FPUL Small Talk 13 Months in Dixie May 17, 2023
Jeaninne Surette Honstein and Steven Knowlton present to the Friends of Princeton University Library their adventure in discovering, transcribing, and annotating an incredible manuscript that details the thrilling and sometimes horrifying ordeals of a starving prisoner in the last 13 months of the Civil War.
“Thirteen Months in Dixie” is a rollicking tale of adventure, captivity, hardship, and heroism during the last year of the Civil War in a first-hand account by Oscar Federhen. Federhen wrote his recollections not long after the war, but they were hidden away for decades as a family heirloom.
Federhen was a new recruit to the 13th Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery, when he shipped out to Louisiana in the spring of 1864 to participate in the Red River Campaign. Not long after his arrival at the front, a combination of ill-luck and bad timing led to his capture. Federhen was marched overland to Tyler, Texas, where he was held as a prisoner of war in Camp Ford, the largest POW camp west of the Mississippi River.