|A total of 2,927 Confederate military prisoners, 39 civilian detainees, and 109 Union guards known to have died while at the fort. The names of 2,436 Confederate military prisoners and civilian detainees are presented on the bronze memorial plaques that surround the base of the 1912 Confederate memorial in Finns Point National Cemetery. Source|
Although that practice pretty much died out later in the 1900s it did not, thank goodness, perish entirely. Quite often interesting historical facts can be gleaned from such publications—things that will never make it into the history books and are at variance with the sanitized versions of history most of us have been fed.
Recently I received, via email, a chapter out of just such a book, one not written until 1998. The title of the book is Campaigns of the Wise Guards–Pinckney Barfield–Walking Away from Death. . The author is L. B. Hammett and the Pinckney Barfield mentioned in the book’s title is the author’s grandfather.
From what I can gather Mr. Barfield joined a company called the Wise Guards in Georgia in 1861. He was eventually appointed 2nd sergeant and eventually transferred to Co. B of the 22nd Battalion of the Georgia Heavy Artillery.
Sergeant Barfield ended up being a prisoner of war and his observations about that were interesting. It was noted that, at Castle William, the Confederate POW’ were treated with “…the greatest consideration. The guards were Americans and the men were treated well.
For all of that, Sergeant Barfield made two attempts to escape, both of which failed.
However, both times he was brought back and not shot. I remember, years ago, seeing a movie about the War of Northern Aggression in which the hero was captured and when someone asked him about it he said “A good soldier always tries to escape.”
The narrative continued: “From Castle William, Pinckney and fellow-prisoners were moved to Fort Delaware at Pea Patch Island, New Jersey on the New York, Pennsylvania state line.”
The author quoted a Los Angeles Times article written in 1984 by Charles Hillinger which said: “…Stories about the suffering—from scurvy, smallpox, pneumonia, malnutrition—have passed down through the generations, making Pea Patch Island difficult to erase from the minds of the descendants. Many visit to look for the signatures of their ancestors on the brick walls of the cell blocks (at Fort Delaware).”
Sergeant Barfield noted: “We remained there (Governor’s Island) three months then were transferred to Fort Delaware, one of the worst prisons on earth and we remained there five months. We were exchanged in the winter of 62.”
The author noted, of the guards at Fort Delaware that “Union guards inflicted horrendous suffering upon Pinckney Barfield and thousands of other Confederate prisoners—How truly bad it was will never be known!” That’s right, it won’t—at least not as long as Yankee/Marxist “historians” are the ones to write the “history” books. They will continue to dwell on the horrors of Andersonville and totally ignore places like Fort Delaware and Elmira, giving the impression the Confederate POWs lived in near country club conditions.
The author noted the comments of another Confederate POW at Fort Delaware. He said:
“We get hardly enough food to keep us alive—three slices of bread a day, a cup of unsweetened coffee, a cup of very thin soup and a cup of gruel…Soldiers are dying like flies around us.” More>> “Lincoln’s Marxists” at Fort Delaware