In Search of Lawtons & Basingers: May 14, 1865

May 14, 1865, finds William Starr Basinger writing to home again.  He has sent numerous letters throughout his latest ordeal, and I was confused when I first started reading the letters because the news was repeated over and over.  Later I realized that he has no assurance that any of the letters would make it home, and he told the news multiple times in the hopes that at least one letter would make it home to his mother, and, of course, to his sister Elizabeth “Georgia” and his mother’s sister Adeline.

Now, he gives further heartbreaking news of his men.  At the end of the transcription, I include the names of the wounded that died.



                               U. S. Military Prison, Johnson’s Island, Johnson’s Island

                                                May 14, 1865

My dear Mother,

                I sent you last week a list of my Killed.  As I can’t

send but a page at once, I give you the names of the wounded today.

St. Starr (shoulder; but one heard he would do very well, but I don’t know

where he is), Geo. Smith (thigh; saw him supported from the field, but walking),

St. Dillon (not seriously; left at a friend’s house); St. Blois (when last heard

of was at “Lincoln Hospital”, Washington; leg amputated below the knee);

Tupper, not seriously; Wm Grant (when last heard, gangrene had set in);

Sgt. Sweat, very slightly; Harry Woodbridge, do; Sgt. Wade,(?); Sgt. B.

J. McIntosh, Mrs. W. (?)’s son-in-law, lungs (heard that he was to be

sent to Trenton; was doing well); Wm Rice, slightly; C. Penwell, J. B. Pen-

well’s son, very slightly; H. Peace (?); Jas Belote (county?) slightly;

J. S. Gans, severely; Jno. Hitchcock (Baldwin Co) badly; B. Newbern,slightly;

J. T. Smith (nephew of J. E. Godfrey) not badly; S. Syntis (Habersham Co)

loses both eyes; J. C. Poyas, loses leg; J. Daracott, severely; J. Douglas, fled

sound; Percy Elliott (last heard of at City Point; amputation above

knee; doing pretty well); J. E. Guerard, (?) severely; F. Kreeger, do; Polk,

(country) do; Jno. Sheridan, very slightly; Chas. Maxwell (Mrs. Joyce Harden’s

nephew) severely; of my own scratch the only trace left is some pieces  

of lead in my finger.  These marked x are with the wounded prisoners;

I don’t know where any of the others are, except the few whose whereabouts is

given.  Through a friend of Mrs. Ross Postell in Washington I’ve heard

that you know of us.  Do write.  I’ve heard nothing of you directly or in-

directly since Feby 12.  Your silence makes me uneasy.  Send me some

money as soon as possible.  My love to my sister & Aunt A.

                                AfflyYours, Wm. S. Basinger


  (I include the following from an earlier post…)

 Died since of their Wounds – Company A

Lieutenant Fred A Tupper, private B Green.

Company B – Lieut Geo D Smith, Lieut Wm

D Grant, Sergeant E C Wade, privates Percy

Elliott, F Kreeger               Company C – Lieutenant

Eugene T Blois.

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