In the Society’s archives are several letters from the Town of Clinton to the City of Middletown concerning the fate of a Mrs. Susan Slack and her five children and which municipality was responsible for their care. According to the letters, Francis Slack enlisted in the army in 1861, was taken prisoner in Richmond, and died there October 23, 1861. It is quite possible that Mr. Slack died at Libby Prison or one of the other prisons in the immediate area such as Belle Isle.
Mrs. Slack was left with five children all under the age of ten in 1862 with apparently no personal resources or an extended kinship network to care for her and the children. It is unclear why the City of Middletown would take responsibility for the family, but they apparently did and the family arrived in the city towards the end of 1862. After that, the children disappear from official records. Susan Slack does make an appearance in the 1880 United States Census as a domestic in Old Saybrook but then she too drops from the records.
Francis Slack has also disappeared from the official record. There are no records of enlistment in the army and the prison records of Richmond were burned by the Confederates at the end of the war.
Francis and Susan Slack and their children Frank, George, Mary, Charles, and William are one among many families who vanished into the haze and destruction of the war.