New York Times, 5/1/1892

Written Accounts
Other Sites

Back • Next


From the New York Times, 5/1/1892



HARTFORD, April 30. – The playbill of an entertainment given in Libby Prison on Christmas Eve, 1863, has been found here within a few days in the personal effects of Major Henry L. Pasco. It is probably without a duplicate in the country. Major Pasco belonged in this city and was an officer of the Sixteenth Connecticut. He was captured at Plymouth, N. C., April 20, 1864, and was confined in Confederate prisons during the year. His bravery was shown in the trenches at Macon, where he refused, as an officer of the United States, to assist in unearthing tunnels which had been bug by his associates, although threatened with instant death by the rebel officer in command, in case of refusal.

Major Pasco gathered memorabilia far and near relating to prison life, and his collection became most curious and interesting. It is now owned by Capt. William H. Lockwood of this city, who was the brother-in-law of the Major and served with him in the field.

According to the old playbill the official organization of the Libby minstrels was with Lieut. G. W. Chandler as manager, Capt. H. W. Sawyer as treasurer, Lieut. J. P. Jones as costumer, Lieut. Fentress as scenic artist, and Lieut. Bristow as captain of the supers. The first part of the Christmas Eve programme consisted of solos. Capt. Schell sang “Who Will Care for Mother Now,” Lieut. Kendall “Grafted in the Army,” and Adjt. Lombard “When the Bloom Is on the Rye.” Capt. Mass gave “Barnyard Imitations,” and Adjt. Jones sang “Do They Think of Me at Home.” The second part was introduced with a flute and violin duet by Lieuts. Rockwell and Chandler, Capt. Mass following with the dance song, “Root Hog or Die.” The two Adjutants, Lombard and Jones, sang the duet, “Dying Girl’s Last Request,” and Lieut. Ryan engaged in the clog dance.

The “Rival Lovers” was performed by Capt. Mass and Lieut. Randolph, the Captain appearing as Joe Skimmerhorn, and the Lieutenant as George Iverson. “Countryman in a Photograph Gallery” constituted the third part of the entertainment. The dramatis personae included Capt. Mass, Lieut. Randolph, and Major Neiper, the latter assuming the part of the countryman.

The masquerade ball was one of the best features of the evening. Adjt. Jones was manager, Capt. Mass, doorkeeper; Lieut. Chandler, musician; Lieut. Ryan, member of the press; Lieut. Welsh, Mose; Lieut. Moran, Black Swan; Lieut. Bennett, Broadway Swell, and Capt. McWilliams, Richard III. The whole thing was concluded with “a grand walk around.”

The programme announced that “children in arms” would not be admitted. The performance began at 6 o’clock.  

Page last updated on 07/08/2008