W. ARMSTRONG--CIVIL WAR RECORD
Short Memoir of a Confederate Soldier
Henry W. Armstrong enlisted at Edgecombe, North Carolina on 26 July 1861 to serve as a Confederate Soldier during the War of the Rebellion.
On 14 September 1861 Henry was mustered into Confederate Service for the State of North Carolina at Camp Macon, Warren County, North Carolina. He served as a Private in “A” Company, 8th N. C. Infantry Regiment. His military record listed him as age 35 years, and his occupation as a farmer. His height was 5 feet 8 inches. Not mentioned is the fact he was married with a family.
For nearly 3 years he faithfully served the cause of the Confederate States of America but, on 1 June 1864, he was captured and taken prisoner by Union troops at the Battle of Cold Harbor in Virginia.
Henry W. Armstrong’s name appeared on a roll of Prisoners of War at Point Lookout, Maryland. The roll stated that he arrived at White House, Virginia on 11 June 1864 and on 12 July 1864 he was transferred to Elmira, New York. This city was home to the Elmira Prison Camp, otherwise called “Camp Hell-mira”. This prisoner of war camp was located along the banks of the Chemung River thus being exposed to all the wintry elements that blew down the river valley. Prisoners were housed in tents with little protection against the forces of Mother Nature. It is written that so many prisoners died that their deaths were listed as being caused by “homesickness”.
After suffering the consequences of inadequate shelter, poor rations and severe diarrhea, Pvt. Henry W. Armstrong died on 7 December 1864. He was interred in the Confederate Soldiers’ Plot of Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, N.Y.
Henry W. Armstrong, a “Johnny Reb”, died in a Northern state and never got to see his family and his beloved Southland again.
Readers will be glad to know that a great-great-grandson of Henry Armstrong who resides in North Carolina was in contact with me many years ago and I was able to provide him with a picture of Henry’s gravestone in Woodlawn National Cemetery. Nancy Machuga
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