Eli S. Glover   
27th Alabama Volunteers transferred to
Co. F 1st Batt'n Alabama Artillery

My great-great-grandfather
Letter written by Dr. G. T. Taylor of his experience at Elmira.  I have included it here because he was captured the same time as Eli and would have experienced the same treatment.  Dr. Taylor survived the war.

Eli S. Glover joined the 27th Alabama Volunteers August 21, 1863 in Henry County, Al. and then transferred to Co. F 1st Batt'n Alabama Artillery.  Eli was captured at Fort Morgan, Alabama on  August 23, 1864.  He was taken to New Orleans, La. and was put aboard a ship bound for New York City on Sept. 27, 1864.  When he arrived in New York City he was put aboard a train for Elmira "Hellmira", NY.   He was received at Elmira "Hellmira" on Oct. 8, 1864.  Eli died in Elmira "Hellmira" on Feb. 16, 1865, and the report says he died from Chronic Bronchitis and that his belongings were buried with him. He was only one of 18 listed on the death rolls for the 16th day of Feb. 1865.  He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery at Elmira "Hellmira" grave number 2215, records at the National Archives indicated that he was in grave number 2220 but the cemetery said the correct grave site is 2215.  The cemetery is now a National Cemetery.   It is written upon the paper in the log book that Eli S. Glover died of Chronic Bronchitis, the truth is the prisoners of Elmira "Hellmira"  were starved, poisoned, deprived of proper medical treatment and murdered.  Click here to go to prison conditions

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1st Alabama Artillery Battalion

The 1st Alabama Artillery Battalion, Companies "A"-"F", was recruited in Mobile, Montgomery, Selma, and Eufaula, part of the "Army of Alabama," and it was organized about the 1st of February 1861, at Fort Morgan. In the spring, the command was transferred to the Confederate government as "regulars". Stationed at Fort Morgan and its dependencies, the battalion attained a high degree of discipline, insomuch that Union Gen'l Granger pronounced it the most perfect body of either army. Detachments of it manned the heavy artillery at Forts Gaines and Powell and rendered effective service. During the terrific bombardment of Fort Morgan, August, 1864, the battalion, "moved by no weak fears," handled the guns until they were all knocked out of position, losing 150 k and w of about 500 engaged. The men were taken to Elmira, New York, where fully half died of smallpox (officers were taken to Fort Warren.) A small detachment, not captured, continued the fight at Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. A small number moved to Choctaw Bluff in March 1865 and were included in the surrender of the Dept. of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana.

Field and staff officers: Lt. Cols. Robert C. Forsyth (Mobile; resigned); James T. Gee (Dallas; captured, Fort Morgan); Majors S. S. Tucker (Vermont; died in service); James T. Gee (promoted); J. M. Cary (Barbour; captured, Fort Morgan).

Armaments: Co. "A", two 6-lb. Smoothbores (on 31 Oct 1861)


Elmira "Hellmira" Prison

Almost 25 percent of the 12,123 Confederate soldiers who entered the 40 acre prisoner of war camp at Elmira, N. Y. died.  This death rate was more than double the average death rate in other Northern prison camps, and only 2 percent less than the death rare at infamous Southern prison at Andersonville, Ga.  The deaths at Elmira were caused by diseases brought on by terrible living conditions and starvation, conditions deliberately caused by the vindictive U. S. commissary-general of prisons, Col. William Hoffman.  The conditions were inexcusable; the North had more than enough food and materials for its armies, population, and prisoners. 

A stockade was built around an unused Union army training camp to create Elmira "Hellmira" Prison in June 1864.   The prison contained 35 barracks and was intended to house as many as 5,000 prisoners.  On July 6 the first 400 arrived, and by the end of the month there were more than 4,400 prisoners, with more on the way.  By the end of August almost 10,000 men were confined there, many of them sleeping in the open in tattered clothes and without blankets. 

On August 18, in retaliation for the conditions in Southern prison camps, Colonel Hoffman ordered that rations for the prisoners be reduced to bread and water.  The over crowded conditions ensured that any disease introduced to the malnourished population would spread rapidly.   Without meat and vegetables, the prisoners quickly succumbed to scurvy, with 1, 870 cased reported by September 11.  The scurvy was followed by an epidemic of diarrhea, then pneumonia and smallpox.  By the end of the year, 1,264 prisoners had died, and survivors had nicknamed the prison "Hellmira".  The winter was bitterly cold, but when Southern families sent clothes for the prisoners, Hoffman would allow only items that were gray to be distributed.  Clothes in other color were burned while the sons and husbands for whom they were intended literally froze to death.  By the end of the war, 2,973 Elmira prisoners had died.

Before resigning to avoid court martial for his criminal treatment of sick prisoners, the chief surgeon at Elmira was overheard to boast that he had killed more Rebs than any Union soldier.

The Elmira Article was written by Stephen T. Foster

There is no movie of the war crimes committed at Elmira, only those of us, that our fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and cousins, died at the hands of criminals in Northern POW camps have risen to speak out and let the stilled voices of "Hellmira" be heard.


Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that's still

To learn more about the murder, starvation and other war crimes that our Southron soldiers were subjected to just click on the links below.


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Elmira Prison Camp OnLine Library  National Cemetery System, Dept of Veterans Affairs
Elmira living history Civil War Prisons
Civil War Prison Elmira Civil War Prison Point Lookout 
  The Civil War Center Prison Links


Historical info  is from the Civil War Center a must site for all researchers   uscwcs.gif (408 bytes)

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11/04/2009 Last updated