A blog dedicated to the discussion of topics relating to the history of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio, the Lake Erie Islands, and nearby communities; inspired by the collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center and Follett House Museum. A service of the Sandusky Library.
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On February 27, 1865, over one hundred Confederate States
officers, who were being held as prisoners of war at the Johnson’s Island military prison,
signed this letter of appreciation to Lieutenant Foster V. Follett, who was
serving in the 128th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
The letter read:
United States Military Prison
Johnson’s Island, Ohio
Block 12. Company 25.
February 27th, 1865
We the undersigned Confederate
prisoners of war,
Block 12, Company 25, Johnson’s Island,
pleasure in expressing
our high appreciation of the efficiency, gentlemanly
bearing and kindness of
your self, in all your official and social relations
We desire to express the hope that
should the fortunes of war place you in a similar situation you may receive the same
kindness and generosity
at the hands of your captors.
The Confederate officers signed their name under the
“Calling Roll.” Signing the first page
of the letter of appreciation were:
L. A. Courtade, 1st Liet., 4th La. Regt.
John O, Daliet, 2nd Lieu., 9th La. Cav.
B. W. Lanier, Miles
John W. See, 2nd N.C. Battalion
A. Dapremont, 1st Lieut., Co. E
C. C. Cunningham, Capt. ___ Mo. Cav. Regt.
Chancellor A. Nelson, Capt. 49thVa. Regt.
L. Daigle, 2nd L., 4th La. Regt.
On February 10, 1958, Lieut. Foster V. Follett’s
granddaughter, Helen Follett Brooks,
sent a letter to "the Historical Society in Sandusky," accompanying a photocopy of the
Confederate prisoners’ letter to her grandfather. (Copies of both letters are now housed in the ArchivesResearchCenter
of the Sandusky Library.) She explained that someone in her family had told her
that Lieutenant Follett was so distressed over the poor conditions affecting
the Southern officers, that he would eat nothing that the prisoners did not
have. He wrote to his wife and asked her to solicit food from friends and
residents of Sandusky
to help relieve the poor conditions at the prison. The family has always
maintained that Lieutenant Follett’s early death was due to illness suffered
from his poor diet during his years in the Civil War. Foster V. Follett died on
October 12, 1882, and he is buried in OaklandCemetery.
Foster V. Follett’s acts of kindness during a time of war indicate his deeply
rooted core values.
Foster V. Follett was the son of Foster M. Follett, who also
had served in the Civil War. Foster M. Follett was known for his heroic efforts to aid the sick during the
Cholera Epidemic of 1849. The son of Foster V. and Portia Follett, whose name also was Foster Morse Follett, became a
well known comic artist.