• Union Prison Camp - "Hellmira" - 1864-1865

    The Historic Pen Company has just made available the first several pens in a series made from Elmira Prison, 1864-1865.

    Elmira Prison Camp, Elmira, NY - in use from July 6, 1864, until the fall of 1865, was dubbed "Hellmira" by its inmates.

    During the 15 months the site was used as a prisoner of war camp more than 12,100 Confederate soldiers were incarcerated there; of these, nearly 25% (2,963) died from a combination of malnutrition, continued exposure to harsh winter weather, disease from the poor sanitary conditions, and a lack of medical care. The camp's dead were prepared for burial and laid to rest by the sexton, an ex-slave named John W. Jones, at what is now Woodlawn National Cemetery. At the end of the war, each prisoner was required to take a loyalty oath and given a train ticket home. The last prisoner left the camp on September 27, 1865. The camp was then closed, demolished and converted to farmland.

    In 1866 the Confederate Officers Quarters was dismantled and the wood was used to build 4 houses in a row on Grey Street. A recent renovation to one of these documented homes afforded HPC to purchase from the owner, the original construction spruce, yellow oak, hemlock and black walnut lumber being removed so an addition to the house could be constructed.

    This is truly a rare opportunity for any collector, Civil War historian or buff or genealogists who’s ancestors served, were incarcerated or died at this infamous Union Prison where the mortality rate of 25% was exceed only by the Confederate Prison Camp Andersonville (29%).

    To do this “Witness Wood” justice, HPC has created a series of pens that include the first in our Solid Silver Collection, pens that will not only be made of the rarest and most historic of woods but also include 100% solid silver fittings and hardware.

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