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Neal Dow on capture in Louisiana, Portland, 1891

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Neal Dow of Portland (1804-1897), a brigadier general who commanded the 13th Maine Infantry, wrote in 1891 to John G. B. Simms of Conway, Arkansas, in reply to a letter and newspaper clipping he had received from Simms.

Simms, who had served as a sergeant in the 17th Arkansas Regiment, wrote that he had written a report of the capture of Gen. Dow in Louisiana in June 1863. Dow had been injured in battle. He was captured while recuperating and taken to Libby Prison in Richmond.

Simms wrote that his former commander asked him to write the account, which then ended up in a newspaper. He sent it to Dow so the former Union officer could provide any necessary corrections or comments.

Dow commented that the major error in Simms' account was the statement that Dow had an engagement to play cards and therefore could be captured. Dow said he had not played cards since he was a youth and did "not know a Jack from a King or Queen."

A few years previous, Simms noted, he had returned one of the holsters the Confederate soldiers took from Dow.


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