Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352
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I'm trying to get a good handle on the POW exchanges the North and South did during the war. I have an ancestor who served in the 3rd Missouri Infantry on the Confederate side. Looking through his records it lists him getting captured at Port Gibson on May 3rd. Then being released the next day and rejoining his regiment. But then I found a file saying he was processed at Alton, Illinois on the 18th of May. Then exchanged at City Point, VA on June 12th. But I also have a file saying he served with his command in all the battles up to Vicksburg. I'm wondering if this was all done by paperwork or if he was physically at Alton and then City Point. I had assumed he would have to had been there physicallyat the POW camps but if thats the case how was he with his regiment during the battles for Vicksburg.
It's possible he was captured and exchanged upon giving his parole and rejoined his unit as a parolee. He would have been able to do additional duties and such but not carry a weapon. Then his exchange was completed on the 18th via paperwork. Though that seems suspect, almost as suspect as his being captured on the 3rd and being physically present in Alton Illinois on the 18th. It seems, to me, most likely to be a paperwork screwup. It wasn't uncommon. I recall seeing one man who was w/ his Regt and reported killed in battle. Reality was that he had been seperated from his unit and fell iin w/ another Regt. Took him almost a month to get back to his unit and he was good... until payday came and he was found listed as dead. Thought they got it all fixed until decades later when he applied for his pension and was shown that he died in 1863... fun.