ARIZARD-L ArchivesArchiver > ARIZARD > 2005-08 > 1125350520
From: "Bernie Moore-Knowles" <>
Subject: Fw: [MORIPLEY] Does this missing 1862 letter belong to YOUR family?
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 11:22:00 -1000
With permission from the original poster - I wanted to share this incredible
and fascinating post regarding some never delivered letters from a POW
prison during the Civil War.
"I have Indian blood in me. I have just enough White blood for you to
question my honesty." ........Will Rogers
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tanimara" <>
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 10:15 AM
Subject: [MORIPLEY] Does this missing 1862 letter belong to YOUR family?
> An explanation follows the letter:
> "Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, March 20, 1862
> Dear Mollie: You will doubtless be surprised to learn that I am in this
> region and in the confines of a prison. We were surrendered on the 8th
> instant at Island No. 10 by General Mackall, and not even a colonel had
> any intimation of it until it was announced that we were surrendered, as
> prisoners of war.
> I am happy to say, however, that we are well treated, and I hope we will
> be exchanged soon. I now have the painful necessity of informing you of
> the death of William D. Johnson, who died on the 16th instant of
> pneumonia and measles. I hope that you are all well at home, and that I
> may soon be permitted to visit you. I would write often, but it is very
> uncertain as to you receiving my letters.
> My respects to the friends and my love to you and the baby,
> Your husband, R.H. Riley."
> "CONFEDERATE DESCENDANTS: YOU'VE GOT MAIL"
> by Joe Blundo
> "Talk about snail mail: On April 20th 1862, a Confederate prisoner of
> war at Camp Chase in Columbus wrote a letter to Lt. Merrill E. Pratt in
> It still hasn't been delivered. But Pratt's great-great-grandson and
> namesake knows where the letter is, and he wants it.
> ""It belongs to the family of whoever it was addressed to,"" said
> Merrill E. Pratt, a computer programmer who lives in Birmingham.
> The letter (and about 100 others from Camp Chase) has been the property
> of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond since 1948. The letters
> arrived after passing through the hands of an Ohio spy, a state
> librarian and a newspaper editor.
> ""Wow, what a story,"" said Dennis Ranney, a Georgia free-lance
> researcher, formerly of New Albany, who has traced the letters'
> The story begins at Camp Chase, a prison for captured Confederate
> soldiers. The prison is long gone, but its cemetery, holding the graves
> of more than two thousand Confederates, remains on Sullivant Avenue.
> (Ranney, who also uses the name Dennis Brooke, provided information for
> a Nov. 11 column on grave-robbing at the cemetery.)
> Among the Camp Chase prisoners in 1862 was Captain J.F. Whitfield of
> Alabama. He was captured when Union forces took Island 10 , a rebel
> stronghold in the Mississippi River.
> ""Our boys stood up to the enemy like men and brave soldiers...I was
> very proud of them indeed."" Whitfield wrote to Lt. Pratt, who had been
> sent home to Alabama on a recruiting trip, then fell ill.
> Whitfield's letter, and those of dozens of other POW's, was supposed to
> be taken to the South by Charlotte Moon Clark, an Ohioan and a cunning
> spy for the Confederacy.
> But before the letters could be delivered, Clark, who lived in Oxford
> and had brothers in the Confederate army, was arrested in Cincinnati on
> suspicion of espionage. She was later deported to the South.
> The letters never left Ohio. For whatever reason, they ended up at the
> Statehouse, where they lay until 1904, when the state librarian
> mentioned them to William H. Knauss of Columbus, a Civil War veteran who
> was writing ""The Story of Camp Chase""
> Knauss used text from many of the letters in his book. (It lists Merrill
> E. Pratt as ""Merrill C."" and Whitfield as ""Whitefield."")
> The letters finally went south in 1948. The Virginia Historical Society
> says they were donated to its museum by Phillip Porter, then editor of
> the Plain Dealer in Cleveland. How the letters passed from the custody
> of the state library to Porter is unknown, Ranney said.
> (In 1985, Porter, 84 and long retired, was murdered, along with his
> wife, Dorothy, during a burglary at their home in Shaker Heights. The
> crime was unrelated to the letters.)
> Pratt's descendants learned of the letters only recently from Ranney.
> The historical society says anyone is welcome to see the letters but
> that it received them in good faith and plans to keep them.
> Pratt thinks the society should make copies and return the originals.
> His great-great-grandfather (who survived the war, as did Whitfield)
> wrote and received many letters that his family has preserved.
> ""But you can always find room for one more.""
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> "At the birth of the Sun, and his brother the Moon, their Mother died. So
the Sun gave to the earth her body from which was to spring all life, And he
drew forth from her breast the stars and he threw them into the night sky to
remind him of her soul."
> Owner/Breeder Tanimara Great Pyrenees
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genealogy site for Harringtons and collateral lines.
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|Fw: [MORIPLEY] Does this missing 1862 letter belong to YOUR family? by "Bernie Moore-Knowles" <>|