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

West Granby Gazette (CT, 1860)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Granby, Connecticut

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  No extant copy.  c. 1860

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher: Adelaide Holcomb and Delia Parsons, young women in their late teens or early twenties.

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

According to Carol Laun, curator of the Salmon Brook Historical Society, “Unfortunately, we have no copies of this paper, but we do have several letters submitting articles and jokes for the paper.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Salmon Brook Historical Society, Granby, CT

The Weekly News. (NC, 1860-1861)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Harrington, NC

Frequency:  Published Thursdays at first June 7-28, 1860), then Tuesday and Thursdays (July 5-31, 1860), then Tuesdays (Aug. 7-June 4, 1861), then Wednesdays (June 12, 1861-March 2, 1864).

Volume and Issue Data:  According to Smith, 182 numbers (153 issues surviving)

Size and Format:  About 9- by 11-inches

Editor/Publisher:  John McLean Harrington

Title Changes and Continuation:  See also The Times and other Harrington papers

General Description and Notes:

According to Smith, the Weekly News. contained traditional newspaper content. The paper included politics, poetry, local election results, and other general news items.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Michael Ray Smith, A Free Press in Freehand(Grand Rapids, MI: Edenridge Press, 2011). Additional bibliographic information about this and other Harrington papers contained in Smith;  “Handwritten Newspaper Was Published in Western Harnett,” Harnett County News, February 3, 1944, front page story; Malcom Fowler, They Passed this Way, (Harnett County Centennial, 1955), see Chapter XVII, “Authors, Poets and Papers”, pp. 150-52. In the Harrington Papers is an article dated 1944, “Unique state Newspaper Found in Files at Duke”.  No dates or page numbers for the article are viewable on the copy.

Locations:  John McLean Harrington Papers, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, NC

The Weekly Eagle. (NC, 1860)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Pine Forge, NC

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  According to Smith, one issue, the only one that survives; April 20, 1860

Size and Format:  About 9- by 11-inches

Editor/Publisher:  John McLean Harrington

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The paper included politics, poetry, local election results, and other general news items.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Michael Ray Smith, A Free Press in Freehand (Grand Rapids, MI: Edenridge Press, 2011). Additional bibliographic information about this and other Harrington papers contained in Smith.

Locations:  John McLean Harrington Papers, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, NC

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

Semi-Weekly News. (NC, 1860)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Harrington, NC

Frequency:  Presumably “semi-weekly”, as the name suggests; published Tuesdays and Fridays; circa 1860 to  1864

Volume and Issue Data:  According to Smith, nine numbers (six issues surviving)

Size and Format:  9 x 11 inches

Editor/Publisher:  John McLean Harrington

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

According to Smith, the Semi-Weekly News. contained traditional newspaper content. The paper included politics, poetry, local election results, and other general news items.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Michael Ray Smith, A Free Press in Freehand (Grand Rapids, MI: Edenridge Press, 2011), pp. 8, 46, 73, 74, 108, 211. Additional bibliographic information about this and other Harrington papers contained in Smith.

Locations:  John McLean Harrington Papers, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, NC

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.

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]

The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

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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.

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

The Prisoner Vidette (IL, 1864)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Camp Douglas (Prisoner of War Camp), Cook County, IL

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, after January 1864

Size and Format:  Four pages

Editor/Publisher:  Confederate Prisoners of War

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Camp Douglas, named after Stephen Douglas who owned the property, was located on the west side of Cottage Grove Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets in Chicago. In 1861, it was designed for recruiting and training Union soldiers, but after the capture of Fort Donelson in 1862, it became a prison camp for approximately 7,000 Confederate prisoners. The manuscript paper contains camp gossip, editorials, news from home, poetry, and advertisements. The “Prospectus” (page 1) states, “Feeling the want of a literary sheet of some discription [sic], in our midst, we have at length concluded to place before the public of Camp Douglas a spicy little paper, The Prisoner Vidette.”

The extant manuscript the Chicago Public Library Collection was restored at the Document Conservation Center, Atlanta, in 1976.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Mabel McIlvaine, ed., “History of Camp Douglas” in Reminiscenes of Chicago During the Civil War (Chicago, 1914), pp. 161-194; Thomas A. Orlando and Marie Gecik, compilers, Treasures of the Chicago Public Library (Chicago, 1977), Item 154, pp. 77-78

Locations: Grand Army Hall and Memorial Association Collection, Chicago Public Library.

The Prison Times (DE, 1865)

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Prison Times, DE, 1865; Image Source: Library of Congress; images of four pages at the New York Historical Society website

Place of Publication:  Fort Delaware, a Union prison camp holding Confederate officer prisoners, located on Pea Patch Island where the Delaware River merges into Delaware Bay, just south of New Castle, DE

Frequency:  Four extant copies (according to the NY Historical Society [with thanks to Joseph Ditta; see comments below; updated 9-24-12)

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol.  1, No. 1, April  8, 1865

Size and Format:  See image below

Editor/Publisher:  J.W. Hibbs, Capt. 13th Va. Inf.was the publisher.  Proprietors and editors were George S. Thomas, Capt. 6thGa., Div. 24; W.H. Bennett, Capt. & A.C.S., Div. 24; and A. Harris, Lt. 3rdFla., Div. 28.

Title Changes and Continuation:  See The Stonewall Register

General Description and Notes:

Evidently there are three extant copies of the same issue, one in Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, and the other in Buffalo, NY.  The paper contains editorials, announcements, advertisements, poetry, barracks directory, Christian Association Directory, notices of clubs, and prison news notes.  The NY letter says, “As General Lee surrendered to General Grant on the 9th, this [April 8] issue may well have been the sole issue.”

In a letter from William H. Loos, Curator, Rare Book Room, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY, dated July 14, 1993, Loos states that he found an extant copy of The Prison Times in “an old portfolio of loose single issues of early American newspapers that we have had for many years and which I had not had occasion to consult in nearly twenty years.” Two representatives from the New York State Library, who were working on the state’s portion of the national newspaper project, came to the Buffalo library to research their collection. “When I reviewed this portfolio before one of the researchers recorded its contents,” Loos wrote, “I was surprised to find a handwritten newspaper.”

According to Loos,

“The newspaper is vol. 1, no. 1 of the Prison Times issued at Fort Delaware in 1865. On page two, the date April 8th appears. As General Lee surrendered to General Grant on the 9th, this may well have been the sole issue. Fort Delaware was a prison camp for Confederate officers. The fort was located on Pea Patch Island where the Delaware River merges into Delaware Bay, just south of New Castle, Delaware.”

According to the South Carolina Historical Society records, P.A. McMichael raised a Confederate volunteer company that became Company G of the Twentieth South Carolina Infantry. He served in the Charleston, South Carolina area (1861-1863) mainly around Sullivan’s Island, and in Virginia, where he participated in the battle of Cold Harbor and was promoted to Lt. Col of the 20th Regiment. He was captured at Cedar Creek and taken to Fort Delaware.  His collection includes the handwritten newspaper, Prison Times (vol. 1, no. 1) for prisoners at Fort Delaware, Del. The South Carolina Historical Society catalog says the paper contains “advertisements for tailoring, barbering, music, religious assistance, debate and chess clubs with poetry, barracks directory, and descriptions and comments on prison life.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:

Links: New York Historical SocetyGeorgia Historical Society catalog entry for The Prison Times;  South Carolina Historical Society, Paul A. McMichael holdings; see also  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn93063825/

Locations:  Prison Times, Misc. Fort Delaware: NYUGB12021269-A, New York Historical Society, with images of four pages; Prison Times, MS 638, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia; and Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY; and Prison Times in Paul Agalus McMichael (1820-1869),  correspondence and diary, 1861-1865 (1073.00),  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)

 


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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.

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)

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 (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

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See The Rebel

The Camp Ford News (TX, 1865)

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Camp Ford News (TX, 1865)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Camp Ford (Confederate Prison Fort), Tyler, Texas

Frequency:  “Only one copy is known to have been printed, this being the issue of May 1, 1865”

Volume and Issue Data:  May 1, 1865 (one issue: Civil War ended the next week)

Size and Format:  One sheet broadside

Editor/Publisher:  Capt. Lewis Burger

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description & Notes:

Like the OLD FLAG and RIGHT FLANKER, this was a paper created to relieve the monotony and trials of prison life during the Civil War.  Only one issue appeared apparently because May 13-17, 1865 marked the end of the Civil War and the abandonment of Camp Ford.

Camp Ford was part of a Confederate prison complex in Tyler and Hempstead, Texas.  The prison held officers and enlisted men from 1863 to the end of war and the prisoners had built their own shelters.  After 1864 and the Red River Campaign, prison crowding and sickness increased, and the general conditions of prison life declined.  It was during these latter days of the War that the paper was produced.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  F. Lee Lawrence and Robert W. Glover, Camp Ford, C.S.A.:  The Story of Union Prisoners in Texas (Austin, Texas:  Texas Civil War Centennial Advisory Committee, 1964); Mark Boatner, III, The Civil War Dictionary (New York: Random House, 1991).

Locations:  Smith County Historical Society, Texas

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”).

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