The following post is part of an ongoing series entitled Civil War Voices from Florida. Each day in October 2014, Florida Memory will post a document from the collections of the State Archives of Florida written exactly 150 years before that date, in October 1864.
Today we’re back in Elmira, New York to hear once more from Wilbur Wightman Gramling, a Confederate prisoner of war from Tallahassee:
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 1864. No change in the weather and no news of any kind. The general health of the prisoners is a great deal better. Instead of 15 to 20 it is only 5 to 10 per day and it seems to be the general impression that we will winter here.
Gramling’s entry highlights the seriousness of the mortality rate in the Union prison at Elmira. According to one estimate, of the more than 12,000 Confederate inmates who passed through Elmira during the war, almost 25% died. Gramling held out hope that he and his comrades would be moved or exchanged before the harshest cold weather set in, but so far he had been disappointed.
We’ll hear more from Gramling later this week. For now, check out the related resources below for more information on Florida in the Civil War. Also, come back tomorrow for another edition of Civil War Voices. We’ll examine a furlough ticket from Gadsden County native Calvin Hanna.
Related Resources on Florida Memory:
- Florida Memory Learning Unit: Florida in the Civil War
- Florida Memory Exhibit: Distant Storm: Florida’s Role in the Civil War
Related Resources at the State Archives of Florida:
Related Resources in Print:
- Biographical Rosters of Florida’s Confederate and Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 (find in a library near you!)
- Florida in the Civil War, by Nicholas Wynne and Robert Taylor (find in a library near you!)