The story of a Schroon Lake man’s Civil War experiences is now part of a Georgia museum collection.
Georgia Southern University Museum in Statesboro paid $2,100 for a letter from Cpl. Charles H. Knox, who wrote to is wife in Schroon Lake eight days before Camp Lawton was evacuated as Union forces closed in. Camp Lawton was a Confederate prisoner of war camp. The correspondence is the only known surviving letter from Georgia prison.
In the letter Knox expresses hope that he will be part of a prisoner exchange between Union and Confederate forces.
It was not to be. Knox, a member of the 1st Connecticut Cavalry captured by Confederate forces in May 1864 during the Wilderness Campaign in Virginia, was returned to the notorious Camp Sumter, commonly known as Andersonville.
Knox also kept a diary about his experiences as a prisoner. He was paroled at Andersonville on Feb. 27, 1865, near war’s end, and resumed his career as a carpenter. He died in February 1895 at age 70.
Loris Clark, president of the Schroon-North Hudson Historical Society, said her group is aware of the letter. Members were excited to learn of it and the attention it brought to Schroon Lake, she said.
The story was aired on CNN and an Associated Press report spread the tale nationwide.
Knox’s letter reads:
Lawton Prison, Ga November 14th, 1864
Dear Wife, haveing a chance to send a line into God's Land-- & hopeing you may hear from me by it I write a few lines hopeing they will reach you in safety -- I have written to you every month since I was captured the 5th of May, last & have seen hard times since, but now hopeing the scene may soon change, for we all look for an exchange of most if not all of the Prisinors that are here -- God knows I hope so... for I am tired of (Cecesia) I have been a Prisnor 6 months & 9 days & I think that will do for this time, but I must change the subject .. I have not heard from any of my Friends since the last letter I got from you, about the 28th of April, last, but hope you & Little Charlie are well to all the rest of my friends at home, hope you have not suffer'd for Provisions or Clothing & not let my absents trouble you to much. I am here & shall get out some time & hope that will be soon, but don't know -- if you want any money write to Martin if he is alive for that he is oweing me, it is nine dollars & a half that will help you some; do that you think is for the best as it regards our affairs perhaps you had better sell the cow if hay is dear, there will be some money due me when I get out & get into our lines: & I think that I shall get a furloe & get home to see you & C -- I think there is no use of your trying to get a letter to me for it will never be delivered to me if it should come here -- my health has been good since here but am rather poor but will soon recruit up when I get to our lines, & will come & see you & the rest of the folks So good by
Yours affectionately C.H. Knox
Mrs. C.H. Knox