Southern Prisons of the U.S. Officers
"Southern Prisons of the U.S. Officers" by Robert I. Fisher.
Captain Robert I. Fisher of the 17th Missouri Infantry made sketches of Confederate prisons in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia that were published as a lithograph in 1865. The Confederacy operated 27 P.O.W. camps during the Civil War. Camp conditions were usually terrible, and many men died from chronic dysentery and scurvy.
The "Sulter Tent" was run by a civilian who sold provisions to soldiers in the field or in such prison camps. "Passing the lines" apparently shows Union soldiers arriving in camp. "Drawing wood" is a phrase used by farm folk instead of saying "hauling" or "dragging." Camp Sorghum, officially known as Columbia Military Prison in South Carolina, was established in 1862 as a P.O.W. camp for 1,400 Union soldiers. A diet of sorghum and cornmeal accounts for the prison's nickname.
Robert Joe Fisher, artist and publisher of this lithograph, mustered out of the 17th Missouri Infantry as a 1st Lietenant. At time of enlistment in St. Louis, Fisher (Fischer) listed his nativity as Berlin, Prussia and his occupation as lithographer. The 17th Missouri was also known as the Western Turner Rifles Regiment, which recruited German-Americans for its rank.