Among items in the Wood County Genealogical Research Center archives is a letter from a Confederate soldier prisoner of war in 1864.
Lt. James G. Blackmon of Company B, 2nd Infantry Battalion of Waul’s Texas Legion, C.S.A. was from Hempstead, Texas. He was captured at Yazoo City, Mississippi in July 1863. He was in three different prisons including the last at Fort Delaware where he died of pneumonia on January 1, 1865.
The letter was written from the Officers Barracks at Fort Delaware, December 11, 1864 less than a month before his death. It was addressed to Cousin Beckie.
The following transcription is by society member Sally Allcorn who came across the letter while working in the research center archives.
Fort Delaware December 11th 1864
My dear Cousin Beckie
Your very kind and affectionate letter of the 3rd inst came to hand several days ago and would have been answered ere this but cos have been awaiting a reply from the commanding officer here as we had sent out a petition asking to be allowed to receive a box of eatables for Christmas. Which request I am sorry to say was refused and I suppose we will have to be content with our usual daily allowance which consists of a small piece of buffalo bacon and bread. Coffee, tea and sugar we get for greenbacks at the rate of one dollar per pound for ground coffee and sixty cents per pound for sugar. That is almost equal to the starving confederacy is it not. My dear cousin I did not apply for a permit for the blanket from the fact that an officer of my division made a similar request only a few days ago and was refused. I often ask myself this question, why we are this punished. I shall endeavor to obtain permission to receive some stationary and the cough mixture, my health I am rejoiced to say is much better and I hope to be entirely well soon and if you will only write often I will assure you that your dear letter shall lack nothing in interest on that score. So write often. My kindest regards to Cousin Annie. Ever your Cousin,
James G. Blackmon
A copy of the original is available in the members only area at http://wcgs.posterous.com/my-first-blog-post-22939.