The Families of Adam Keith

In the Civil War

The Stories


An Andersonville poem

Individual Report for William James Kaylor



Anc: Adam Keith1>Johann Michael Keith2>Phillip Keith3>Rosanna  [Keith] [m. Henry] Shell4>Letha Jane [Shell] [m. second William James] Kaylor5


Birth Date: 1830 Place: Indiana Co. PA

Death Date: 9 Sep 1864 Place: Andersonville Prison, Andersonville, Macon Co. GA

Burial Place: Andersonville National Cemetery, Andersonville, Macon Co. GA

Spouse: *Letha Jane Shell (Jun 1825 - 18 Aug 1907)

Marr. Date: 4 Jun 1855 Place: Vigo Co. IN


1 Clarissa A. Kaylor (1856-Aft 1920)

2 Rosetta J. Kaylor (1858- )

3 Ozella Kaylor (1860- )

4 Lewis Lincoln Kaylor (1861-Aft 1910)

5 William S. Kaylor (1862-1863)

Enlisted as a Sergeant on 01 August 1862. Enlisted in Company H, 4th Cavalry Regiment Indiana on 01 August 1862. Died [of dysentery] as a prisoner Company H, 4th Cavalry Regiment Indiana on 09 August 1864 in Andersonville, GA.


William J. Kaylor 4th IN Cavalry Co. H widow pension 5/20/1865 by Lathie J.


Andersonville Prison Record, Side: Union, Unit Name: 4 Indiana Cavalry, Regiment: 4, State: Indiana, Function: Cavalry Company: H, Rank: Sergeant, Type: Buried in National Cemetery, Capture Date: Unknown, Capture Site: Unknown


From the Kaylor Family Genealogy

Mary Ann Stewart Kaylor


The following "soldiers letters" were written by John Kaylor, brother of William [who died in the Confederate Prison Camp at Andersonville GA], who was also in Co. H of the 4th Indiana Cavalry.  Apparently he too was captured and a POW but lived to see his exchange and freedom.

Inside the stockade at Andersonville prison ca 1864



"And again my dear wife I can write you

But a few lines at the best.

For a prisenor cannot wase paper

To say what you all must have guessed

We held out till the last hope had vanished

To surrender was all we Could do

We are prisenors now - but our prayers Still go up

For the Country and you.


Once again How I long for a letter

Some news from dear ones at home

I have waited and yearned for some message

But no token or word has Come.

We are crowded in prison by thousands

And the list of our dead Comrade tell

How slow torture and steady starvation

Kill more than bullet and shell."



Andersonville prison


Three years after the Civil War had

 started, in 1864, Andersonville Prison,

then referred to as Camp Sumter, was built.  Andersonville Prison was built in Andersonville, Georgia because the

small town only had 20 people and did

not have the political power to oppose it.  Originally made to hold 10,000

union prisoners, by July, it held 33,000

prisoners.  Andersonville Prison did not

offer any shade, shelter, proper nutrition

or sanitation, and in result, around 100

prisoners died every day. 



"I have written your over and over

How our boys one by one met their fate

Until now ten thousand are round me,

I seem almost alone - yet I wait.


For the tread of the Conquering army

To burst open thoes strong prison bars

And release what are left of our army

To still fight for the stripes and the stars.

Still another at last it is over,

And I write you dear wife to say,

You may look for me home now,

A parole has been granted today.

It was almost to late for me,

A few more days at the best,

And I to should of died in the prison

And been buried with the rest.


But thank God all is over;

The release we longed for has Come

With an army I marched to battle,

All alone I am (loitering?) home

On the boat were a lot of exchanged men,

Starved so they scarcely Could drag

Their poor feet, but thoes heroes

Staggered up and saluted the flag.


Shall I read of these letters still others

They are sacrad to me and to you

But I fold them and tenderly lie them

With ribbons of red, white and blue,

And I lay them away in their caskets

With tears for the boys we have lost,

And pray God for the cause which they died for

May be worth all the price it has Cost."