Starr, George H. (fl. 1863-1865)
Title: [Diary of George H. Starr]
Captured at Gettysburg in July of 1863, George H. Starr of company D in the 104th regiment of the New York Infantry made a number of escape attempts from Confederate prisons, before succeeding in October of 1864. Much of the diary is empty, with entries grouped in sections. Explains in the inside front cover that he made these entries from memory in November of 1864 from his home in Rochester, New York. He adds, "I had a Diary for year 1864 that I lost in swamp in South Carolina." The first written section begins on 1 March 1864 and ends on 5 March, of which all of the entries were struck out. There is an entry for 14 March, entries from 3-4 July, 25 July to 7 August, and lastly, from 1 October to the end of the year on 31 December. Also includes memoranda, accounts and some addresses in the end pages. Loss of half of title page. Excerpts: March 14, 1864: "... Some 40 Officers of us were sent down Stairs to be paroled for Special Exchange. I was one of the no. I had signed the parole, been examined, & was ready to go when Major Turner read a Prison Order Stating that any Officers who had been of the no that Escaped in Feb'y could not now be Exchanged. So 3 of us were forced to go back to our quarters. It was worse than death to us ..." 3 July: "Capt [blank] Davis of [blank] was the Rebel officer in Command of the prison pen at Macon and he was a humane man, & apparently tried to do all that he could for our comfort, but his resources were limited." 4 July: "This day was celebrated by the Union Officers in stockade at [Macon by a] by speeches & patriotic songs At this time there was about 1400 to 1500 Union officers in that prison pen, of all ranks from Maj Genl to 2nd Lieut. The Johnnies looked somewhat displeased but did not interfere with our celebration" 25 July: "Rumors have prevailed in our stockade for some days that Gen Sherman was about Sending out a raiding party under Stonewall for the Captain of macon; the Release of us officers also the men at Andersonville; & the destruction of the Central R.R. We do not Know whether to Credit these Stories or not." 28 July: Writes that he and others "remained in camp at the column was passing thro' Macon being determined to Escape I walked out from the Column onto the Sidewalk, was not seen & the column moved on. So I was left alone in a strange city But not despairing I pushed on north & flanking the Cavalry pickets outside the [cows. ?] Kept on untill light, when I went into the woods" 11 October: Labeled "Escaped." "3. a.m. Escaped from Camp by passing between Sentinels 100 feet apart. 5 of us, Hastings, Langworthy, Terwilliger Aldrich & myself. The party agreed to take a westerly direction on the South Side of Saluda River. Being so late we made but -2 miles this am. & laid by for the day in a Swamp. Built a little fire & boiled some raw potatoes which we had."