People in the Diary

Wilbur Wightman Gramling refers to a number of family members, acquaintances, and other individuals throughout the diary. Where possible, we have used census and military records to identify and describe these individuals in the following list.

"Mr. Abernathy"

The "Mr. Abernathy" Gramling refers to while staying at Lincoln Hospital in Washington, DC is Private Marion Connely Abernathy of Company H of the 37th North Carolina Infantry. Union prisoner of war records indicate that Abernathy died at Lincoln Hospital of pneumonia on June 9, 1864, the day after Gramling predicted he was "not likely to live."

"Berry" or "Barry"

Andrew F. Berry served with Wilbur Wightman Gramling in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry. He was a resident of Thomasville, Georgia but enlisted at Centerville, Florida on April 24, 1862. He was captured at Sharpsburg, Maryland during the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, but was paroled later that month. He was captured again on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania Courthouse. He spent time at the Union prison in Point Lookout, Maryland before being transferred to Elmira. Berry was released from prison on June 16, 1865.

"Carter"

James M. Carter served with Wilbur Wightman Gramling in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry. He enlisted on April 30, 1862 at Camp Leon. He was wounded in the head on May 4, 1863 during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. He was captured just over a year later on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania, Virginia. Carter spent some amount of time at the Union prison at Point Lookout, Maryland before being transferred to Elmira. He was paroled on October 11, 1864, but died of chronic diarrhea the same day. He was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #682.

"Cay"

Henry T. Cay served with Wilbur Wightman Gramling in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry. Born in 1831, Cay lived in Thomasville, Georgia but enlisted at Tallahassee on March 11, 1862. He was captured on May 6, 1864 during the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia, and spent at least some time at the Union prison in Point Lookout, Maryland. At some point, Cay was sent to Elmira prison, where he apparently served as Wilbur Wightman Gramling's roommate. He was released from Elmira on June 19, 1865.

"Major Colt"

Major Henry V. Colt, formerly of the 104th New York Volunteers, was in command of the Elmira prison camp when Wilbur Wightman Gramling arrived in July 1864. Colt had been assigned to Elmira after accidentally injuring himself during a march near the front. His brother was the well-known pistol-maker Samuel Colt. Colt remained at Elmira until he was sufficiently recovered from his injury to return to his regiment in December 1864.

"Miss Ida Duncanson"

Gramling lists a Miss Ida Duncanson in the group of addresses in the rear of his diary. He gives her address as 498 H. Street, Washington, D.C.

"Felkel"

Wesley R. Felkel served with Wilbur Wightman Gramling in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry. He was also likely a distant cousin, as the Felkel and Gramling families moved to Centerville in Leon County, Florida around the same time and several marriages occurred between members of each. Wesley Felkel enlisted on February 26, 1862 at Centerville. He was captured in Maryland on September 26, 1862, but was later paroled. He was captured again at Spotsylvania, Virginia on May 12, 1864 and spent time imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland before being sent to Elmira. He died of chronic diarrhea on June 2, 1865 and was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #2867.

"Irvin"

Irvin Watson Gramling was Wilbur Wightman Gramling's brother. He was born in 1841. He enlisted in Company "K" of the 5th Florida Infantry with his brother on February 20, 1862. Irvin was wounded in the hand at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 2, 1863 and captured several days later. He was held at Fort Delaware for the remainder of the war and released on oath on June 10, 1865. Irvin married twice, first to Emma Manning, who died in 1877, and then to Emma Stanley, with whom he had three children: Owen Irvin, Ralph Wilbur, and Earle Stanley. Irvin's grandson Owen Irvin Gramling, Jr. donated the Gramling Diary to the State Archives of Florida in 1988.

"Uncle James"

This is most likely James W. Gramling, brother of Wilbur Wightman Gramling's mother Elizabeth. Little is known about James W., other than that he was born in 1831 in South Carolina. This may be the "J.W. Grambling" who served in Company D of the 2nd Florida Cavalry.

"Uncle Joel" or "Uncle J." or "Uncle"

Joel F. Gramling was the brother of Wilbur's father Andrew Gramling. He was a member of the 5th Florida Infantry like Wilbur, although he was a member of Company "D" rather than Company "K" like his nephew Wilbur.

Joel was wounded in the right leg on September 17, 1862 at the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), which resulted in his being furloughed from military service for a time. He later returned to the Confederate military, but was wounded again at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864 and taken prisoner. This was also the date Wilbur Wightman Gramling was taken prisoner, but the two were quickly separated.

Through earlier entries in Wilbur's diary, we learn that Joel Gramling followed much the same path as his nephew after his capture. He stayed in several hospitals in the Washington, D.C. area before being transferred to the prisoner of war camp at Elmira, New York on October 27, 1864.

"Ma"

Elizabeth Gramling was Wilbur Wightman Gramling's mother. She married Andrew Peter Gramling, who was her first cousin, on October 30, 1832 in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Andrew and Elizabeth moved to the Centerville section of Leon County, Florida sometime before 1850. Elizabeth died on November 10, 1885.

"Mac" or "McClellan" or "Mc"

Gramling uses the nickname "Mac" to refer to Union General George B. McClellan. McClellan commanded the Army of the Potomac from mid-1861 to November 1862, when he was succeeded by General Ambrose Burnside. McClellan ran against Abraham Lincoln for president in 1864 as a Democrat. Lincoln won a decisive victory, scoring 212 electoral votes to McClellan's 21, as well as 55% of the popular vote.

"Col. Manning"

While in hospital in Washington, Gramling references a "Colonel Manning." This was almost certainly Colonel Vannoy Hartrog Manning of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry. Union prisoner of war records indicate that this Col. Manning was captured during the Battle of the Wilderness on the same day as Wilbur Gramling and sent to a field hospital in Fredericksburg. He was transferred to Washington, Fort Delaware, and then Hilton Head, South Carolina.

"Matt" or "Mattie"

Martha Elizabeth "Mattie" Gramling Folsom was Wilbur Wightman Gramling's older sister. She was born in South Carolina around 1836 and moved with her parents to Leon County sometime prior to the Civil War. In 1855 she married Lucian M. Folsom. Martha died in 1879.

"Col. Moore"

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Moore was a member of the 16th United States Veteran Reserve Corps. He was assigned to Elmira on October 1, 1864. He succeeded Major Henry V. Colt as commandant of the prison.

"Morgan of Co. D"

John N. Morgan enlisted in the 5th Florida Infantry on December 18, 1862 in Fredericksburg, Virginia as a recruit, and was transferred to Company D on February 1, 1863. He was wounded and captured on May 5, 1864 during the Battle of the Wilderness, and eventually sent to Elmira. Morgan died at Elmira on August 20, 1864. Gramling says he died of chronic diarrhea; other records indicate typhoid as the cause of death. At any rate, Morgan was buried in the prison cemetery, grave #79.

"Mosby"

Colonel John Singleton Mosby commanded the 43rd Battalion of the 1st Virginia Cavalry during the Civil War. Known as the "Gray Ghost," Mosby was known for his ability to quickly conduct raids into Union territory and then evade his pursuers. Early in the diary, Gramling expresses his hope that he and his fellow Confederate prisoners would be picked up by Mosby's command before they could be taken farther away from the front lines.

"Col. Mulford"

John Elmer Mulford entered the Civil War as a captain in the 3rd New York Infantry in 1861. He was promoted to Major in 1863, to Lieutenant Colonel in 1864, and to Colonel in 1865. He was an exchange agent who worked regularly with Confederate officers to arrange exchanges of prisoners.

"M.W. Gramling"

Michael Washington Gramling was a sergeant in Company F of the 25th South Carolina Infantry during the Civil War. He was Wilbur Wightman Gramling's second cousin, born in 1833 to Martin Luther Gramling and Catherine Stroman in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Michael died at Fort Fisher, North Carolina on January 14, 1865, burial site unknown.

"Pa"

Andrew Peter Gramling was Wilbur's father. He was born in 1808 in South Carolina, and married Elizabeth Gramling, a cousin. Andrew and Elizabeth moved to Centerville in Leon County, Florida sometime prior to the Civil War, where they had five children: Margaret Ann, Martha Elizabeth ("Mattie"), Jane Dorothy, Irving Watson, and Wilbur Wightman. The 1850 census lists Andrew as a farmer. In 1852, he purchased forty acres of public land located roughly a mile or so west of Centerville Road near the intersection with Pisgah Church Road. Andrew Gramling died in 1870 of pneumonia at the age of 61.

"Snipes"

William T. Snipes served with Gramling in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry. Born in 1834, he lived in Thomasville, but enlisted at Tallahassee on March 8, 1862. Snipes was promoted to second corporal in mid 1862, and then to 4th sergeant in 1863. He was captured on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania. Based on Gramling's diary, it appears Snipes spent time at the Union prison in Point Lookout, Maryland before being transferred to Elmira. Snipes was released on June 23, 1865. He married Mary Willis in 1867 and died on Christmas Day, 1897 in Leon County.

"Miss Thomson"

In the rear pages of the diary, Gramling identifies a Miss Maria L. Thomson of Washington City as one of his correspondents. He lists her address as 400 H. Street. Thompson likely encountered Gramling during her work as a member of the Ladies' Southern Relief Association.

"Mr. Wagener"

Gramling identifies an M. Dan Wagener of 60 West 37th Street in New York City in the rear of the diary.

"Willford" or "Wilford"

John H. Wilford served with Wilbur Wightman Gramling in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry. He was born on January 15, 1830 in North Carolina. He enlisted at Tallahassee on February 20, 1862. He was captured on September 12, 1862 at Frederick, Maryland, paroled at Fort Delaware, and then transferred to Fortress Monroe in Virginia to be exchanged on December 15, 1862. Wilford was captured again on July 4, 1863 at Gettysburg. He spent a period of time imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland before being transferred to Elmira. Wilford was released from Elmira on June 14, 1865.