Prisoners at the Gratiot Street Military Prison the 2 day of February 1863 from Corporal Willis Knight sent forward from Don’t know where on the ditto date of Feb 1863, by order of Don’t know who, as no papers came with guard of prisoners. There being no descriptive list sent with these prisoners it is impossible for me to give any explanatory notes concerning these men.”
Above in Civil War St. Louis, Louis S. Gerteis quotes Mark Neely’s The Fate of Liberty, which goes on to say that from April 1862 until October 1863 over 2,000 civilians entered (from other holding pens around Missouri or the nearby Myrtle Street Prison), passed through, or remained at St. Louis’s Gratiot Street Prison. The passage above concerns eleven mystifying, traitorous civilians brought under arrest from the railhead at Rolla to the morass that had been a surgery school before 1861. Over the course of the Civil War, military authorities arrested and held at the Gratiot Street Prison more than 1 out of every 100 civilian men in the state of Missouri. And, unless a civilian was allowed to send letters that survived or wrote a later account from memory, the exasperated record above is (by reasonable rules of the historian’s guild) that prisoner’s one instance on the historical stage and in our memory.