Camp Parole, Annapolis, Maryland: 1864. Unbound. Bi-fold Magnus song-letter sheet. Color illustration of Libby Prison along with lyrics to “In the Libby Prison Sadly.” Three pages of text. Couple of toning spots along fold. No mailing envelope. Transcript provided.
In this letter to his sweetheart, Almeda, McArtye cryptically informs her that there was no longer a need to hide his identity and that she could write him directly:
“Sergeant McCarty [to whom the letter was addressed] . . . handed it to me with out opening it. . .. there is now no further necessity for writing under false Colors for I have had several letters lately addressed directly to me, so in future we can communicate openly. ...”
He also expresses regret about a likely a prisoner exchange.
“No doubt you have seen something of it in the papers. . .. It is the Rebel proclamation . . . that all of the prisoners delivered back to them . . . are declared exchanged and that they are going to put them into the field immediately. . .. it will bring about an exchange . . . many of us will be loused out of our furloughs. . .. The men . . . would be happier with their regiments than here and for my own part, let them give me my thirty days furlough, & I am ready to return.”
Captured Union soldiers could be placed on “parole” and kept by their own side in non-combat roles, only returning to combat if prisoners of war were officially exchanged. In 1862, a parole camp was established in Annapolis, Maryland at St. John's College. When it ran out of space, two more were built in the local area.