June 18 1862 - Rebel prisoners in Hagerstown
Arrival of Rebel Prisoners,
—On Saturday evening last quite a sensation was produced in our town by the announcement that five hundred rebel prisoners were approaching from Winchester. Late in the evening they arrived under a guard of four companies of Federal soldiers, one
from the 2d Massachusetts Regiment, one from the 27th Indiana, one from the 29th Pennsylvania, and one from the 3d Wisconsin, the whole under the command, as we learn, of Capt. Burcham of the latter Regiment. They were quartered in the Female Seminary over night, and the next morning taken to Harrisburg in a special train, provided for their accommodation. They were captured by Gen. Fremont at Harrisonburg and other places along the route of his pursuit of Jackson, and were from Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. Having seen so many peace rebels, our citizens were a little curious to look upon a body of fighting rebels, and hence crowds of them lined the side walks as the prisoners were marched through our streets, but no demonstration of any kind was made. The Union men were too magnanimous to triumph over a fallen foe, and the Seceshers were either afraid to manifest sympathy, or ashamed of the ragged and forlorn appearance of those who are fighting for their rights. All prejudice aside, they were unquestionably as shabby a body of men as the eye ever rested upon; very few were clothed in uniforms, or comfortable garments of any kind, and fewer still exhibited marks of intellect, dignity or chivalry. The great mass of them appeared to be demoralized to the very last degree, and yet they were said to be about an average specimen of Jackson’s entire force.—
Many of them were quite full of the spirit of rebellion, and boasted of Jackson’s ability and determination to enter Maryland, but they were very ignorant of the real facts in connection with the progress of the war, believing and asserting that every battle fought had resulted in a rebel victory, and asking whether there had not been an uprising of the Secessionists in Baltimore on the occasion ...
removed from its dangers and burthens. There were a few officers among them, who were out on parole while here, but even these were poorly clad, and not at all calculated to impress a spectator with very exalted ideas of that Southern chivalry of which we have heard so much boasting.
Herald of Freedom & Torch Light
Washington County Free Library
Hagerstown (Md.), Newspapers; Maryland, History, Civil War, 1861-1865
Washington County (Md.), 1861-1865