• [Civil War Crimes] Corporal From Ohio 115th Writes To Friend Rosa

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    FRANKLIN SHANAFELT enlisted as a Private into Co. E of the Ohio 115th Infantry on August 14, 1862. He was promoted to Corporal on December 15, 1862 and was mustered out on June 22, 1865. 


    The 115th was known for torturing Confederate prisoners of war. At one point when a Confederate messenger ate the paper on which his recognizance was written, some from the 155th cut him open to retrieve the information.  No one was tried for the war crime.  By comparison, the content of this letter deals mostly with camp life and guarding rebel prisoners.


    4 pp, 5 x 8, Camp near Lexington, March 13th, 1863, Shanafelt writes to his friend Rosa.


    “...Hen wanted to know...whether I got the papers he sent me. I guess I got all...When I was down to Louisville, I was standing on the river bank and looked across...I thought of Joe but I didn’t expect to see him for I know that we were a long way apart. But on Monday when I came back, the boys in camp had a letter for me that Joe sent...There are a great many troops here now. There is about 5 regiments of infantry, one battery and part of a regiment of cavalry. The battery was 15 yards from our tent. They are putting up a house to take pictures in, close to our company. 


    “We live pretty good since was are in Lexington. But on the march from Frankfort, here the ground was hard. We [had] nothing but hard crackers and coffee...The talk is that we are going to draw soft bread...I would like to be at and help to eat that oyster supper...Eli is well helping to guard the jail where the rebel prisoners are. Fred Warner and Bill Smith guard up town. But I don’t know where or what they are guarding...We are out drilling from 9 o’clock till 11 o’clock...”


    Toning, folds. Spelling corrected in the transcription for clarity.


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