• Johnson's Island Confederate POW Howard C. Wright Writes Emotional Poem During His Captivity

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    Newspaperman, Confederate Officer Laments Captivity at Johnson's Island


    Confederate officer and New York native HOWARD C. WRIGHT was a newspaperman in New Orleans, Louisiana, when the Civil War began. He joined the 30th Louisiana Infantry Regiment when it was formed in 1862 and became a lieutenant. Captured at the surrender of Port Hudson, he was imprisoned with other officers in New Orleans. He wrote an account of the siege, which was originally serialized as "Port Hudson: Its History from an Interior Point of View" in the Daily True Delta less than a month after the surrender. Wright's account was printed in book form for the first time in 1937 and republished in 1978.

    The Federal Roos of Prisoner of War shows that Wright was transferred to Johnson's Island in Sandusky Bay, Ohio, on October 13, 1863, and paroled/forwarded to Point Lookout, MD, for exchange on February 16, 1865.

    A few weeks before he was paroled, Wright wrote a 2 pp, 7 1/2 x 12 1/2, poem, in his hand and signed by him with his location "Johnson's Island" and dated January 20th, 1865.

    Entitled, “Half past Ten O’clock and ‘All is Hell!’” Wright pens eight stanzas.  In small part, “...Silence deep, profound, mysterious/Gains her say with subtle power/O’er the wind, She holds imperious/Court within the solemn hour/While the sable sky is turning/With her starry countries gleaming/And the vestal moon is beaming/There as well...All is well The prisoner is sleeping/In his bunk so rude and bare/Lees an aged Mother weeping/Hear’s a young wife’s whispered prayer!/’All is well’ while Hope forsaking/Leaves behind it only aching!’/All is well while hearts are breaking! ‘All is well...’

    Mounted to ledger sheets from a scrapbook. On the verso of one sheet is a page from a Confederate newspaper, which includes articles on “General Lee’s Address to the Army, Headquarters of Northern Virginia, December 31, 1862,” “Speech of Jeff Davis,” “The War in Virginia,” “General Bragg’s Address to His Army.”

    Toning, but overall in very good condition and a highly unique example of Confederate history. Beautiful penmanship.

    Everything we sell is guaranteed authentic forever to the original buyer. We also offer a 30-day return policy. If you discover a problem or are dissatisfied with an item, please contact us immediately. Our goal is to please every customer.  We are pleased to be members of The Manuscript Society, Universal Autograph Collectors Club, The Ephemera Society, the Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers and the Preferred Autograph Dealers and Auction Houses. [CW 197]