Primary Source books:
Grimes, Absalom, Confederate Mail Runner, edited by M. M.
Quaife of the Burton Historical Collection, Yale University Press,
Grimes was an
agent with the Confederate secret service under General Price,
passing back and forth through the Federal lines with letters from
families and their relatives in the CSA army. He was in Gratiot St.
Prison twice, the first time escaping in a rather dramatic way.
Several people have commented that they think Grimes' amazing story
has more than a bit of "old soldiering" to it, but, other
than some errors in dating, the book is the truth as can be verified
by numerous contemporary sources.
from Advanced Book Exchange
Grimes--photo circa 1863 from
of Absalom Grimes
With Mark Twain
(these hyperlinks takes you to other
sites--use your back button to return here)
Griffin, Camp and Prison Journal, Press of the Camp Pope
Bookshop, reprint edition 1994 (originally printed 1867)
Griffin Frost, of the Missouri State Guard, kept a journal
throughout the war and his two stays at Gratiot. Frost writes an
interesting story, describing many of the people at Gratiot very
well. Some of his racial comments are a bit hard to take but must be
viewed in historical context (and that historical context provides a
view of the often unseen--and nasty--side of things). Frost's
stated objective in writing was to show that conditions in Union
prisons like Gratiot and Alton were as bad as those in Andersonville.
In this he fails completely.
Available from Camp Pope Bookshop
no longer available, but check Camp Pope's
inventory of other fine books
Gratiot Street Prison--1876
Anderson, Galusha, Story of a Border City During the Civil War,
Little Brown, 1908
Anderson was a
pastor in St. Louis just before and during the war. His church was
only half a block away from Lynch's Slave Market. He offered his
services as a minister to the Confederate prisoners at Gratiot,
but--not surprisingly--none of their accounts mention him. Good,
first-hand history by a very priggish sort of writer. A decidedly
Union point-of-view. Probably one of the most purely devoted
abolitionists in St. Louis, a city of very tangled loyalties.
Available soon on CD-ROM
Galusha Anderson--1861 photo
of Galusha Anderson
Anderson on the 1865 Oath of Loyalty --excerpt from book
of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties, Morningside
House, Inc., reprinted 1988
excellent accounts of Gratiot and the other St. Louis prisons. (scarce
and difficult to find)
The Graybeards, Letters of Major Lyman Allen,
of the 37th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, The
“Graybeards” Including The Diaries of Viola Baldwin His
Step-Daughter, Camp Pope Bookshop, 1998
Letters by one of the officers
in a unit assigned to guard duty at Gratiot. Some references to
Original prison records:
National Archives and Records Administration,
Record Group 109
rolls 72, 98, 145 -- Ledgers from the prison.
rolls 90, 91, 92 -- Provost Marshal's files involving people held at
Gratiot Street Prison, files on more that one person. These rolls
include daily reports from Gratiot plus some additional ledgers.
rolls on individual civilians, Provost Marshal reports. These
cover all parts of the USA but a solid 60%, maybe even 80%, of the cases
and individuals covered are from the Department of Missouri.
transcription of Missouri residents (only) listed in the Gratiot
Street Prison, Myrtle Street Prison, and Alton Prison ledgers is
available in "Missouri Prisoners of War" by Joanne Chiles
Eakin. Available from the Civil
War Lady's Book Shoppe.
Frank, editor, The Rebellion Record, A Diary of American
Events, 12 volumes, D. Van Nostrand, 1861-1867
Michael E. (ed.)
Missouri Brothers in Gray: The Reminiscences
and Letters of William J. Bull and John P. Bull, Press of
the Camp Pope Bookshop, 1998
Hill, Sarah Jane Full, Mrs.
Hill’s Journal—Civil War Reminiscences, edited by Mark
M. Krug, The Lakeside Press, 1980
Winter, William C.,
The Civil War
in St. Louis: A Guided Tour, Missouri Historical Society
Stanley, Lois, plus George F.
Wilson, Maryhelen Wilson,
Death Records from Missouri
Newspapers: The Civil War Years, Southern Historical Press,
Primm, James Neal,
Lion of the
Valley, St. Louis, Missouri, 1764-1980, Missouri Historical
Society Press, 1981, 1990, 1998
D. H. Rule
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