Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Woman In My Prison ?, I Don't Think So."

When one hears the words ( Prisoner of War ) a picture of soldiers and sailors comes to mind, farthest from are mind is the women, who fought in many ways just as hard as any man, but in different ways. They faced the same hardships as any man, and the price these women paid was no less then any other man would pay. Some women who played in the warring game thought being the softer side of humanity their punishment if caught would be less severe, be course they were the softer side. However they soon learned the harsh realities of war. Women who went to war would caused many problems for both army’s, for warring was for men and not women, but there was no way around it, a spy is a spy, no matter what the sex that was. How that they were captured what to with them. Neither side had made plans for women prisoners and after all warring was a mans game, but the army’s soon learned there was no way around it the women were going to fight.

The army’s now had a problem their prisons were made to hold men sometimes up to 30, thousand. Neither side wanted to put 10, women in with 30, thousand men that would cause more problems then if they hadn’t been caught. The higher commands said they would have to make do. The prison Officers for both sides told their governments for the need of new prisons and both agreed, but asked “where is the money coming from?, if you can find it, will build them.” Some prisons made room by dividing one room into two and putting up to ten women in one room that should only hold three. Because of these close quarters some soon became sick from the air and sanitary needs, and had to be taken to a hospital. Women were moved to city jails, wear houses and any place that could be guarded well. History will state that this war was won for this reason or that reason, but if the truth be known, it was won in part by the stronger sex the woman.

Note. This information will come from the official recorders of the Union and Confederate Armies which is housed at the State University of Ohio.

Note. Not only will there be information of the women in prison but a few report on what the conditions were.

Saint Louis, Mo., August 20, 1864.
Colonel J. P. SANDERSON,
Provost-Marshal-General Department of the Missouri:

COLONEL: I have the honor to state that there are now held in custody ten female prisoners in one room in Myrtle Street Prison. The room does not contain more than 2,400 cubic feet of air, which is barely sufficient for three persons. If allowed to remain in these quarters sickness will doubtless be one of the results. Illness to a certain extent has already occurred. We would respectfully ask instructions as to what course we must pursue. Shall we treat the cases as they occur in the quarters they now occupy or remove them to hospital?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. M. YOUNGBLOOD,
Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army, Acting Surgeon in Charge.

Saint Louis, August 21, 1864.

Respectfully returned, with the suggestion that these female prisoners be removed to Gratiot Street Prison. I have had the honor before of explaining to the colonel the propriety of removing these women from Myrtle Street Prison, as the localities there are in no way the proper ones for that class of prisoners. The so-called lower round room at Gratiot Street Prison seems to be the proper place. It is a large and airy room, and perfectly isolated from the other rooms. One female prisoner is there now, and in one room with a man (the counterfeiter who was ordered to be kept single), and as this prison has no proper room for this purpose, I respectfully recommend that this lower round room be divided into two rooms by a partition, which would make good rooms for both purposes. The female sick may be accommodated in the branch hospital, which is right opposite, and where there is plenty of suitable room. I sincerely believe that this change would be of a great advantage and meet all the desirable points.

Major and Inspector.

Columbus, Ohio, April 23, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary - General of Prisoners:

The Governor of Ohio has in some instances granted paroles to rebel prisoners where in consequence of sickness it has been necessary to remove them from the prison. Yesterday he desired me to request that authority be vested in me to grant paroles in cases of this kind. He also suggested the propriety of paroling the female prisoners now here to the limits of this city. There are at present five female prisoners confined here, there being no suitable accommodations at Camp Chase. They were removed to the second story a house in the city, placed in the immediate charge of a loyal female, strictly guarded and subjected to all the regulations established by you for government of prisons. The house occupied was already in charge of the quartermaster and not renter for the purpose.
your letter of the 20th has been received and your instructions with reference carried into effect, Captain Webber, of the Governor's Guards, being commandant of prisons.
Your obedient servant, JNO S. MASON, Brigadier - General, Commanding.

Colonel J. P. SANDERSON,
Provost-Marshal-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:

COLONEL: Respectfully referring to the above notes, your will see that our prisons continue to be in good order. I do, in fact, believe they are improving every day, notwithstanding the inefficiency of the buildings. I have also inspected the new female prison, situated opposite Gratiot Street Prison, and find it a very suitable place, provided that these female prisoners be properly classified according to their character. I have the honor, colonel, to suggest the prostitutes be transferred to the work-house of the city, because they are certainly a nuisance in or near a military prison, and it is, furthermore, a very simple matter to settle for their keeping with the city authorities.
I remain, sir, your obedient servant, GUST. HEINRICHS, Major and Inspector.

MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., July 26, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

Two of the female prisoners, Mrs. Nicholson and Mrs. Hyde, were released to-day, the former by an order form Brigadier-General Hurlbut, commanding at Memphis, Tenn., remitting unexpired sentence, and the letter by parole to Nashville, Tenn., by order of General Rosecrans.

I have the honor to be, sir, with much respect, your most obedient servant,
T. HENDRICKSON, Major, U. S. Army, Commandant of Prison.

Washington, D. C., May 2, 1863.

MAJOR: Please deliver to the provost - marshal in this city Mary J. Green and Maria Murphy, of Braxton County, and Jennie De Hart, female prisoners now in your custody charged with disloyal offenses. If there are any charges of disloyalty against Marian McKenzie or Mary Jane Prater you will send them also. Wearing soldier's clothes in camp is not an offense for which they can be sent South and if that is all that is against them they must be disposed of in some other way. Elizabeth Hays and Mary Summers are very hard cases and will have to remain on your hands until you see a good opening to dispose of them which I hope will soon present itself.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALTON MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., February 16, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

COLONEL: On the night of the 23rd of January last a Mrs. Clara Judd, a female prisoner, was brought to this prison in company with several male prisoners, all of whom were easily provided for except the female. I did not know what to do with her as there were no rooms about the building where cooking could be done without a great expense, as I myself with several other officers am boarding at these headquarter buildings and have her boarded at $2 per week. But I do not feel justified to continue such board without advising you of the fact and ask you to approve or disapprove of said board of Mrs. Judd. Mrs. Judd was arrested and sent to this prison as a spy by order of General Rosecrans. She has never had any trial but is held in this prison as a spy. Please let me know what I shall do in regard to her board. She resides near Winchester, Tenn.

Added info. Provost-Marshal-General, Fourteenth Army Corps.

SIR: The following is the substance of the testimony elicited in the case of Mrs. Clara Judd, arrested by the army police on charge of attempting to carry through the lines articles contraband of war such as quinine, morphine, nitrate of silver, besides other goods, and one knitting-machine carried as a pattern, which articles, were found and have been purchased by her and brought within these army lines upon a pass obtained under false pretenses.

Mrs. Judd is the widow of an Episcopal clergyman who resides in Winchester, Tenn. He died some two years since leaving a large family of some seven children. Mrs. Judd passed through our lines with permission to take her three youngest children to Minnesota, from whence the family originally came. She took them, leaving them with a sister, she herself returning and passing through our lines to the rebel army. One of her oldest boys had found employment in the rebel establishment at Atlanta, Ga. During her absence her premises were seized on by the Confederates and her children remaining were taken by this young man to Atlanta.

In the autumn of 1862 she returned to Winchester, went thence to Atlanta claims to have received some $500 Southern funds of her son, which she exchanged for money current in the North. She also received funds from persons who desired her to purchase articles from the North for them. Having thus provided herself she came through our lines and was, under her representations that she wished to go to her children in Minnesota, granted a pass North. She states that from conversation of officers of the Confederate service whom she met on the cars going from Atlanta to Murfreesborough she learned I was the intention of John Morgan to strike at our railroad communications near Gallating at a certain time.

She found a traveling companion in the person of a Mr. Forsythe northward. She went as far as Louisville and Jeffersonville or New Albany, procuring the goods specified, returned on a pass to Gallatin. She states that her intention was to stop at Gallatin and set up the knitting-machine and manufacture stockings, &c., for a living, her object in doing so being that she would be near her children in Atlanta; that her living would be cheaper than in Nashville; that she supposed it would be lawful for her to hold her goods in expectation that the enemy would occupy the country and that she would then fall into their lines. It appears that she was tolerably well informed because about the time she expected it Morgan did make an attempt on Gallatin and shortly after broke the road above there.

It is respectfully submitted that she is a dangerous person to remain in these lines; that she is probably a spy as well as smuggler; that cases of this kind being of frequent occurrence by females examples should be made, and that as there is at present no proper tribunal for her especial trial or proper place of imprisonment at Nashville, she be committed to the military prison at Alton in the State of Illinois, for trial. It is well to state further that Mrs. Judd represents her son at Atlanta to be a very ingenious mechanic and that it was her intention to furnish him with the knitting-machine for the purpose of manufacturing others from it taken as a pattern.
Very respectfully, U. S. MILITARY PRISON.

Alton, Ill., May 11, 1863.

Statement of Mrs. Clara Judd, who has been a prisoner in Alton Military Prison over three months as a spy.

She denies being guilty. Her health is failing very fast (having been in feeble health for several years) from confinement. She wishes to be paroled and go to her parents and little children who are living in Minnesota. She makes a statement here how she came in the south and how she came to be arrested:

"I am the widow of the Rev. B. S. Judd and a native of the State of New York. My parents live in Minnesota where I also resided with my husband seven years prior to going South. We moved to Winchester in November, 1859, on account of my health and on account of there being a chance of educating our children and board them at home and keep them under home influences. We had eight children. Six of them were going to school in 1861, when my husband went to Nashville on business and while there he went to view some statuary at the capitol; accidentally stepped off the parterre and was injured so that he died in just four weeks, leaving me with seven children (one having died in the fall) without money, with a great deal of unfinished business and not a relative or Northern person that I ever saw two years before. My friends in the North wrote to have me come home, but I had taken out letters of administration and had no means and the blockade soon closed all communication. I struggled on with my children's help who went to work at anything they could get to do until Christmas, 1862. I was censured very much because I did not put my oldest children, being boys, into the army. I could not think it my duty to let them go on either side my health being so poor and I liable to die at any time with heart disease. I thought they ought to preserve their lives to take care of those younger. At Christmas I put two of them into a Government factory to keep them from being conscripted. The factory was removed to Atlanta, Ga., in May. I was here and in the meantime I had sent the next oldest into the same business. I could not hear from them or from the North and I had no means to support my four remaining children but what I could to myself. Winchester was taken possession of five different times by the Federals. I always treated them as brothers; had a house full every time they were there. (I never had a Confederate soldier in my house.) The 1st of August Thomas took possession of the town. Among his troops I had many acquaintances who told me they were going to destroy all of the crops except enough to last six weeks. They advised me to get my little children to my parents in the North. I could not stay to dispose of anything. I had three cows and seven acres of crops and my household goods and husband's library. I got a protection from provost-marshal for my things and a little boy twelve years old; borrowed money and took my three youngest children out on the second train through from Decherd to Nashville. I was to be gone four weeks. I arrived in Minnesota on the 11th of August. Three days after I got there I had to take my children and flee from the Indians, which detained me three or four weeks instead of two. I then started with money enough as I supposed to take me to Nashville. I intended to go back and dispose of my effects if possible and get my boys out and go to Nevada Territory for two years. I had made arrangements for my sister to take care of my little children for three years, but when I arrived at Louisville they were expecting an attack from Bragg.

"I went to New Albany and was taken sick; was there six weeks. I after incredible trouble succeeded in hiring some money to pay my expenses and take me to Nashville where I was acquainted with the clergy and would get help there. I started but could not get my trunks through farther than Mitchellville. I was very deficient in clothing myself. I thought I would go to [Louisville] and get me some funds and come back to New Albany and pay the borrowed money and get a few clothes for myself and a hand knitting-machine which I had been talking of getting for several years. I accordingly did so. Told the offices at Nashville my whole business and tried to get a pass to go and come back, but could not get one to come back. When I got to Winchester I found everything destroyed except my husband's library and the son I left gone to the same business the others were at and that I could not get my sons out. When I left I supposed Buell would keep the country. I came back and was detained at Murfreesborough three days in trying to get a pass. When I got one I could not get any conveyance but walked eleven miles after 10 o'clock, the last three miles in my stocking feet, having blistered my feet the first three miles. I got a carriage at La Vergne to take me to where the flag officers were, as there was a flag that day. Just before I got there came a carriage from Murfreesborough bringing a gentleman who was said to be a prisoner of the South. The Federal officers would not let me through until they had been to headquarters. I wrote a statement to Rosecrans. While waiting there the person from Murfreesborough commenced questioning me. He told me he was from Connecticut. My husband and parents were from there. We soon seemed like old acquaintances. He wished to know where I stopped in Nashville. I told. Said he stopped there, and then said he would see Rosecrans about my pass; said he thought he had more power there than Colonel Hepburn. The second day after this the flag officer came out; told me that I could go, but would have to go under guard. I told them I would; I was perfectly willing. I had nothing but some open letters-those I sent to Rosecrans. I walked almost seven miles, my guard mounted. After giving a statement to headquarters of everything I saw while in the South I went to the same hotel where Mr. Forsythe (that is the name of the prisoner from Murfreesborough) put up. He was not there and the house was full. I went to a private house where I was slightly acquainted. The next morning I went to the provost-marshal's office and got a pass to go to Louisville. I found there was a battle near and that I would either stop in New Albany or go to a god-son's in Illinois and wait until times were settled after the battle, but when the clerk gave me my pass he said I could not go. The next day I wanted to go to Mitchellville on account of getting some clothes. I accordingly sent a note to Mr. Forsythe asking him to call wishing to have him provide me with a private conveyance to Mitchelville, he having informed me while out with the flag that he had been a merchant in Nashville for some time before he went to Murfreesborough. When he called he said he was going to Louisville the next day but one; wanted to see my pass. I finally told him my hurry to get through was mainly because I had heard about what time Morgan would interrupt that road and that I feared I would be left South which would trouble me very much on account of paying the money I had borrowed by a certain time, as the people had placed confidence in me. He said he was very glad I had told him as he had $30,000 worth of goods on the road or about to start, but wanted to know why I did to come back. I told him that at that time I feared come back told me before he was a widower; said he would like to become better acquainted with me; said Rosecrans had given him a pass to take my pass and have it changed to come back to Gallatin, where I could get to Murfreesborough after awhile. He went to headquarters and came back with the pass changed but laughed about the wording of it. He sid he would go with me in the morning and would be happy to render my any assistance I might need, and would introduce me to a merchant where I could get my things at wholesale.

"After we started in the morning I asked him how he came to have so much influence with Rosecrans. Said they were old neighbors, but after a little told me he was a Southern man as strong as any dared to be. I found I was in a close place. I could turn neither way, for the conductor would not wait for me to take my trunk aboard at Mitchellville, so that I could leave him in Louisville. He finally after we got there told me not to get anything contraband, but I told him there was nothing contraband while in the United States, and if I stopped finally urged me to buy. I told him I had no means; he offered me some money but I refused it. He then urged me to take the money I had brought to pay the debt I had contracted in New Albany. I was in debt in Winchester and thought if I had money it was a great temptation to buy and to stop in Gallatain and if Morgan took that part of the country it would help me out of debt but I did not yield at first. I went to New Albany and found the lawyer gone from home. Forsythe went with me when he found now things were. He told the gentleman in the office that I had to sacrifice a great deal of my money so that I had not got the clothing I needed and that he would vouch that I would send the money back in two or three weeks through his name to Cahill and Hues, Louisville, and gave his name and theirs in writing. Then as soon as we were in the street told me to buy drugs, and he would send me whatever I wanted in the drug line, and as soon as I could get to Atlanta he would visit me and set me up in a commission store. I supposed it was all understood between him and Rosecrans.

I need not worry about it when I bought my drugs. I traded where I had bought 50 cents worth of goods while I was boarding in town. He did not stop in the store when I traded; I wondered at it. We did not get back to Louisville till 12 at night on Saturday; the ferry-boat detained us. I had agreed to receive my knitting-machine at 7 o'clock that night; I could not get it on Sunday. On Sunday evening he told me he had got a pass to go from Boyle, but he telegraphed to Nashville to see if it was all right; seemed very much elated. I ought to have mentioned before that my drugs were brought from New Albany in a carpet bag. He carried it for me and some little bundles besides. While I lighted the gas he set my things into my room and bid me was not in my room. I called the landlord. He said the guard found it standing on the out door step. I told him he did not for there was a light in the hall; Forsythe preceded me upstairs and that he set it down by my door while I was unlocking it, and that after he bid me good night I looked to see if there was anything left but there was nothing there. The landlord said [he] had it put in the office. The facts were when he bid me good night he took the satchel to the office; had it examined (the key was in it); then telegraphed to Nashville. When to Gallatin without molestation forthwith. My trunk was not opened. I told him on Sunday night I had to stay until Tuesday night on account of my knitting-machine. He said I must go with him and he would leave a line to have it expressed on the next train but I took a carriage and got it before the cars started. The officers from Nashville met us at Bowling Green and arrested me at Mitchellville, fifty miles this side of Gallatin; took me to Nashville where they confiscated everything.

I was arrested on Monday before Christmas and have never known what evidence there was against me nor on what footing I was here until to-day. He has sworn falsely and misrepresented other things then said jocosely. The officer told me at Nashville that the fact of Gallating being attacked the very night I would have got there made it look like a preconcerted plan, but it was a feint of some of his men while like a preconcerted plan, but it was a feint of some of his men while he attacked Elizabethtown, but I knew nothing whatever more than what I had learned by Morgan's adjutant two weeks before, and I had been delayed and so had he by the Hartsville fight, and it was purely accidental my starting that day. I never spoke with Morgan nor any other officer of the Confederacy higher than a lieutenant-colonel and then only about my pass. Perhaps I ought to except General Polk. He is an old acquaintance, but politics were never mentioned. I never had anything to do with political affairs, neither do I wish to have.
"I am perfectly willing to make oath that this is as near the truth as I can get it from memory.

MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., May 15, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL; I have the honor to forward herewith an application* of the female prisoner, Mrs. Clara Judd, now in confinement in this prison, for a parole to go to her friends in the State of Minnesota. She desires this indulgence on account of her health which for some time past has not been very good. The parole is recommended by her attending physician, Assistant Surgeon Wall, of the Seventy-seventh Ohio Volunteers, the prison physician. I in close also a copy of the charges against Mrs. Judd. From what I have seen of Mrs. Judd since she has been under my control I am inclined to think if she were permitted to go to Minnesota she would probably remain there and give no further trouble during the war. I have the honor to be, sir, with much respect, your most obedient servant, T. HENDRICKSON, Major Third Infantry, Commanding the Prison.

Washington, April 1, 1862.

Brigadier General JAMES S. WADSWORTH, &C., Washington.

GENERAL: If they consent* you will please convey Mrs. Rose O'N. Greenhow, * * * prisoners at present held in the Old Capitol Military Prison in this city, beyond the lines of the U. S. forces into the State of Virginia and release them upon their giving their written parole of honor that they will not return north of the Potomac River during the present hostilies without permission of the Secretary of War.
Very respectfully, yours. JOHN A. DIX.

Added info. Cases of Mrs. Greenhow* was arrested on the 23rd day of August, 1861, in the city of Washington by order of the War Department and was placed under military guard at her own house. She was afterward transferred to the Old Capitol Prison. She was charged with being a sply in the interest of the rebels and furnishing the insurgent generals with important information relative to the movements of the Union forces. At the time of her arrest a number of cipher letters and a large quantity of correspondence containing military information evidently intendent for the insurgents were found torn into fragments in the stove where they had probably been cast by her. Some of these fragments were assorted and placed together so as to be read and copied. Mrs. Greenhow while imprisoned did not hesitate to express her sympathy for the success of the rebelion. The said Rose O'N. Greenhow remained in custody in the Old Capitol Prison February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day she was transferred to the charge of that Department.

MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., May 20, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that another female prisoner, a Miss Mollie Hyde, of Nashville, Tenn., has been sent to this prison "for spying and other misdeeds," to be confined during the war or until released by competent authority. She was sent here by order of General Rosecrans.

I have the honor to be sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,
Major Third Infantry, Commandant of Prison.

Wheeling, March 9, 1863.

Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

SIR: I have to apologize for an unintentional error in my late report of the female prisoner Mary June Preter. I set her down as one, but it now appears she is two. The jailer informs me that she has been enceinte about five months. This complicates the matter somewhat. I presume I will soon receive final instructions from you concerning this one and Marain McKenzie, both arrested on same charge, wearing soldiers' apparel and frequenting our camps in that grab.
Very respectfully, JOS. DARR, JR., Major and Provost-Marshal-General.

JULY 16, 1862.
Particulars respecting the five female prisoners in Camp Douglas:

Rebecca Parish, born in Lee County, Ga. ; about twenty-eight years of age; has always lived in Sumter County, Ga., till this last year; has been three years and a half married; her parents live in Barbour County, Ala. ; removed with her husband, a soldier in the Confederate service, and two children to Island Numbers 10 about the 1st of March last. Her husband and two children had died by the middle of April, since which time she has lived under the protection of her brother, and on the 15th of April she was taken prisoner with her brother, a soldier in the Confederate service, at Island Numbers 10. Having no friends there and no money to take her home, she preferred remaining with her brother, although the medical men in charge at Madison, Wis., would have given her her liberty and sent her back as far as Cairo.

Harriet Redd, born in Wayne County, Miss. ; about twenty-four years of age; has lived the greater part of her life in Pike County, Ala. ; her parents live in Wayne County, Miss. ; two years and a half since she removed with her husband to Pike County, Ala., where she remained till her husband joined the Confederate Army, last January, and was taken prisoner with him at Island Numbers 10, while an invalid and has so continued and lives with her husband in this camp.

Araminta Palmer, born in Pike County, Ky., is about twenty-two years of age; has mostly lived in Great Bend, [Meigs] County, Ohio; was married about two years since; went to Columbus, Ky., with her husband about a year and a half since, where her husband, an invalid, was sworn to support the Confederacy. Her husband has been dead ten months; was a cook in the Confederate hospital at Island Numbers 10 when taken prisoner on the 8th of last April. Has no relations within 800 miles of her and has been sickly in camp. Her parents are good Union people.
Amelia Davis, born in East Brandon, Vt. ; is about thirty-three years of age; left Vermont at the age of 18; has lived in many parts of the Union; has been married twice. Her present husband is a seafaring man, whom she married in Baltimore two years since. Both husband and wife were respectively employed as cook and stewardess on board the steamer Red Rover when taken by General Buell at Island Numbers 10 and both sent prisoners to Camp Douglas together with a little boy eight years of age. Does not know that she has any relatives alive.

Bridget Higgins, born in Galway, Ireland; came to America in 1857; was married in Baltimore. Her husband was obliged to join the Confederate Army about the 1st of October last and became a member of the Nelson Artillery. She has followed the fortunes of her husband since and they were taken prisoners at Island Numbers 10. Does not know that she has any relatives in this country. Is in delicate health.

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