Cox becomes a civilian prisoner of war during the Civil War. He is sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., and remains there until the war ends.
See the story and documents below.
Angenol Cox, age 25, appears Nov. 8, 1850, in the U.S. Federal Census in the home of his parents, John Cox, 56, and Almyra Cox, 45, who were residents of District 17 of Giles County, Tenn. Angenol's occupation is listed as a trader. His father, John, a farmer, is listed as having been born in North Carolina, while his mother was born in Georgia. Angenol was also born in Georgia around 1825, according to the Census. The younger Cox siblings, all born in Tennessee, are listed as Presley J., 17, a farmer; Georgia A. 14; Edwin J., 12; Jesse W., 10; Adelia, 8; Alice, 5; and Zachary T., 2. The family's property is valued at $15,000. This record suggests that the Cox family moved to Tennessee between 1825-1833.
Next door to the Cox family is Dr. John Edwards, 53, a Virginia-born physician, who lives with his wife, Mary C. Edwards, 46, also born in Virginia. their daughter, Sarah A. (Antoinette), is age 20 and born in Tennessee. Their family's property is valued at $2,700.
Opera House built in 1868 on the historic square in Pulaski, Tennessee
Pulaski Citizen, July 20, 1871
The two separate sets of documents reproduced at the right provided by the National Archives were found in The Union Provost Marshals' File of Paper Relating to Individual Civilians, which are files about civilians or "citizens” as they were called during the Civil War, who came in contact with the Army. They include correspondence, provost court papers, orders, passes, paroles, oaths of allegiance, transportation permits and claims for compensation for property used or destroyed by military forces.
The Union Provost Marshals' File of Paper Relating to Individual Civilians was assembled in the War Department from documents that were extracted from the files of Union Army provost marshals and from other records of Army territorial commands.
The provost marshals who served in territorial commands, armies and Army corps were military police. They sought out and arrested deserters, Confederate spies and civilians suspected of disloyalty; investigated the theft of Government property; controlled the passage of civilians in military zones and those using Government transportation; confined prisoners; and maintained records of paroles and oaths allegiance. Provost courts were established in some territorial commands to try cases involving civilian violators of military orders, the laws of war, and other offenses arising under the military jurisdiction. They also tried cases involving military personnel accused of civil crimes.
A Giles County businessman and resident since childhood, Angenol Cox was quite possibly arrested because he was in the category of “Confederate spies and civilians suspected of disloyalty.” He was NOT a soldier who served in the Civil War for either Union or Confederate forces.
Identifying himself as being from Giles County, Tenn., he signed the Oath of Allegiance on April 1, 1865, at Camp Douglas, a Union prison camp in Chicago, Ill. He was physically described as having dark hair, gray eyes and was 5 feet, 10 inches, age 39. During the Civil War political prisoners sometimes had the option of being released upon signing this oath. Many of the men who were serving as soliders from Giles County and had been imprisoned as a result of being captured in a battle refused to sign the Oath until after the surrender signed by Gen. Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865.
There is no wonder that Cox was eager sign an Oath that would secure his release. The South had Andersonville, an internationally known reminder of prison camp hardships and deaths, immortalized in song, literature, film and by many Union monuments. The North had Camp Douglas, a little known Civil War prison in Chicago that set records for prison mortality, hidden in lost and incomplete records and suppressed publicity.
Many Giles County men had been taken to Camp Douglas after the Battle of Donelson in Feb 1862 and several were among the 6,000 Confederate soldiers who died at Camp Douglas. The high mortality rate at Camp Douglas has been attributed to several factors, including overcrowding, unhealthy living conditions, ineffective medical treatment, inadequate food supply and brutality.
More than 200 prisoners were crowded in to each of the barracks averaging 70 feet by 25 feet. As the number increased, tents were erected to house them, with little protection against below zero winds. Huge latrines were left open, so rain washed raw sewage into the drinking water supply. Wooden floors were removed to discourage tunneling, so vermin infected the dirt floors. Rats and mice were commonplace. Some unnamed inmates recollecting the camp 37 years later said that they raised the kitchen floor to catch big gray rats, which were made into rat pies. When cholera and a smallpox epidemic erupted, free medicine sent by the South was withheld as contraband of war. Food rations were restricted, partly to cut costs and partly as retaliation for Southern victories. When control of the camp was finally passed to the Chicago Police department, medical supplies were cut off and food severely restricted.
Civilian doctors who inspected Camp Douglas on April 5, 1863, called it “an extermination camp.” They drew an unrelenting picture of “wretched inmates without change of clothing, covered, with vermin, in wards reeking with filth and foul air, and blankets in rags . . ."
More research to be added soon! Keep checking back. This story is very, very interesting. What happened to him? We know.
Angenol Cox is determined to be the third largest tax payer in Giles County. His properties include his home, land, Antoinette Hall and extensive vineyards.
Angenol Cox, Confederate Civilian Prisoner of War
By June 8, 1870, when the U.S. Federal Census was enumerated, Cox and his family lived in the city of Pulaski. At 44, he was Clerk and Master of the Chancery Court for Giles County, Tenn. His real estate was valued at $100,000 with personal property valued at $32,000. Sarah is now going by her middle name, Antoinette. Lula is 18; John, 11; Alexander, 9; Inez P., 7; Edith, 5; Jessie, 3; and Angenol Jr., 1. Also in the home are Adelade Cox, Angenol Sr.'s sister, who is 22, along with Mary C. Edwards, his mother-in-law, and Thomas Downey, a 30-year-old gardner born in Ireland.
Angenol Cox is next found in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census taken Aug. 15, 1860. At age 34, he is married to Sarah A. (Antoinette) Edwards Cox, age 30. The Cox children are Lula 3, 9; Elmira M., 7; Mary E., 5; Nannie, 4; and John, 1. Cox's occupation is listed as a Methodist Minister, and he is living in the Northern Subdivision of Giles County, Tenn., in the district served by the Lynnville post office near the Cornersville community, which was located in Giles County at that time. His personal property is valued at $1,600 and his real estate is valued at $8,570.
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