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NYHR marks the Civil War 150th anniversary with our book

In Their Honor - Soldiers of the Confederacy - The Elmira Prison Camp

by Diane Janowski with photographs by Allen C. Smith

"It's a masterpiece."
"Thanks so much. It is an honor to those men that died long ago."
"No one's ever told this part of the story."
"...a very enjoyable read and I was touched to see the dedication."

elmira prison camp civil war
Michel Fortlouis, a young Confederate soldier, weary of war, was captured by Union troops at Clinton, Louisiana, thirty miles from his home of New Roads. It was August 1864, in the last year of the War Between the States. Corporal Fortlouis was shipped north to the Union Prison Camp at Elmira, New York, where he died of pneumonia within ten days of his arrival. More than 12,000 young Southern men passed through the camp. Many suffered the harsh winter. Nearly 3,000 died.

In their Honor - Soldiers of the Confederacy - The Elmira Prison Camp respectfully remembers these men and boys, and tells their stories. Research by the author has brought awareness of the soldiers’ relationships - brothers, fathers and sons, cousins and friends. Descendants of the soldiers have contributed harrowing stories of survival or despair. They were captured together. Some made it home.

In their Honor includes narratives from prisoners’ families, and a complete revised list of the Confederate dead at Woodlawn National Cemetery.
SOFTCOVER edition $21.95
ISBN: 978-0-578-02798-2
buy now220 pages

HARDCOVER edition $39.95
buy now220 pages

eBook edition >
ISBN: 978-1-257-21842-4
From the author.....
"I live in Elmira, New York. On a trip to Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana in March 2006, photographer Allen C. Smith and I spent an evening with Pointe Coupée historian Brian Costello and began a conversation about the Civil War. A question came up about the infamous Elmira Prison Camp between 1864 and 1865 - did Costello know of any Pointe Coupée soldiers who were sent to Elmira? He believed there was one named Fortlouis. Interest piqued in us. Who was this soldier and what circumstances brought him from New Roads to Elmira. I researched Corporal Michel Fortlouis and he became the reason for this book. Every prisoner in Elmira was just like him - a long, long way from home.

This is a different kind of book about the Elmira Prison Camp. Many writers and scholars in recent years have done a fine job researching and publishing information about the prison camp’s horrors. I have no doubts about their facts about the conditions inside them to Elmira? What happened to the ones who died? What happened to the ones that lived? How do their families remember them today? What familial stories have been passed down to this generation? How does what happened then affect what happens now? I decided to ask the families of some of the prisoners. With 21st century technology I found some families that were willing to talk about this difficult subject.

This book is not about war strategy, nor conditions inside the camp - it is about how the men and boys ended up in Elmira. Where other books about the Elmira camp are very clinical, this one is very personal. Families' words and feelings show just how strong Civil War sentiments still are in 2009. That’s why I’ve written this book. You can hold this book and point to a name and say, "That's my great-great-great grandfather."

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Keywords to help you find this page: history, civil war, elmira, new york, confederate soldiers, confederacy, north and south, pow, prisoners of war, prison camp