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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    (Part 2, 2012: "Gone to be a Soldier")    William Jonathan Davis papers, 1857-1908

William Jonathan Davis papers, 1857-1908

View of Johnson's Island

Johnson's Island, near Sandusky City, Ohio. Sketched by Edward Gould.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

Point Lookout, Md.

Point Lookout, Md. View of Hammond

General Hospital & U.S. General Depot for Prisoners of War

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

Location
Filson Historical Society (Louisville, Ky.) External Link
Background
William Jonathan Davis (1839-1925) was a Confederate cavalry officer, teacher, and businessman in Louisville, Ky.
Contents
War letters from Major William Davis, a Confederate cavalry officer, while a prisoner of war, 1863-1865, to Frances "Frank" Cunningham of Springfield, Ky., whom he married in 1866. As one of John Hunt Morgan's men, he describes his first meeting with "Frank" and her sisters in Springfield, 1863; details of his capture soon afterwards in Indiana; and life in military prisons in Louisville, Ky., Johnson's Island, Ohio, Point Lookout, Md., and Fort Delaware, Del., until his parole at Aikens Landing, James River, Va. Post war letters discuss marriage plans, family life, his children, and activities as a Louisville textbook administrator. Other correspondence includes a letter (Jan. 12, 1870) from his father, William K. Davis, describing post war life in Charleston, S.C.

Writing to “Frank” on July 26, 1863, as an inmate in the Louisville military prison yet to be transferred to Johnson’s Island, Ohio, Davis recites the daily life of a prisoner:
"The routine of our daily life may be described in a few words: we rise at an hour regulated by the announcement of a usually late breakfast; and, after the preparation of a "prison-toilet"--simple in the extreme, adjourn to the mess hall whose cuisine is not altogether fashioned after a french model. Returning to our quarters, we while away time by reading, talking, playing chess, draughts, or cards, smoking, dozing, etc. until dinner; the same bill-of-fare, the above routine recapitulated and supper is announced: bread, bacon, and coffee once more! and we return to do that which already has closely occupied our attention during the day--nothing. To bed! and the morrow with its attendant ennui surely dawns. "

[Read the entire letter from William Jonathan Davis to “Frank” Cunningham] (PDF, 4 p., 2.53 MB)

(See the NUCMC catalog record)

 

 

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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    (Part 2, 2012: "Gone to be a Soldier")    William Jonathan Davis papers, 1857-1908
  The Library of Congress >> Cataloging, Acquisitions
   January 5, 2012
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