My 2 times great-grandfather James Parsons 16th Maine Inf. Co.A was in the Reg. from 1862 to 1864, he died at Salisbury NC Prison Camp. Buried most likey in one of the unmarked trenches. No photos of James survive, is it possible there is one taken of his regiment or Company somewhere? I have been to Gettysburg and stood where the 16th Maine held back the Rebel Army until they could no longer do so, it was a very emotional experience for me. I've read a letter written by him and owned by a distant relative of mine, he did not seem to be much different than our soldiers of today, he wanted everyone to know he was fine but worried about his wife and children and wanted them to made as comfortable as possible. Thanks for any help, Eileen Gloria  

Views: 261

Replies to This Discussion

Photos from that era are hard to come by. My Great Grandfather was in the Civil War, and he like most soldiers of that day ( and your Grandfather ) and today's soldiers thought about,and I'm sure worried about home, not themselves. That letter that you speak of is priceless. Thanks for sharing. I did look around some and on the Maine State Archives website is a picture of Field Staff and Line Officers. This is where I found it. Good luck and happy hunting.


Thanks for the Photo, very interesting even though James Parsons had died by this time. Paper work said he died of diarrhea but the family was told he staved to death. When he wrote this letter he was at Fort Tillinghurst August 25 1862. While writing, orders came that the 16th was to guard chain bridge. His hand writing and wording were of perfection, he must have been fairly well educated in that day and age. A distant relative owns that letter now, I do not know if I have the right to copy it. The person who sent me the copy originally has died and I do not know where his kin lives and have never met them. I was never told to give or not give it to others. He made Sgt. at Gettysburg, was taken prisoner and released and again prisoner at Welden RR Va. in Aug. 18/19 of 1864. Died in hospital Dec. 1864. His widow received $8.00 a month as long as she lived, and children $2.00 a month until 16 years of age. The children when adults seem to make good lives for themselves, 3 daughters stayed unmarried, one died in her teens, one was a school teacher, the other a forewoman in a shirt factory. The son (Idecend from) was a machinest, the other 2 daughters married and moved west coming back to Maine when widowed. Thanks again...

I now have 2 copy photo's of James Parsons, one of him in a dress uniform holding a rifle Cpl stripes, the 2nd. of him in a regular uniform with Sgt stripes, the index finger of his right hand pointing to a book that might have been a bible. his left hand holding a small book or card??.. This was sent to me by a distant relative...for which I'll be forever grateful...


A little bit about Salisbury National Cemetery.


And a link to a good deal of info about the prison.


It's interesting he died less than a month after the attempted mass prison break - I wonder if he was one on those wounded by cannon fire?


That moment, when the 16th decided to tear their flag to pieces... unimaginable.




Are you related to the Gordon's of Fayette Me.? My great-grandmother married Eugene S Gordon 1849-1930. 2nd. marriage for both, no ch: from this marriage. The Gordons are buried in the Fayette Corner Cem. on Baldwin Hill Rd. Fayette Me. A brother Lewis Gordon died at his father's home in 1865, he had been in the Army, his tomb stone tells of all the battles he was in. I believe a brother Calvin was in the war too.  


There is a wonderful monument there for the Maine soldiers dedicated in 1907, Maine should be very proud of this monument, I think there are 200 plus Maine soldiers buried there in those unmarked graves, I maybe mistaken but around 19 of them from the 16th. Maine. 

I have been to Gettysburg where the 16th. Me. held back the Rebel Army as long as they could, there is a wonderful monument and markers telling where the battle actually was. I've also been to Weldon RR Va. where he was captured. Salisbury Prison has a beautiful Maine Monument dedicated to all Maine soldiers in 1908, this dedication is online. The burial site is towards the back of the Cemetery. 


© 2021   Created by Chris Dunham.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service