A Guide to the Richard Lauren McClung Diary, 1861-1865
Born to Jonas and Elizabeth Watts McClung in Georgia, Richard Lauren McClung (1840-1908) joined the 15th Arkansas Infantry of the Confederate Army in December 1861, eventually earning the rank of First Lieutenant. Captured at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, in February 1862, McClung was sent to Johnson’s Island Prison in Ohio. After his release in a prisoner exchange on September 1, 1862, he was sent to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Recaptured at Port Hudson, Louisiana in July 1863, McClung returned to Johnson’s Island, where he remained until February 3, 1965. Following the war, McClung married Tennessean Martha A. Baker (1840-1843), with whom he had four children. In 1870, he graduated from a New Orleans college and began a medical practice in Atlanta, Texas. After Martha’s death, he married Sallie J. Shackelford of Lafayette, Texas, in 1886, and the couple had one child.
McClung, Judith. “The family of Reuben McClung of Georgia.” Ancestry.com. Accessed February 8, 2011.
Comprising photostats and a transcript, the Richard Lauren McClung Diary, 1861-1865, documents McClung’s service and imprisonment as a First Lieutenant in the 15th Arkansas Infantry of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. In the diary, McClung narrates his actions leading up to his first capture at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, then continues with entries describing his military activities, including his captivity at Johnson’s Island Prison; parole to Vicksburg, Mississippi; recapture at Port Hudson, Louisiana; and second incarceration on Johnson’s Island. McClung details his strategies as a commanding officer, the harsh fighting conditions of Confederate troops, and his isolation and treatment as a prisoner of war, among other topics. The diary also contains several original poems and his financial accounts and ends shortly after McClung’s release in February 1965. Bound with the transcript are photostats of the accounts and some of the poems from the original diary, as well as illustrations of the location where McClung enlisted and Johnson’s Island Prison.
This collection is open for research use.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers