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Elmira Prison Camp OnLine Library
Submitted Information - Southern Historical Journal:
Affidavit of Thomas E. Gilkerson

[This short document was found in the Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume I, page 235.]

The affidavit of Thomas E. Gilkerson states that Negro soldiers were promoted to corporals for shooting white prisoners at Point Lookout, where he was a prisoner.

That he was transferred to Elmira, New York, where prisoners were starved into skeletons; were reduced to the necessity of robbing the night-stool of the meats which, being spoiled, could not be eaten by the sick, was thrown into the bucket of excrements, taken out and washed to satisfy their distressing hunger.

That for inquiring of Lieutenant Whitney, of Rochester, New York, for some clothes which the deponent believed were sent to him in a box, the deponent was confined three days in a dungeon and fed on bread and water.

That two men in ward twenty-two were starved until they eat a dog, for which offence they were severely punished.

That negros were placed on guard. That while on guard, a negro called a prisoner over the dead line, which the prisoner did not recognize as such, and the negro shot him dead, and went unpunished.

That shooting prisoners without cause or provocation, was of frequent occurrence by the negro guards.

This affidavit was taken before Daniel Jackson, Justice of the Peace.