Horrors of Libby Prison, The
DESCRIPTION: "Did the soldier dream of plenty on the Richmond prison floor? Did he dream that he was marching with his own brave army corps?" The singer describes the starvation and wretched conditions in southern prisons and hopes for release
EARLIEST DATE: 1939 (Thomas)
KEYWORDS: Civilwar soldier prisoner food death
FOUND IN: US(Ap)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Thomas-BalladMakingInMountainsOfKentucky, pp. 59-63, "The Horrors of Libby Prison" (1 text)
NOTES [104 words]: I rather doubt that this is an actual song, though Thomas describes it so; it's too long and plodding to survive in oral tradition. Nonetheless conditions in Confederate prisons were always bad; they hadn't enough to feed their own soldiers, so how could they feed prisoners?
Although the song refers to Libby Prison (and Pemberton Prison), I doubt it is based on anyone's actual experiences at that place; the song seems to describe the fate of enlisted men, but Libby Prison (in Richmond, on the James River, the former warehouse of Libby and Sons) was reserved for officers, and was largely shut down after May 1864. - RBW
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