Diaries and letters of Civil War soldiers from Connecticut form a large part of our manuscript holdings, so I don’t go out of my way to add more material unless it tells a previously unknown or undocumented bit of history. That is how and why we acquired a certificate issued to Alonzo G. Case of Simsbury by the Connecticut Association of Union Ex-Prisoners of War. We had nothing comparable to it in the collection. Who knew there was such an organization?
I always love learning new things, so I dutifully started researching Mr. Case and the Association. Lieutenant Case was with Company E of the 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. He was captured April 20, 1864, in Plymouth, North Carolina, and paroled nearly a year later on March 7, 1865. During that year he was moved between prisons in Macon, Charleston, Savannah and Columbia, Georgia. He also served a stint at the infamous Andersonville prison.
The National Union of Andersonville Survivors was organized at Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1874 with Warren Lee Goss of Norwich, Connecticut, president. The name of the association changed several times between then and 1883 when it became Union Ex-Prisoners of War Association. While searching for more information on the group I came across an interesting document published by the Connecticut Association in 1910: Diary of Rev. H. Clavreul with the Names of Dying Federal Soldiers to Whom he Ministered at Andersonville, GA.
Alonzo Case was awarded his certificate on February 22, 1893, signed by John B. Clapp, President of the Connecticut Association, and Hiram Buckingham, Secretary. You can see this document by requesting Ms 101875 in the Waterman Research Center.