• Ex-POW Describes His Recovery from "Horrible Den of Iniquity"

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    Civil War soldiers could be very casual when writing to friends, frequently not mentioning their unit. Our writer, A.W. Metcalf, is no different as he writes this ALS, 1 page, 7 ¾” x 9 ¾”, to his friend Lieutenant E.Y. Brown regarding his stay in a Confederate prison, which he describes as “that horrible den of iniquity” and thanking Brown for helping him during his imprisonment.


    Metcalf is possibly Captain Albert W. Metcalf, who enlisted January 24th, 1863, at New York City and was commissioned into “H” Co. of the 14th New York Cavalry. He was discharged on May 23rd, 1864. Metcalf had been taken prisoner on June 15th, 1863, at Port Hudson, LA, confined at Macon, GA, and later paroled.

    “No. 12 Barclay St.

    “New York, March 26, 1867

    “Lieut. C. (?) Y. Brown

    “Sir,

    “I casually learned of your address from our mutual friend, the QM of one of our Darkey Regiments captured around Vicksburg. His name I forget.

    “I have inquired of all I have met since my release about you, but never could ascertain your fate until the present period, which I trust is a happy one.

    “I fulfilled all my promises and sent you a box by the return boat that took me down…with a full opportunity of good things and also $30 in 1 & $2 bills, greenbacks enclosed in the middle of butter & coffee.

    “I also sent you a box from Baltimore containing a full supply of eatables, etc. After my return home, I lay ill for 3 months and quite out of my mind and did not recover for nearly a year. The only wonder is that I ever did at all.

    “I will be happy to hear from you, as I cannot ever forget your kindness to me in that horrible den of iniquity.

    “Remaining Yours as ever,

    “A.W. Metcalf”

    Toning, folds and light staining. Minor paper loss at the middle fold. Some reinforcement with archival tape. A wonderful piece of Civil War history.

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