Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 28, 1861 (Sunday): Three Thousand Potential Volunteers

Louisiana State Penitentary

BATON ROUGE, LA., April 28, 1861

His Excellency Jefferson Davis,
    President of the Southern Confederacy:
SIR:  Taking in view the present crisis which overhangs our country, and knowing tht in a few weeks the Southern Confedracy will be invaded by a Northern army, I would beg most respectfully, Mr. President, to call your attention to the facts that there are at this present moment some 3,000 or 4,000 men confined in the different penitentiaries of the seceded States who would be perfectly willing to take up arms for the cause of the beloved South.  Mr. President, there are many in here that have served in the Florida war, and also served with distinction in the battles of Cerro Gordo, Chapultepec, and Monterey.  I am a true Southern by birth and can assure you, Mr. President, that the same military spirit that pervades my country-men outside exists also amongst us within these prison walls.
     I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
            WM R. STRIPLIN

One distinguishing characteristic of the 1800's was the ease with which ordinary citizens (or prisoners, in this case) could communicate with their leaders.

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