I wrote Letters for Catherine after coming across an 1852 article from the NY Times. The article was about American POWs during the Revolution that had taken over their prison ship and sailed it into a North Carolina port.
Search as I could, I could find almost nothing about the incident, one that I feel deserves to be much better known. With this in mind, I started amassing what scant information was available on the Packhorse.
Once I was able to build a creditable timeline, I began to fill in the blanks using other sources and my best guesses. I chose as the hero of the story, William Hunter, a real person who served in the revolution and who was imprisoned on one of the prison ships in Charleston. Which one? I don't know. I do know that he married a Catherine DeLoach and that he died sometimes in the 1850's at the age of 106. Incidentally, he died on Christmas day along with his wife, Catherine. What are the odds of that?
If any readers of Letters for Catherine come across this post, and if they happen to have any information about the prison ship Packhorse that was not used in the writing of the novel, feel free to post that information on this blog. These men deserve to be remembered.
For the more lengthy, in-dept article about the prison ship Packhorse, see "The Disappearance of the Prison Ship Packhorse" on www.GeorgiaWriter.com , or go to page 12 of the Palmetto Patriot.