Archibald Tanner Reeves
Mother: Mary Richardson
Birth: ~1842, Walton County, Georgia
Birth Source: Federal Census records
Death Source: Military Records
Spouse1: None known
1. None known
The above is documented in the 1850 and 1860 census
Amos’s exact age when he joins the 1st Alabama Regiment is not know as there are no available military records of his date of enlistment and his age is only estimated based upon his age as provided in the Federal Census records of 1850 and 1860. The only factual information beyond the census records is that he was captured by Union forces at Island 10 on April 8, 1862. Everything else is speculation (see Research Notes).
The Battle of Island Number Ten was an engagement at the New Madrid or Kentucky Bend on the Mississippi River during the American Civil War, lasting from February 28 to April 8, 1862. The position, an island at the base of a tight double turn in the course of the river, was held by the Confederates from the early days of the war (Wikipedia) . Since Amos’s military record says he was captured on April 8, 1862 we can infer that he joined the 1st Alabama prior to February, 1862 and he was one of many confederate soldiers captured when the Confederate Forces surrendered on April 8, 1862.
From April 20 to the end of May 1862, about 1,400 Confederate prisoners lived in Madison, Wisconsin at Camp Randall. They had surrendered to the Union Army after the fall of Island #10, near Madrid, Missouri, on April 8, 1862. Many of the prisoners sent to Wisconsin were from the 1st Alabama Infantry. They arrived in Wisconsin on the April 20 and 24. When the first train pulled in, men of the 19th Wisconsin Infantry escorted them to Camp Randall while crowds of civilians stood by trying to get a look at the new arrivals. Shortly after their arrival, serious problems developed at Camp Randall. An inspection on May 1, revealed an inexperienced and poorly armed guard unit. Even worse, the camp hospital appeared unable to handle the sick Confederate patients. Due to the results of the inspection, the prisoners were transferred to Camp Douglas, Chicago, on the last day of May 1862 (https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Article/CS3408).
Camp Douglas, located near Chicago, was originally created as a rendezvous point to train and quarter regiments raised in the Chicago area at the beginning of the war. The Northern equivalent of the South's Andersonville Prison, Camp Douglas was the most notorious Federal POW camp of the Civil War. Camp Douglas was a gallery of horrors on the fringes of the bustling urban center of Chicago (https://www.mycivilwar.com/pow/il-camp-douglas.html).
The Union victories at Shiloh and Island No. 10 in April brought almost 1,500 more Confederate prisoners into Prison Square at Camp Douglas. By late summer of 1862, the camp held nearly 9,000 prisoners, and the prison conditions deteriorated. The camp was built on low ground, and it flooded with every rain. During most of the winter months, when it wasn't frozen, the compound was a sea of mud. Steadily, illness and death began to increase.
In January and February 1863 an average of 18 prisoners died every day, for a death rate of 10% a month, more than any other Civil War prison in any 1-month period. The Sanitary Commission pointed out that at this rate, all the prisoners would be dead in 320 days. The majority of prison deaths was from typhoid fever and pneumonia, the result of filth, the bad weather, and a lack of heat and clothing. Other prevalent diseases included measles, mumps, "epidemic" catarrh, and chronic diarrhea (https://www.mycivilwar.com/pow/il-camp-douglas.html).
1st Infantry Regiment completed its organization at Pensacola, Florida, in March, 1861. The men were from the counties of Tallapoosa, Pike, Lowndes, Wilcox, Talladega, Barbour, and Macon. For a year it manned the batteries at Pensacola, then with 1,000 men moved to Missouri where all but a detachment were captured at Island No. 10. The prisoners were exchanged during September, 1862 (https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=CAL0001RI). Although in the early part of the war prisoner exchanges were fairly common, I can find no record of Amos being exchanged nor can I find any record of Amos being listed among the those that died at Camp Douglas. However, records at Camp Douglas were not very well kept and it is accepted that there were many more deaths there than are “officially” listed. My assumption is that Amos died either at Camp Randall or at Camp Douglas. There are no other “civilian” records (census, etc.) for this individual.
Further speculation on my part: Both his father (Archibald T. Reeves) and his older brother (William B. Reeves) joined the 13th Alabama Infantry on 26 July 1861 and Amos was left at home with his mother and his brothers and sisters. My belief is that at age 19 or 20 Amos runs off to fight in the war. With the 1st Alabama moving from Florida to Missouri it is not outside the realm of possibility that they passed through northern Alabama (Randolph County) and Amos joined up as they moved through the area.
1860 Census - Randolph County, Alabama
Cited sources within the researcher’s notes