pp. Small quarto. Original half cloth and marbled boards. Spine cracked, some wear and rubbing to boards. A few leaves beginning to detach. Light tanning and dampstaining. Good plus. Item #132
A fascinating commonplace book kept by Confederate prisoner of war Oswald Tilghman while being held at Johnson's Island for the last two years of the war. Tilghman was originally from Maryland, but moved to Washington County, Texas in the late 1850s. He volunteered in Terry's Texas Rangers at the outset of the war and had risen to the rank of lieutenant by mid-1863, when he was captured at the Siege of Port Hudson. He was a descendant of Tench Tilghman, who served as secretary and aide to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. After the Civil War, Oswald Tilghman served in several political Maryland state political offices, and was the Maryland Secretary of State from 1904 to 1908.
Tilghman titled this book, "A Scrap Book of Quotations," and it contains nearly one hundred and twenty pages of handwritten quotations, poems, Revolutionary War statistics, and other items of interest written or gathered by Tilghman while imprisoned on Johnson’s Island in 1864. Johnson was captured in mid-1863 and remained at Johnson's Island until the end of the war, but all of the present entries seem to be from that year. Much more than a prisoner of war autograph book, the diary is a compilation of popular and original song and verse, much of it composed by and gathered from fellow Confederate prisoners, as well as much by Tilghman himself. Perhaps unsurprisingly, two major themes present in many of the entries are love and death. There is an entry on the death of Brigadier General Charles H. Winder, "The Soldier's Deathbed," and several verses by Confederates addressed to girls back home. The volume also includes some lighter entries as well, such as an ode to "Goober Peas," and is filled from pastedown to pastedown, with occasional cross-written additions on already full pages.
A unique window into Confederate prison life at Johnson's Island.