Elmira prison.

Myrick, John T., Jr. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was believed to have been a Unionist. 

Myrick, J. T., Jr. Sixteen years old, Myrick was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. Released from the latter place on May 29,1865, he returned home. A bitter advocate of Reconstruction, despite his father's Unionist attitudes, he was convicted in October, 1869, for killing local black leader Matt Nichols, his wife and son. He was also charged with assault and battery in connection

with another crime and accused of ambushing a party of freed slaves near Blue Spring.

He fled the county and eventually showed up in Texas.

O'Neal, James was a member of the legislature. He was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and died of pneumonia 3/5/65 at Elmira prison. He was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #2387.

O'Neal, James (Daniel). Fifty-one years old, O'Neal was captured during the fighting and

 

[ 16 ]

imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. Listed "too sick" to be paroled on

February 13, 1865, he died on the 5th of March at Elmira and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Pittman, Frederick R. A private in the 11th Florida Infantry, Plttman was home on leave and volunteered for service. Fifty-one years old, he was captured during the battle and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. The former Whig politician was released from the latter establishment on December 12, 1864.

Roulhac, James B. was a member of the legislature and was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was paroled 12/12/64 at Elmira priosn and was 5'9.5", grey eyes, dark hair, light skin, residence: Marianna.

Tucker, Charles lived in Quincy and was a member of the legislature. He was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He died of diarrhoea 12/11/64 at Elmira prison and was buried in the prison cemetery, grave 1107.18

Tucker, Charles (of Quincy). Captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship island and Elmira, he died at the latter place on December 11, 1864, and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

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BIOGRAPHICAL ROSTERS OF FLORIDA'S CONFEDERATE AND UNION SOLDIERS 1861 - 1865   VOLUME III

 

By

 

David W. Hartman, Compiler

David Coles, Associate Compiler

 

BROADFOOT PUBLISHING COMPANY

Wilmington, North Carolina

1995

 

Home Guard and Miscellaneous Units   2221- 2225   

 

(Text in [  ] from The West Florida War   by  Dale Cox  1990)

 

CAPTAIN JESSE NORWOOD'S HOME GUARDS'

Norwood's "Cradle to Grave" Volunteers

Total Identifiable: 67

 

Captain Jesse J. Norwood (b. 1834; m. [before war]) was a state senator representing the 6th District from 1862 to 1864. He was captured in defense of Marianna 9/27/64. He was released on oath 2/12/65 from Fort Warren, MA. A contemporary historian described him as a well-known Unionist. Occupation: lawyer. 2

 

[Norwood, Jesse J., Captain. A 30-year old local attorney, Norwood had earlier served in the 5th Battalion of Florida Cavalry. He re­signed to seek the office of state senator and was  captured at Marianna while commanding a company of local volunteers. Impri­soned In Union P.O.W. camps at, New Orleans, Fort Lafayette and Fort Warren, he was paroled from the latter place on February 12, 1865. There is no evidence that he ever returned home. Norwood left behind a wife and 3 children.]

[Staley, Christian J., Lieutenant. Fifty-three years old, Staley was cap­tured during the

Battle of Marlanna and Imprisoned at New Orleans, Fort Lafayette and Fort Warren. He was paroled from the latter place on February 12, 1865, and evldently returned home.]

 

Privates:

 

Abercrombie, P. was captured in defense of Marianna.

[Abercrombie, William A. Sixty-four years old, Abercrombie was cap­tured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans and Ship Island. He died at the latter place on

 

[ 18 ]

November 4, 1864, from chronnic diarrhea and was buried in Grave Number 11.]

Alderman, B. G. was captured in defense of Marianna and paroled. He was believed to have been a Unionist.

[Alderman, B. G. A Marianna merchant prior to 1848 and known Cali­fornia gold miner In 1849, Alderman was also a suretor for the construction of the 1850 Marianna court-house in which he was briefly imprisoned after the battle. He was paroled by the Federals in Marianna, probably due to Unionist sentiments.]

Alstead, John was captured 9/27/64 at Marianna and sent to Ship Island Prison.

Anderson, Isaac was captured in defense of Marianna and paroled.

Anderson, Isaac. Captured during the fighting, Anderson was paroled by the Federals before they left Marianna.

 

Anderson, William E. was captured in defense of Marianna.

Anderson, William E. Forty-one years old, Anderson was a Brigadier General in the Florida militia before the war. He led the First Bri­gade during the little-known Calhoun County "Abolition War" of September-October, 1860, in which 27 local citizens were taken prisoner. Captured during the Battle of Marianna, he identified himself as a "brigadier general" and was imprisoned with other officers at New Orleans, Fort Lafayette and Fort Warren. He was released from the latter place on June 26, 1865, after signing an affidavit verifying that he had never held the rank of brigadier general in the service of the Confederacy. He later held the post of County Judge.

 

Armistead, L. T. was captured in defense of Marianna.

 

Armistead, Robert was captured in defense of Marianna. He was later released at Vernon.

Armistead, Robert. Fifteen-years old, Armistead was captured during the fighting and released the following afternoon at Vernon.

 

Austin, J. was captured 9/27/64 at Marianna and died of dysentery 1/1/65 at Ship Island prison. He was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #126.

Austin, J. Background unknown, Austin captured during the battle and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and possibly Elmira. Fate unknown.

 

 

[ 22 ]

Ball, George W. appears on Judge Liddon's list. "He alone survives and lives among us." 6

Balson, F. W. was captured 9/27/64 at Marianna and was sent to Ship Island prison. He was transferred to Vicksburg 5/1/65.

 

Baltzell, F. was wounded and captured in defense of Marianna.

BaltzeII, Franklin. The youngest known participant, 13-year old Frank BaltzelI was credited with firing the shots that wounded Major Nathan Cutler. Taken prisoner, he was held overnight and released the next afternoon at Vernon. He later became the editor of the Marianna Courier, a position which he retained until 1873 when he moved to Alabama. There he continued his journalism career and emerged as a leader of the "Populist" movement.

 

Baltzell, R. was captured in defense of Marianna. He was probably a member of the 2nd Florida. He may have been on leave when the Yankees threatened Marianna.

Baltzeil, Richard. Fifteen years old, Baltzell was captured during the fighting but released at Vernon on the following afternoon.

 

Baltzell, Thos. W. was wounded and captured in defense of Marianna. Barnes, Thos. appears on Judge Liddon's list.

Baltzell, Thomas W. Fifteen-years old, BaltzelI sustained a finger wound during the fighting and was taken prisoner. Imprisoned at New Orleans and Ship Island, he was too sick to leave the latter establishment when most of the Marianna captives were shipped out for New York on November 5, 1864. He remained on Ship Island until May 1, 1865, when he was transferred to Vicksburg, Miss. and released on May 5.

 

Bassett, Henry 0. The captain of Company E., 6th Florida Infantry, Bassett was home on leave and volunteered for service. A former Jackson County Sheriff, the 39-year old captain was killed by bayonet wounds on the banks of Stage Creek.

 

Blarney, John J. was a member of the legislature and was captured at Marianna 9/26/64. He died of pneumonia 12/15/64 at Elmira prison and was buried in the prison cemetery, grave 1216.8

Blaney, John. Fifty years old, Blaney was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He died at the latter place on December 15, 1864, and was buried in Wood­lawn Cemetery.

 

Blount, A. F., Dr. was wounded in defense of Marianna 9/27/64. Bowles, J. R. appears on Judge Liddon's list.

Blount, A. F., Lieutenant. A 44-year old local physician, Blount sus­taind a severe shoulder wound during the engagement and was taken to the home of Dr. W. S. Wilson for treatment. He eventually recovered.

 

Burke, C. C., Dr. appears on Judge Liddon's list.

 

Bush, Albert G. Forty-nine years old, Bush was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship island and Elmira. He returned home to his farm after

 

[ 23]

the war.

Bush, Allen Henry. Fifty-five years old, Bush was the local circuit judge and had been a practicing Marianna attorney since the early 1840's. Imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship

Island and Elmira, he returned home after the war and resumed his law practice. Judge Bush was delegated to the ill-fated state constitutional conven­tion on October 25, 1865, and was listed a year later as being friendly to the Carpetbaggers then controlling local politics.

Bush, Richard. A 60-year old local minister, Bush was captured during the fighting but paroled by the Federals before they left Marianna.

 

Brett, James H. The town constable, Brett was a 52-year old Mexican War veteran. The original first lieutenant of the defunct Jackson Guards, he sustained a severe bullet wound which tore the muscle from his left forearm and he died a short while afterwards. He was also reportedly clubbed to the head with a rifle butt.

 

Carter, John was killed defending Marianna 9/27/64. "The family of John Carter, CSA, probably one of the wounded convalescents, found his charred body in the burned-out church.

Carter, John C. A private in Company E., 6th Florida Infantry, Carter was given a medical discharge after being wounded at Chickamau­ka, but volunteered for service. Twenty-two years old, he was killed in the fighting and his body burned in St. Luke's Church.

 

Chason, John was a member of the legislature and was wounded and captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was sent to Ship Island prison where he died of dysentery 12/19/64. He was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #99

Chason, John. A 57-year old farmer, Chason sustained a neck wound during the fighting and was taken prisoner. He was confined at New Orleans and Ship Island, dying at the latter place of dysentary on December 19, 1864. He was buried in Grave Number 99.

 

Dann, T. W. A local physician, Dann was captured during the fighting and paroled by the Federals before they left Marianna. According to legend, he then disappeared and did not return until after the war.

 

Davis, Ellis F. (b. 1814 MS; m. [1st]; m. Elizabeth Brickhouse 2/2/54 [2nd]) came to Jackson Co. in the 1840s and was a successful farmer before the war. He was a member of the legislature during the war and was captured 9/26/64 at Marianna as a member of this company. He was sent to New Orleans then Ship Island prison then onto Elmira prison where he arrived in November 1864. He was transferred for exchange 2/13/65 and returned to Jackson County where he resumed farming. According to an ancestor, Ellis had at least nine children by his two wives. One of his sons, Walter B., served in Captain Smith's Cavalry Company and died of disease 6/28/62.

Davis, Ellis. A local farmer, Davis was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. Paroled from Elmira during early 1865, he evidently returned home.

 

 

[ 24]

 

Davis, John, Sr. Sixty-three years old, Davis had served as the captain of a state militia company during the Second Seminole War (1836) and was also the original captain of the Jackson Guards. He sus­tained a compound fracture of his thigh during the fighting and fell on the north side of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. He was probably treated at

home. (This was Ellis's uncle - brother of his father, John Walter Davis, d, ca 1838)

 

Dickson, Marmaduke, Sr. A 53-year old Greenwood resident, Dickson was active in Whig party politics before the war. Severely wounded during the battle, he died a few hours afterward--probably at the home of R. S. Dickson.

 

Dixon, John J. was captured 9/27/64 at Marianna and died of diarrhoea 12/16/64 in a General Hospital, Fort Columbus, New York. He is buried in grave #2303 N.C., possibly in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn NY. "

Dunn, T. W. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and was paroled.

Dykes, Jacob was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and escaped from his captors. He was a

member of the 15th Florida Cavalry.

 

Ely, Horace. A local physician, merchant and hotel keeper, Ely was accused of selling liquor to slaves. He was also the construction contractor for the 1850 courthouse. Captured during the fighting, he was paroled by the Federals before they left Marianna.

 

Everett, Miles. Captured during the fighting, Everett was imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He was released from the latter place on March 2, 1865 and hospitalized in Richmond, Virgin­ia, until the 14th of May, when he was furloughed and allowed to return home.

 

Farley, F.M. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Farley, William A. Forty-four years old, Farley was captured during the fighting and freed by Captain Poe's men.

 

Gammon, Samuel B. was a member of the legislature and was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He died of typhoid 12/8/64 at Ship Island prison and was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #72.

Gammon, Samuel B. A 56-year old farmer, Gammon was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans and Ship Island. He died at the latter place from typhoid on December 8, 1864, and was buried in Grave Number 72.

 

Gautier, J. W. (T.N.) was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 but escaped from his captors.

Gautier, Thomas N. The 32-year old owner of a Marianna mercantile firm and a leather tannery at Oak Hill, Gautier was captured during the fighting but was freed by Captain Poe's men before the end of the engagement.

 

Gwin, Peyton was wounded and captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Gwin, Peyton. A teenage employee of the West Florida News, Gwin suffered a severe blow to the head and was treated at the home of Robert Johnson.

 

[ 25]

Harrison, Samuel was captured 9/27/64 at Marianna and released on oath 5/29/65 at Elmira prison. He was 5'7", blue eyes, auburn hair, fair skin.

Harrison, Samuel (William). Background unknown, Harrison identified himself as a

 

member of Norwood's company and was captured during the battle and imprisoned afterwards. His name does not appear on Asboth's p.o.w. list. Fate unknown.

 

Hatsfleld, John W. was a member of the legislature and was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He died of pneumonia 2/18/65 at a US General Hospital at Fort Columbus NY and was buried in a local cemetery, grave #2303 N.C., possibly in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn NY. 12

Hartsfield, John W. Captured during the battle, Hartsfield was impri­soned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Fort Columbus, dying at the latter place on February 15, 1865, of diarrhea. He was buried in the Cypress Hill National Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Hentz, Thaddeus W., Dr., See Gamble's Light Artillery.

Hentz,Thaddeus W. Gamble's Light Artillery. The 30-year old dentist was also a member of a company of state artillery reservists. Suffering the loss of a finger during the fighting, he was captured and imprisoned at New Or­leans, Ship Island and Elmira. Hospitalized during his stay at Elmira, he was released on March 2, 1865. Again hospitalized at a Confederate hospital in Richmond, Virginia, until March 14, 1865, he returned home and resumed his dentistry practice.

 

Hinson, W. H. was captured at Marianna 9/27/64.

Hinson, W. H. Captured during the fighting, Hinson was freed by Captain Poe's men.

 

Justus, J. B. was a Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veteran. He was a member of the legislature and was captured at Marianna 9/27/64. He was sent to Elmira prison then transferred for exchange 2/20/65. He was hospitalized in Richmond then furloughed 3/16/65.

Justiss, J. B. Sometimes called "Captain" Justiss, the volunteer was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He was exchanged during March of 1865 and hospitalized at Howard's Grove Hospital in Richmond for two weeks before being released on March 15, 1865.

 

Kincey, W. J. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Kincey, W. 0. Captured during the fighting, Kincey was freed by Cap­tain Poe's men.

 

Lamb, ___, appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

 

Lawrence, R. C. B., Reverend, was wounded defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Lawrence, Richard C. B. Forty-two years old, Reverend Lawrence was the brother-in-law of Dr. Thaddeus Hentz. He sustained a bullet through the fleshy part of his thigh during the fighting and took refuge in the blacksmith shop behind St. Luke's Church. Rescued by his daughter and several others, with the help of a Union ser­geant, he was

 

[ 26 ]

taken to his home on what is now West Lafayette Street where he eventually recovered.

 

Lewis, Arthur, Sr. Fifty-eight years old, the former merchant was severely wounded during the battle and died at his home on September 29, 1864.

 

Long, Felix H. G. was a member of the legislature. He was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and sent to Fort Columbus prison. He was paroled 12/14/64 and released.

Long, Felix H. G. A local planter, the 47 year old Long was a private in the 11th Florida Infantry, but was home on leave and volunteered for service. Captured during the fighting, he was imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Fort Lafayette, where he suffered a stroke before being released on December 14, 1864.

 

Long, Nicholas A., Dr. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was paroled 12/14/64 and released at Fort Columbus prison, New York Harbor. 

Long, Nicholas A. A local physician and planter, the 49-year old Long was a first lieutenant in a local militia company during the Second Seminole War. Active in Whig politics, he had been elected to the Florida legislature in 1849 and had served as a delegate to the National Whig Convention the year before. A private in the 11th Florida Infantry, he was home on leave and volunteered for service. Captured during the fighting, he was imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Fort Lafayette. He was released from the latter place on December 14,1864, and returned home.

 

McBright, Israel does not appear on any rolls but was released on oath 5/29/65 from Elmira prison. He was 5'7", blue eyes, dark hair, fair skin.

McBright, Isreal.  Background unknown, McBright identified himself as a member of Norwood's company and was impri­soned at New Orleans, Ship Island and probably Elmira. His name does not appear on Asboth's p.o.w. list, but does appear on subsequent Northern prison records. Fate un­known.

 

McKinley, W. L. appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

McKinley, W. L. McKinley escaped following the battle.

 

McNealy, Adam was wounded defending Marianna 9/27/64.

McNealy, Adam. Forty-seven years old, McNealy was a Jackson County Commissioner at the time of the battle. He was active in the Greenwood Baptist Church before being excluded because he "does not believe in the Eternal punishment." He was also a dele­gate to the Florida Secession Convention. Struck to the head and shot through the lung during the battle, McNealy was taken to the home of Mrs. Mary Armistead for treatment and eventually recov­ered. In 1869 he urged the governor not to send troops to racially-torn Jackson County. He also served on the local school board during the post-war years.

Mathews, Wm. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

 

Merritt, Alexander S. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and paroled at Elmira prison 12/12/64. He was 5'9", dark eyes, black hair, fair skin. He was believed to have been a Unionist.

 

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Merritt, Alex S. A 32-year old local merchant, Merritt was captured during the fighting

and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. He was released from Elmira on December 12,1864, and returned home.

 

Montgomery, A. B. was a Colonel and was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

 

Moore, C. R. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 but escaped from his captors. He was believed to have been a Unionist. 

Moore, C. R. Captured during the fighting, Moore was freed by Captain Poe's men.

 

Morgan, Nicholas appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Morgan, Nicholas. Morgan escaped following the battle.

 

Morning, E. W. was a member of the legislature and was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was sent to Fort Columbus prison and was released from prison after the war.

Mooring, Edwin W. Thirty-six years old, Mooring was a local merchant and whiskey distiller. Captured, he was imprisoned at New Or­leans, Ship island and Elmira. At the latter facility he was listed as an "adjutant." Eventually released, he returned home after the war.

 

Moseley, Milton (Wilton) appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Mosely, Milton. Mosely escaped following the battle.

 

Myrick, J. F., Sr. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and released on oath 5/29/65 from Elmira prison.

Myrick, John T., Sr. A former state senator, Myrick was a prominent local merchant and educator. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Marianna Male and Female Academy in 1851 and helped lead former governer Richard Keith Call's Unionist effort in 1860. The Confederate government later obtained judgements against him. He was known to have been in contact with Union military forces during at least January of 1864. Captured following the battle, he was paroled at Marianna by the Federals.

 

Myrick, John T., Jr. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was believed to have been a Unionist. 

Myrick, J. T., Jr. Sixteen years old, Myrick was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. Released from the latter place on May 29,1865, he returned home. A bitter advocate of Reconstruction, despite his father's Unionist attitudes, he was convicted in October, 1869, for killing local black leader Matt Nichols, his wife and son. He was also charged with assault and battery in connection with another crime and accused of ambushing a party of freed slaves near Blue Spring. He fled the county and eventually showed up in Texas.

 

Myrick, Littleton was killed defending Marianna 9/27/64.

 

 

[ 28 ]

Nickels, Chas. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and released at Vernon.

Nickels, Charles. Fourteen years old, Nickels was captured during the fighting and held overnight. He was released the next afternoon at Vernon and allowed to walk back home.

 

Nickels, William. Sixty-four years old, Nickels was a prominent local merchant and hotel keeper. An 1851 Trustee of the Marianna Academy, he was rumored to have been in contact with Federal military forces during the course of the war. Captured during the battle, he was paroled before the Federals left town.

 

Nickels, Woodbury was killed defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was killed after the surrender and his body was found in the church.

Nickels, Woodbury "Woody." Sixteen years old, Nickels was the son of Marianna Unionist and businessman William Nickels. He was the youngest Confederate killed during the fighting.

 

Norton, E. B., Rev., appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Norton, E. B. A local minister, Norton escaped following the end of the battle.

 

O'Neal, James was a member of the legislature. He was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and died of pneumonia 3/5/65 at Elmira prison. He was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #2387.

O'Neal, James (Daniel). Fifty-one years old, O'Neal was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. Listed "too sick" to be paroled on February 13, 1865, he died on the 5th of March at Elmira and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

 

Pittman, Frederick R. A private in the 11th Florida Infantry, Plttman was home on leave and volunteered for service. Fifty-one years old, he was captured during the battle and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Elmira. The former Whig politician was released from the latter establishment on December 12, 1864.

 

Quinn, Peter was wounded and captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Robinson, Henry, Dr., was an Asst. Surgeon and appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Roulhac, James B. was a member of the legislature and was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He was paroled 12/12/64 at Elmira priosn and was 5'9.5", grey eyes, dark hair, light skin, residence: Marianna.

Rostrum, Oliver. Identified by tradition as a participant, Rostrum was a local tailor. He evidently escaped following the battle.

 

Rouse, John appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Rouse, John. Rouse escaped following the battle.

 

Scott, Andrew appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

 

 

[ 29 ]

Sewell, H. appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Sewell, H. Sewell escaped following the battle.

 

Shiver, W. was wounded and captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Sims, Miles was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Spencer, Lamb (CSA) was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

 

Stevens, Henry was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and was released at Vernon.

Stephens (Stevens?), Henry. Fifteen years old, Stephens was captured during the fighting and released at Vernon on the 28th.

 

Sullivan, Solomon was wounded & died of wounds, defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Sullivan, Solomon. Fifty-four years old, Sullivan sustained a severe elbow wound during the battle and was taken to the home of Mrs. Mary Armistead, where he later died.

 

Taylor, Peter appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Taylor, Peter. Taylor escaped following the battle.

 

Tucker, Charles lived in Quincy and was a member of the legislature. He was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He died of diarrhoea 12/11/64 at Elmira prison and was buried in the prison cemetery, grave 1107.18

Tucker, Charles (of Quincy). Captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship island and Elmira, he died at the latter place on December 11, 1864,, and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

 

Tucker, Charles (of Jackson County) was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64, and paroled.

Tucker, Charles (of Marianna). Captured during the fighting, Tucker was paroled by the Federals before they left Marianna.

 

Watson, Hinson J. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64.

Watson, Hinton J. An owner of the Marianna mercantile firm of H. J. Watson & Company, Watson had been indicted in 1858 for selling liquor without a license. Captured during the battle, he was pa­roled by the Federals before they left Marianna. His business collapsed due to post-war conditions in 1866. He was later elected to the Florida House of Representatives.

 

Watson, 0. M. appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Watson, 0. M. Watson escaped following the battle.

 

Whitehurst, J. B. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64. He died of consumption 10/25/64 at Ship Island MS and was buried in a local cemetery, grave #4.

Whitehurst, John B. The local Justice of the Peace, 40-year old Whitehurst was captured during the fighting and imprisoned at New Orleans and Ship Island. He died at the latter place on October 25, 1864, less than a month after the battle, from "Consumption." He was buried in Grave Number 4.

 

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Wilson, W. S., Dr., appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

Wilson, W. S. A physician, Wilson arrived in Marianna during the 1840's and formed a partnership with Dr. William H. Whitehead in 1857. Although he participated in the fighting, he was able to elude capture and assisted tremendously in caring for the wounded afterward.

 

Wynn, W. A. appears on Judge Liddon's list of soldiers who defended Marianna 9/27/64.

 

Wynn, William B. was captured defending Marianna 9/27/64 and died 12/21/64 at Fort Columbus prison NY. He was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #2194.

Wynn, William B. Captured during the fighting, Wynn was imprisoned at New Orleans, Ship Island and Fort Columbus. He died at the latter establishment on December 21, 1864, and was buried in the Cypress Hill National Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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