Colwell T. Porter Civil War Letter from Johnson's Island   Save
Colwell T. Porter Civil War Letter from Johnson's Island
Description: Private Colwell T. Porter wrote this letter to his sister Edna A. Porter while serving at Johnson's Island, near Sandusky, Ohio during the Civil War. Porter was engaged in guard and fatigue duty with Company F of the 171st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In this letter, he requests provisions and describes the prison as "fitted up in fine style." He also offers details of a recent escape attempt by rebel prisoners. The four-page letter measures 4.5" x 7.5" (11.43 x 19.05 cm). The envelope, which measures 5.5" x 3" (13.97 x 7.62 cm), is also included. Colwell T. Porter enlisted in the 171st Ohio Volunteer Infantry on April 27, 1864 for 100 days service. After briefly serving at Johnson's Island, the 171st was ordered to Covington, Kentucky on June 2, and was attacked at Kellar's Bridge (near Cynthiana) by Confederates led by General John Hunt Morgan. Porter was wounded and died on July 2, 1864 at the Old Soldier's Home in Cleveland, Ohio. Johnson's Island, the site of a Civil War prison camp, is located in Sandusky Bay. Lieutenant Colonel William Hoffman leased the island from Leonard B. Johnson in 1861 for use as a prison camp for Confederate prisoners. Due to the abundant natural resources on the island, the conditions were not as harsh as those in many Southern prison camps. However, prisoners did suffer from disease, poor nutrition, and exposure to harsh Lake Erie winters. Created to hold Confederate officers, the prison housed about 3,000 prisoners by the end of the war. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om3226_3971204_001
Subjects: Military Ohio; Civil War; Civil War--Prisoners and prisons; Johnson's Island Prison Camp
Places: Sandusky (Ohio); Erie County (Ohio); Newton Falls (Ohio); Trumbull County (Ohio)