Civil War Prison Camp    

Personal Accounts

Personal accounts of Union soldiers are beginning to surface which help us in determining the scope of Blackshear Georgia at the time of the war. 

John McElroy, 16th Illinois Cavalry, Company L, stated, " Pierce County as I have learned by the census report, is one of the poorest counties of a poor section of a very poor state." He added, "After leaving the cars we were marched off into the pine woods, by the side of a considerable stream, and told that this would be our camp. A heavy guard was placed around us, and a number of pieces of artillery mounted where they would command the camp. We started in to make ourselves comfortable, as at Millen, by building shanties."

Quartermaster Sergeant John Ransom, 9th Michigan Cavalry wrote, "Dec. 4, 1864, Fresh meat again today. Rebels go out to neighboring plantations and take cattle, drive them here, and butcher for us to eat. Rice is also given us to eat. Have plenty of wood to cook with."

Ralph Bates, 9th Ohio Cavalry Regiment, Company H, claimed in his diary, "The Blackshear Georgia prison was completely commanded by earthworks with mounted cannon, and was guarded by several hundred Confederate soldiers."

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