Item Description: Poem written by Maj. McKnight. Oroon Alston Hanner copied this poem into his autograph album while in prison on Johnson Island. He was given this autograph album by a local women’s society. While in prison, he collected autographs of his fellow prisoners as well as copied down poems and other prose such as this poem.
Maj McKnight’s Farewell Address To Johnston Island Ohio
Oct 29th 1864
I leave thy shores of hated isle,
Where misery mocked my days,
And seek the Land where Lovely ones Smiles,
And Summer seasons the heart beguiles,
In jovial blooming rays.
I quit thy Loathsome prison walls,
With joyous sounding heart,
To think again dear Southern halls
To go where e’er my duty calls,
And hear my ? part.
No more! thy sorrows God grant no more
Will save my prison cell,
For ill winds beat against my door,
For storm blasts sound my prison roar,
Within this Northern Hell
No more! Mine ear will hear the cry
Of Suffering braves for bread
For Scenes of Sorrow meet mine eye
Where those fair noise who cannot lie
Than those already dead
But soft All drops a parting tear
In memory of those
Who lost to Loving hearts for e’er
After rest on dreamless slumbers here
Secure from heartless foes
Then haste the storm & friendly winds
To bear me from the storm
To leave this God cursed soil behind
To bear me when my heart shall find
Freedom forever more.