26 June 1863: “We can do nothing but keep in doors and kill time as well as we can.”

Item description: In this diary entry, 26 June 1863, Scott Peters,  who served with Company A, Third Missouri Cavalry Regiment, Confederate Army, described the monotony of prison life. Peters was wounded and captured at the Battle of Champion Hill on 16 May 1863, transported up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to Camp Morton near Indianapolis, where he stayed until being transported in June 1863 to Fort Delaware. Peters was released from Fort Delaware on 24 March 1864.


Item citation: from folder 2 of the Peters Family Papers #4722 in the Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

26 This is one of the most dismal days I ever saw from daylight it has been raining without intermissions our little Island is about three feet below high tide water and perfectly level, consequently, one half the water can not run off; during this time we are in a deluge of water, we can do nothing but keep in doors and kill time as well as we can.

Every phase of society can be seen here. We are a mixed crowd from every Confederate state – men of all temperaments & dispositions, under this roof can be found men engaged in every occupation to be found within the limits of our narrow prison, some playing at cards, some reading, others singing, talking, and keeping up a confused noise, generally every man choosing his occupation to suit his taste, by this means an impartial observer can be enabled to form a correct estimate of the character of his associates or fellow prisoners.

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