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2nd Vermont Infantry

Prison Memoirs


As experienced by one who spent thirteen
months in Richmond "black hole," Charleston
jail, Castle Pinckney, Columbia jail,
Richmond hospital, Salisbury prison, Bell
Island, and a few other holes.

By Capt. J. T. DREW

Captain John Theophilus Drew, Co. G, 2nd Vermont Infantry, was taken prisoner at First Bull Run on 21 July 1861. He was paroled on 17 August 1862, and resigned two months later, but served in the 13th Regiment and 26th Co., 2nd Battlaion, Veteran Reserve Corps until the end of the war.

Born in Burlington, in 1834, Captain Drew was a member of the Class of 1863 of Middlebury College. He died in Danville 16 October 1879; interment in Lakeview Cemetery, Burlington.

His account of his imprisonment was serialized in the St. Johnsbury Caledonian between 19 December 1862 and at least 20 March 1863.

1. From the march to the field to our imprisonment in Beauregard's barn.

2. From Manassas to Richmond.

3. The Hospital --- How the Dead were buried --- "The Black List".

4. What Edmund Ruffin thinks.

5. The most "insolent and insubordinate" sent away --- From Richmond to Charleston.

6. Not Found.

7. I now come to the most gloomy days of our imprisonment.

8. Our sufferings in Charleston jail will never be half told.

9. Our journey to Columbia was the pleasantest one we had in any part of the South.

10. Not found.

11. The next morning after our arrival at Richmond.

12. While confined in "Black Hole" we were paid an unwilling visit by many of our officers from McClellan's army.

13. A few of us went to work, and with a saw made a case knife, cut a hole....

Transcribed by Deanna French.