Philip Burnham - Journalist * Historian * Author

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So Far From Dixie: Confederates in Yankee Prisons

So Far from Dixie is the gripping tale of five men who were sent to New York's infamous POW camp, Elmira, and survived to document their stories. Berry Benson promised that he would escape the prison under honorable circumstances. Anthony Keiley charmed Union authorities into giving him a job at Elmira—and later became mayor of Richmond, Virginia. John King refused to build coffins for his fellow prisoners. Marcus Toney stubbornly stayed in prison until long after the war had ended. And Frank Wilkeson, a young Union army volunteer, ended up enduring the same humiliating punishment meted out to the prisoners he was guarding—and escaping from Elmira under threat of court martial.

"Helmira" was only the most infamous of dozens of Northern “bastilles” where hunger, exposure, brutality, and disease were endemic. It is hard to account for the fact that Yankee prisons remain such a well-kept secret, while houses of horror like Andersonville and Libby Prison are the stuff of national legend. In sum, 26,000 Rebels died in what was called "Yankee captivity"—six times the number of Confederate dead listed for the battle of Gettysburg; twice that for the dead of Antietam, Chickamauga, Chancellorsville, Seven Days, Shiloh, and Second Manassas combined. Their story has been almost as neglected as the camps they died in.





Amazon: “…It is well-written and held my riveted attention for 2-3 days to complete reading it. Prison hardships, tales of escapes, and war experiences make this book a lively read.”

Civil War News: “Those searching for a probing story about life in Civil War prisons will not be disappointed with Philip Burnham's So Far from Dixie.”

Civil War Times: “So Far from Dixie is an outstanding narrative of prison life.”

How to Order:


Rowman and Littlefield


 © 2012 All rights reserved Philip Burnham