Do you know of Immortal 600?
600 Confederate officers that were held prisoner by the Union Army in 1864 to 1865 and were intentionally starved and 46 died as a result. They are known as the “Immortal Six Hundred” because they refused to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. under duress We must not forget.
Mind you the whole story of these men started in August of ’64 and this is only a brief highlight.
Once the mighty men of the Immortal Six Hundred were moved to Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia. It would be on October 23,1864, tired, ill-clothed, men arrived so their chapter in the halls of Southern Heroes truly begun when they made a mighty stand for what they believe was right.
There they were informed by their new commandant that he had requisitioned food, blankets and other supplies for them but that his request had been denied.
Instead, Col. P.P. Brown of the 127th New York told them that he had been ordered to feed them only “ten ounces of corn meal and one-half pint of onion pickle each twenty-four hours, as a ration, without salt, meat, grease, or vegetables.”
The prisoners also were deprived of clothing, shoes, blankets and warmth. Confined in an iron cage inside the walls of Fort Pulaski, their health grew worse and one by one they continued to die.
The men of the Immortal Six Hundred were intentionally starved by the U.S. Army for sixty-three days. Scurvy erupted among them and the rate of sickness and death became alarming. As one of the prisoners later wrote, “It was a pitiable sight to see human beings being starved to death by a government claiming to be civilized, humane, and religious.”
Snow fell in Savannah on Christmas Day, 1864, and reached a depth of fout inches on the parade ground of Fort Pulaski. The prisoners, however, were allowed no additional clothing, no blankets and no fires. They became, prisoner J. Ogden Murray later wrote, “walking skeletons.”
After Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman took Savannah at the end of his March to the Sea in December 1864, his medical officers inspected the condition of the prisoners at Fort Pulaski and were shocked. On February 7, 1865, Brevet Maj. Gen. C. Grover, who had been placed in command at Savannah by Gen. Sherman, reported that the prisoners were “in a condition of great suffering and exhaustion for want of sufficient food and clothing.” He urged that they be helped.
Instead, their suffering continued with no relief. Prisoner Murray later wrote:
…Language cannot describe our condition during the last days at Fort Pulaski, on the corn meal and pickle diet. Words are inadequate to make the picture. No pen can draw the ghastly picture and horrors of those days and nights….
The prisoners did note the humanity of their guards at Fort Pulaski. Humiliated by the treatment of the human beings they were compelled to guard, soldiers from the 127th New York often slipped them loaves of bread and other items of food.
The survivors of the Immortal Six Hundred remained at Fort Pulaski until March 1865 when they finally were loaded aboard ship and taken back to Fort Delaware. Thirteen of their comrades remained behind in the swampy soil of Cockspur Island where Fort Pulaski still stands today. Another over 45 would died in Fort Delaware.
By the time they left Georgia, the men had become heroes to the people of the South. Subjected to intentional torture and starvation because a Southern general dared to threaten to use Union prisoners of war to stop the U.S. Army from firing on civilians, they were remembered by the people of the South for generations. Their memory is fading now, but their story is one that the nation would do well never to forget.
A monument to the men of the Immortal Six Hundred can be seen today in the small cemetery by the moat of Fort Pulaski. It was placed there by the Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, on October 27, 2012.
The thirteen men buried at Fort Pulaski came from six different Southern states: Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
This is why we to shall stand for what is right. Why we must grab hold the heartfelt tales of our Southern Kinfolk and not let go. Pass them to a generation who will understand, stories of mighty Southerns. Who stood strong though the testament of time And still honored and remember today.
Thank you mighty men of the Immortal Six Hundred We carry on tales of yours and many bravery and valor We pick up the banner you left And rise it high For truth, for honor, For our Southern Heroes.
The Immortal 600 -The CAPTIVES
October 25, 1864 ~ The Immortal 600 arrive at Fort Pulaski. Thirteen would perish before they would be transferred out
The story of the Immortal 600, six hundred Confederate Officer Prisoners is one of the cruel faces of the war.
KENTUCKIANS – MORGANS MEN captured in the Great Raid in July 1863 in Ohio and transported to Fort Delaware. Twenty-nine men (4.8 percent of the total) were to join the ranks of the Immortal 600 and three would die as a result of their imprisonment.
1LT. SAMUEL ADKINS-B-5TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. STEPHEN ALLENSWORTH-E- 2ND KY. CAVALRY
+1LT. WILLIAM CROW- B -6TH KY. CAVALRY ** (died 12 Nov. 1865)
2LT. ADDISON CHINN-A -8TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. SAMUEL COWAN-H- 6TH KY. CAVALRY
1LT. BENJAMIN DRAKE-2ND KY. CAVALRY
1LT. WILLIAM DUNLAP-F- 2ND KY. CAVALRY
1LT. FELIX EAKINS –G -10TH KY CAVALRY
CPT. THOMAS EASTMAN-C-8th KY. CAVALRY
2LT. WILLIAM FORD –D-8TH KY. CAVALRY
1LT. ISHAM FOX-B-11TH KY. CAVALRY
CPT. THORTON HAMMACK-D-10TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. ROBERT HAYNES-A-6TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. JOHN HUGHES-A-6TH KY.CAVALRY
2LT. GEORGE HUNTER-G-8TH KY. CAVALRY
1LT. WILLIAM KENDALL-A-3RD KY. CAVALRY
1LT. WILLIAM LEATHERS-A-2ND KY. CAVALRY
CPT. MATTHEW LOGAN-I-3RD KY. CAVALRY
CPT. ROBERT LOGAN-A-3RD KY. CAVALRY
MAJ. JAMES MCCREARY- STAFF-11TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. BENJAMIN MCNEAR-I-6TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. J.O. MEADOWS –A -3RD KY. CAVALRY
1LT. HANSEN MOLES-F-7TH KY. CAVALRY
+2LT. JAMES MORRIS-D-8TH KY. CAVALRY** (died 7 April 1865)
1LT. GEORGE NASH-K-6TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. LEWIS NEWTON D-3RD KY. CAVALRY
CPT. ALAMRINE NORRIS-14TH KY. CAVALRY
+2LT. FRANK PEAKE-BYRNES ARTILLERY** (died 2 Oct. 1864)
2LT. DAVID PREWITT-A-6TH KY. CAVALRY
2LT. CHARLES RICHARDS-D-5TH KY. CAVALRY
Major James McCreary would survive the war and become a twice-elected, two-time governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
GEORGIANS who were members of the Immortals:
CPT. JOHN ALLEN-55TH GA. INF.
CPT. JOHN ASHTON-4TH GA. CAV.
2LT. WILLIAM AVANT-61ST GA. INF.
CPT. WILLIAM BARNES-9TH GA. ART.
1LT. ANDREW BARTON-55TH GA. INF.
2LT. JOHN BENTLEY-22ND GA. INF.
MAJ. DANIEL BOOTEN-3RD GA. CAV.
1LT. JAMES BOSS-35TH GA. INF
1LT. WILLIAM BOSWELL-53RD GA. INF
1LT. SANFORD BRANCH-8TH GA. INF.
1LT. BENJAMIN BROWN-59TH GA. INF
+1LT. IVERSON BURNEY-49TH GA. INF (died 12 November 1864)
1LT. THOMAS CARR-43RD GA.INF.
CPT. THOMAS CARTER-14TH GA. INF.
2LT. WILLIAM CHERRY-4TH GA. INF.
2LT. WILLIAM CHEW-7TH GA. CAV.
1LT. ROBERT CHILDS-4TH GA. INF.
CPT. JAMES CONNALLY-44TH GA. INF
2LT. THOMAS CRAWFORD-26TH GA. INF.
2LT. JOHN DAVIES-14TH GA. INF.
CPT. HENRY DEADWYLER-38TH GA. INF.
1LT. JOSEPH DELOACH-61ST GA.INF
1LT. WILLIAM DELOACH-7TH GA. CAV.
CPT. WILLIAM DUMAS-53RD GA. INF
1LT. NAPOLEON DURHAM-44TH GA. INF.
CPT. JOSEPH EDMONSON-4TH GA. INF
CPT. CULLEN EZELL-4TH GA INF.
2LT. GORDON FORT-7TH GA. CAV.
1LT. DANIEL GARNETT-11TH GA. INF.
CPT. ALLEN GIBSON-4TH GA. INF.
1LT. DAVID GOODWIN-44TH GA. INF
CPT. WILLIS GORHAM-35TH GA. INF.
1LT. CHRISTOPHER GRACE-12TH GA. INF.
2LT. FRANK GRAVES-61ST GA. INF.
2LT. AUGUSTUS GREEN-12TH GA.INF.
1LT.JAMES GREER-4TH GA.INF
2LT. THOMAS GURR-51ST GA. INF.
CPT. THOMAS HARRIS-12TH GA.INF.
CPT. HARRIS HARRISON-7TH GA. CAV.
CPT. JOHN HENDERSON-61ST GA.INF.
CPT. FRANCIS HOPKINS-7TH GA. CAV.
1LT. WILLIAM HUBERT-4TH GA. INF.
+1LT. WILLIAM IVEY-12TH GA. INF. (died 12 Nov. 1864)
1LT. EUGENE JEFFERS-61ST GA. INF.
CPT. THOMAS KENT-48TH GA. INF.
CPT. JAMES LEMMON-18TH GA. INF.
CPT. GEORGE LEWIS-31ST GA. INF.
+1LT. PETER LYONS-18TH GA. INF. (died 13 March 1865)
1LT. JOSEPH MADDOX-38TH GA. INF.
1LT. JAMES MAXWELL-50TH GA. INF.
CPT. DANIEL MCDONALD-61ST GA. INF.
CPT. ANDREW MCLEOD-51ST GA. INF.
CPT. JAMES McMichael-12TH GA. INF.
CPT. ROBERT MILLER-7TH GA. CAV.
1LT. JOHN MORGAN-45TH GA. INF.
1LT. MILTON MOSLEY-3RD GA. SHARPSHOOTERS
1LT. HENRY MOSES-51ST GA. INF.
CPT. WILLIAM NUTT-53RD GA. INF.
1LT. GEORGE ROUGHTON-49TH GA. INF.
Savannah Militia Camp # 1657 Sons of Confederate Veterans
The above was provided in two separate posts by two different Members of the Facebook page, In Honor of our Southern Ancestors and Confederate Soldiers, October 25, 2019. The original sources are varied. ~ Ed.