The story of the Florence Stockade (Florence, South Carolina) is a little known chapter in the history of the War Between the States.
The stockade was opened in September, 1864 and continued in operation until February 1865. During this time between 15,000 and 18,000 Union soldiers were imprisoned on less than 24 acres. It is estimated that between 2,500 and 2,800 prisoners died in captivity during the five months the prison was operational. After the capture of Atlanta, Georgia by Union forces, Confederate authorities decided to transfer the majority of Union prisoners from Andersonville, Georgia. Due to its proximity to major rail lines, Florence was chosen as the site for a new prison camp. The majority of the original records of the Florence Stockade did not survive the Civil War, making the documentation of those who were imprisoned there very difficult.
Ransom Marion Jones was imprisoned in this facility from July 31, 1864 until it closed in February 1865. He suffered from frozen feet and legs during his stay there, sustaining permanent damage to them. He had been captured along with eight others from Company A during the fighting south of Atlanta. Just a month after Ransom was taken to the hospital in Baltimore, the steamship ?General Lyon? burned and sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, carrying 600 paroled prisoners of war and discharged soldiers from Florence and Salisbury Prisons. Only 31 survived. A sketch of the prison done in 1890 shows the prison as Ransom saw it. To view this picture, click here.