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Our needs for transcription are many.  We have been working on creating a listing of all prisoners that were imprisoned at Johnsonís Island.  We need help in transcribing lists of POWs from the original prison books to excel files.  If you are proficient in excel, and want to help with this much needed project, please let Dr. Bush know dbush@heidelberg.edu.

We have many copies of original documents that need transcribed.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Bush at any time to request copies for transcription.  We will be glad to provide you with the guidelines for transcription, and you are guaranteed having a great time learning first-hand about prison experiences.  Check out a transcription currently being conducted. 

From the Diary of Lieutenant W.B. Gowan

Arrived June 5th, 1863
Left the Island February 20, 1865

June 10th-1863

Every day is alike here now. The Sutler brings in News Papers nearly every day which we have free use of. The News for the last day or two has been of a favorable character even though Northern Papers. Vicksburg is stil holding out bravely and we have stong reasons to hope that Gen. Johnson will soon be in Grants rear with a force sufficient to raise the seige.

June 11th-1863

Another day has passed which seems almost a blank. I was anxious indeed to go home when I was in our own camps but now I am getting truly and thoroughly home sick. If I had as many good books & Papers as I could read I could pass the time off much more pleasantly. Lt. Pearson has bought him a sett of Chess Men and we have made a very nice board to play on and occasionally we have a game of chess by way of killing time and when we get tired of that we try a game of Draughts by way of variety. We are pretty well matched at both which makes it the more interesting. Lt. Collier still quite sick don't seem to improve any at all. His Dr. is Kentuckian who is also a prisoner he is furnished with medicine by the Surgeon of the Post and does most of the practice for the prisoners.

June 12th-1863

We have had nothing to day to relieve the dull monotany of this place. The drum beats inside every morning at 8 O'Clock a.m.when each Mess is required to form in front of the Block which they occupy the Roll is then called and the prisoners counted by a Yankkee Serg. All lights except in sick rooms are required to be put out at Taps which are Beat at 9 O'Clock P.M.

June 13th (Saturday)-1863

This has been cook day for our room again. You would be interested if you could see me wiping the dishes and setting the Table Etc. but I am getting very tired of it. I had much rather be where such things are done by Women. Our rations are issued to us every seven days except meat & Bread which is issued every morning.

June 14th- Sunday 1863

We had a little sensation inside of th walls to day esused by the arrival of another Squad of Prisoners numbering about 300 these were not fresh from the South but were removed to this place from Camp Chase for what reason I have not learned. They belong I understand principally to Gen. Gragg army. There are now as near as I can guess at it about 500 Prisoners on the Island. I looked in vain among the crows that came in to day for some one that I knew. I learn that some of them are from Ala. but I could not find a familiar face in all the crowd. I finished reading through my Testament to day and will now start through again.

June 15th-Monday, 1863

I have nothing to note of to day occurrence. We hear it hinted that there is no probability of an exchange of Officers soon owing to some misunderstanding between the two Governments. This is very unpleasant news to us but I hope that these things if it is so will not be of long duration and that natters will soon be arranged between them so that we will not have to stay here many more days.

June 16th-Tuesday 1863

One month to day since the Battle at Chapion Hil in which I was taken a Prisoner. It seems to me that it has been almost a year so slowly has the time passed I would give a good deal to hear from the Major now an dlearn how he came out with his wounds. PLerhaps he is in Sylacauga by this time surrounded by the comforts of home and family. I hope he is.

June 17th-Wednesday 1863

We had good news to day both from Vicksburg and Virginia, but we hear nothing to give us any hope of being exchanged soon. Among the Prisoners who are here and who were captured at the same battle that I was are four Cols., Namely Col. M.L. Woods of the 46th Ala; Col. Philips of the 52nd Ga.; Gregg of the 60th Tenn. & Col. Craven of the Arkansas Regt. there are also two or three Lt. Cols. and several Majors. All the field officers of the 46th Ala were captured. There are about 150 of the 30th Ala Regt. now prisoners of war most of them being captured at Champion Hill some of them at Port Gibson and some at Vicksburg. The number killed and wounded will boudtless run it up to 200.

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