Reminiscences of Southern Prison life.
[The following story was written for the Memorial, a paper edited by Miss Mary E. Elliot
, and published May 30, 1878, under the auspices of Willard C. Kinsley
(Independent) Relief Corps, of this city.
It is a story of the experiences in rebel prisons of George Washington Bean
, for many years a member of the Somerville police force.
It is presented herewith to the Historical Society for re-publication in Historic Leaves
, as a contribution to the Civil War
history of Somerville
.—Charles D. Elliot
sent three full companies of infantry to the war,—one three-months' company in 1861, one three-years' company in 1862, and one nine-months' company in 1862.
I enlisted for three years in Company E, Captain F. R. Kinsley
, attached to the Thirty-ninth Regiment, which left Boston
August 12, 1862, for Washington
, and did arduous service in the defences of that city for a year, when it crossed into Virginia
, and joined the Army of the Potomac.
On October 11, 1863 (the date of General Meade
's grand retreat from the Rapidan River
), Judson W. Oliver
, F. J. Oliver
, W. Lovett
, H. Howe
, J. W. Whittemore
, F. J. Hyde
, and myself, all of Company E, six others of the regiment, and one from the Ninetieth Pennsylvania of our brigade, who had been on picket on that river, were surrounded by 20,000 of Stewart
's cavalry and taken prisoners, with about 500 others.
We were sent to Culpeper
, and confined that night in an old meeting-house.
Next morning we went on cars to Gardenville, arriving at night, being lodged in a four-story brick tobacco factory called Bartlett
's, or Libby No. 3
We were in this place about a month; while there H. Howe
went to the hospital sick, and soon after died.
We were next sent to Pemberton
's factory near this, or Libby No. 2
, being just opposite Libby No. 1
In the latter prison none but commissioned officers were allowed.