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    [Camp Asylum, South Carolina]. Certified Statements by Union Prisoners of War Regarding the Case of Edmund M. Knowles. Thirteen pages, 7.75" x 10", sewn together, dated January 19, 1865, which is comprised of statements from eight Union prisoners of war at Camp Asylum in South Carolina regarding the case of fellow prisoner Edmund M. Knowles, alleged to have been murdered at a prisoner of war camp in Augusta, Georgia, on December 1, 1864. These statement were taken in the camp before Warren Shedd (1821-1881), Colonel of the 30th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, who was the senior officer among the Union prisoners.

    An example of the statements presented before Colonel Shedd is this from John Burch of Company F, 42nd Regiment of Indiana Volunteers:

    "I am personally acquainted with Edmund M. Knowles, late 1st Lieut. Of Comp. K 42nd Ind. Vol; who was captured at the Battle of Chickamauga Georgia, on the 20th day of September 1863 and was since that time a Prisoner of War at Richmond Virginia, Macon Georgia, Charleston and Columbia South Carolina. until the 26th day of November 1864 (Where the Officers of the U.S.A. Prisoners of War, there held in confinement at the City of Columbia aforesaid) he the said Lieut. Edmund M. Knowles...together with numerous other Officers, confined there with him, escaped through the Guard of said Camp, and attempted to reach the line of the United States Forces then in the State of Georgia. That a short time before said Lieut Edmund M. Knowles, made said escape, he received by Flag of Truce from the North a box containing certain articles of Clothing etc. and that he...wore at the time of his escape from Prison Camp. Dark blue fatigue Coat (new) new Infantry Pants Officer dark blue, new Shoes and new under clothing things throughout. He also carried with him one U.S. Blanket.

    Then when I next heard from...Knowles, was after his recapture, and incarceration in the Military Prison at Augusta Georgia, on or about the 1st day of December 1864, That he has not since been returned to his Camp-nor has he so far as I can learn returned to any other place of confinement, form U.S. Officers. Prisoners of War. Although I have made diligent inquiries for that purpose."

    Other officers recounted Knowles' treatment by Confederate soldiers since his recapture and his complaints to their superior officer about such treatment. He was taken away on December 1st by several soldiers and never seen again.

    The document ends with a statement by Colonel Shedd: "The Officers whose names are respectively signed to the forgoing Certificates, made by themselves relative to the case of 1st Lieut. E. M. Knowles, 42nd Regt. Indiana Infantry, supposed to have been murdered, by Officers, and Men, in charge of Prisoners of War, at Augusta Georgia about the first day of December 1864-and I do hereby certify, that said Officers, severally subscribed said Statements in my Presence and that Opinion of each of said Officers, whose statement were made by themselves signed in my presence as aforesaid, were that 1st Lieutenant Edmund M. Knowles, was killed or disposed of by the Guards as heretofore stated."

    Edmund M. Knowles (1836-1864) was a 1st Lieutenant in Company K, 42nd Indiana Infantry. He was captured at the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. He was reportedly killed in a Confederate prison, circa December 1, 1864.

    In 1864, as General Ulysses S. Grant marched toward Richmond and General William Tecumseh Sherman moved closer to Atlanta, the Confederate Army moved prisoner of war camps around Richmond to the South. One of the camps established in South Carolina was known as Camp Asylum because it was housed on the grounds of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. It served as a prison camp for Union officers from December 1864 to February 1865.

    This is a fascinating document relating to the alleged murder of a Union officer in a Confederate prison camp. A typescript transcription of the document is included.

    Condition: A vertical fold down the middle of the document, and a slight horizontal fold.


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    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
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