SUBMITTED BY: Tom Fagart
This is the story of Franklin and William Cauble, the only sons of Joseph and Nancy Hudson Cauble of Albemarle, Stanly County, NC
I am sure that when Franklin Cauble of Albemarle, Stanly County, North Carolina was earning his living driving a stage from Albemarle to Salisbury, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Raleigh he never thought about military prisons.
After the War Between the States began, Franklin joined up to serve the State of North Carolina and later the Confederacy in Co I “Stanly Rebels”, 52nd NC Infantry along with his brother William and many other men from his hometown on 25 March 1862. For some unknown reason the following day he was discharge but not his brother William for William went off to Camp Mangum in Raleigh, North Carolina for training. Perhaps Franklin was discharged because he had four young children and a wife at home? This was the last time that Franklin and William would see each other for William would be seriously wounded in the Battle of The Wilderness 3 – 6 May 1864. William would die 30 Jul 1864, age 33 years, in the Winder #5 Confederate Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. William was buried in the Confederate Section of the Hollywood Cemetery, Section V, Lot #682, Richmond, Va. William was 33 years of age. There are over 18,000 Confederate Soldiers buried in the Hollywood Cemetery including over 2,000 who were killed at Gettysburg and later reinterred in the Hollywood Cemetery.
On 28 February 1863, in Albemarle, Stanly County, North Carolina, Franklin enlisted again. This time for good. Franklin was in Co C which would later be part of the 42nd North Carolina Volunteers. The new men of Co C were issued their uniforms made by the women of Albemarle, Stanly County and one man, a tailor. These uniforms were hand- made for there was only one sewing machine in the entire rural county. After forming up in their new hand-made uniforms, off they marched towards Salisbury for training, a distance of about 30 miles. They march off from the courthouse with two fifes and a drum. As they passed the Marshall Hotel on the square, Louisa Thomas Hearne appeared on the balcony and sang “The Old North State”.
After military training of the Crawford farm south of Salisbury, Company C was re-designated Co D of Maj. George D. Gibb’s Prison Guards. In Salisbury there was a Confederate prison for Union prisoners. The Salisbury Prison like many other prison camps during the war was brutal. An estimate 3,500 Union prisoners died in the Salisbury Prison and are buried in the Salisbury National Cemetery.
Franklin served as a prison guard for about two months when Co D, Gibb’s Prison Guards again became Co C, shipped off to Camp Advance in Halifax County, North Carolina for more training and became Co C, 42nd NC Vols., Martin’s Brigade. Co C served along the coastal area of North Carolina giving security to the railroads and building fortification at Virginia Creek and Sugar Loaf for the defense of Fort Fisher and Wilmington. After being involved in the fight and the Confederate victory at Newport Barracks, NC near Morehead City. Franklin and Co C, 42nd NC and Hoke’s Division was shipped off to Bermuda Hundred, Va and later to Cold Harbor, Va.
On 3 June 1864 in the Battle of Cold Harbor, Franklin and other men of Co C to include Franklin Cooper, also from Albemarle, were captured and sent to Point Lookout Prison, Maryland. On 12 July 1864 Franklin Cauble, Franklin Cooper, and other men of Co C were shipped to the newly opened Elmira Prison in Elmira, New York. These men left the Point Lookout Prison on the steamer “Crescent” bound for Jersey City, New Jersey, across the river from New York City. Arriving in Jersey City, they were loaded onto an Erie Railroad prison train bound for Elmira, New York, a distance of about 273 miles. While in transit on the train near Shohola, PA at about 2:00 PM on 15 July the prison train met head on in a blind curve with a south bound coal hauling train. There were 833 Confederate soldiers and 125 Union Army officers and guards aboard 18 rail cars. Death and destruction was instant. 48 Confederate prisoners were killed along with 17 Union Army guards.
Franklin Cauble and Franklin Cooper survived the famous Shohola Prison Train Wreck. On Sunday, 17 July 1864 both Franklin Cauble, Franlin Cooper, and the survivors arrived in Elmira, New York and their new home in the Elmira Prison Camp. Not long after arriving, Franklin Cauble became ill with dysentery and died on 28 Oct 1864. He was 39 years of age and left a widow, Eliza Melton Cauble, and four children behind in Stanly County, North Carolina.
Franklin Cauble was buried in the now named Woodlawn National Cemetery in Plot #718 but under the incorrect name of his compatriot Franklin Cooper. Franklin Cauble lay buried in Elmira under the incorrect name for 150 years until with the help of an Elmira newspaper reporter by the name of Ray Finger and support of Mary Chalk , President of Friends of Elmira Civil War Prison Camp, did the National Cemetery Administration finally give Pvt. Franklin Cauble, Co C, 42nd NC Vols. his proper headstone. 2,970 Confederate soldiers died in Elmira.
Pvt. Franklin Cauble had served in three prison camps: Salisbury Prison, Salisbury, Rowan County, NC as a guard over Union Army prisoners and Point Lookout Prison, MD and Elmira Prison, NY as a prisoner of Union Army guards.
Pvt. Franklin Cauble and Pvt. William Cauble are buried about 390 miles apart. Pvt. Franklin Cauble lies buried in the Confederate Section of Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, New York and his only brother William lies buried in the Confederate Section of the Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.
Note: Pvt. Franklin Cooper, Co C, 42nd NC survived Elmira Prison, was paroled at the end of the war, returned to Stanly County, North Carolina and there died an old man. Frank is buried in the Silver Springs Baptist Church Cemetery, in Aquadale, near Norwood, Stanly County, NC.
Tom Fagart, Great – Great Grandson of Pvt. Franklin Cauble, Concord, NC