Jackson, E. A. Confederate Memoir

E. A. Jackson Memoir
1 folder

Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

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Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, December 2011

Biographical Note:

E. A. Jackson was in Company K, 10th Mississippi, and in Company K, Wirt Adams Regiment of Mississippi Cavalry.  At the age of 19, E. A. left Yazoo City with Company K, on March 28, 1861. He served a year in Pensacola, then went to Corinth, Mississippi, to resist General Grant’s invasion.  He missed the Battle of Shiloh, because he had not reenlisted yet.  He went to New Orleans, where he served on the steamboat Jackson, guarding Forts Jackson and St. Phillip.  He went to Virginia.  On December 8, 1863, he was captured by Elliot’s Marine Brigade, and was taken to Vicksburg. He was transported to Camp Morton in Indianapolis, arriving on December 29, 1863.  E. A. described conditions at the Northern prison camp.  After escaping, he went to Canada and served in the Confederate Secret Service based there.  From Canada, E. A. traveled to Bermuda, Cuba, Texas and Mexico, before returning home in June 1865.

Scope and Content Note:

Nine pages are typed on legal-sized paper. E. A. Jackson begins his narrative with his enlistment in the Confederate Army at Yazoo City, Mississippi, on March 28, 1861, and ends with June 2, 1865 when he reached home.  He ends the reminiscence with the question: “Did any Confederate soldier serve longer than that?”

Pvt. Jackson tells about taking federal prisoners at Santa Rosa Island, on July 19, 1861.  He missed the Battle of Shiloh because he had not reenlisted, after his one-year service.  He went to New Orleans and joined the CSA Navy, serving on the armed steamboat Jackson, which guarded Forts Jackson and St. Phillip.  He went to Yazoo City, then to Virginia, where he joined Company K, Wirt Adams Cavalry, in October 1862.  He rode with this unit until his capture on October 8, 1863.

As a prisoner of war, E. A. was taken first to Cairo, Illinois, then to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, where he was incarcerated from December 29, 1863 until he escaped (pages 2-5).  He wrote about medical care, meals, cruel guards, and the burial of a friend in an unmarked grave.  In October 1864, he escaped by bribing a guard, and made his way to Cincinnati.  He rode a train with Yankee soldiers, to whom he gave a false story.  E. A. said that he was from Maryland, had been on a drunk in Indianapolis, lost his pocket book and was afraid the conductor would put him off the train. The USA soldiers invited the CSA soldier to sit with them so the conductor would not bother him.
From Ohio, he went to Baltimore where his grandmother and cousins lived.  After receiving food and clothes from his relatives, A. E. went to New York City, then followed orders and went Montreal, where he reported to Jacob Thompson, head of the CSA Secret Service based in Canada. E. A. tells about the raids the CSA conducted before he arrived, especially describing John Yates Beall who tried to rescue the prisoners from Johnson’s Island in Lake Erie.  E. A. was not with Beall on that raid, but was with him when he started on his last raid.

E. A. talks about John Wilkes Booth, who inherited insanity from his father.  About the assassination of President Lincoln, E. A. says: “the kindest of our enemies was taken away.”

In Quebec, he was arrested as one of the St. Alban’s raiders, but was released.  He went to Halifax, covering 500 miles in five days.  The Yankees “highly resented the courtesy shown the Confederates by the Canadians.” On January 1, 1865, he left on the steamer Delta for St. George’s, Bermuda, and then went to Havana, Cuba. Here, E. A. learned of Lee’s surrender.  He went to Texas and then to Mexico with General Magruder. Escaping capture, he returned home to Yazoo City, arriving June 2, 1865.              

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.

Item Listing

1 Folder.  The nine-page manuscript is about the experiences of Confederate soldier E. A. Jackson from March 28, 1861 through June 2, 1865.

Collection Information

Size of Collection: One typed manuscript, nine pages
Collection Dates: 1861-1865
Provenance: O. H. Harman, Jr., April 19, 1979
Access : The collection is open for research use.
Restrictions: None.
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English.
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: None
Notes: None