"Surely They Remember Me":
The 16th Connecticut in War,
Captivity, and Public Memory
Lesley J. Gordon
ON NOVEMBER 30, 1864, twenty-year-old Sergeant Major Robert H. Kellogg of the 16th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers became a free man. Since early May 1864, he and most of the rest of his regiment had been confined in Confederate prisons at Andersonville, Georgia, and Florence, South Carolina. After his exchange, he went home to Connecticut for a short furlough to recuperate and regain his strength, but he soon had to return to duty at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Maryland, to help process the thousands of other fellow prisoners returning north after months of incarceration. Through much of January 1865, as the war wound down, he witnessed the release of many other prison survivors like himself. Kellogg began to write about his experiences, drawing heavily from a personal diary he had kept in prison. Promised up to $1,000 for his account, Kellogg worked on his book feverishly, mailing stacks of manuscript pages to a publisher in Hartford. Printed in March 1865, Life and Death in Rebel Prisons was one of the first of many Andersonville memoirs published over the next three decades.
There were other factors than money at work in motivating Kellogg to make his personal story public. Convinced that few at home understood the appalling conditions he had withstood, he felt driven to share his experiences. Part of Kellogg's liberation was no doubt the freedom to tell his story openly. He was by no means an objective chronicler, depicting Confederates as cold, immoral people who deliberately caused the deaths of thousands of helpless men. In October 1865, he would testify in the Henry Wirz trial, helping to convict the