13 September 1863: “Since I last wrote to you I have been on quite a journey.”

Item Description: Letter, 13 September 1863, from Joseph Wilson Alexander to his mother, Elvira Catherine Wilson Alexander, relaying news of his escape from imprisonment and recapture in New England. J. W. Alexander, who predicted trouble when he heard of Lincoln’s 1860 election while in port at Gibraltar (see 30 November 1860), resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Navy. His letters recount his experiences as a prisoner of war in New England and his return to active duty following a prisoner exchange.

[transcription available below image]


Item citation: From folder 11 of the William Alexander Hoke Papers #345, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Fort Warren Boston Harbor
Sept 13th 1863

My dear Mother:

Since I last wrote to you I have been on quite a journey. I suppose you have seen by the papers that I made my escape from this place? I got away on the 18th of Aug & succeeded in getting about half way to the British provinces when I was recaptured by the Yankee … cutter “Doffice” & was furnished with quarters for three weeks in Portland (Maine) jail & then brought back to this place where I am now confined with my associates in the attempt to get away.

While in P. I received a letter from Miss Gould: she inquired for you & the rest of the family. I find it is impossible to get a letter to Milliane from this place. If you will write a letter to Milliane & send it to Richmond to Lieut. Jns. Taylor Wood CS Navy I think he will find some way to get it to its destination in Texas. I will write to him & ask him to attend to it for you. I am perfectly well & expect soon to be with you for I think there will soon be an exchange. They may however not come to any arrangement & therefore you must not be disappointed should my exchange be delayed. My love to all

Your affectionate son
J.W. Alexander
CS. Navy

Mrs. E.C. Alexander
Lincolnton NC

In your next send me half a dozen postage stamps


This entry was posted in Southern Historical Collection and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.