And nowww, back onto this topic:
Rebel Bishop: The life and era of Augustin Verot.
[B]y Michael V. Gannon [....]
[Augustin Verot] was stunned to receive an official letter from Baltimore in early 1858, notifying him that the Vatican had chosen him to be the Vicar Apostolic of Florida, a new office which carried an episcopal dignity. After his protests failed, he was consecrated titular bishop in Baltimore's cathedral on Apr. 25, 1858 [....] On July 22, 1861, in a solemn consistory at the Vatican, Pope Pius IX assigned Bp. Verot to be ordinary of the Diocese of Savannah, whose boundaries were the same as the State of Georgia. But he would be retained as vicar apostolic of Florida.
The promotion would equip the newly promoted ordinary with no more than a dozen priests total to administer the sacraments and preach the faith to Catholics in 2 states of the Confederacy. So Verot would spend more of his efforts as an additional scarce priest than as an ordinary. It would position him, in roughly 3 years (1864), to assign a few priests to minister to tens-of-thousands of gravely ill or dying Union prisoners at "Andersonville Prison", then travel there himself for the same duties [....]
Priests identified as ministering to the prisoners in "Andersonville Prison"[@]
(all but the last assigned to the Diocese of Savannah, some of them having preceded their bishop in priestly visits to the "prison")[*]
: Then "general chaplain" to all the CSA camps in Georgia. A native of Ireland, he was already aged over 60, but he had become well-known in Georgia, at least by its Catholics.
William J. Hamilton
: Reässigned from the Vicariate of Fla. to Ga. He had been pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Jacksonville, until it was pillaged & burned
by Yankee troops
in May 1862. Bp. Verot initially assigned him to Columbus (Ga.), but in 1864, assigned him to the Church of the Assumption in Macon (Ga.).
Henry Peter Clavreul
: Reässigned from the Vicariate of Fla. to Dioc. of Savannah. in 1862; he was a missionary recruited from France personally by Bp. Verot).
John F. Kirby
: Asst. pastor of St. Patrick's in Augusta (Ga.), sent for "several weeks" by Bp. Verot. A native of Ireland still in his early 40s, he was a survivor of the yellow-fever epidemic in Savannah in 1854, but he continued to suffer debilitating effects from that disease.
: Vicar-general to Bp. Verot, reässigned from the Vicariate of Fla. to Dioc. of Savannah, accompanied his bishop on a 2-day visit.
: A Jesuit from Spring Hill College in Mobile (Ala.), which would've been outside the jurisdiction of Bp. Verot's diocese and his vicariate.
Andersonville (the town) [@]
was originally just a stop on the missionary circuit of the Macon parish. Inside the "prison's" stockade, the conditions, thus prisoner health, became so wretched that the priests had time to provide the sacraments only of Penance
and Extreme Unction
. The priests stayed in a small cabin 1 mi. away, but even their daily fare was "corn bread, cowpeas, and parched corn coffee", which was arguably only slightly better than the subsistence provided to the prisoners: "a little corn bread, where the bran was mixed with the flour, and several ounces of salt pork" [×]
Numerous Protestant Yankee prisoners lamented, in letters back home
, that they never saw Protestant ministers in the stockade, only Catholic priests
, even tho' Protestant ministers had been requested or even invited. And even tho' some Protestant religions were well-represented in the state before the war. Some prisoners interpreted the difference in dedication to their flocks as indicating the better religion, decided to convert
, and were baptized by one of the priests before they died.
: Andersonville (Ga.) is situated in Sumter Co., quantified by Gannon as "175 miles due west of Savannah". It might be more easily found by looking approx. 10 mi. NNE of Americus, also in Sumter Co.
: Michael V. Gannon 1964: Rebel Bishop
, p. 91--107. For the full citation, see my "Reply #19" on July 01, 2019: <https://www.cathinfo.com/general-discussion/catholic-priest(s)-in-the-confederate-states-of-america-during-civil-war/msg658096/#msg658096
Note ×: "Cowpeas" are better known nowadays as black-eyed
peas. Ponder the serious shortage of vitamins & mineral in both diets. It was not discovered until the early 20th century that corn (i.e., maize
) was nutritionally poor as normally prepared in the C.S.A. and U.S.A. by the methods familiar to the countries' European colonizers and African slaves, accustomed to eating grains that were much more healthful
without the need for special processing. Alas, the widespread scurvy in the stockade should be no surprise.