Download Full Text (1.8 MB)
Morris Island Sept 11th 1864
My dear Father
I received a letter from you of July 23 at Fort Delaware + replyed to it on the 24th informing you that I expected to be sent to this place with six hundred other Confederate Officers, to be placed under the fire of our batteries in retaliation for a like number of Federal Officers exposed to fire in Charleston, we were 18 days on board a steamer between decks + suffered very much from heat thirst + very short rations of crackers + salt meat [.] [W]e lay 12 days in Port Royal Harbour off this [far?] + you can imagine the suffering that would necessarily ensue from the great heat and crowded conditions of the boat. [W]e are now in a pen enclosing about 2 acres of sand fed in small A tents imediately in the rear of the Federal batteries, some fragments of shell from our batteries have fallen in the pen but nobody was hurt. I do not think the danger is very great. When the opposing batteries as shelling each other it is a very a very interesting sight + never to be forgotten, it is astonishing to what a distance + with what remarkable accuracy the imense shells can be thrown, we are so near one of the Federal batteries that the shock from the explosion of + the passing of the shell over our heads is very unpleasant + often prevents one sleeping at night but I suppose we will soon become accustomed to it. We are here for retaliation + are fed exactly as the Federal Officers are said to be fed on in Charleston that is on short rations of salt meat + crackers but are allowed to buy a few articles of food from the sutler such as sugar coffee Tobacco ++. I can not get along without money + beg that you will at once get some Federal currency or Gold at any price + send it to me, I will be allowed to receive it or any articles of food clothing or luxuries that are sent from our lines. [I]f necessary get brother Robt or some one to bring the money + box of food [.] I wrote to Ann for to Charleston + put it in the hands of some one who will forward it by first Flag of Truce Boat, which passes about once a week or ten days. Tell Ann if she has a suit of clothes (not too fine) made up to send them in the box. [A]lso a small quantity of Blue Mass Quinine + Opium. Money is the thing I need greatly + I beg that if it can be possibly procured you will send it at once [.]
[verso:] I left Lt W P Bormey at Fort Delaware + well. Lynch dead[,] was at the Old capitol Prison D.C. in July I do not know whether he was wounded or not. I tried to learn where T L Boykin was but was unable to do so. E B Cureton was at Fort Delaware + well, I find this imprisonment very irksome + miserable. I am very well now + if I [can time] so can bear the confinement as well as any one. There are some Gentlemen here who have been in prison two years + many since the battle of Gettysburge. [W]e can hear nothing of what is going on in the outside world + I have asked Ann to send me an occasional News Paper. Money is the all important matter with me now. I hope you will write to me occasionally as I can receive as many letters as are sent me. I understand no U S Stamp is required to send a letter to this point [.]
I send much love to Mother. Your Affectionate Son
W E Johnson Jr
Address me “Prisoner of War, Morris Island” Tell Ann not to wait for me to [ask for]30 boxes but to send them at regular intervals
Morris Island (Charleston, Folly Beach)
Creator Life Dates
W.E. Johnson, letter, soldier, Civil War, prisoner, prisoner-of-war
American Studies | Military History | Other Rhetoric and Composition | Political History | Social History | United States History
Johnson, W. E., "Letter: W.E. Johnson to W.E. Johnson, Sr., September 11, 1864" (1864). W.E. Johnson Papers. 22.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.