The CONNector: The Connecticut State Library Newsletter
Connecticut State Library
 1863 News from Libby Prison

Captain Henry Clinton Davis, 18th Connecticut Volunteers, Civil War, William C. Walker, History of the Eighteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers (Norwich CT, 1885)

Libby Prison Richmond Va. December 1st, 1863

My old and true friends,

Eastman and Stevens,

Your very unexpected

But most welcome communication of the 19th ult. Is received, and I hasten to answer. It afforded me the greatest pleasure to know, that the friends of earlier days had interested themselves to learn my where and how-a-bouts. Accept the thank you of an old friend.

In answer to your inquiries, I would say, that I have been a prisoner since the 15th of June last. Was taken at the battle of Winchester in which I trust I acted an honorable part.

Having been so long in close confinement, prison life has in a measure lost its horrors to me.

I begin to think that our government intends to make "Libby" the permanent residence of her captured officers, by her seeming indifference in all propositions for exchange. Please visit the exchange bureau and accertain what you can for your friend.  I thank you for your proposal to send me whatever articles of comfort I may choose to make a draft on you for. I have already received a box of clothing and provision from home. The commissary stores will soon play out. The authorities here permit us to receive anything except arms, liquors, and greenbacks. Thus far everything sent has been honorably and promptly delivered to us.

My health has been unaccountably good since here, which next to my liberty I must desire.

I was sorry to learn the fate of my classmates White and Alexander. Do you know of the others? Where is Scales? If you correspond with any of the class sisters please remember me. Remember me to Upton and Andrews. Shall visit you when released. Should be pleased to continue correspondence with my Polyphemian Brothers, and whatever skies bend o'er me I shall still be your friend.

Henry Clinton Davis Now Capt. 18th Conn. Vols.

To John B. Eastman &

James D. Stevens Washington, D.C.

CONNector July,2007