Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas: Including the Red River Campaign, Imprisonment at Camp Ford, and Escape Overland to Liberated Shreveport, 1864-1865

$18.95
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Author/Editor:
Jeaninne Surette Honstein and Steven A. Knowlton
Pub Date:
May 2022
ISBN:
978-1-61121-588-5
eISBN:
978-1-61121-589-2
Binding:
Hardcover, 6 x 9
Specs:
3 maps, 18 images, 168 pp.
Signed bookplates:
Available.

About the Book

Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas, is a frolicking true tale of adventure, hardship, and heroism during the last days of the Civil War—in the protagonist’s own words. And it is finally available to the general public after being hidden away for decades as a family heirloom.

Oscar Federhen was a new recruit to the 13th Massachusetts Light Artillery when he shipped out to Louisiana in the spring of 1864 to participate in the Red River Campaign. Not long after his arrival at the front, a combination of ill-luck and bad timing led to his capture. Federhen was marched overland to Tyler, Texas, where he was held as a prisoner of war in Camp Ford, the largest POW camp west of the Mississippi River.

Thirteen Months in Dixie recounts Federhen’s often horrifying and sometimes thrilling ordeals as a starving prisoner. The captured artillerist tried to escape many times and faced sadistic guards and vicious hounds before making good his deadly effort. And his ordeal was just beginning. Making his way back to Union lines forced him to range cross-country through northeast Texas. He had to dodge regular Confederates, irregulars, and Comanches, but was captured a second time and escaped yet again, finally witnessing the collapse of Confederate army in the spring of 1865 in freedom.

Jeaninne Honstein and Steven Knowlton have carefully transcribed and annotated this incredible manuscript to orient the reader to the places, people, and manners described within it. Prominent within its pages are numerous illustrations, including two from Federhen’s own pen. Thirteen Months in Dixie is not only a gripping true story of courage, adventure, and devotion to duty, but a valuable primary source about the lives of Civil War prisoners and everyday Texans during the conflict.



 

 

 

 

 

Jeaninne Honstein is a conceptual artist based in Princeton, New Jersey. Her paintings, sculpture, photography, and writing are influenced by her perception of history and antiquities. She is pleased to bring the story of her ancestor William Francis Oscar Federhen to the attention of the reading public for the first time. Steven A. Knowlton is Librarian for History and African American Studies at Princeton University. His historical research has been published in many peer-reviewed journals. He is the recipient of the William Driver Award from the North American Vexillological Association and the Marshall Wingfield Award from the West Tennessee Historical Society, and has won the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award twice. This is his first book.