Johnson's Island Prison

David R. Bush

in I Fear I Shall Never Leave This Island

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037448
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042305 | DOI:
Johnson's Island Prison

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This chapter introduces the Johnson's Island Civil War Prison site and its role in prisoner-of-war (POW) treatment. The prison's overall design is discussed in terms of how it represents the ideal the Union envisioned for the humane treatment of captured prisoners. Both the historical and archaeological information discovered are discussed in terms of their representing “artifactual voices” from the prison experience. Letters, diaries, drawings, maps, photographs, and all the materials recovered archaeologically participate in telling the story of the POW experience. Giving voice to these items, and placing them in the appropriate context, guides the reader toward understanding the personal experience. The chapter concludes with explaining how each prisoner's experiences were influenced by the patterns of behavior previously established at the prison.

Keywords: artifactual voice; historical context; fresh fish; escape; assimilation

Chapter.  3405 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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