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    "Captured" - The P.O.W. Experience

    [Andersonville Prison]. Hiram Buckingham Autograph Letter Signed and Reunion Badge. Two and a half pages, 6.5" x 8.25", C.S.M.P [Confederate States Military Prison] Hospital, September 17, 1864. Buckingham was being held in the infamous Andersonville Prison when he wrote this letter to his parents, in part: "There is talk of exchanging some of Sherman's men so I am going to try and smuggle a letter through by someone. I am very well at present. . . . We are waiting very anxiously for our Government to do something for us in the way of exchange. Twenty thousand have just been removed to Charleston. There still remains about ten thousand out of which there dies daily from 120 to 160 for want of food and medicines. . . . Charlie Post of Essex was captured in May I think was brought down here. I took him in the tent with me and took care of him . . . he was finally taken sick with the chronic diarrhea and his family came to the hospital, but was very weak. He began to improve and I thought he would get better but one morning I went up to see him and found him dying and he did not live but a few hours. . . . I would give all that I am worth to get out of this and can't see why the Government does not get the soldiers exchanged." With the original transmittal envelope.

    Buckingham indeed found a soldier to carry his letter out. A typed postscript, dated 1901, acknowledges that "This letter was carried through the lines at Atlanta, Ga., by Andrew J. Spring, Co. C, 16th Conn., who made his escape from Andersonville, and was mailed at Collinsville, Conn. . . . The envelope is of Confederate paper, and had once been used." Buckingham himself made good his escape from the prison just three days after writing this letter.

    With the letter is a reunion ribbon and badge. The ribbon, measuring 2.5" x 7", consists of a cream colored ribbon reading, "Union Ex-Prisoners of War Reunion / Sept. 22, 1892 / Washington, D.C.," topped by a clasp featuring two hands shaking. The badge, measuring 1.25" x 2", is made of solid brass and features a clasp in the shape of a eagle holding in its claws a knapsack over two crossed rifles. The medal features a dog attacking a man, below which reads, "Death Before Dishonor."


    Estimate: $3,500 - up.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    12th-13th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 426

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