The Western Pioneer (TX, 1862)

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THE WESTERN PIONEER

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Fort Lancaster, Crockett County,  (Western) Texas

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Four pages; Feb. 1, 1862

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher: Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

None

Information Sources:

Bibliography:

Locations: University of Houston (original); The Texas Newspaper Project, Center for American History (microfilm), University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Weekly Critic (MB, 1875)

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WEEKLY CRITIC

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Fort Dufferin, Manitoba, Canada

Frequency:  Weekly (title)?  Actual duration and frequency unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  1875

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Two North West Mounted Police officers, Wyld and Gilkinson

Title Changes and Continuation:  See Swan River Daily Police News

General Description and Notes:

According to Loveridge, the Dufferin Weekly Critic and the Swan River Daily Police News represented the first efforts at rural journalism at Swan River and Fort Dufferin by North West Mounted Police in 1875 and 1876.  These may have been the earliest Manitoba newspapers outside Winnipeg.  Loveridge calls them “newsletters” and distinguishes them from “true newspapers.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  D.M. Loveridge, A Historical Directory of Manitoba Newspapers, 1859-1978 (Winnipeg:  University of Manitoba Press, 1978), pp. 5, 58

Locations:  Legislative Library, Culture, Heritage and Citizenship, Manitoba, Winnipeg; cited in Manitoba Free Press, March 1, 1875

The True Blue (MX, 1842)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Mexico City, Mexico; Castle Perote Prison, Santiago, Mexico

Frequency:  Weekly (for six weeks)

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 4, April 21, 1842

Size and Format:  Variable; 9 x 13 inches; two columns; written in cursive

Editor/Publisher:  “Simon Pure”

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:         

The True Blue was handwritten by Texan soldiers imprisoned in Mexico City.  According to a Texas State archivist, the newspaper was published as a “literary journal” by the 1842 Texan Santa Fe Expedition prisoners while in the Castle Santiago in Mexico City.  The prisoners were later moved to the Castle Perote near the coast.  At least six issues appeared.  The fourth issue, April 21, 1842, announced a “Ball” to be held in celebration of the Battle of San Jacinto, “a day ever to be remembered by Texans.”

The paper’s name appears in large, bold capital letters.

Information Sources:                               

Bibliography:  Bob Karolevitz, “Pen and Ink Newspapers of the Old West,” Frontier Times, 44:2 (Feb.-Mar., 1970), 31, 62; Robert F. Karolevitz, Newspapering in the Old West:  A Pictorial History of Journalism and Printing on the Frontier (New York:  Bonanza Books, 1969), p. 140; Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration, Texas:  A Guide to the Lone Star State (New York:  Hastings House, 1940), 121.

Locations:  Vol. 1, Nos. 1 and 6 (original); Vol. 1, Nos. 1, 5 and 6 (photocopy) Texas State Library Archives, Austin, Texas

Swan River Daily Police News (MB, 1876)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Swan River, Manitoba, Canada

Frequency:  Daily? Despite the title, actual duration and frequency are unknown

Volume and Issue Data: April 27, 1876

Size and Format:  Variable; one page; 24 x 36 inches; 22 x 32.5 inches

Editor/Publisher:  North West Mounted Police personnel

Title Changes and Continuation:  See also Weekly Critic, Dufferin, Manitoba

General Description and Notes:

According to Loveridge, the Daily Police News and Dufferin Weekly Critic represented the first efforts at rural journalism at Swan River and Fort Dufferin by North West Mounted Police in 1875 and 1876.  These may have been the earliest Manitoba newspapers outside Winnipeg.  Loveridge calls them “newsletters” and distinguishes them from “true newspapers.”

Information Sources:          

Bibliography:  D.M. Loveridge, A Historical Directory of Manitoba Newspapers, 1859-1978 (Winnipeg:  University of Manitoba Press, 1978), pp. 5, 95

Locations:  Legislative Library, Culture, Heritage and Citizenship, Winnipeg, Manitoba; April 27, 1876:  Saskatchewan Archives, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Sussex Owl (Eng-India, 1866)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Aboard the British troop ship HMS Sussex from Kingstown, England to Kurrachee, India (now Karachi, Pakistan?)

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  September-December 1866

Size and Format:  426 pages

Editor/Publisher:  T.S. Bigge, Captain, and authors A. Lot and A. Nicols

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

This is a 426-page handwritten newspaper, published from September-December, 1866 on board the British troop ship Sussex during her maiden voyage from Kingstown, England to Kurrachee, India.

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Woodson Research Center, MS231 (in bound volume), Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX, woodson@rice.edu

The Stonewall Register (DE, 1865)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Fort Delaware, DE

Frequency:  Unknown, one extant issue

Volume and Issue Data:  April 1, 1865

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher: Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  See The Prison Times

General Description and Notes:

First issue of a manuscript newspaper by Confederate prisoners of war of what is likely the U.S. prison at Fort Delaware.  Drawing of “Stonewall” Jackson flanked by Confederate flags heads the papers.  The paper contains salutatory; editorial; letter to the editor; camp news; advertisements; poetry; financial and Savannah commercial column; roll and rules of the Stonewall Chess Club.

The following notes are from the Georgia Historical Society records of The Stonewall Register:

“This collection contains the first issue, April 1, 1865, of The Stonewall Register. This handwritten newspaper was produced by prisoners held at the Fort Delaware prison during the Civil War and sold for fifty cents. The decorative masthead includes an illustration of Stonewall Jackson, for whom the paper is named. It includes letters to the paper, poetry, a description of the “Rebel Yell” and advertisements for tobacco, jewelry, engravings, laundry services, and hair cuts. It also gives financial and commercial news and a list of members and rules of the Stonewall Chess Club.

“Fort Delaware is located on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River. An earthwork fort was built on the island in 1813 and was replaced by a masonry fort in 1819. This fort was destroyed by fire in 1832 and construction of the present structure was completed in 1859. During the Civil War the fort was used as a prison with 250 of Stonewall Jackson’s soldiers being the first prisoners following the Battle of Kernstown in 1862. The fort was not intended for prisoners and modifications were made in order to house 10,000 captured Confederates. About 2,700 soldiers died at Fort Delaware with 2,400 of these being buried in a national cemetery at Finn’s Point, New Jersey. Fort Delaware was closed in 1944.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:

Link: Georgia Historical Society, Stonewall Register catalog entry

Locations:  The Stonewall Register, MS 766, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia

Soldier’s Letter: Second Colorado Cavalry (KS, 1864-1865)

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SOLDIER’S LETTER:  SECOND COLORADO CAVALRY

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Kansas City and Fort Riley, Kansas

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, Nos. 1-50, 1864-1865

Size and Format:  7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.; four pages, four columns; pages 1, 2, and 4 were printed, but page 3 was blank for individual soldiers to make personal comments or statements

Editor/Publisher:  Printed content’s editor and proprietor, Oliver V. Wallace

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Soldier’s Letter was a regimental paper published between 1864 and 1865 for the Second Colorado Cavalry:  “A Regimental Paper–To Accompany the Regiment.”  The paper was priced at 10 cents per single copy.  The paper’s motto, “The Flag We Fight Under,” was accompanied by a Union flag graphic.

Published at Kansas City and Fort Riley, Kansas, the printed pages included poetry, history and specific military news items.  Letters were also included, as were extracts from the Journal of Commerce, Illustrated News, and Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  Several items discussed aspects of the Civil War.  Letters from Fort Larned, Kansas, described problems with Indian attacks and illnesses.

The blank pages contained the comments and statements of soldiers in the regiment.  The handwritten pages included news items, poetry and proverbs.  Vol. 1, No. 20, dated March 18, 1865, addresses “Young Men.”  They are encouraged to maintain high morals and to take as their “motto:  self-reliance, honesty and industry.”

Information Sources:                                                                      

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Western History Department, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO

Secesh Eradicator (IL, ca.1860s)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Unknown, but edited by the Eighty-fifth Illinois Regiment

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: Unknown

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  “Bayonette” for the Eighty-fifth Illinois Regiment

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

Wiley notes that “soldiers sometimes wrote out small papers for limited distribution. Examples of manuscripts sheets are the ‘Pioneer Banner,’ published ‘semi-occasionally for the young ladies of the Union Female College’ by young Confederates stationed at Fort Barrancas, and the ‘Secesh Eradicator’ edited by ‘Bayonette’ for the Eighty-fifth Illinois Regiment” (p. 161).

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Bell Irvin Wiley, They Who Fought Here (NY:  Bonanza Books, 1959), p. 161

Locations:  Unknown

 

Note:  Thanks to the late Dr. Richard “Dick” Lentz (Ph.D., Iowa) for alerting me to Wiley’s book and the handwritten newspapers mentioned therein.

San Luis Coyote (CA, 1850)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Mission San Luis Rey, California (1850)

Frequency:  One issue?

Volume and Issue Data:  Sept. 1850

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  “C. Senor,” a U.S. officer stationed near Mission San Luis Rey

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

None

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Cu-B?

The Right Flanker (NY, 1863-1864)

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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]

Rapidann (VA, 1864)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Somewhere in Virginia

Frequency: One known extant copy

Volume and Issue Data:  January 1, 1864

Size and Format:  1 sheet

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

Handwritten newspaper (1 sheet) created by a Confederate soldier (probably from South Carolina) serving in Virginia. Newspaper contains articles about army life, Virginia, furloughs, and other topics as well as jokes, poems, and illustrations (from SC Hist Soc catalog)

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:   Teague, Benjamin H. (Benjamin Hammet), 1846-1921. B.H. Teague family and collected papers, 1770-1899, Manuscript, 1105.07.09, South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC

Pioneer Banner (FL, no date, ca. 1860s)

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PIONEER BANNER

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Fort Barrancas (near Pensacola, now part of the U.S. Naval Air Station), FL

Frequency:  “semi-occasionally”

Volume and Issue Data: Unknown

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Young Confederates stationed at Fort Barrancas

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

Civil war era.  Published for the young ladies of the Union Female College.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Bell Irvin Wiley, They Who Fought Here, NY:  Bonanza Books, 1959, p. 161.  See Secesh Eradicator also.

Links: Re. Fort Barrancas

Locations:  Unknown

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

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The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Camp Ford, Tyler, Smith County, Texas

Frequency:  Bi-weekly, irregular

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, Feb. 17, 1864-No.3, March 13, 1864

Size and Format: 8 1/2 x 11; four pages per issue; three columns; pen and ink

Editor/Publisher:  Capt. William H. May (and J.P. Robens?); a 12-page facsimile edition was published by J.P. Robens and William H. May entitled, The Old Flag: First Publication by Union Prisoners at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas, V. 1, No. 1-3; Feb. 17-March 13, 1864: Preface includes history of the manuscript plus some items and advertisements from the Ford City Herald

Title Changes and Continuation:  Some references to advertisements from the Ford City Herald  in the Library of Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project (thanks to Renee M. Savits, of the CW 150 Legacy Project). According to the Herald, “This branch of our imense (sic) establishment is now complete. The new Type and Materials of The Herald, in addition to the well stocked Office of the “OLD FLAG,” removed and refitted, enables us to give notice that we are fully prepared to execute all kinds of Plain and Fancy Job Printing with neatness and dispatch. Terms, CASH.”

General Description and Notes:

The Old Flag was published by a Union soldier during an imprisonment of 13 months in the Confederate prison at Tyler, Texas.  Each issue was read aloud in the various cabins by some member of the “Mess.”  When all had read or heard it read, the paper was returned by the “subscriber” to the “office publication.”

The paper’s primary goal was to relieve the almost unbearably eventless and monotonous life of Camp Ford.  Contributions commented on local news and camp issues, displayed poetry and art, and played with satire, jokes and chess problems.  Advertisements, which appeared in every issue, were genuine.  Most offered the services of skilled prisoners for the benefit of the others.  For example, pipe makers, barbers, cigar makers, shoe shines and “job printing” (by the editor) were all available in the prison city.

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

The Old Flag was one of two and possibly three handwritten Civil War newspapers published at Camp Ford, a Confederate prison complex in Tyler and Hempstead, Texas.  Camp Ford was the largest Confederate military prison in Texas.  The prison held both officers and enlisted men from 1863 to the end of war.  The prison held as many as 4,900 prisoners by July 1864.  Living conditions in the tented enclosure were generally good.  Fresh water, adequate shelter and plentiful food supplies made the prison a relatively healthy place; during its 21-month existence, roughly 250 soldiers died in the camp.  Most soldiers were allowed to keep many of their possessions, to manufacture items for sale and to purchase food and supplies from local farmers and merchants.[1]  To facilitate these economic transactions, The Old Flag published a “REVIEW OF THE TEXAS MARKET-for the Month of February, 1864” in its March 1 edition.

Capt. William H. May, of the 23rd Connecticut Volunteers, with the assistance of other Union soldiers, published and edited at least three issues of The Old Flag between February 17 and March 13, 1864,[2] during their 13-month confinement in the Confederate prison camp.  According to J.P. Robens, one of the prisoners, the paper was published on sheets of “unruled letter paper, in imitation of print, a steel pen being employed in the absence of a Hoe Press.”[3]  The three-column, four-page paper made liberal use of large headlines and graphic elements.

The paper’s primary goal was “to contribute as far as possible towards enlivening the monotonous, and at times almost unbearably eventless life of Camp Ford–and to cultivate a mutual good feeling between all.”  Contributions were solicited on matters of local news and camp issues.  The Old Flag published poetry and art, and included satire, jokes and chess problems.  Display advertisements appeared in every issue, and “most of them bona fide, genuine.”  Most of the ads promoted the services of skilled prisoners for the benefit of the others.  For example, pipe makers, barbers, cigar makers, shoe shines and “job printing” (by the editor) were all available in the prison city.[4]

————————————————————————————–

Summary of Contents of The Old Flag, 1:1, February 17, 1864

(Measured in column inches; 33 column inches per page)

 


————————————————————————————————-

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

The first number announced that the next issue would be in “an entire new dress, we having received new Types from the Foundry of J. Connor & Son, of N.Y.!  This number is printed with ‘secesh’ ink, which does not appear to ‘take’ well upon Yankee paper.”[5]  Only one copy was published of each number, which was then read aloud in the various cabins by some member of the “Mess.”  When all the prisoners had read or heard it read, the paper was returned by the “Subscriber” to the “Office of Publication.”[6]

In the third number, March 15, 1864, the editor published his intentions to preserve The Old Flag after his release from Camp Ford.

TO OUR PATRONS

We shall make it our first object on our arrival at New York City–which will probably be within a few week after our Exchange–to learn the practicability of getting the three numbers of the “Old Flag” Lithographed.  Should the expense be too great to warrant our adopting this means of securing fac simile [sic] copies, we shall print with types as nearly as similar to the letter penned by us as can be procured, with heading and illustrations engraved.  We shall endeavor to make the copies close imitations of the original papers.  In addition we propose to publish a few accurate pictures, delineating life at Camp Ford, Camp Groce, &c, printed on sheets inserted in each number of the “Old Flag” with a Title Page, and complete List of the Officers Prisoners [sic] at this place, neatly bound.

The editor kept his promise.  The lithographed reproduction of The Old Flag was published in New York in 1864 and included a “List of officers, prisoners of war at Camp Ford . . . giving rank, regiment, where and when captured.”

After prisoners were released from Camp Ford, the editor published a lithographed reproduction of the handwritten.

According to Mary Witkowski, of the Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, CT, Captain May was a newspaper man in civilian life.

Information Sources:                                                         

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

Bibliography:  Roy Alden Atwood, “Captive Audiences: Handwritten Prisoner-of-War Newspapers of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition and the War Between the States,” Annual Convention of the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA), Salt Lake City, UT, Oct. 1993;  F. Lee Lawrence and Robert W. Glover, Camp Ford, C.S.A.:  The Story of Union Prisoners in Texas(Austin:  Texas Civil War Centennial Advisory Committee, 1964), 36-37;  The Old Flag (privately published, 1914).

Locations:  Barnum Museum, Bridgeport, CT; The Old Flag, lithographed reproduction:  DLC


[1].  Patricia L. Faust, editor, Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War, p. 110.

[2].  The date on The Old Flag, 1:3, isMarch 13, 1864, but a poem on p. 3, “To Mrs. Col R.T.P. Allen,” is dated March 14.  The poem was likely a day-late insertion.

[3].  J.P. Robens, “Preface,” The Old Flag, lithograph reproduction (New York:  W.H. May, [1864]), n.p.

[4].  The Old Flag, 1:3 (March 13, 1864), p. 2:  “Statistic–There have been manufactured by knife in this camp, since last September, over forty setts [sic]of Chessmen, of which Lt. John Woodward has himself completed eight of the best!

“The number of Pipes turned out, as near as can be arrived at, is not less than Five Hundred–both of wood and clay.”

[5].  The Old Flag, 1:1 (Feb. 17, 1864), p. 2.

[6].  J.P. Robens, “Preface,” n.p.

Little Joker (TX, 1866-1869)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Jacksboro, Texas

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Published sometime between 1866 and 1869.

Size and Format:  On foolscap

Editor/Publisher:  H.H. McConnell

Title Changes and Continuation:  Same editor/publisher produced the BIG INJUN at Fort Belknap,Texas and THE GRASSHOPPER at Fort Buffalo, Texas.

General Description and Notes:

According to Whisenhunt, the Jacksboro area had no fewer than four newspapers between 1866 and 1869, although only one was printed.  The editor of all four was H.H. McConnell, a soldier first assigned to Jacksboro, Texas in 1866.  McConnell recounts his journalistic efforts and military experience on the Texas frontier in the Reconstruction period in his autobiography, Five Years a Cavalryman.

Shortly after he arrived in Jacksboro, McConnell and other soldiers published a weekly newspaper, LITTLE JOKER, on foolscap.  The paper circulated among the soldiers at Jacksboro.  The Jacksboro post was temporarily abandoned by the military, and the LITTLE JOKER “was ignominiously packed on a Quartermaster’s house and moved to Fort Belknap.”

At Fort Belknap soon issued another handwritten paper, BIG INJUN, intended for a military audience.  According to McConnell, “Here the genius of the editor again broke forth, and the ‘Big Injun’ for a time shed an undying lustre on the literature of the nineteenth century.”  The paper was short-lived:  “Like a meteor flashing along the midnight sky–brilliant for a moment, then rendering the darkness more intense–so the ‘Big Injun’ ran its course.”

McConnell’s transfer to nearby Fort Buffalo Springs marked the publication of his third handwritten, THE GRASSHOPPER.  Like its predecessors, THE GRASSHOPPER was short-lived.  Fort Buffalo Springs was soon abandoned for the more strategic Jacksboro post.

McConnell was finally reassigned to Fort Richardson where he contracted with a Weatherford,Tex.printer to publish The Flea.  This, his first printed newspaper, appeared Feb. 1, 1869, but lasted only six issues, until June 15, 1869.

According the Whisenut, McConnell’s handwritten papers did little more than provide diversion for the soldiers at their respective military posts, but “this was important.  Their very existence also implies that the life of the frontier soldier was mostly a monotonous existence despite the legend and aura of romance that surrounds the United States Cavalry.”

Information Sources:                   

Bibliography:  H.H. McConnell, Five Years a Cavalryman (Jacksboro, Texas:  J.N. Rogers and Co., 1889), p. 174; Donald W. Whisenhunt, “The Frontier Newspaper:  A Guide to Society and Culture,” Journalism Quarterly, 45:4 (Winter 1968), 727; see also Theronne Thompson, “Fort Buffalo Springs, Texas, Border Post,” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, 36:168 (October 1960).

Location:  None

The Libby Prison Chronicle (VA, 1863)

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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)

Jong Transvaal [Afrikaans: Young Transvaal] (RSA, 1901)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: South Africa

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: November 1901 (during Anglo-Boer War)

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  J. Mariewe

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

What follows are selections, roughly translated, from Paul Zietsman’s May 2002 article in Die Berger, “Seldsame Boerekoerant in Amsterdamse argief gevind,” describing the Jong Transvaal or Young Transvaal:

When I was recently in the South African Nederlandsch Vereeniging, on the Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, doing research, I found files on the rare first edition of a youth paper from among the Western Transvaal commandos of the Anglo-Boer War on the Transvaal. This edition appeared in November 1901.

The newspaper, hand-written, copied and distributed an edition of twenty, but the editors, the readers asked for the widest possible circulation and officers called on it to be read among the Boer commandos.

The editor was the Dutchman J. Mariewe, but between the lines it appears that Young Transvaal was a team effort.

The newspaper reflects the public mind of the people fighting in the Western Transvaal border zone of  Gen. Koos de la Rey’s battle field at this time of war. It reveals what life was like for people in the remote region, who also had access to  British newspapers like The Times, including the larger events and repercussions at the height of the Anglo-Boer War.

The inspiration that fueled the bitter rivalry radiates from every page of Young Transvaal. “True to death” was the newspaper’s motto.

The headquarters “The level field” and “Abonnementprijis (subscription): nil!” Shows a fine sense of humor. An “advertisement” with the same tongue in cheek look sought “typesetters,” “printers” and administrative clerks at fabulous salaries!

“To our fellow citizens” was the first introductory article which explained the paper’s editorial policies, including:  “In summary form wishes to all facts that come to our knowledge, on, taking aim at truth:”

And the name? “We gave this leaflet Young Transvaal this name because we were being prophetic.”

“It seems to us that this war is rejuvenating the Republic, so it appeared we are entering a new life, free from all diseases and germs that interfere with a healthy and vigorous life.”  The editors added that this “rejuvenating” of the Afrikaner life actually stretched beyond Transvaal .

In a later report, an article expanded on the Young Transvaal character. The young men were known before the war as progressives, whom the conservatives  (or Kruger Men) branded traitors, because they wound sites in the body is shown it is now their real leaders.

“Who are we men?” asked the Young Transvaal. “Probably are still a few of the old school among us, but for the rest we can show to a whole new staff officers, men who earlier in the background stood. And Louis Botha Koos de la Rey was the most prominent of the new officers and leaders of the anti-war Kruger men.”

“With them, a new time has come,” said Young Transvaal. “Let us all follow them united so that we can do great things.”

What’s the public outrage made above, but they also found laughable was Kitchener’s verbanningsdreigement. The editors wrote under the headline “Bannishment” (sic). “The rain of the English side almost as much as proclamations bombs.”

“Especially the last papierbom attract much attention.”

This deal on Kitchener’s proclamation of August 7, 1901 that the Boer officers who do not surrender 15 September, exiled and their property would be confiscated.

Young Transvaal refers to the excellent manner in which “our” leaders answered the proclamation and the unfavorable review of the European press. “In Amsterdam, a large meeting that took place in strong language against the proclamation is protested.”

Young Transvaal emphasized that the Transvaal proclamation contrary to the “General” Law and editors in any event in the history of people not familiar with “the defeated party punished with exile because his independence to the limit defense.”

Besides, the farmers have not yet been defeated. “Well, the enemy occupied the main towns, but the country is our lord and master. “The Republican government is still functioning and acting magistrates to maintain law and order in the Transvaal districts.”

“And because we each foot of the heritage of our fathers defended; because we remain faithful to the oath and duty, because we do not want to bend before the gods of gold, because we died on the battlefield over slawejuk we therefore prefer to ever the patriotic soil banned?”

In another reported Transvaal Young writes that it appears General (Lord) Methuen him on his journeys through the western Transvaal “primarily aims to vulnerable women and children to capture and destroy food supplies.”

“Why he started we offered him, refused?” Wonder the newspaper. “Was it for fear of possible heavy losses of material, dead and wounded, so that in the report to the Department of War would not only show that a small number of people in the field, but an organized citizens Strydmag the cause of the fatherland faithful?”

Young Transvaal was not completely spot on the Western Transvaal’s battle skills, as would soon be evident from Gen. Koos de la Rey’s spectacular victory over Methuen in Tweebosch between Sannieshof and De la Reyville on March 27, 1902, in which the wounded Methuen the dubious distinction bestowed that he was the only British general was during the war in Boer hands case it.

Young Transvaal underline the unreliable statistics as far as British casualties on the Boer side. According to a British newspaper that the British abandoned camp was found, the number of Boers in the Battle of Renosterfontein killed, more than doubled and the optimum is the allegation that General. Lemmer and sergeant under Joubert fell. Lemmer was wounded, but already back in the field and in the Marico Commando was nobody with the name sergeant Joubert not.

Under the headline “Domestic,” the newspaper reported that women from the concentration “refugee camp” at Mafeking escaped and reported very many deaths, especially among children. “We desire that a thorough investigation be undertaken.”

Thanks to Emily Hophouse’s publication in Britain of the cruel inhumanity of the concentration camps were already at that time such an investigation in progress by the Ladies Committee of which Britain sent out, although the superior high class British ladies were anything but objective. One of the most revered women wanted to know why the Boer women complained that their beds are not in the camps had not, because before the war, the Boers would not sleep on beds.

A story that quite upset the Young Transvaal  was that [British] Lord Kitchener complained to the [Boer] Commandant-General (Louis Botha) that people in the Battle of Vlakfontein southwest of Lichtenburg on 28 May 1901 and “wounded” hand suppers shot. Kitchener also claimed that “slightly wounded civilians were crawling around on the battlefield on all fours looking for wounded British to capture.”

Young Transvaal reported that the military authorities on the Boer side strictly investigated the accusation and  showed from various affidavits that Kitchener’s accusations were based on a misunderstanding.

The Commandant General, however, ordered that any citizen who committed criminal trespass immediately appear before a court martial.

Finally, Young Transvaal contains also a tongue-in-cheek ad that is actually an ironic commentary on the host’s diet is hunger. It reads: “The undersigned has the honor of the revered public in the ravines to notify its valley in Moepelkloof a restaurant opened. The following dishes were always on hand:

Boiled whole maize,  Heroic corn, Spy meal,  Potatoes imported from Mud River, Pudding a la Methuen, Dough boy-storm rider dumplings, Wheat Coffee currency, using black color and bitter taste.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography: Paul Zietsman, “Seldsame Boerekoerant in Amsterdamse argief gevind,” Die Burger (May 4, 2002); South Africa’s Yesterdays (Reader’s Digest Association South Africa, 1981), p. 2o.

Locations:  South African Nederlandsch Vereeniging, Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Grasshopper (TX, 1866-1869)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Fort Buffalo Springs, Texas

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Published sometime between 1866 and 1869.

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  H.H. McConnell

Title Changes and Continuation:  Same editor/publisher produced LITTLE JOKER at Jacksboro, Texas and the BIG INJUN at Fort Belknap, Texas.

General Description and Notes:

According to Whisenhunt, the Jacksboro area had no fewer than four newspapers between 1866 and 1869, although only one was printed.  The editor of all four was H.H. McConnell, a soldier first assigned to Jacksboro, Texas in 1866.  McConnell recounts his journalistic efforts and military experience on the Texas frontier in the Reconstruction period in his autobiography, Five Years a Cavalryman.

Shortly after he arrived in Jacksboro, McConnell and other soldiers published a weekly newspaper, LITTLE JOKER, on foolscap.  The paper circulated among the soldiers at Jacksboro.  The Jacksboro post was temporarily abandoned by the military, and the LITTLE JOKER “was ignominiously packed on a Quartermaster’s hourse and moved to Fort Belknap.”

At Fort Belknap soon issued another handwritten paper, BIG INJUN, intended for a military audience.  According to McConnell, “Here the genius of the editor again broke forth, and the ‘Big Injun’ for a time shed an undying lustre on the literature of the nineteenth century.”  The paper was short-lived:  “Like a meteor flashing along the midnight sky–brilliant for a moment, then rendering the darkness more intense–so the ‘Big Injun’ ran its course.”

McConnell’s transfer to nearby Fort Buffalo Springs marked the publication of his third handwritten, THE GRASSHOPPER.  Like its predecessors, THE GRASSHOPPER was short-lived.  Fort Buffalo Springs was soon abandoned for the more strategic Jacksboro post.

McConnell was finally reassigned to Fort Richardson where he contracted with a Weatherford, Tex. printer to publish The Flea.  This, his first printed newspaper, appeared Feb. 1, 1869, but lasted only six issues, until June 15, 1869.

According the Whisenut, McConnell’s handwritten papers did little more than provide diversion for the soldiers at their respective military posts, but “this was important.  Their very existence also implies that the life of the frontier soldier was mostly a monotonous existence despite the legend and aura of romance that surrounds the United States Cavalry.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  H.H. McConnell, Five Years a Cavalryman (Jacksboro, Texas:  J.N. Rogers and Co., 1889), p. 174; Donald W. Whisenhunt, “The Frontier Newspaper:  A Guide to Society and Culture,” Journalism Quarterly, 45:4 (Winter 1968), 727; see also Theronne Thompson, “Fort Buffalo Springs, Texas, Border Post,” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, 36:168 (October 1960).

Location:  None

Ford City Herald (TX, 1864)

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Ford City Herald (TX, 1864), front page

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Camp Ford, Tyler, Smith County, Texas

Frequency:  Unknown; only one extant issue known, but in the extant edition the editors promise “Our Next Herald” (page four, bottom of column two)

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, July 4, 1864

Size and Format: 8 1/2 x 11; four pages; three columns; pen and ink

Editor/Publisher:  Probably Capt. William H. May (and J.P. Robens?), also editor(s) of The Old Flag; a 12-page facsimile edition of The Old Flag, published by J.P. Robens and William H. May entitled, The Old Flag: First Publication by Union Prisoners at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas includes some items and advertisements from the Ford City Herald

Title Changes and Continuation:  Related to the Old Flag, but continuation unknown

General Description and Notes:

While reference to The Herald was made in the facsimile edition of The Old Flag , the Handwritten Newspapers Project was unaware of any extant copies of The Herald until October 2012 when Renee M. Savits, of the Library of Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project notified us that a donor, the great-great-granddaughter of Capt. William H. May, editor of the Old Flag, had supplied the project with a framed copy of The Herald and a collection of letters from Capt. May before his capture near New Orleans in the summer of 1863.

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.1)

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.1)

Capt. May served with Co. I, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Connecticut, in Brashear City, LA, and New Orleans in 1863. A two-page letter dated July 5, 1863 (right, courtesy of the CW 150 Legacy Project) indicates his capture and transport to Houston, TX.

The Herald is closely related to the The Old Flag, which was published at Camp Ford, the Confederate prison at Tyler, Texas, during an imprisonment of 13 months.  On page two, under “Herald Job Printing Office,” the editor indicates the relationship between the two papers when he writes,

“This branch of our imense (sic) establishment is now complete. The new Type and Materials of The Herald, in addition to the well stocked Office of

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.2)

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.2)

the “OLD FLAG,” removed and refitted, enables us to give notice that we are fully prepared to execute all kinds of Plain and Fancy Job Printing with neatness and dispatch. Terms, CASH.”

Under “Terms” (first page, top left column), the editor of The Herald also wrote, “The Herald is published Semi-Occasionally; subscription, Two Bits, payable in Lincoln Green at time of Publication.”

Ford City Herald (TX, 1864), Camp Ford, Tyler, TX

According to the editor of The Old Flag, each issue was read aloud in the various cabins by some member of the “Mess.”  When all had read or heard it read, the paper was returned by the “subscriber” to the “office publication.”

The Old Flag’s primary goal was to relieve the almost unbearably eventless and monotonous life of Camp Ford.  Contributions commented on local news and camp issues, displayed poetry and art, and played with satire, jokes and chess problems.  Advertisements, which appeared in every issue, were genuine.  Most offered the services of skilled prisoners for the benefit of the others.  For example, pipe makers, barbers, cigar makers, shoe shines and “job printing” (by the editor) were all available in the prison city.

Ford City Herald (TX, 1864), pages 2-3

Camp Ford was the largest Confederate military prison in Texas during the Civil War.  The prison held both officers and enlisted men from 1863 until the end of war.  The prison held as many as 4,900 prisoners by July 1864.  Living conditions in the tented enclosures were generally good compared to some other Civil War prison camps.  Fresh water, adequate shelter and plentiful food supplies made the prison a relatively healthy place; during its 21-month existence, roughly 250 soldiers died in the camp.  Most soldiers were allowed to keep many of their possessions, to manufacture items for sale and to purchase food and supplies from local farmers and merchants.[1]  To facilitate these economic transactions, The Old Flag published a “REVIEW OF THE TEXAS MARKET-for the Month of February, 1864” in its March 1 edition.

Capt. William H. May, of the 23rd Connecticut Volunteers, with the assistance of other Union soldiers, published and edited the Ford City Herald in July 1864 and at least three issues of The Old Flag between February 17 and March 13, 1864,[2] during their 13-month confinement in the Confederate prison camp. According to J.P. Robens, one of the prisoners, The Old Flag was published on sheets of “unruled letter paper, in imitation of print, a steel pen being employed in the absence of a Hoe Press.”[3]  The three-column, four-page paper made liberal use of large headlines and graphic elements.

The Old Flag’s primary goal was “to contribute as far as possible towards enlivening the monotonous, and at times almost unbearably eventless life of Camp Ford–and to cultivate a mutual good feeling between all.”  Contributions were solicited on matters of local news and camp issues.  The Old Flag published poetry and art, and included satire, jokes and chess problems.  Display advertisements appeared in every issue, and “most of them bona fide, genuine.”  Most of the ads promoted the services of skilled prisoners for the benefit of the others.  For example, pipe makers, barbers, cigar makers, shoe shines and “job printing” (by the editor) were all available in the prison city.[4]

The lithographed reproduction of The Old Flag was published in New York in 1864 and included a “List of officers, prisoners of war at Camp Ford . . . giving rank, regiment, where and when captured.”

After prisoners were released from Camp Ford, the editor published a lithographed reproduction of the handwritten version.

According to Mary Witkowski, of the Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, CT, Captain May was a newspaper man in civilian life.

Information Sources:                                                        

Bibliography:  F. Lee Lawrence and Robert W. Glover, Camp Ford, C.S.A.:  The Story of Union Prisoners in Texas(Austin:  Texas Civil War Centennial Advisory Committee, 1964), 36-37;  The Old Flag (privately published, 1914); see also Roy Alden Atwood, “Captive Audiences: Handwritten Prisoner-of-War Newspapers of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition and the War Between the States,” Annual Convention of the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA), Salt Lake City, UT, Oct. 1993.

Locations:  

Library of Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project (thanks to Renee M. Savits, of the CW 150 Legacy Project), William H. May papers (Leonora Schmidt, great-great-granddaughter, collection); for Old Flag, see Barnum Museum, Bridgeport, CT; The Old Flag, lithographed reproduction:  DLC


[1].  Patricia L. Faust, editor, Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War, p. 110.

[2].  The date on The Old Flag, 1:3, is March 13, 1864, but a poem on p. 3, “To Mrs. Col R.T.P. Allen,” is dated March 14.  The poem was likely a day-late insertion.

[3].  J.P. Robens, “Preface,” The Old Flag, lithograph reproduction (New York:  W.H. May, [1864]), n.p.

[4].  The Old Flag, 1:1 (Feb. 17, 1864), p. 2.

The Bumble Bee (LA, 1864)

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Publication History:

The Bumble Bee, LA, 1864

Place of Publication:  “Camp near Shreveport (LA);” “Office of Bumble Bee for the present will be under the board shelter of Co. ‘E’, which is a very airy and healthy location in dry weather.”

Frequency:  “Semi occasionally” (from No. 1)

Volume and Issue Data: April 1, 1864

Size and Format:  13+ x ? inches

Editor/Publisher:  “Cook & Hu(?)ghey, Editors & Proprietors”

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description & Notes:

This is a handwritten Confederate Army paper published near Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1864. Its motto on first number: “Oh brush that Bee away or you will surely get a sting.” The extant copy (see above) includes “Local” news, anecdotes, and appeals for subscriptions.

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations: Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, AR (according to John L. Ferguson, State Historian [letter to HNP editor, June 21, 1993], “I think that we have a few similar little CSA papers on microfilm”).

Big Injun (TX, 1866, 1869)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Fort Belknap, Texas

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Published sometime between 1866 and 1869.

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  H.H. McConnell

Title Changes and Continuation:  Same editor/publisher produced LITTLE JOKER at Jacksboro, Texas, prior to his transfer to Fort Belknap.  After creating BIG INJUN, he was transfered again a short distance to Fort Buffalo and “again broke forth” with THE GRASSHOPPER.

General Description & Notes:

According to Whisenhunt, the Jacksboro area had no fewer than four newspapers between 1866 and 1869, although only one was printed.  The editor of all four was H.H. McConnell, a soldier first assigned to Jacksboro, Texas in 1866.  McConnell recounts his journalistic efforts and military experience on the Texas frontier in the Reconstruction period in his autobiography, Five Years a Cavalryman.

Shortly after he arrived in Jacksboro, McConnell and other soldiers published a weekly newspaper, LITTLE JOKER, on foolscap.  The paper circulated among the soldiers at Jacksboro.  The Jacksboro post was temporarily abandoned by the military, and the LITTLE JOKER “was ignominiously packed on a Quartermaster’s hourse and moved to Fort Belknap.”

At Fort Belknap soon issued another handwritten paper, BIG INJUN, intended for a military audience.  According to McConnell, “Here the genius of the editor again broke forth, and the ‘Big Injun’ for a time shed an undying lustre on the literature of the nineteenth century.”  The paper was short-lived:  “Like a meteor flashing along the midnight sky–brilliant for a moment, then rendering the darkness more intense–so the ‘Big Injun’ ran its course.”

McConnell’s transfer to nearby Fort Buffalo Springs marked the publication of his third handwritten, THE GRASSHOPPER.  Like its predecessors, THE GRASSHOPPER was short-lived.  Fort Buffalo Springs was soon abandoned for the more strategic Jacksboro post.

McConnell was finally reassigned to Fort Richardson where he contracted with a Weatherford, Tex. printer to publish The Flea.  This, his first printed newspaper, appeared Feb. 1, 1869, but lasted only six issues, until June 15, 1869.

According the Whisenut, McConnell’s handwritten papers did little more than provide diversion for the soldiers at their respective military posts, but “this was important.  Their very existence also impolies that the life of the frontier soldier was mostly a monotonous existence despite the legend and aura of romance that surrounds the United States Cavalry.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  H.H. McConnell, Five Years a Cavalryman (Jacksboro, Texas:  J.N. Rogers and Co., 1889), p. 174; Donald W. Whisenhunt, “The Frontier Newspaper:  A Guide to Society and Culture,” Journalism Quarterly, 45:4 (Winter 1968), 727; see also Theronne Thompson, “Fort Buffalo Springs, Texas, Border Post,” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, 36:168 (October 1960).

Locations:  None

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