where "leather biscuits" might be purchased "at twenty cents
apiece"28 or a "very tough" pie for a dollar.29
One wonders where the money for such purchases came from.
Some prisoners had managed to keep whatever funds they car-
ried at the time of capture. Money was most often obtained by
selling personal effects or items made by various enterprises
within the prison.0 Colonel Charles C. Nott, 176th New York,
furnishes a kind of before-and-after picture. When he arrived in
The prisoners at Camp Ford were poor. They even thought them-
selves too poor to borrow. They possessed no supplies to sell; and in
manufactures they had not risen above carved pipes and chessmen.
They lived on their rations and cooked those rations in the simplest
manner. Half of them had no tables, and more than half no furniture.1
One officer, possessed of a worn-out file, a large screw, and a couple
of old horse-shoes, ground the file into a chisel, and turned the screw
and worn-out horse-shoes into a good turning lathe. Another changed
this lathe from a half action to full-action. A third made for it a crank
and foot-treadle. A fourth built an entirely new lathe, better than
Eventually more than forty articles were made by the prisoners
at Ford, some of them "fancy work," which "sold at paying
One of the most unusual pursuits followed at Camp Ford was
that of Captain William H. May, a Connecticut officer who "pub-
lished" a newspaper for the camp. At least three different issues
of The Old Flag, dated February 17, March 1, and March 13,
1864, were turned out on paper carefully lettered by hand with
2sJohn M. Stanyan, A History of the Eighth Regiment of New Hampshire Volun-
teers: Including Its Service as Infantry, Second N. H. Cavalry, and Veteran Bat-
talion . (Concord, New Hampshire, 1892), 525-
29Bering and Montgomery, Forty-eighth Ohio, 166.
sOlbid.; Bringhurst and Swigart, Forty-sixth Indiana, 122; Nott, Sketches in Prison
8sBringhurst and Swigart, Forty-sixth Indiana, 122; Nott, Sketches in Prison
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed March 3, 2015.