The Right Flanker (NY, 1863-1864)

Leave a comment

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Fort-La-Fayette, Union Prison Camp at the Narrows of New York Bay, New York

Frequency:  Unknown; possibly weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  1863-1864

Size and Format:  Pen and ink

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown; Confederate officers

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Right Flanker is the only known manuscript newspaper published by Confederate prisoners confined in the North during the Civil War.  The paper was written in pen and ink, and after its staff was released, copies were taken to England and printed in book form (1865).

The introductory issue said the purpose of the paper was “to relieve the monotony of prison life, by calling into action the taste and faculties of those who are capable of contributing to its columns; instructing and amusing those who cannot, and to furnish to all who are to share the spice of excitement, which the risk of such a contraband undertaking affords, something of which it is hoped, reference can be pleasantly made by them in after years.”  The editors then introduced themselves and their personal histories prior to imprisonment, but used no names, apparently to avoid punishment for the production of “contraband.”

The printed “transcript” of The Right Flanker runs 90 pages, but it unclear how faithful the printed version is to the handwritten originals.

The printed version depicts a paper devoted largely to an analysis of the war (based on New York newspaper reports), life in the prison camp, and the arrival of new prisoners.  Humor or light features are infrequent.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  “Fort-La-Fayette Life, 1863-1864:  In extracts from the ‘Right Flanker,’ a manuscript sheet circulating among the Southern Prisoners in Fort-La-Fayette,” The Magazine of History, Extra No. 13, 197-246.

Locations:  Fort-La-Fayette Life, 1863-1864:  In extracts from the “Right Flanker,” a manuscript sheet circulating among the Southern Prisoners in Fort-La-Fayette (London:  Simpkin, Marshall and Co., 1865; New York:  William Abbatt, 1911) [reprinted in The Magazine of History, Extra No. 13]

Advertisements

The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

Leave a comment

The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Columbia, SC

Frequency:  Unknown (monthly?)

Volume and Issue Data:  Two extant copies: Vol. 1, No. 1, January 28, 1863; Vol. 1, No. 4, April 23, 1863

Size and Format:  Four pages

Editor/Publisher:  “Liliput”

Title Changes and Continuation:  No. 1 is titled The Rebel; No. 4 is titled The Carolina Rebel (though the first column says, “The Rebel, published at Columbia, So Ca, Whenever the Editor is in the right mood by Liliput, Editor and Proprietor.”

The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

General Description and Notes:

Although The Rebel was produced during the middle of the Civil War (No. 4 was written four months after the Emancipation Proclamation and just days before the Southern Army’s victory at Chancellorsville), the editor makes only minimal references to the conflict. Page four of the April issue has a brief report on the war gathered during the editor’s trip to Charleston. Most of the stories deal with domestic matters (teaching children, food prices, first year of marriage, etc.). This suggests that the paper was most likely the editorial work of a young woman.

According to the South Carolina Historical Society catalog, the Rebel is a “Handwritten newspaper (4 p.). ‘Vol. 1, No.1, published at Columbia, So. Ca., whenever the Editor is in the right mood.’ Includes humorous articles, letters to the editor, articles concerning Confederate officers and officials, and advertisements for ‘T.H. Egan, Portrait Painter’ and others.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Short article in The South Carolina Historical Magazine (1963), page unknown; “The Rebel: A Handwritten 1863 Columbia Newspaper,” Carologue: A Publication of the South Carolina Historical Society, 9:1 (Spring 1993 ), pp. 14-18.

Locations:  Both extant copies are held by the South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC: Vol. 1, No. 1, is part of the manuscript collection donated by P.W. Gruenwald: The Rebel, 1863 Jan. 28. (43/435) ; No. 4 is in the Balzano Collection.

The Libby Prison Chronicle (VA, 1863)

Leave a comment

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia, Confederate States of America

Frequency:  Weekly; irregular

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, August 21, 1863; Nos. 8-12, Vol. 2 (1863)

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Editor-in-chief, Louis N. Beaudry, Chaplain, Fifth N.Y. Vol. Cavalry;  “J.L. Ransom” (A chaplain of a New York regiment)

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Several numbers of The Libby Prison Chronicle were written weekly in manuscript in 1863 at the Libby Prison and printed in 1889.  One Libby prisoner, Capt. Frank Moran, of the 73rd New York Volunteers, recalled the Chronicle in a personal letter:

“The spirit of Yankee enterprise was well illustrated by the publication of a newspaper by the energetic chaplain of aNew York regiment.  It was entitled The Libby Prison Chronicle.  True, there were no printing facilities at hand, but, undaunted by this difficulty, the editor obtained and distributed quantities of manuscript paper among the prisoners who were leaders in their several professions, so that there was soon organized an extensive corps of able correspondents, local reporters, poets, punsters, and witty paragraphers, that gave the chronicle a pronounced success.  Pursuant to previous announcement, the “editor” on a stated day each week, would take up his position in the center of the upper east room, and, surrounded by an audience limited only by the available space, would read the articles contributed during the week.”

According to Starr, some prisoners regretted leaving Libby camp because,

“Classes are organized in Greek, Latin, French, German, Spanish, Mathematics, & Phonography, while there are plenty of surgeons and chaplains to encourage amateurs in Physiology and zealots in Dialectics.  The ‘Libby Lyceum’ meets twice a week, with spirited debates, & there is a MS newspaper styled The Libby Chronicle.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Louis N. Beaudry, The Libby Chronicle (Albany, N.Y., 1889), J.L. Ransom, Libby Prison Chronicle (Chicago:  J.L. Ransom, 1894); Frank E. Moran, “Libby’s Bright Side:  A Silver Lining in the Dark Cloud of Prison Life,” in W.C. King and W.P. Derby, eds., Camp-fire Sketches and Battle-field Echoes (Springfield, Ill: 1887), pp. 183-185; Louis M. Starr, Bohemian Brigade:  Civil War Newsmen in Action (Madison:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1954, 1987), pp. 188-189; Frank S. Stone, The Treatment and Conditions of the War Prisoners Held in the South During the Civil War, unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Idaho, 1954, pp. 31-33.

Links: Transcription of Vol. 1, No. 1, August 21,  1863:  http://www.mdgorman.com/Prisons/Libby/libby_chronicle_8211863.htm

Locations:  None, but text and illustrations printed in Ransom (1894)

The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

Leave a comment

See The Rebel

%d bloggers like this: