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Prisoner of War Letter from Fort Delaware Dated 6 May, 1865
Item #: AA2647
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This is a post war dated letter from Private Charles Gradison Powell, 35th Virginia Cavalry Battalion. The letter was written by him to his cousin Blanche and is dated 6 May, 1865. The letter is very well written and easy to read, as long as you can read cursive writing! It is in very good condition and will be accompanied by the original envelope it was mailed in., along with a history of Powell's Confederate military service, a translation of the letter and a history of Fort Delaware. The letter reads: Fort Delaware, May 6th 1865 in the upper right hand corner. "Dear Blanche: I write at great hazard, doubting very much, if you ever receive the letter, as affairs are now in such an unsettled condition, but, I am anxious to hear from Va. and the fate of my many friends. Several of my acquaintances here (3rd Co. Howitzer's) have received letters of late date from Richmond. I hope Cousin John sustained no injury at the evacuation of the city; also that Julius and Johnny are on parole at home. I have heard of the death of my brother, Hugh. I can form no idea, when I will be released from this place, but report says preparations are in progress now to send us all away very soon. Should it be true, I will avail myself of an early opportunity to visit you. If you can communicate with my father, inform him I am well. Give my love to all at home, and write soon to your affectionate cousin, C.G. Powell Co. C. 35th Va. Batt.

The back of the letter is addressed Blanche V. Powell. The envelope is addressed to Dr. John N. Powell/Richmond Va. A Federal 3 cent stamp with cancellation stamp is in the upper right hand corner of the envelope. A small circular ink stamp is to the left of the stamp that reads, DELAWARE CITY DEL. with MAY in the center of the stamp. Written in pencil on the back of the envelope is 35th Va. Bn. Cav./POW (Powell)/Can't make out the last word CSA 1255. Both letter and envelope are in very good condition. Powell's military service is not well defined. The Civil War Database shows him enlisted as a private on 1 march, 1862 and mustered into E Company, 9th Virginia Cavalry. He is shown as AWOL on 25 April, 1862, then a POW on 17 December, 1863. Another source shows him as having served with E Company, 9th Virginia Cavalry Regiment and C Company, 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. He enlisted on 1 March, 1862 at the age of 20. He was listed as a deserter in March, 1863 with no service since 25 April, 1862. Since Confederate records are incomplete, it is believed that Private Powell joined the 35th Battalion in the fall of 1862. He was captured in Loudon County on 3 March, 1864 and sent to Camp Chase. He was transferred to Ft Delaware on 14 March, 1864 and released on 15 June, 1865 after taking the Oath of Allegiance. It is believed that Private Powell saw action in the US occupation of Fredericksburg, Philmont, Berryville, Poolesville, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, Edward's Ferry, Lewinsville, the Bristoe Campaign and the Mine Run Campaign. Fort Delaware was located on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River near Delaware City, Delaware. The first wooden fort was built there during the War of 1812. In 1848 Congress approved funds to build a large masonry fort that was finally completed in 1859. The first Confederate prisoners of war arrived in July, 1861. At it's peak the fort housed over 12,000 prisoners. The last prisoner was released from there in January, 1866. Conditions at the fort were deplorable. The exact number of prisoners who died there are unknown, but the chief burial site for the prisoners was Finn's Point, New Jersey. There are 2478 Confederate prisoners of war buried there, of which 244 are known. Private Powell managed to survive his time in captivity and lived until 10 July, 1904. This is a great piece of Civil War prisoner of war history that survived the test of time amazingly well. If you're a document collector, this one deserves a place in the collection!

Shipping Weight: 1 lb
Your Price $400.00 USD