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John R. Cason Papers

Identifier: Ms-2008-026

Scope and Content

The John R. Cason Papers consist of only one journal with copied letters and lists as well as signatures of Confederate officers at Point Lookout, Maryland, during the American Civil War. The journal is divided into four sections.

The first section, starting on page [ii], is a list of the "Names of officers confined at Point Lookout Md. Feb 22nd/64." Fifty-nine officers signed their names, ranks, units, and sometimes places of capture in this section, including John O. Murray who would go on to write a book about the Immortal 600.

The second section, starting on page 21, contains five letters addressed to Cason written on March 2 and 3, 1864.

The third section, starting on page 31 contains "A list of Confederate States officers under fire on Morris Isle Sept 7th to Oct. 21st 1864." This list contains the name, rank, regiment, place of capture, and place of residence for every officer in the Immortal 600, ordered by state and name. This section also includes lists of the men who were hospitalized after their experience on Morris Isle, who escaped before reaching Morris Isle, and who were exchanged or removed from Morris Isle. At the end of the third section is a table tabulating the fates of the Immortal 600 by state.

The fourth section, starting on page 58 contains another seven letters addressed to Cason written February 28-March 1, 1865.


  • 1864 - 1865


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

John R. Cason was born ca. 1843. He lived in Watson, Marshall County, Mississippi, and enlisted as a private on 1 June 1861 in Company 'I' of the 17th Mississippi Infantry during the American Civil War. He was in and out of hospitals throughout his military career, but despite that he was promoted to third Lieutenant on 27 April 1862. He was captured by Union forces in the Battle of Gettysburg on 2 July 1863. He spent the next three years in various Union prisons, and was one of the officers in the "Immortal 600" group of 600 prisoners of war who were used by Union troops as human shields for 45 days during the assault on Charleston. Cason took the oath of allegiance and was released on 12 June 1865.

On 14 August 1866, he may have married Susan M. Bryant (conflicting information in the Confederate Veteran article suggests that it may have been a different John R. Cason who married Susan M. Bryant). In 1905, at the age of 61, he entered the Confederate Soldiers Home in Higginsville, Missouri, which was established to house indigent veterans of the Confederate military. He died in 1909 and was buried in the cemetery associated with Higginsville.

Chronology of Cason's service
  • 1 Jun. 1861 Enlisted as Private in Co. 'I' 17th Mississippi Infantry at Corinth, MS.
  • 19 Jul. -4 Aug. 1861 Admitted to the General Hospital in Charlottesville.
  • 27 Apr. 1862 Promoted to 3rd Lieutenant.
  • 14 Nov. 1862 Admitted to the General Hospital in Charlottesville with bronchitis.
  • 6 Dec. 1862 Returned to duty.
  • 18 Feb. 1863 On 30 day furlough.
  • 2 Jul. 1863 Captured at Gettysburg.
  • 18 Jul. 1863 Confined at Johnson's Island.
  • 9 Feb. 1864 Transferred to Point Lookout via Baltimore.
  • 23 Jun. 1864 Transferred to Fort Delaware.
  • 20 Aug. 1864 Forward to Charleston, SC.
  • 21 Oct. 1864 Transferred to Fort Pulaski, GA.
  • 19 Nov. 1864 Sent to Hilton Head, SC.
  • 12 Jun. 1865 Received at Fort Delaware.
  • 12 Jun. 1865 Took oath and released from Fort Delaware.

  • Joslyn, Mauriel. (1995). Biographical Roster of the Immortal 600. Shippensburg, PA: White Main.
  • Cason, John R., Mrs. (Susan M. Bryant). (1905). Missouri girl's prison experiences. Confederate Veteran. Nashville, TN: S. A. Cunningham.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)


The collection includes the journal of John R. Cason, a Confederate Lieutenant and one of the Immortal 600, containing lists of other prisoners he encountered following his capture at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.

Source of Acquisition

The John R. Cason Papers were purchased by Special Collections in 2004.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the John R. Cason Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the John R. Cason Papers commenced and was completed during May 2008.

John R. Cason Papers, 1864-1865
Jared Camins-Esakov, Student Assistant
2008 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US