|Birth: ||Mar. 11, 1842|
|Death: ||Mar. 17, 1908|
On August 20, 1864, a chosen group of 600 Confederate officer prisoners of war were transferred from their interment at Fort Delaware Prison, and to Federally occupied Hilton Head, South Carolina. The purpose of this move was to place these men into a cramped stockade in front of Union artillery positions, to literally use these prisoners as human shields from the bombarding of the Confederate artillery of Charleston Harbor.
The 600 prisoners were landed on Morris Island, at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. There they remained, in an open 1 1/2 acre pen, under the shelling of friendly artillery fire. Three died on the starvation rations issued as a retaliation for the conditions of the Union prisoners held at Andersonville, Georgia and Salisbury, North Carolina.
On October 21, after 45 days under fire, the weakened survivors were removed to Fort Pulaski. Here they were crowded into the cold, damp casemates of the fort. On November 19, an attempt to relieve overcrowding was made by sending 197 of the men back to Hilton Head. For 42 days, a "retaliation ration" of 10 ounces of moldy cornmeal and soured onion pickles was the only food issued to the prisoners. Thirteen men died at Fort Pulaski, and five died at Hilton Head.
The remaining prisoners to survive, were returned to Fort Delaware on March 12, 1865, where an additional twenty-five died. The Immortal Six-Hundred became famous throughout the South for their adherence to principle, refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance under such adverse circumstances.
William Walter Carter (1872 - 1945)*
Created by: M. L. James
Record added: Oct 16, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30618885
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