The Immortal Six Hundred

Many of the attackers, once they were in the deep ditch around the northwest bastion and unable to get out, surrendered. And thereby hangs many a tale illustrating the absolute hatred on both sides of the war.

One of the Rebel POWs, Captain James Lile Lemon of the Eighteenth Georgia, whose column followed the Phillips Georgia Legion in the attack, was first sent to a federal prison in Nashville. From there he was transferred to Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio; Fort Delaware, on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River; and finally to a special pen under the guns of Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina.

At Fort Wagner,  in 1864, he was one of 600 Confederate officers held as human shields at Morris Island at the mouth of the harbor, in federal retaliation for 50 Union officers similarly held inside the city.

The Union officers were supposed to be proof against Union bombardment of civilians in Charleston, while the “Immortal Six Hundred,” as Confederate newspapers called them, were supposed to block the fire of Rebel gunners in Fort Sumter on Union positions near Fort Wagner and elsewhere. Lemon’s wanderings continued, as the six hundred were subsequently transferred yet again to Savannah, and, then, Hilton Head Island, in Georgia, and finally back to Fort Delaware.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in "Knoxville 1863", Eighteenth Georgia, Prisoners of War and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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