The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55326   Message #859314
Posted By: Deckman
05-Jan-03 - 03:02 PM
Thread Name: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
Yes, I think the story of my Great Grandfather, G.W. Murray is interesting, but perhaps only to me. He was from Mass., and was catured by the Rebs at the battle of Antietam, I believe. He and some of his brothers eventually ended up at the notorius Andersonville Prison, in Georgia. After his release, he wrote a small book titled: "A History of George W. Murray: and his Long Confinement at Andersonville, Ga.: also the startvation and death of his three brothers, at the same place/by himself."

In 1956, I was heading into the Army that Fall, so that Summer I took off to explore the country. I left Seattle and headed for Wissconsin. Somehow I got lost and ended up in Columbus, Georgia. While there, I visited Andersonville Prison. At that time, it was not a national memorial yet, so the displays and markers were not as they are today. However I was very moved by the experience. On my way home, I stopped in Springfield, Illinois and found a copy of this book at the State Library. As there were no copying machines at the time, all I could do was to spend a couple of days and read it there.

The preface to the book included a poem. I assumed at the time that it probably was a song sung in the prison, or more likely sung after the war was over. Not knowing the melody, I sang it to the melody of "Lilly of the West." I've enjoyed that song for years.

By the way, if anyone is interested in reading the story of Andersonville, I strongly recommend MacKinlay Kantor's book "Andersonville." He won a Pulitzler Prize for this work. I had read the book prior to my trip and I have just finished re-reading it.

Just before xmas of this year, my local librarian, here in Everett, Washington, located several copies of my Grand Father's book. Shortly I expect to hold a copy of it again. CHEERS, Bob