Monday, January 10, 2011

Barbara Ann Duravan

Among the proof sheets of his book My Reminiscences of the War and Reconstruction,Thomas Pinckney, of the 4th South Carolina Cavalry, describes his May 31, 1864 discovery that a fellow prisoner was actually a woman whom he later suspected was Barbara Ann Duravan of Tennessee. Her captors did not discover her gender until after her death in the Alton Federal Military Prison in Illinois. 

Barbara is reported as having died of smallpox. 1912 Union War Department records list her as a "Citizen of Memphis, Tennessee." It's said she was buried in the Confederate Cemetery with her comrades, however the hospital for smallpox cases at Alton was moved to the island in the Mississippi River opposite Alton Prison during the month of August, 1863. Beginning with November, 1863, records show that burial was made on this island of those who died from effects of smallpox.

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