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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Olmstead, Charles H. (1837-1926) to Edwin M. Stanton

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00319.01 Author/Creator: Olmstead, Charles H. (1837-1926) Place Written: Fort Columbus, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 10 June 1862 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Olmstead, a Confederate officer who surrendered Fort Pulaski and was taken as a prisoner of war at Fort Columbus, writes to Union Secretary of War Stanton. Olmstead is concerned that the Union is violating the prisoner of war terms signed by General Quincy A. Gillmore and himself at the surrender. The surrender terms stated that the Confederate sick and wounded should be sent up to the Confederate lines. Olmstead has found out that instead of these sick and wounded men being allowed to return home, they were kept and arrangements were made for them to be exchanged for Federal prisoners in Confederate General Alexander Lawton's control. Olmstead informs that he wrote to Gilmore who assured him that the prisoners were only kept because of the dangerous condition of the wounded. But Olmstead then received a letter from a prisoner of war he supposed was already at home, but was really still in captivity. Olmstead requests assistance from Stanton in procuring justice for these men. Olmstead signs as Col. 1st Vol. Reg. of CSA, Prisoner of War.

People: Hart Olmstead, Charles Hart, 1837-1926.
Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869.
Gillmore, Quincy Adams, 1825-1888.
Lawton, Alexander Robert, 1818-1896.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Military History, Civil War, Union Forces, Confederate Soldier's Letter, Confederate States of America, Lincoln's Cabinet, Prisoner of War, Health and Medical, Injury or Wound, Military Law, Battle

Sub Era: The American Civil War