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Telling The Story Of Civil War Colored Troops At Andersonville Prison




Charles Town, WV ( -- Charles Town West Virginia national award winning author Bob O'Connor, a Civil War writer who has given us three historical novels about the conflict, has changed gears and published a non-fiction civil war book called The U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison.

The book is a follow up of his fictional account “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War” in which the main character, a colored blacksmith from the 54th Massachusetts USCT, was captured following the Battle of Olustee, Florida and taken to Andersonville Prison.

The new book gives the known biographical information on the 103 black soldiers incarcerated in the famous Confederate Prison at Andersonville, Georgia. The untold story of the USCT troops in the prison includes documentation on the origins of the U.S. Colored Troops.

“Of the 179,000 plus black soldiers who fought in the U.S. Army, only 776 are documented as having been in a Confederate prison,” O'Connor claims. “One hundred three of those were in Andersonville, including more than half from either the 8th USCT (Pennsylvania) or the 54th Massachusetts, mostly captured at the February 20, 1864 battle at Olustee (also called Ocean Ponds).”

O'Connor states, “Colored soldiers were often shot and killed or even taken back to the South and sold into slavery. In several instances, the black soldiers were killed even while surrendering, with the reports of the Battle of Fort Pillow being amongst the worst instances of that happening.”

The 103 prisoners include two white officers of the USCT who should have been taken to an officers prison. They held instead with the enlisted men because they were USCT officers. As such, they were also denied medical help at the prison.

Of the 103 prisoners, thirty-four died at the prison. Another 12 survived the prison and were transferred to Florence, South Carolina only to die within thirty days after their arrival.

The new book contains photographs of each headstone at the cemetery for 33 of the 34. The other is in an unmarked grave. The book is well documented and footnoted.

O'Connor says it is remarkable that for soldiers who were starving, had no clean water, and were denied medical attention, they all have marked graves at Andersonville. By comparison, none of the twelve transferred to Florence have marked graves.

O'Connor, who is available for and has done programs on both slavery and the USCT at schools, libraries, historical societies, Civil War Round Tables, and museums throughout the U.S., has been named finalist twice in the national Book Awards by USA Book News and was named runner up in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition.

The book was published by Infinity Publishing in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. It is 104 pages and retails for $10.95.

His other books include The Perfect Steel Trap Harpers Ferry 1859 an account of John Brown's raid, trial, execution and the seven raiders who got away; Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War about a colored blacksmith and his attempts to become a free man; and The Virginia Who Might Have Saved Lincoln an account of Ward Hill Lamon, Abraham Lincoln's personal bodyguard.

For additional information on the author or the books, please visit He may be contacted at



Bob O'Connor Books LLC


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