A Story of Rebel Military Prisons

Cover image for


Author: John McElroy
Published: 1879
Language: English
Wordcount: 190,437 / 549 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 59.1
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 4,711
Added to site: 2006.08.23 14288
Genres: War, History, Biography

The author, when very young, engaged in journalistic work, until the drum of the recruiting officer called him to join the ranks of his country's defenders. As the reader is told, he was made a prisoner. He took with him into the terrible prison enclosure not only a brave, vigorous, youthful spirit, but invaluable habits of mind and thought for storing up the incidents and experiences of his prison life. As a journalist he had acquired the habit of noticing and memorizing every striking or thrilling incident, and the experiences of his prison life were adapted to enstamp themselves indelibly on both feeling and memory. He speaks from personal experience and from the stand-paint of tender and complete sympathy with those of his comrades who suffered more than he did himself. Of his qualifications, the writer of these introductory words need not speak. The sketches themselves testify to his ability with such force that no commendation is required.

Show Excerpt

se and detail are admirable.

Some thirty of the pictures, including the frontispiece, and the allegorical illustrations of War and Peace, are from the atelier of Mr. O. Reich, Cincinnati, O.

A word as to the spelling: Having always been an ardent believer in the reformation of our present preposterous system--or rather, no system--of orthography, I am anxious to do whatever lies in my power to promote it. In the following pages the spelling is simplified to the last degree allowed by Webster. I hope that the time is near when even that advanced spelling reformer will be left far in the rear by the progress of a people thoroughly weary of longer slavery to the orthographical absurdities handed down to us from a remote and grossly unlearned ancestry.

Toledo, O., Dec. 10, 1879.


We wait beneath the furnace blast The pangs of transformation; Not painlessly doth God recast And mold anew the nation. Hot burns the fire Where wrongs expire; Nor spares the hand That


Average Rating of 4 from 3 reviews: ****
J.David Knepper

Federal Private John McElroy had the misfortune to be captured by Confederate forces during the War Between The States and spent over a year in several prisoner of war camps, including Camp Sumter near Andersonville, Georgia.

His experiences, recorded for newspaper serialization fourteen years after his release, were apparently typical for prisoners in that conflict. His memories record a few instances of Christian charity in action in a god-forsaken place, but many more instances of men reduced by circumstance to an animal-like existence. Raiders, low-life New Yorkers were such vicious, murderous predators within the camp that the prisoners sought and received permission to arrest and try the leaders of the pack. In consequence, they convicted and hanged six prisoners for murder.

The author is convinced that the Confederate authorities could have done much at very low cost to alleviate the suffering of its prisoners. However, his testimony is colored by his admitted hatred of the Confederacy, its leaders and Southerners, black and white alike. A tedious read.

Peter Gitta

I can't say how glad I am that I came across this book. I stayed up way too late for a few nights.

The most amazing thing about it is the humor! Considering the subject matter, this writer made me laugh out loud the whole way. And you need to laugh a little, or you'll cry at what these men had to endure.

Think about how rough you have it...then read this book.


Amazing. I'm halfway through this and can barely put it down to eat. A matter-of-fact, day-to-day telling of life at the Andersonville prison in Georgia during the Civil War.



Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

Valkyrie's Vengeance

Loki's Wolves Book 0
Melissa Snark

Fans of paranormal and urban fantasy will enjoy... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

The Titan Drowns: Time Travel Romance

New Atlantis Time Travel Romance Book 6
Nhys Glover


"Heroism and... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

Helga: Out of Hedgelands

Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1
Rick Johnson

VOLUME ONE in the WOOD COW CHRONICLES series. <... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook


Nightmare of the Clans Book One
Pamela E. Cash

There are six secret clans across the world–Afr... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

Mademoiselle At Arms

A Georgian Romance
Elizabeth Bailey

Set in the late Georgian era, Elizabeth Bailey’... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

The Tales of Tim Hurtletuta - New Beginnings

Tales of Tim Hurtletuta Series, Book 1
Matthew James Wilkins

"Tim Hurtletuta has forgotten something. He can... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

After the Cure

Deirdre Gould

Eight years ago the December Plague swept throu... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

The Unveiling

Book One (Age of Faith 1)
Tamara Leigh

12th century England: Two men vie for the thron... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

Healing Her Heart

Crystal Lake Series Book 1
Laura Scott

Dr. Gabe Allen has a rule about dating colleagues... Read more

Cover image for Andersonville by John McElroy - Free eBook

Never A Choice

The Choices Trilogy #1
Dee Palmer

Bethany Thorne has secrets and she’s told a few... Read more

login | register

User ID


reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

The Art of War
by Sun Tzu
Acres of Diamonds
by Russell H. Conwell
I Spy
by Natalie Sumner Lincoln
Napoleon Bonaparte
by John S.C. Abbott
A Yankee in the Trenches
by R. Derby Holmes
The Iliad
by Homer
by Charles King
The Good Soldier
by Ford Madox Ford
Action Front
by Boyd Cable
The River War
by Winston S. Churchill

See more popular titles from this genre.