Page 31-35

 
 

Transcription

half had to walk through mud and water. Christmas Eve it snowed and was a very unpleasant cold night without tents and many with no blankets. One man had a breaking out like small-pox who traveled on till we arrived at Rolla. Every night I had to give medicines to our sick, as I had brought medicines from Springfield. Christmas Day brought us no dinner as in the good old times, but as I had to walk and was not able to get along fast enough the guard stuck his bayonet into me, for which I thanked the Major, who was behind me. He soon called me out, apologized to me, and I got to ride in the wagons all the time, which was one thing gained.

Additional Information

Map of Cheavens Travels from Springfield to Alton

 

 
 

Transcription

We passed through some very poor land at one point. In one place we found block houses and fortifications. We gained some 6 additional ones at one town, one died, one was left at Rolla. 30th we arrived in Rolla, a very cold night. 31st we started on our way to St. Louis. We took the cars. Open wood cars. It was a cold day and we were nearly frozen. We changed cars at Franklin1, where all had passenger cars. I had a seat in one all the time. I became acquainted with Daniel Fulbright of Springfield who has ever since been one of my warmest friends.

Annotations

1 Pacific

Additional Information

By January 1, 1861, the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad of Missouri extended from St. Louis to Rolla. See Fitzsimmons, "Railroad Development in Missouri," 101-102.

 

 
 

Transcription

At 9 P.M. 31st of December we arrived in St. Louis, the city of my childhood and youth, as prisoners. We were escorted by the Halleck Guards1 to the front of McDowell's College, otherwise called the Gratiot St. Prison.2 We stood in front of it till 11 o'clock before we were admitted. The weather was so cold that one of our number fell dead in his tracks of cold and exhaustion and many more were so exhausted they had to be taken to the Sister's [of Charity] Hospital in an ambulance. After long waiting we were ordered into the presence of our future jailers. Our names, rank, and regiment were taken and our persons were searched. All our pocket knives were taken and all our money over 5 dollars were handed into their keeping. We were then sent around to our quarters.

Annotations

1 Major General Henry W. Halleck, commanding the Department of the West with headquarters in St. Louis.

2 In December, 1861, the McDowell Medical College was confiscated by the Union provost-marshall of St. Louis and converted into a military prison, commonly known as the Gratiot Street Prison.

See St. Louis "Missouri Republican", December 24, 1861.

Additional Information

Cheavens spent most of his youth in St. Louis, working his way through high school as a janitor.

Joseph C. Babb's Letters from Gratiot Street Prision

Map of Cheavens Travels from Springfield to Alton

 

 
 

Transcription

I was immediately surrounded by friends who had been long separated. Saml. Hodge, Cruger, Ravenscraft, Joshua Baker, Winn, Charley Selby, and numbers of others not remembered at present. One gave me a ring, others brought bread, etc. It was 2 or 3 A.M. before this tired body was laid in sleep, Jan. 1st, 1863. The next morning I went to breakfast in the common room and then among the sick in the hospital. Some I was acquainted with. Ravenscraft was board master. I was installed as nurse.1 In 2 or 3 days the dispenser of medicines leaving I took his place, filling it during my stay.

Additional Information

1 Cheavens’ lifelong involvement with medicine begins here. Cheavens will advance his knowledge of medicine throughout the rest of the War, and attend medical school after the War

 

 
 

Transcription

McDowell's College is built of rock on 8th and Gratiot Streets1, consisting of a three story octagonal tower and 2 wings. One wing was occupied by the Federal officers and attendants, with the upper story reserved for Confederate prisoner officers. The northern wing was a basement divided into a cook room and a large room, the middle story one large room and a dining room. The upper story (occupied formerly as a museum) was now a hospital, the loft was the dead room and rubbish room. The lower room of the tower was a cool room when we first went there but afterwards was fitted up for the use of prisoners. The middle room a large room

Annotations

1 Gratiot Street Prision

 

 
   
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