Bassett, Mark M., and John G. Reckord Papers, 1863-65, 1944 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
Mark M. Bassett, from West Point, Ill., served in Co. E of the 53rd Ill. Vol. Inf. Enlisting as a sergeant on Jan. 1, 1862, Bassett was a first lieutenant when he was taken prisoner on July 12, 1863, during the Union assault on Jackson, Miss. He escaped from Libby Prison on Feb. 9, 1864, but was recaptured four days later. He later escaped from prison in Columbia, S. C., spending two months dodging Confederate patrols on his way back to Union lines. He was discharged on Apr. 12, 1865. Bassett's fourteen-page typed reminiscence gives a detailed account of his experiences in Confederate prisons and his escapes.
Jane Spaulding Weiderman of St. Augustine, Fla., with the assistance of Kathleen S. Spaulding of Champaign, Ill., gave a copy of the document to the Illinois Historical Survey in 1993.
Christine Mueller of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, added to the collection annotated photocopies of Bassett's letters to his granddaughter on Jan. 13, 1898, and Mar. 31, 1901. She also added information relating to the military service in World War II of Capt. John G. Reckord of Baltimore, Md., a descendant of Bassett's. Included are copies of Reckord's citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Cross. Reckord, commander of Co. L, 8th Inf., led his company in the D-Day invasion but was killed later in June 1944.