civil war letter

A letter written by James Maxwell from the military prison in Florence, South Carolina

"Military Prison Florence, SC October 8, 1864

Dear Friends at home,

We are now at the above mentioned place. Our health is only moderate. Watson has good health. Freeland & myself are troubled with diorhea. We have food appetitie all the while. J.H. Campbell & **C.J. WILLIAMSON** are here, but we have not seen them yet. Our object in writing is to have a box apeace sent to us. Send us the following articles--one ham of meat a peace, a small cake of cheese apeace, some dry beef, coffee, pepper-red and black, dryed apples-1/2 bushel a peace, some butter and lots of crackers soda, sewing thread & needles, one pair of pants & shirt & socks a peace, one good blanket a peace. Send with a box apeace closely packed put up in little sacks. Send as soon as possible after the receipt of this. Your friends in prison

James A. Maxwell George Watson Stephen A. Freeland

(on the reverse he continues)

Direct the boxes to each of us--Military Prison, Florence, South Carolina By way of Hilton Head

James H. Campbell wants a box of the same kind. Send us some sausage. Get the boxes on the way as soon as possible. Forward this letter around to each one."

James died of starvation 46 days later. The history of Florence Stockade as reported at the website indicates that conditions at Florence were as bad, if not worse, than at Andersonville. Also, it is noted that the confederates encouraged the prisoners to write home for food and clothing, etc. When the supplies came in, however, they were confiscated for the personal use and consumption of the prison guards. It is unlikely that James ever got his box.

Submitted by Greg Maxwell to Steve Williamson's website, provided by Karen Mason.