These links will only be online for a few more days. I am not selling anything, I just thought someone would like to read this on Ship Island. regards, Pat, list-owner http://www.sunherald.com/160/story/191165.html http://www.sunherald.com/160/story/191165-p2.html By KAT BERGERON A little slice of history New book details life on Ship Island Page 1 Ship Island is a slice of sandy beauty, an undeveloped barrier island inviting and restful to those who venture the 12 miles from the Mississippi Coast. The research of Theresa Arnold Scriber and her husband Terry G. Scriber, however, chronicles a little-known era of miserable existence. Their new book, "Ship Island, Mississippi: Rosters and History of the Civil War Prison" gathers the names of men and women forced to live, and sometimes die, on the island. It is, first of all, a resource book because of the soldier and civilian rosters of Southerners imprisoned or buried there and the Union guards who died there. It is a rare compilation of names that will help genealogists, historians and war researchers with their own writings. "Ship" is also a place to learn ancestor links to the prison. Secondly, the book by McFarland & Co., a North Carolina publisher of scholarly and research works, gathers stories and eye-witness accounts of the Civil War era. Unlike the name rosters, the history is not comprehensive but offers glimpses of island life and unbearable elements - scorching sun, biting flies, poor food, gritty sand. Union Maj. Gen. Benjamin, who first oversaw the prison proved his nickname "Beast" was appropriate. Freed black men from the Louisiana Native Guard served as Union guards, a unique occurrence. "That small island in the Gulf of Mexico had a significant role in American history," said Theresa Scriber, who learned about Ship when she lived in nearby Slidell. "We felt a book like this could reach a wide audience and serve many different purposes." An interesting aside is that she is a New Englander, also land of Beast Butler; her co-author husband grew up in Louisiana immersed in Confederate history. The rosters are divided by states with a separate section for citizen prisoners. With each name are such facts as enlistment dates and locations, troop assignments, POW data and veteran benefits. The civilian roster, when possible, tells why they were imprisoned. "We had to go to many different sources, archives and private collections because the information is so scattered," Theresa Scriber said. An estimated 3,500 were imprisoned on Ship, mostly Confederates, but the miserable existence included the guards. When President Lincoln tired of stories of Butler's heavy handiness in the Gulf region and occupied New Orleans, he reassigned Butler. Butler whisked away his records, and, that combined with unreadable island log book pages create record gaps. Page 2 The island has a long and fascinating history, one acknowledged mostly by locals and the Gulf Islands National Seashore park rangers who now oversee Ship. Two big chapters are from 1699 when French explorers moored off Ship and from the War of 1812, when the British used Ship as a staging ground for Battle of New Orleans, The era the Scribers explore most is the 1860s, starting with the poor Confederate strategy of abandoning the island, a move that led to the capture of the South's largest city, New Orleans. At least 400 died at the POW camp, most buried in graves there. Some Union dead were reburied elsewhere not long after the war, but most bodies were claimed by island erosion. "The prison was a very desolate, grim experience," Terry Scriber said. "The prisoners were guarded by some of the first Negro soldiers in the Union Army and for everyone, it was quite a culture shock. It is interesting to see the prejudice of both sides and how they interacted." "The one thing we hope this book does is to bring attention to Ship Island's role as a prison. There's plenty of books out there on other Civil War island prisons, but there's been little attention to this one." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About the book What: "Ship Island Mississippi: Rosters and History of the Civil War Prison" by Theresa Arnold-Scriber and Terry G. Scriber, ISBN-13:978-0-7864-3236-3. Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, N.C. Price: $75, hardbound, 471 pages. Available: Bookstores, Internet book buying, from the publisher. About the authors: Theresa Arnold-Scriber and security consultant Terry G. Scriber reside in Knoxville, Tenn. They are authors of "The Fourth Louisiana Battalion in the Civil War (2008). Terry Scriber's first Civil War book is "Twenty-Seventh Louisiana Volunteer Infantry."