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Full text of "Life and death in Rebel prisons: giving a complete history of the inhuman and barbarous treatment of our brave soldiers by Rebel authorities, principally at Andersonville, Ga., and Florence, S. C"

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LIFE AMJ DEATH 



IN 



EBEL PRISONS 



GIVING A COMrLETi-: 

ORV or THE INHUMAN AND BARBAROUS TREATMENT 
/ OUR BRAVE SOLDIERS BY REBEL AUTHORITIES, 
INFLICTING TERRIBLE SUFFERING AND FRIGHT- 
FUL MORTALITY, PRINCIPALLY AT 

ANDERSO.WILLE, G\., AXD FLORENCE, S. C, 

DKScniniNC, 
; OF ESCAPE, ARRIVAL OF PRISONER?, WITH NOIEROUS AND 
VARIED INCIDENTS AXD ANECDOTES OF PRISON LIFE. 

DY 

ROBERT H. KELLOGG, 

Sergeant- Sliyor ICtli Eefc'iment Conuccticut Volunteers. 
REPARED FROM HIS DAILY JOURNAL. 

TO WUICU IS ADDED 
LL SKETCUES OF OTIIKR PRISONS AS CAN EE GIVEN AVITUOLT 
KEPETITION OF THE ABOVE, BY PARTIES WHO UAVE , 

BEEN CONFINED TIIFI'JilN. ' > ' • ^ 



ICn 13 ADDED AN" ACCOUNT OF THE CAPTfRE OF JEFf ERMJ.V lUVIS. ANb LIFE, 
TRIAL A>D £XEi:LTIOX OF CATT. WIRZ. 



e speak that we do know, and testify that we iiavs seen." 
ILLUSTRATED.— SOLD BY AGENTS ONLY. 



HARTFORD, CONN. 
L. STEBBINS 

1866. -^^y^ 



Checked 
-ay 1913 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the j-ear 1SG5, by 

L. STEBBINS, 

In the Clerk's OflSce of the District Court of the United States, for the District of 
Coimecticut. 



FfUlcU l^y Wiliy, NN'alcnimn, t r.alon, llArtfunI, Co 



CERTIFICATES. 



"We, the undersigned, late prisoners of War at Andcrsonviile, ^a 
FloK'^- '■' '-^. C. and other places, do hereby certify that the work 
tMititk'tl "Life ^.'d.Dkatu in Kkhel Pkisons," by Rol)ert II. Kcl. 
i\ "?, is a faithful and reliable account of the inhuman course o! 
trcau.c'Mit adopted by the Rebel Authorities toward us; and tluii 
the dc5'^ription of daily prison life, with its terrible sufl'erings anii 
fri^'JjlAil n ortaliiy is in nowise an exaggeration. 

N.\Mh', HANK, REGDI-ENT, AND P' mJE OF IMPRISONMENT. 
IIakvky L Ji:\vkll, Ilospiuii ...►va'-d i. ' N'. Y. Cav., 

-li.dersonville and Florence. 
TiERRE A. Gvr, 1st Serg't Co. D llth Coiin. Vols., 

Andcrsonviile, Savannah, and Millen. 
C. Jl. Bru^h, .1 Sc'rg't Co. K 1st Vt. Il'vy Art., 

Andcr.-onvillc and Florence. 
JoH.N ^ ,. T) '''■•' ■• 1st Serg't Co. L 1st Vt. ll'vy Art., 

Andcrsonviile, Charleston, and Florence. 
Alex D^^a.:, Serg't Co. K 103d Pa. Vols., 

Andersouville, Charleston, and Florence. 
S. J. ^1- ^'OL- , Serg>, Co. B 16th Conn. Vols., 

AndcrsonvilL', Charleston, and Florence. 
Cuvi. uREY, serg't ' iJ 27th Mass. Vols., 

Ander.-ouville, Savannah, and ilillen. 
IIknry E. SAVi»iE, Serg't Co. G 16th Conn. Vols., 

Andcrsonviile, Charleston, and Florence. 
Jas. Cooper Corp. Co. A l()3d Pa. Vols., 

Andcrsonviile, Charleston, and Florence. 
" s. P. Cox, Priva.e Co. B 1st N. J. Vols., 

Andcrsonviile, Charleston, and Florence. 
IAS. Tc.AS, P. J Co. K 1st. Vt. H'vy An., 

Andcrsonviile, Savannah and ilillcn. 
Geo. Bower.<5, . o. F 8th X. J. Vols., Andcrsonviile k Florence. 

•/Ri'F. jQooRE, Co. C 2:kl Pa. Cav., " " 

yALT>=.R Dix. \y. Co. C llth X. J. Vols., " " 

^. 0. Bellea.!:- l. Priv. Co. D 4th do. " " 

Pay. Brad;.! V, <'riv. Co. II 2d Mass. H'vy Art., " " 

iiiCK. Pat-kics , Priv. Co. C 43d N. Y. Vols., " " 

Jor% PcNN, i V. Co. G 101st Pa. Vols., 

Andcrsonviile, Charleston, and Florence. 



TO TIIS 

WIDOWS, CHILDBEX, FATDEnS, 3I0TIIERS. BKOTRERS AND SLSTERS. 

OF THE THOUSANDS OF DRAVE MEN 

V>110 DAVE LEFT THEFR HOMES IK THE MORNING OF LIFE; 

SUNDERED FAMILY AND SOCIAL TIES; 

ABANDONED CHERISnED ENTERPRISES AND BUSINESS SCHEMES, 

FOR THE PURPOSE OF 

MAINTAINING THE LAWS OF FREErOM INVIOLATE, 

AND IN THE FAITHFUL PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTY, 

HATE BEEN CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY, 

AND GONE DOWN 

TO UNTIMELY GRAVES THROUGH UNPARALLELED SUFFERINGS, 

IS THIS VOLUME MOST RESPECTFULLY 

DEDICATED. 



"thet sleep ts secret,— bttt xnrTR sod 

DNKNOWN TO MAN", IS MARK."D BY GOD ! "_, 



the memory of 
the thousands 
of our bravo 
Boltliers who 
have sacrificed 
themselves upon 
the altar of their 
country, in de- 
fence of her laws 
and institutions ; 
her liberties and 
rights. With the 
courage and ardor 
of Patriots; with 
the enthusiasm of 
loyal subjects un- 
der a good Govern- 
ment ; with the in- 
telligence and zeal 
of Union-loving citi- 
zens, and an unself- 
ish devotion to the 
lofty principles of 
truth and justice, 
and an eye upon the 
basis of a lasting 
peace, thcj' went forth 
pledging '• their lives 
and sacred honor," in 
maintenance of the 
glorious cause. Many 
have languished and 
died in Piisons, and 
thus sleep the' noble 
j-outh of our country; 
the pride of the land ; 
the heroic sons of our 
■worthy sires, and the 
honored brave of o u r 
Spartiin-likemothers. They 
have fal!«n. Like autumn 
leaves at touch of frost, 
they hrive been swept to 
the earth, where they lie 
in undistinguislied piles 
The hcartrf of the jieoplo 
Khali be tlieir tombs, but 
tnarble and granite sliould be lifted 
high, as the testimonial of grateful 
mankind for the deeds they liavo 
done, nn<l the railiant glory with 
wliicli they have crowned t!ie nation 

ANDERSONVILLE,MILLEN, CO 
LUMBIA, FLORENCE, TYLER 
SALISBURY, CAHAWBA, DAN 
VILLE.LIBBY, PEMBERTON 
CASTLE THUNDER BELLE ISLE 



PREFACE, 



Ki) CHAPTER in the history of our nahappy civil war, is go ^vcll 
(•alcuUited to culist the sympathies of the people, as the one cnumcra- 
tiu^ the sorrows of our bravo soldiers who have been bo unfortunate 
as to fall into the hands of the enemy, as prisoners of war. 

The multiplied woes of the battle-field ; the sutVerings of tlie sitk 
and wounded in Hospitals which our o\ra Government has provided, 
are almost tlic enjoyments of Paradise, in comparison with the fearful 
and prolonged agonies of Prisoners in Rebel Stockades. 

Sad and mournful as it seems in the former case, there are mitiga- 
ting circumstances which tend to soothe the feelings as we contemplate 
them. Their sufferings ai'e comparatively short, and during the season 
of their continuance they arc surrounded by those who are assiduous 
in effort to provide comfort and relief. Agenta of the various humano 
societies can reach them and do them good ; but in the latter case, they 
have passed the line which bars^them from all these things. 

"We are even forced to believe, by the treatment to which they havo 

i been subjected by their captors, that it was their deliberate intention to 

V destroy them, and that too in the most aggravated manner. They 

•? have allowed them to become so reduced in clothing as to have scarcely 

• rags for a covering ; they have condemned them to hunger and thirst, 

pain and weariness, affliction and misery in every conceivable form, so 

tliat the helpless beings have looked upon the approach of the King of 

TciTors as the arrival of a welcome messenger that had come to bring 

them a happy release. 

When we consider these things, and our interest in, and relation to 
the cause which led them to peril their lives in this way, we can but 
feel that the public at large have a deep concern in these recitals. 

In the preparation of the present volume, we have had an eye, not 
so much to a literary production, as to a simple, tnithful story of prison 



VlU PREFACE. 

life; one which the survivors thereof should recognize as just, and; 
tiio people of the country could accept as reliable and honest. "^y- 

It is no place for brilliant fiction and exciting romance. These hiive . 
been scrupulously avoided, but nevcrtlioless, there are things which aro 
as strange as the former and stining as the latter. ;:-^ 

If there arc things which seem incredible, it is to be borne in mind ' 
that hitherto we have had but slight knowledge of what is meant to 
be a prisoner at the far South, and that these things come to us almost 
as new revelations. 

A^ot an incident has been given but what can be confirmed on good •' • 
authority; no celoring has been given to anything but what known./-;.; 
^ i facts would justify. .:-,J 

Thcauthor has gone fully into detail of every day life at Anderson- .•••;'■ 
ville, as here was the spot where the climax of rebel barbarity was""> 
reached. ■ /> 

It was tJie original design to have adopted a similar plan v. Uh refer- h 
encc to some other prominent Prisons, but on consultation with dilla> "I 
cnt parties who had been discharged from these various [)oints, it wa:S Jr" 
f<vand to be substantially the same, and would therefore be only rcpc-' »'• 
tition. ■' X 

The short sketches which we give of these, will enable the public to -^ 
form a correct idea of the general system of treatment applied by trh4 •" 
rebels to our soldiers who fall into their hands as prisoners. -.• r * 

The spirited and striking illustrations which were obtained cxprcssTy;\?i 
for these pages; the plans of prisons, &c., &c., are executed in a crcd*; •* 
ible style, and form an attractive feature of the whole. • '-.. '. -.j^ 

As the author had only a short furlough of thirty days, it becamc'-v v- 
necessary to obtain a person accustomed to such work to ])rci)are the '•' 
manuscript for the psess, and attend to the reading of tlie jinjof. In- 
changinp' the style of the journal to a runnin-; nan-ative, the langauge iiJ 
often different from the original, but tlie fiicta are strictly observed. 

PURLISHER. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 1. Page 

Siiuatiou of Plymouth, ..... 21 

The Garrison ; Forts and Naval Fleet, ... 22 

Sabbath Attack of the 17th of April, - - - 24 

First appearance of Cavalry Pickets in Town, • - 25 

The Federal Forces holding the Town ; Attack upon Fort Gray, 26 

Wives of Loyal North Carolinians sent to Roanoke Island, 27 

Wounding of Captain Burke, - - - - • 28 

EITect of National Airs at the Breastworks, • - 29 

Sinking the Southficld, ..... 30 

The Rebels charge upon Plymouth Redoubts, • - 32 
Gen. Iloke demands surrender ; the Federal Officer refuses, and 

the capture of his men is the result, - - 33 
March to Secessia ; Camping-ground at Night, - - 35 
Treatment of the 35th N. C. Regiment, as Guards, - 86 
Arrival at Williamstown, N. C. The Soldiers send letters North, 37 
Entrance into the yard of a man who had taken the oath of alle- 
giance to Uncle Sam, - - - - - 38 
Reflections the first Sabbath after the capture, - - 39 
The ranks searched for Rebel Deserters, - • - 40 
i'ankee Trades to satisfy hunger, ... * 41 
Prisoners sent to Goldsboro, N. C, - - • • 43 
Tlic remainder sent from Tarboro, . - • 46 
Miserable Fare at Wilmington, - - - - 48 
Immense Fire kindled by a Soldier, ... 49 

CHAPTER II. 

The First of May in Charleston, - - - 50 

Reception of the "Plymouth Pilgrims," ... 51 

The Georgia Central Railroad ; Arrival at Macon, • - 63 
The Regiment reach Andersonville ; manner in which they were 

classed and divided, - - • - -65 

Pearful spectacle on entering the Prison, - - • [_56 



12 CONTENTS. 

Rations; efforts to procure shelter ; Death's exchange, - 59 

AVarniugs of the old Prisoners concerning the "Dead Line," Gl 
Gen. Cobb's Visit of Inspection ; Plan of Escape ; Dlood-hounds 

put upon their track, - - - " - . 6-i 

Narrow escape from Death, ^ - . - . 65 

The Lawless Gang, called "Mosby's Raiders," in Prison, - 67 

The Lifeless Bodies of Ten Men lying at the Gate, - 69 

A Sick Man's Bath in the Prison Stream, - - - 70 

Demonstration at a Sham Fight, - - . - '71 

Treatment of Prisoners by Rebels and Federals contrasted, - 73 

The cruel suspicions forced upon men, - - - 75 
True spirit of the Union Soldiers, - - - .75 

Hopes excited by the Promise of Exchange, - - 77 
Account of the Battle between Grant and Lee, by the "Macon 

Telegraph," - - - - - 79 
A Rebel Officer calling for a Sergeant who could write his name, 80 

The Thirteen in a IIosj)ital Tent, - - - - 81 

Rebel Forces sent to Dalton to oppose Sherman, • - 83 

Arrival of Prisoners ; slight attention to comfort, • 85 

CHAPTER III. 

The Rebels discover a Tunnel ; threats in consequence, ^- 87 

A Secret Organization to devise new Plans of Escape, - 88 

A Picnic among the "Johnnies," - - - - 90 

New Prisoners robbed by the Prison Marauders, - - 01 

Richmond History, called "The Second Year of the War," 92 

The Messenger Rainbow, ----- 93 

Sabbath in Rebel Prison, ----- 94 

A Cripple shot for going inside the "Dead Line,** - 95 

Death again in the Tent of the Thirteen ; a Prayer Meeting, 9G 

Punishment for Violation of Orders, ... 93 

Captured Men from Resaca, ----- 100 

Enlargement of the Prison Limits, - - - 102 

The Stockade undermined, . - - - - 103 

Disclosure of the Plot to Capt. Wirtz, - - - 104 

Notice of Captain posted upon the Prison Gate, - - 105 
The Men from Grant's Army robbed of Coats, Blankets, and 

Haversacks, .--..- lOG 

Energy of Character necessary for the Prisoner, - - l(i7 

Rebel Effort and Yankee Ingenuity, - - - - 109 



CONTENTS. 



13 



M.iu:icr of Distributing the Rations, 

CViiiip Raiders and False Promises, . - - 

Tile "Old Dutchman;' . . - - - 

Entrance of some of the 1st Ala^s. Kegimeul iulo I'rison, 

The "Modus Opyrandi" of Tunneling, 

A severe Rain Storm, - - - - - 

Jeir. Davis asking for an Armistice, 

Visit to the Woods, . - - - - 

Agitation of th; Rebel Element, - - - - 

Camp Surroundings, . - - - - 

The cav after being sunk ninety feet, 

IIint3 g Retaliation, - - - - 

Measures to Retain Activity of Mind, . . - 

Question raised by suffering from Cold and Exposure, 



110 
li;i 
11.3 

117 
118 
1-21 

12G 
123 
131 
132 
134 
135 
138 



CHAPTER IV. 

Prisoners from Butler's and Grant's Army, with the Dog "Trip," 139 

A Yankee Traitor, - - - - - - 110 

Confidential Talk with a Union Man, - - - 141 

A Man buried alive ; two Men wounded ; Gen. Sturgis, - 143 

Gold News from New York ; Corporal B , - - 144 

Reward for Shooting a Soldier, .... 146 

How the Remedies for the Sick were obtained, - - 147 
July 7th, the promised Day of Exchange, - - - H9 
Prisoners who had been Robbed, sent to Gen. "Winder for set- 
tlement, - - - - - - If)') 

Going for Wood; Story of the Lost Knife, - - - ir;2 

An exciting Robbery ; one Man Killed, - - - 155 

The Rebel Quartermaster and Limber Jim, - - - 15G 

Completion of the Addition to the Stockade, - - 157 

Night efforts of the Prisoners to obtain Fuel, - - 158 

A Sciiool for Patience, - - - - - 159 

Discouragement leading to Insanity, - - - - 162 

Prison Celebration of July 4th, - - - - 163 

Visit of the Catholic Priest, - - - - - 163 

Meeting by the Brook-side, .... 166 

Death of J. Hoskins, ...--- 166 

Suffering for the want of Good Water, - - - 168 

Sentence of Death by Hanging ; Escape of one of the Victims ; 

His Re-capture, - - . - . 171 



14 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V. 

Building a Mud Stove ; Capt. "Wirtz declaring a new Outbreak 

disclosed, --.... 177 

Sudden Marshaling of the Rebel Forces, - - - 178 

Preaching by Elder Shephard, - - - - 180 

Last llours of D , of the IGth Regiment, - - 181 

A Petition of the Prisoners, urging the President and Govern- 
ors of States to procure release for them, - - 182 
Within and Without, ...... 183 

Men caught while at work in a Tunnel, - - - 185 

Bartering a Gold Pen for Food, .... 137 

A Vote upon the "Petition" called for, ... 188 

Early's Cavalry Prisoners, ..... 189 

White Flags, - - - - - - 190 

Attempt to entice Prisoners to make Shoes for the Confederate 

Government, ..... 191 

Conversation with one of the Rebel Guard, - - - 192 

Peculiarities of Southern Dialect, .... I93 

Views of a Kentucky Surgeon upon Slavery, - - - 194 

Service of a Confederate Chaplain, - - - 195 

Thunder Storms, - - - - - - 196 

Victim of Insanity in the Prison Stream ; Various Forms of 

Derangement, - - - - - - 197 

A Living Man devoured by Maggots, - - - 198 

Lines on a Blank Leaf of a Bible, - - - - 199 

Sentiments of a " Secesh " Young Lady as written to her Lover, 200 

The Rebel Flag, 201 

Lieut. Strains and his Party, ... - 203 

Organization of the Regimental Church, ... 204 

Corporal Flower, of Hartford, Ct., - - - 206 

A Prisoner accidentally shot, - - . - . 208 

A Terrific Rain Storm, ..... 2u9 

Risking Life to obtain Wood, - - - - 210 

CHAPTER VL 
Confidence in the Government, .... 215 
Human Nature as manifest in the Confederacy ; Taunts of a cer- 
tain Officer of the Day, .... 218 
Intensity of Home Longings, .... 220 
Jimmy B , of Company A, - - - - 221 



CONTENTS. 



15 



Plioto^raphic Artists from Miicoii, 

The .ippearanoe of Scurvy, 

Joy at news of the arrival of Northern Letters, 

Eflcet of Peace Sensation Stories, ... 

Sickness of Capt. Wirtz; Cliaractcr of his Successor, 

Visit of ft Confederate Captain, 

Personal attack of Scurvy, ... 

New Koginie instituted by Lieut. Davis, 

Rebel Boastings of Prison Representatives, 

Queries upon conditions of Exchange, 

Return of the Prison Commandant, 

Kiud Act of Gen. Winder, ... 

Demise of Orderly Sergeant L , of Co. C, 

Desire of the Prisoner to die at Home, 

The Day of Deliverance hailed with Joy, 

The dying Message of Evans, ... 

Loyal North Carolinians, ... 

"Flanking out;" Orders to be ready for moving, - 

Sorrowful Thoughts induced by leaving, 

CHAPTER YIL 

Wide felt Interest in the Hospital, 
Its situation at Andersonville, 

Reluctance of the Men to enter so wretched a place, 
The miserable condition of the Sick, 
A Sacrifice seemingly useless, - • - 

Loyal Men treated like Convicts, . - - 

Character of Physicians, ... 

The Sick-call, ..... 

A Prisoner Shot while warming himself. 
Cruel manifestation of selfishness, . . - 

Rations for the Sick, .... 
Living Skeletons — variety of disease. 
Fearful working of Gangrene, 
The Sick Men tormented with Vermin, 
Rebel Testimony respecting Hospital Treatment, 
Tenacity of Life, ..... 
Incident in the life of D. S, Birdsell, - 
The Dead-House, ..... 
Marking and Numbering the Dead ; Manner of carrying 
out, - - ... 



them 



278 



IG CONTEXTS. * 

riace of Bi:vi:;l, - - - - - - 279 

AVaut and AVoG leaving Dcvoiiou to tlic Uiiiou Cause unim- 
paired, - - - - - - - 231 

CHAPTER Till. 

Departure from Prif^on, ..... 283 

Delight at beholding the Green Earth ap;ain, - - 284 
The Soldiers' P.ecepiion at Augusta ; Kindness of Mrs. O'Don- 

nell, -.--.-. 286 

Interview with a Rebel Soldier, - - - . 287 
Entrance into Charleston ; the Men told it was but a hurried 

removal, ...... 289 

The Race Course appropriated as Camp Ground, - • 290 

Disappointment of the Men ; A New Organization, - - 292 

No escape from the " Dead Line," .... 294 

Call of a Rebel Officer for Volunteers to do Service for them, - 295 

Sisters of Charity, ------ 296 

My admission into the Hospital, .... 299 

The reasonings of Faith to inspire Courage, - • 300 

Act that savored of Inhumanity to the Men, ... 802 

A Scene in the Room for Amputation, - - - 304 

The Rebel Sutler and his Prices, ... - 806 

A Rebel Soldier's Disobedience of Orders, - - 807 

Anecdote of the Young Surgeon, . - - - 808 
Union Song, - - - - - -810 

Shelling of the City by Union Soldiers, - - - 311 

Appearance of the Yellow Fever; Humorous Incident, - 312 

.Journey to Florence; Story of the Man who feigned Death, - 314 

The Darkle Woman and her Bread, ... 315 

CHAPTER IX. 

Night Entrance into Florence ; Emotions at sight of the Stock- 
ado, - - - - - - - "AQ 

Oath of Allegiance to the Confederacy, - - - 319 

Admission to the Florence Hospital through Dr. Strother, - 320 

Detailed as Hospital Steward; Signing Parole of Honor, - 322 

Sentiments of Assistant Surgeon, Junius O'Brien, - - 323 

Supplies from the Sanitary Commission, - - - 823 

Insufficiency of Modirincs, ..... 324 

Dr. Garrett and the Plantation Burials, - - - ^25 



CONTENTS. 1 7 

Tlic Doctor who was an Original Signer of the Secession Act, GliTi 

Exchange of Cotton lor rotutoes, .... Gi:7 

Excitement at tlic Presidential Election — Ballots and Beans, L'J'J 

Barbarous Punislnncnt ut Florence for attcmitting to E^jcapc, c!;jl 

O'Brien's Instructions to the Prisoners, • - - o35 

Amusing Trade of a " Johnnie," - - - - 330 

Employment of Slaves, .... - 337^ 

Religious Element of the Negro, .... 838 

Character of their Songs ; Kev. Mr. Gardner, of the I36th Ohio 

Regiment, a Victim of Death, - - - - 339 

Siid Reduction of Rations at the Hospital, - • 310 

Cruelty of Lieut. Barrett, - • - - - 311 

Thanksgiving Day as a Prisoner, * • - - 312 

Signing the Parole, - - - - - - 343 

A Stolen Interview of two Rebels. - - - CIl 
Introduction to Savannah ; A Wealthy Cotton Factor ; The Pic 

"Woman, - - - - - - 317 

Saying of Dr. Orme to Steward Reed, of the 12th N. Y. Regi- 
ment, as he was leaving, - - • - 348 
What was felt at Sight of the Old Flag, • • - 850 
Receiving and Clothing Ship, - - » - - 351 
The Feeding Ship Crescent, .... 352 

Manifestations of Joy by the Released Prisoners, • • 353 

Meeting with a Naval Vessel, - - - - ?'.5 

Weighing Anchor at Annapolis, . - • 85(5 

CHAPTER X. 

Situation of Libby ; its Name synonomous with Terror, - 35S 

Abusive Treatment, ..... 3GO 

Men SJiot for looking through the Window, • » - 303 

Description by E. Kirke, . - . , . 304 

Associations of Castle Tliunder, .... 307 
The distinction made by Southerners between Gentlemen and 

Common People, ..... 308 

Glimpse at Belle Isle, ..... 309 

Story of Howard Leedom, ..... 371 

Men Frozen to Death, ..... 872 

The Natural Consequences of War, .... 373 

Original Design of Salisbury Prison,. ... 373 



18 



CONTENTS. 



Testimony of Mr. Richardson, - 
Description of it as viewed by Mr. Brown, - 
lujperfect Idea of Southern imprisonment, 

Raleigh a comparatively Favored Place, 
Kind Attention of tho Union Ladies, - 



- 376 

382 

- 384 

385 
. 3S6 



Surroundings of Millen Prison, - . • - 889 

Number confined there, - ... - 390 

The fearful Mortality of the Place, - - - 991 
Rations — their quantity and quality ; Inducements to join the 

Confederacy, - - , , - 392 

Excitement at the Presidential Election, ... 593 

Humanity of the Guards ; Barbarous Act of a Rebel Surgeon, 394 

Reason for a Hurried Removal, • - - 395 

The Country's Sacrifice, 396 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Midnight Storm — Our Miserable Lodgings, 

Stockade at Andersonville, - 

Jlood Hounds Capturing Prisoners, 

Mode of Dealing Out Rations, 

Hanging Union Prisoners, 

Break in the Stockade, 

Plan of Hospital, Andersonville, 

Interior View of Hospital, • 

Plan of Stockade at Florence, • 

Hanging by the Thumbs, 

View of Libby Prison. • 







- 1 




. 


57 


• • « 




, 62 


• • 


. 


111 


• f « 




. 174 


• * 


» 


211 


■ ^ < 




" 267 


« • 


• 


265 


« V 


» 


" SIS 


• • 


. 


333 


• • • 




- 861 



THE PRINCirAL REBEL PRISON'S AND WHERE LOCATED. 

Antlcrsonvillc, Sumptcr County, Ga , known south as Camp Sinntcr. 

Milieu, Burke County, Gn., " " Ctunp Lawton. 

Coluiuhui, Lexin-iuu County, S. C, " " Camp Sor-luniL 

Plorenec, Darliu-ton County, S. C. 

Tyler, Sniitli County, Texas, " " Camp lorcL 

Sali.sl)ury, llowau County, N. C. 

Cahawija, Dallas County, Ala. 

l.)anvillc, Pottsylvania County, Va. 

Lihby, Ixiehmonil, Va. 

l*eml)crton, Richmond, Va. 

Castle Thunder, Richmond, Va. 

Belle Isle, in James River, little below Richmond. 

Macon and Savannah, Ga., Charleston and Blackstonc, S. C, and 
Raloigh, N. C., have necn prison posts, hut arc now abandoned. 

In the absence of much data on tlic subject, we can not give any ac- 
curate account of the number of deaths in rebel prisons; yet if wc 
give the sulycct a thought and go into some calculation.^*, we may form 
a more con-ect opinion than wc othcnvisc should. Mr. Richardson, 
con-espondent of the Xnc York Tribune, says the deaths at Sali.^bury, 
N. C., were 13 per cent, per month. Mr. Kellogg says it was 12 j)cr 
cent, for the same time at Florence, S. C. The deaths were 13,000 at 
Andcrsonvillc. The author says nearly one-half of his regiment cap- 
tured, died in about seven montlis. If v.'c assume that the prisoners 
will average 20,000 from January 1st, 1862, to February 1st, ISC'), 
and the doatlis to be 10 per cent, per month, or 2,000, then multiply 
l.-y 37 months, wc have 74,000 deaths. "With such clothing, shelter, 
food, means of keeping clean and medical attendance as the laws of 
health absolutely require, would the deaths have been more than one- 
tenth the number? if not, wc have, on the above estimate, 6G,G00 vic- 
tims of inhuman treatment. Our estimate of the number of prisoners 
may be too large. Richmond papers assert that l.')0,000 have entered 
Libby Prison. The per centagc of deaths may be too large ; but al- 
lowing the estimates to be nearly right, tlie re1)els have killed about as 
many in prisons as on the battle-field— whether designedly or not tvo 
leave tlio reader to judge. 



LIFE IN EEBEL PRISONS. 



CHAPTER I. 

SITUATION OF TLYMOUTII. 

On the Eoanoke river in North CaroHn?s<, 
about eight miles from the Sound, lies the 
town of Plymouth, a place once important on 
account of its highly advantageous position as 
a depot, through Avhich might pass, in trans- 
portation, the products of the State. 

Tar, rosin and pitch, the prominent and well- 
known articles of manufacture in this land of 
Pines were brought from all parts of the inte- 
rior to this point as a place of shipment, and 
consequently it came to be more or less identi- 
fied with the interests of the southern people ; 
so that it was not strange they should make 
vigorous efforts to keep it in their possession, 
or failing in this for a time, would again renew 



22 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

their attempts to wrest it from the hands of 
their antagonists. 

Rather than its resources should be employed 
in enriching those they deemed their enemies, 
they sought its destruction by fire. It was 
partly saved, however, and by the force of cir- 
cumstances, afterv\^ard became appropriated as 
the most northern outpost of the U. S. forces 
in the State. Thus held, it was garrisoned by 
four regiments of infantry, one light battery, 
two companies of heavy artillery, and a few 
cavalry, all under command of Brig. Gen. H. 
W. Wessels, a noble officer and a brave man. 
Three forts — Gray, Williams and Wesscls — 
oiTered grateful protection to these men, while 
Compiler and Coneby redoubts, and a line of 
connecting breast works, afforded strong ground 
of hope that the position of an advancing foe 
might, at least, be rendered somewhat uncom- 
fortable by the peculiar greeting they might 
receive in consequence of these. Added to 
these, and designed to act in harmony with them 
was the naval fleet, consisting of the gunboats 
^^Miami," "Southfield," ^- Ceres," "Whitehead," 
and "Bomb-shell," under command of Capt. 



LIIT. IN RI-HEL PRISONS. 23 

Flusser. So far as these were concerned, they 
certainly presented a Ibrniidaljle array of weap- 
ons with which to hurl missiles of deadliest 
intent against those who would murderously 
assail the devoted band of Unionists to whom 
Avas assigned the duty of keeping the place 
from invasion; but these, be they never so 
abundant, are fruitless, without the requisite 
hands to work them, as the sequel with its 
hopeless sorrows and regrets fully proved to us. 
But as familiarity with anything, even with 
danger, has a tendency to make that tolerable 
v^'hich was once highly forbidding, so while 
tlic.-e things threw about us their friendly 
diadows, a feeling of comparative security 
took possession of our minds, and fancy rev- 
eled in safety; a state suggestive of that of 
the ancient worthies, wdio, in order to escajDe 
their persecutors, retired to the secret caves 
of the mountains — the strength of the hills 
their covert ; the voiceless woods their guard ; 
the deep-toned thunder their music; their 
rocky depths only illuminated as the kindly 
sun shed pitiful gleams by day, and the stars 
came out in solemn parade at night, to assure 



24 LIFE m REBEL PRISONS. 

them that the might of Truth should eventu- 
ally conquer tlieh^ foes, and let the burdened 
free. 

But we were not suffered long to cherish 
the illusions of fancy , for we soon found our- 
selves in a condition to yield to the sudden 
impulse of stern necessity, and battle for that 
which was temporarily our kingdom and our 
cro^^Ti. 

THE ATTACK. 

The morning of the 17th of April, 1864, 
dawned upon us in our warlike retreat in all 
the beauty and loveliness with which nature 
is wont to adorn herself at such a season of 
the year. It was the hallowed day of the 
seven; — a time when the mind of the soldier 
naturally reverts to other scenes and other 
days, when it soothes itself by the remem- 
brance of quiet services in home sanctuaries 
where no sights or sounds give evidence of 
war, except it be of that moral conflict which 
the individual is called upon to wage silently 
with the hosts unseen. Guard-mounting was 
witnessed as usual, and at the roll-call sixteen 
kundrcd men were reported for duty. All 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 25 

nccessarv positions Ijeing occupied, tlie rest 
Avere at liberty to follow their mclinations, 
and as mine sent out iLeir isweet invitations 
to re[)air to the sacred temple, 1 obeyed, and 

listened to a sermon from the Rev, Mr. B , 

Chaplain of the lOlst Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers, in the morning, and in the afternoon 
went to Grace Church, one of those places 
still left open to lure the feet of the Christian 
Avarrior, Avlierc he may cahnly consider the 
prospect of ultimate victory and success in 
the holiest warfare in which man can engage ; 
— a consideration always attended by that 
other thought, that second to this only is the 
national strife in which his whole energies are 
enlisted, and which he is bound by every prin- 
ciple of honor and justice to maintain, until 
the coveted issue shall make it no longer a 
necessity. 

Just at the close of the services, and shortly 
Ijefore the hour for Dress Parade, while yet 
the impressions of the day were thick about 
us, the cavalry pickets came dashing into town, 
having been driven in by the rebels. Artil- 
lery and cavalry were immediately sent out 



26 LIFE IN REBEL PRISOX.S. 

to ascertain the strength of tlie enemy, but 
tliey soon returned, reporting a short engage- 
ment Avitli a superior number, in which one of 
their men were killed, and a Lieutenant badly 
wounded. It soon became manifest that ^ve 
were to be fearfully pressed, as tiiree brigades 
of infantry were bearing down upon us, to- 
gether with a heavy siege train of artillery, 
manned by a revengeful foe who were eager 
to take possession of the town, and send us to 
homes they had provided in mercy not partic- 
ularly tender. With us v;ere the 85th N. Y., 
commanded by Fa^rdella, an Italian officer, the 
101st P. v., together with the 103d of the 
same State, under Col. Lehman ; the 24th N. 
Y. Independent Battery, under the direction 
of Capt. Cady; two companies Mass. heavy 
artillery, Capt. Sampson, and a slight force of 
the 12th N. Y. cavalry. 

An attack was made upon Fort Gray, a 
mile or so a})ove the town on the river, and 
as the shot and shell came gwiftly down to us 
upon their death-fraught errands, our quick- 
ened apprehensions were not slow in discover- 
ing the propriety of using all available means 



LIFE IN REDEL PRISONS. 27 

for Fafotv. Olio of the latter strlkincc near 
the tent of Capt. Morse, reminded us of the 
thought, that, especially in Avar, 

There is Init a step 'tween life and death, 

One moment lil'c's pulses play, the next, soul is gone with the breath. 

In anticipation of the battle the women 
and children of the town were placed on 
jjoard the steamer "Massasoit," bound for 
Roanoke Island, among which were the wives 
of loyal North Carolinians ; of men wdiose 
attachment to the Union cause could not be 
broken by threats ; whose devotion to the 
government whose fostering care they had 
long enjoyed, nothing could quench, and there- 
fore thev had enrolled themselves as amonej 
the truest soldiers of the Federal cause when 
the crisis appeared, and there was no alterna- 
tive but to do or die ; — to be free or ruled 
with despotic power. To this place, whither 
these were sent as a place of refuge, Co. II 
of our OAATi regiment, the IGtli Ct., had gone 
in the morning, for the purpose of relieving 
some other troops, and were thus fortunate 
enough to escape the attack, the while, suppos- 
ing we were resting under the silent wing of 



28 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

peace, when war's chosen arrows were flying 
thick and fast about us. 

The morning following this first outbreak 
we were aroused from our slumbers before 
sunrise by the roar of cannon, and the dis- 
turbance occasioned; the half-conscious state 
of the mental faculties which was sj)^^^iiy 
induced, made it seem that what was strug- 
gling for prominence was the idea that it was 
decided incivility on the part of the "rebs" 
to prompt such early rising. But what was 
wanting in dimness of vision for a moment 
was soon made up in the keenness which we 
felt inclined to exercise in the survey of things 
about us. Everything began to look dark, 
and signs were fearfully ominous of what was 
approaching. About 7 o'clock, Capt. Burke 
came in from the skirmish line in front, 
wounded in the shoulder. Firing was heard 
at intervals through the day, but no general 
advance until nearly dark, when the enemy 
came pouring in from the Avoods in great 
numbers, and charged upon our line of skir- 
mishers with their characteristic Tjell. 

The few J of course having no chance before 



LIFE LN REBEL TRISONS. 2& 

the many, they retired witliin the fortifica- 
tions, Avlien the exultant Ibe rapidly wheeled 
a battery into position, and under its destruc- 
tive intluence our beautiful camp was soon 
completely riddled, and Fort Williams pretty 
eflectually silenced. 

At this juncture, Lt. Col. Bumham ordered 
the Band to the breast-works, and bade them 
strike up some national airs, and though they 
might not have been particularly edifying to 
the gray-robed legions without, the spirit- 
stirring strains were in no wise lost upon the 
hearts of our ow^n boys. Brave hearts became 
braver, and if the patriotism of any waxed 
cold, and the courage of anj faltered, they 
here grew w^armer and stronger until pride of 
country had touched the will, and an indom- 
itable principle had been kindled that virtu- 
ally declared the man a hero imtil death. It 
Avas with something of this new-imparted 
energy that our scanty forces were able, by 
the use of means still in their possession, to 
silence their op posers, and make it convenient 
for them to retreat ; but supposing they w^ould 
speedily rally and come down upon us with 



30 LIFE IN REBEL rmsoNa 

new strength and ardor^ we continued on the 
^vatch, rehxxmg not through the whole night. 
Snatching a few moments in the interval of 
quiet, I ran over to my tent, — a place, strange 
as it may seem, around which some fond asso- 
ciations clustered, and you, ye soldier-reader, 
can alone tell how sadly I felt when I saw 
rude marks that bore unequivocal testimony 
tliat it had been visited by one of those un- 
sought and unwelcome bodies — a shell. Yes ! 
in my absence it had found both ingress and 
efjress, but as there is never any thing so dark 
but wliat there is light not far off, either 
behind or above it, so I consoled myself with 
the reflection that it had its way alone , and I 
was not there for its entertainment. 

Notwithstanding the temporary success, the 
third day after the attack had things in a bad 
plight for us. Tlie "rebs" had come into pos- 
session of Fort Wessels, and their iron-clad 
ram, the ''Albemarle," had found its waj' down 
tlie river, passing our batteries without being 
molested, sunk tlie "Southfield" and driven off 
the rest of the navy. Every hour our pros- 
pect grew darker and our liopes weaker, for 



LIFE IN REDEL PUISOXS. 81 

the men Avcrc completely exhausted ])y con- 
tinual duty through the day, and as constant 
watch in sf by ni«j,lit. Our <j:arrison Avas so 
snudl that all hands were required at the 
breast-works, and even then, it was altogether 
insuOicient for the work. Intense were our 
longings for reinforcements, but the threaten- 
ing "Albemarle" kept any from coming to our 
relief, and we began seriously to think of a 
march to Richmond, Ya., and the registry of 
our names at her famous Libby Hotel. Not 
particularly inclined to take such a journey, 
we resolved to wait until there was no further 
hope, and at half past one we were furnished 
with intrenching tools and told to work for our 
lives in Ijuilding bombproofs, traverses, &c., and 
in a comparatively short time we were sheltered 
from the fire of the enemy, which was coming 
into our rear from their engine of death upon 
the river. Towards evening, having posted a 
line of pickets and reserve, I went over to my 
tent, hoping to gain a moment's slumber, but 
the increased cannonading having by no 
means a soothbuj effect, I returned again to 
the breast-works, where many a weary, way- 



32 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

worn comrade was to Avatcli tlirougli the night, 
although " //rec? na^z/re" pleadmgly called for 
some "sioeet restorer T Long before daybreak 
the enemy, nnder cover of the cannon's roar, 
advanced up the Columbia road and with wild 
cheers and yells charged upon the two re- 
doubts which formed our protection upon the 
east side of the town. After a short, but 
bloody and decisive conflict they accomplished 
their object, and flushed with their success 
they came down through the camp of the 
101st P. v., upon our regiment, evidently 
thinking there could be no barrier to what- 
ever they should attempt to do; but their 
bravery was met by a corresponding principle 
on the part of our boys, and they were re- 
pulsed with great loss to them, yet a slight 
advantage could do but little for us at this 
time, for the rebels had possession of Fort 
Wessels, the two redoubts on the Columbia 
road, and the entire river side of the village. 
From this position they were pouring a terri- 
l)le fire into our rear. Six very fine horses on 
a caisson near me were shot down in quick 
succession, and many of our men were sadly 



LIFE IN REDEL rRISONS. 33 

wounded. At this time two or three officers 
came in, bearini^ a Hag of truce, with a demand 
from Gen. lloke for the sui-render of the town 
and its garrison. After a .^hort consultation 
the demand was refused by our General, and 
the fight Avent on, though wdth abated vigor 
on our part, as we wxre thoroughly exhausted 
by our previous labors. The refusal, however, 
soon brought them down in force upon us, 
leaving no alternative but to surrender, 
although it was done with no willing grace, 
yet it could but be attended with the con- 
sciousness that w^e had tried the virtue of re- 
sistance to the utmost. 

THE CAPTURE. 

We were at once marched out of to^vn to 
their resen^e picket force, on the \yashington 
road, where we remained for the night, being 
allowed to retain our blankets, overcoats, and 
indeed all that w^e had with us, excepting, of 
course, our arms and equipments. I saw but 
one instance of robbery at the beginning, and 
that was by an officer, evidently in a state of 
intoxication. Riding up to one of our boys, 
he drew his sword and demanded his w^atch, 



34 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

using threatening and insulting language, and 
declaring he Avould split open his head if he 
refused. Of course, there was no way but to 
yield. 

Here Ave w^rote hasty letters to our friends, 
which we ho^Dcd by some good fortune to send 
to them, on the route, or at least at the end 
of our march, — 

For none will e'er forget his friends, 

If his heart be true and tender ; 
Though adverse gales blow swift and long, 

Love's ties we'll still remember. 

On the morning of the 21st we awoke to 
new experiences. Instead of the calls to 
which we had been wont to listen, and the 
labor we had been accustomed to perform, we 
were but passive beings, subject to the will of 
a conqueror. In the early part of the day, 
rations were issued to us for four days, consist- 
ing of twenty-five hard crackers, and about 
two pounds of raw salt pork each. They were 
from the provisions taken with the town, and 
consequently were of good quality, although 
we did not particularly relish taking from 
their hands Avhat, a few hours previously Ave 
had counted our OAvn, but Ave remembered that 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 35 

prisoners, like "&('^^r^r.s, miis'nt ])C choosers," 
jiiul tliut there avus no Avay hut to succumb as 
cheerfully as circunistanocs would nllow. Our 
owu reginicut was ovim* four huudrcd stron*^, 
aud the whole number capturod at the surren- 
render, 2,197, so that we w^ere quite a com- 
pany, doomed to the miseries of rebeldom. 

About noon we took up our line of march 
for the interior of Sccessia, and kept on until 
nine in the evening, making a distance of sev- 
enteen miles, having passed through the vil- 
lai»:es of Foster's Mills and Jamesville, both of 
Avhich were visited by our troops some time 
l)efore under Maj. Gen. Foster, wdien he made 
his rade from Newdjern to Whitehall and Kin- 
ston. Many white, ghost-like chimneys w^ere 
still standing to mark the former abodes of the 
chivalry. At night our stopping place was in a 
corn-field by the road-side and our bed the 
places betw^een the furrows, but lying on the 
cold, bare ground was no new experience for u«; 
for we had often been dependent upon mother 
earth for a resting place, and the time and cir- 
cumstances had also been when we had been 
more willing to '•^vrap the drapery of her couch" 



1 



36 LUB IN REBEL PRISONS. 

about us^ and we could have lain down to 
"pleasant dreams^ Now, with wet, cold feet, 
gained by fording many a creek through the 
day, our situation was not very enviable, and 
it is not strange if visions of doicny beds came 
floatmg over the minds of some on that event- 
ful night. 

The 35th N. C. constituted our guard, and 
we can say of them what can not be said of all 
the Southern troops, that they w^ere a gentle- 
manly set of fellows, and treated the Northern 
soldier with some consideration. To have 
seen us through the day one w^ould have sup- 
posed that w^e were the captors and they the 
prisoners, for as we were ''marching along'' 
we sung that song w^hich usually falls with 
such strange significance on the ears of sensa- 
tive Southerners — 

"John Brown's body lic3 mouldering in the grave," &c., 

Crowds of women and children lined the 
roadside, apparently eager to get even a glimpse 
of the ^* Yankees," of whom they had heard 
such fearful things, but we marked what 
seemed to us a look of surprise, as they sur- 
veyed what was imquestionably a set of de- 
cent, respectable looking fellows. 



LIFE IN REBKL PKISONS. 37 

The next clay avc marched, with very little 
rest, until half past ojie, Aviien we arrived at 
Willianiston, N. C. Here we were conducted 
to a large pine grove by the road-side, and 
allowed to rest quite a little time. As before, 
a large concourse of women and children 
gathered to witness the strange sight, and in 
view of it find myself recording a paragraph 
like tliis — "Wonder what they think of us! 
I don't care what the ugly looking ones think, 
especially those who chew snuff, but I do hopa 
the good looking ones don't hate us.'' 

The village postrmaster came about among 
us, promising to mail letters for us, so we soon 
loaded him do^vn wdth short letters, containing 
tidings of our fate to the dear ones at home, 
which we ardently hoped might rcach them 
to relieve them of anxiety, or, at least, of sus- 
pense, and dispel the uncertainty which would 
otherwise exist to torture them. 

After our short but grateful rest, we started 
again, marching until sunset, w^hen we halted 
and went into camp in a grass field, and as we 
filed in, each man helped himself to a rail, so 
that the ontire fence was soon appropriates! 



38 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

as fuel for our evening fires. Our guards 
made no objection to it^, but on the whole 
seemed to think it quite a good joke on our 
part. Water was plenty by the road-side, and 
after making some '^ crust coffee^' and eating 
some hard-tack and raw pork, we spread our 
blankets upon the ground and slept peacefully 
and well, fearing no very ill treatment from 
men who had showed so much consideration 
as to pitch a tent for the accommodation 
of one poor sick sufferer. After this night, 
our early morning ablutions were performed 
at a little brook, this followed by a scanty 
breakfast, and we fell in with the already mov- 
ing column, feeling in excellent condition, 
physically, at least. At nine o'clock we 
reached Hamilton, and were introduced into 
the yard of a man who had once taken the 
oath of allegiance to Uncle Sam, but who was^ 
now very glad of the opportunity to bake 
poor corn-bread, or "pone," as the southerners 
say, and sell it to us for $5.00 a loaf At this 
place we bade adieu to our N. C. guards, wdth 
some regret, for they had treated us well, and 
we had yet to learn the spirit of those who 
were to take their places. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 39 

Nevertheless, our little squad of Co. A boys 
was Ijoiind to make the best of it, and select- 
mg a pleasant spot, we put our tlihigs upon 
tlie ground in the order m whicli we expected 
to sleep, and then resort<itl to various expedi- 
ents for amusement. There was *^ right smart 
of trading" went on between our boys and 
the Johnnies, some of the trades causing con- 
siderable merrimcdit. 

The 2 4 til was the Sabbath, and what strange 
vicissitudes one short week had wrought for 
us. In not many things could we say it was 
a blessed contrast. Then we were free, now 
we were prisoners ; — then we had plenty of 
food and comfortable shelter, now w^e had 
neither, or at least but little to satisfy our 

hunger. My friend, Sam B , and myself, 

managed to make out what we called a break- 
fast, with the few scraps that we had left of 
our four days' rations, but the change was per- 
haps quite as keenly felt in the blighting of 
hopes as in anything. Plymouth was lost. 
We had hoped to save it for the Union side, 
but it was gone, and mourning was useless. 
It only remained for us to travel on until our 



40 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

foes were satisfied. Not even the hours of 
holy time could be our own, but on, and still 
on, was the watchword. During the forepart 
of the day the people of the surrounding 
country gathered about us, it being their day 
for visiting and recreation. About noon we 
were to start for Tarboro, a distance of twenty- 
two miles, but a little before the time came 
some of the officers and men formed a group 
and sang "Home, sweet home," "Sweet hour 
of Prayer," and many other beautiful hymns, 
richly suggestive of homes on earth, and 
home in heaven. Our captors evidently 
thought it a strange and novel scene. 

After forming our line in the road, ready 
for marching, the ranks were searched for de- 
serters from the rebel army, a number of 
whom were detected and taken away. They 
had entered our service a long time before and 
were captured with us. We never knew their 
fate, but suppose them to have been shot. 
After this inspection we pursued the way our 
guards were treading, making twelve miles 
before nightfall, in season to seek the hospi- 
tahty of pine woods near by. It rained some, 



LIFE IN REBEL FRISONa. 41 

but making a sort of tent of our l)lankets, ^ye 
concluded to let heaven and earth take care 
of us as best they could. 

An easy march of teii miles brought us, on 
the morrow's noon, to the place of our imme- 
diate destination. The camp assigned us here 
was by a river-side, near the bridge. We 
were counted as we proceeded to pass through 
an immense crowd, of both sexes and all 
classes, who seemed to have congregated for 
no other purpose but to examine and criticise 
us, ^joor unfortunates. 

Our boys were nearly starved, and before 
rations could be procured they bartered away 
clothing, gold rings and pens, in short, what- 
ever they had, for a bit of something to eat. 
Five dollars in Confederate money w^ould buy 
a piece of corn bread, baked w^ith little or no 
salt, of the size of a man's hand, and for a 
small piece of pie I gave the last "greenback" 
dollar I had in the world. The citizens w^ere 
perfect extortioners and robbers, but most of 
them so ignorant they could easily be im- 
imposed upon, and in consequence, our boys 
played some very sharp tricks upon them. 



42 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

Sometime before the capture of Plymouth, 
our forces made a raid into Elizabeth City, 
and some of the men breaking into the Far- 
mers' Bank at that place, appropriated to 
themselves a large nmiiber of unsigned certifi- 
cates of deposit. These were made to serve 
us a good turn in our extremity. They were 
now filled out with any names that came con- 
venient, and passed with the greatest readi- 
ness as good, sound money. 

One man had a watch chain, made of brass, 
made in imitation of Uncle Sam's gold dollars, 
linked together, and after a brightening pro- 
cess, to make it resemble as nearly as possible 
the valuable coin, it brought in the fortunate 
possessor a small fortune in Confederate 
money. 

The distribution of rations soon claimed 
our attention to the exclusion of everything 
else, as the "inner man'' was sadly in need of 
refreshment. 

These consisted of a cup of meal, the same 
quantity of black peas, and a small piece of 
bacon for each man. Kettles and wood were 
supplied to us, and making lively ilsg of these, 



LIFE IN REDrX PRISONS. 43 

Avo soon had sometJiin^' to cat onoc more, after 
uliich Ave retired to rest as liap[)y as men 
could be ill siieh a condition. 

'' IVue hapijincss^ says Addison, "is of a 
retired nature," and so far Ave nii<(lit have real- 
ized the idea of the man of letters, but Ave 
felt not quite like saying ^ Celestial happiness," 
for many felt their repose Avould be slightly 
more " dlvifie" could they pilloAV their heads 
upon other than Confederate soil. 

Two-thirds of the prisoners Averc sent to 
Goldsboroiigh, N. C, the next day, on their 
Avay, as it Avas said, to Charleston. Each man's 
name, rank and regiment, was taken as he 
fded out of the guarded enclosure, consequently 
they made slow progress in the Avork, and our 
regiment, from its position, could not come in 
Avith those AAdio were to leave that day. Em- 
ployment diverts the mind, so Ave betook our- 
selves to the cooking of our rations, A\'hich 
Avere moro justly distributed than on the day 
before, and also to make preparation, as best 
Ave could, for the satisfaction of hunger Avliile 
on the journey aa^c supposed Avould be taken 
on the morroAV. 



44 1.IFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 

How far back in the ^9as^ then seemed our 
day of New England comforts, but the present 
claimed our energies, and we tliought our- 
selves in a fliir way to become somewhat 
skilled in the art of making corn-dodgers, espe- 
cially if we should abide long in Southern soci- 
ety. Trading was brisk as ever through that 
day, although at one time the Confederate 
soldiers were forbidden by Uieir officers from 
taking any more " greenbacks," as there was a 
law making it a crime for a Southerner to pos- 
sess or attempt to pass them; but in spite of 
the order they w^ere still glad to take them 
when they could do it without fear of detec- 
tion. We were told by the men in authority 
that we would probably leave at noon, but 
noon came, and the shades of evening gathered 
about us also, without any signs of leaving, so 
that there remained nothing for us but to 
compose ourselves to the idea of staying 
another night upon our miserable camping 
ground. To add to our discomfort, the bacon 
dispensed was not of the sweetest variety, but 
we were jmsoners, and must not be expected 
to grumble at any bad treatment, but v>q 



LIFE IN REDEL miSOXS. 45 

knew memory Avuiild Ik' nilthful to lier trust 
in its renienibnmcc, and the feeling of rdalla- 
Hon excited, wc felt quite sure Avould find ex- 
pression if any future time allowed llie oppor- 
tunity. Durinf^ the day saw a copy of the 
Richuioud Examiner, giving an account of our 
capture and the taking of the town, in a man- 
ner not very llattering to us, but the sadness 
occasioned was somewhat overborne by the 
intelligence almost simultaneously received, 
that the rebels had been foiled in their attack 
upon Newbern, and their iron-clad ram " the 
Neuse," blown up. 

The indolence and monotony which charac- 
terized these days was 'unpleasant in the ex- 
treme. Sometimes Ave found little variety in 
spicy debates with rebel officers, upon the war 
and slavery. They seemed to be very fond 
of arguing with us, although our boys almost 
invariably got the better of them. 

For a little time small squads were allowed 
to go out for wood, under guard, and I was 
fortunate enough to belong to one of these 
parties, and right glad was I to get away from 
our filthy surroundings, and breathe the pure^ 



46 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

fresh air of heaven^ as it swept through the 
woods. Its influence was really exhilarating 
to sinrlt as well as body. Coupled with this 
Avas the information that we miii:ht be ex- 
changed in a few days, and altogether hope 
became quite buoyant. Some cars appeared 
in our vicinity, and it began to look a little 
like departure. The possibility of its truth 
was inspiriting, although we knew not what 
change would bring to us, but of one thing 
we were certain, that a prisoner's life in the 
South had more of unpleasant reality than 
romance. That night it was very cold, and 
with but one blanket between two, it was im- 
possible to keep comfortably warm, jjut hearts 
w^ere animated by the thought of our 

DEPARTURE FROM TARBORO. 

About seven o'clock in the morning, it now 
being the 29th, the welcome order came, ''get 
ready to Jecwe^ but, as usual, our regiment was 
the last to Ije on the way. The street through 
which we passed on our march to the depot 
Avas very beautiful, and we all agreed it was 
the prettiest place we had seen in the South. 
It is the county seat of Edgecomb County, 



LIFE IX KEIIEL TUISOXS. 47 

situated upon tlie l)aii]\s of the Tar i-Iver, and 
must have l)een a i)laee of some importance 
lielore the war. It is in I'aih'oad roimcction 
^vith the J^outh ]>y a short })raneh road \vhi(;h 
strikes the Weldou road at a little plaee (tailed 
l\ocky Mount. 

The train left at 10 o'eloek;, and Ave liad 
a fair ride initil niiiht^ Avhen we lieoanie so 
weary ^\c longed for a little sleep ; — to lose 
ourselves in grateful unconsciousness for a 
little while, Init we found there was not room 
for us all even to sit doAvn, much less to place 
our Ijodies in such a position as to experience 
anything like rest, for there were forty-seven 
prisoners and five or six guards crowded into 
a l)ox car, and a small one at that. Soon after 
dark the doors were shut hy order of the 
o dicer of the guard, — Capt. Johnson, of the 
28th Georgia, and we passed a most miserable 
night, nearly smothered, and pressed almost 
out of all sliape. 

We passed Pikeville, and some other places 
of little note, on the way to Goldsborough. 
Here we stopped some time, and drew rations 
for the next twenty-four hours, receiving three 



48 LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 

snivall hard crackers and a little scrap of bacon 
to subsist on for that time. It was very 
evident our enemies did not intend we 
should suffer from being over fed. 

At midnight we reached Wilmington, where 
the guard availed themselves of the opportu- 
nity to do something for their own comfort. 
They alighted, kindled fires, and had a good 
time all to themselves, while w^e, poor crea- 
tures, wxre obliged to stay in our wretched 
car until morning. Soon after sunrise we 
Avere ordered from our miserable confinement 
and marched down to the dock, where a ferry- 
boat was in waiting to convey us to the oppo- 
site side. We landed on a large lumber dock, 
where w^e made a stay of several hours, during 
which time we received our allowance for 
twenty-four hours more ; this time obtaining 
a small loaf of sour wheat bread, no larger 
than a man's fist, and some bacon that smelled 
so badly that, hungry as we were, w^e left it 
upon the ground untouched. "Is there any 
excuse for this treatment here under the very 
shadow of one of the wealthiest cities of the 
South ?" was the question wc asked ourselves, 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 40 

and the reply dictated by reason w«is, " there 
can not he; it is equally inexcu.sa])lc and in- 
liiniian." 

Three large blockade runners were lying 
at the docks on the Wilmington side; very 
nharp^ rakish looking steamers, painted gray- 
ish -white, in order not to be seen at a distance 
Avhen at sea. While gazing at them Ave sud- 
denly heard heavy and rapid firing in the dis- 
tance, the intent of "which Avas soon ascer- 
tained in tlie return of a handsome steamer 
Avith the Confederate flag floating in the 
breeze, it having been repulsed in an attempt 
to run out at the mouth of the river. 

A short time before our arrival the place 
had suftered from an immense fire. Remains 
of buildings and docks were still smoking and 
bin-ning. One of the prisoners who went 
tlirough in advance of us, placed a lighted 
pipe in a bale of cotton, and before it was 
discovered the fire had made too much pro- 
gress to be easily arrested. The loss was esti- 
mated to have been about six millions of dol- 
lars, one million of which belonged to the Con- 
federate government. 



50 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

Our compaiiionsliip with lumber was broken 
by orders to embark for Charleston. Our 
Asthmatic locomotive had a great time in 
climbing a steep grade near the city, but after 
an untold amount of whistling and screaming 
it succeeded in pulling us up and sending us 
away on our journey. We passed several 
trains loaded with troops^ either on their way 
to Lee's army or to Newborn. 



CHAPTER II. 

ARRIVAL IN CHARLESTON. 

The first of May in the land of our birth is 
generally considered, especially by the young, 
as a day to be honored above many others, as 
it is the harbinger of glad summer days to 
come, but all former customs with us seemed 
to have been reversed, and the great question 
on its anniversary under a Southern sky, was, 
how to make even existence itself, not com- 
fortcibUy but simply tolerable. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 51 

In tlie forenoon of llie day wc Avcrc trans- 
forrc(l to iinotlicr train, and another <^uar(l of 
Georgia troops plaeed over us. We ^vere put 
upon platform cars, a position in ^vliieli to 
enjoy fresh air, besides afording an oppor- 
tunity to take a comprehensive survey of 
tiie scenery as wc passed along. As we 
entered the city, it was very fine. Handsome 
live oak trees lifted their venerable heads, 
IVinged with gray moss ; flowers with varied 
hue were in full blossom, and princely resi- 
dences were scattered here and there, giving 
an air of pleasantness to the whole, and but 
for the peculiar associations connected with 
the circumstance of our being there just then, - 
we might have enjoyed a stroll about some of 
the inviting paths. In some of the gardens 
they were picking green peas, while at home 
we supposed them scarcely planted. It was 
the Sabbath, and great crowds of people 
thronged the street corners to stare at the 
'• Plymouth Pilgrims," as the city papers sar- 
castically called us. Among them were many 
Union people whose unmistakable expressions 
of sympathy did us much good, for we had 
3 



52 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

expected notliing but taunts and Insults, espe- 
cially in this " hot-bed of secession^ 

One aged lady watched for an opportunity, 
and in a moment when the guard had their 
attention diverted in another direction, she 
came up to the side of the cars and gave us 
something to eat, at the same time commisera- 
ting our situation. Nowhere else in the Con- 
federacy had we experienced anything like 
this, and probably its repetition would seldom, 
if ever, occur again. We left this city, having 
Savannah, in Georgia, for our next destina- 
tion, and while crossing the railroad bridge we 
had a glimpse of Fort Sumter in the distance. 
It was intensely tantalizing to our spirits to 
be so near our forces, and yet prisoners and 
helpless. Our ride, notwithstanding, we 
acknowledged to be splendid, and we made 
quite good time, but just before the end of 
our route, we were overtaken by a rain storm 
which proved slightly inconvenient in our 
unsheltered condition. 

At Savannah we changed cars for Ander- 
sonville, which place was to be our theatre of 
action for an indefinite time. But thirty-five 



LIFE IN REBEL PIllSdNS. 53 

were ))iif into ;i car this tiinc, thus <i:Ivinii; us 
room loi- the re({uisitc cxpausiou lor coinfort 
aud ;i space in whicli to rest, ^vhich Ave gladly 
improved. AV^e traveled one hundred miles 
that uiglit upon the Georgia Central road. 
It is jjuilt upon strong pieces of thnber, kept 
in very good repair, and apparently in excel- 
lent condition. Painted signs by the road- 
side inlbrmed us that the track was of Ameri- 
can rails on one side, and English upon the 
other ; it being done as a sort of test of the 
superiority of one over the other. They 
were laid in 1857. 

At station No. 13 the train stopped qnite a 
long Avhile, and we were -allowed to wash in 
a brook near by ; to receive very good rations 
— so good, that we thought we should be 
fortunate if we could have those equally fain 
in our place of imprisonment. The country 
in this vicinity was very pleasant, mucli finer 
than anything we had yet seen in our '^pil- 
r/r image'' 

At 4, P. M. we arrived at Macon, a beautiful 
city, built upon high ground, and in general 
appearance much resembling Hartford, Ct. We 



54: LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

had a very good view of it as we approached 
it upon the cars, and had some sport in point- 
ing out the Pearl Street Church, Touro Hall, 
&c. All ! if in reality we could see the church 
spires of this New England city again, how 
happy w^e should be, was the thought that 
very naturally came into our minds, and if we 
had indulged in gloomy forebodings there 
would also have been the sad conviction that 
many a comrade would doubtless close his 
eyes upon all that was earthly, ere we should 
turn our feet again to the land from w^hence 
we came. 

We stopped two hours at Macon, and surely 
^'ignorance is bliss" for had Ave known the 
fearful sights that were shortly to meet our 
gaze, reluctance to proceed would have been 
doubly sure. The rebel officers gave us 
favorable descriptions of the location of the 
prison ; speaking of it as being situated in a 
healthy part of the country, with a fine stream 
of water running through it, and as to food, 
assuring us that we would fare well on account 
of the richness of the State, it not being 
impoverished like many parts of the South. 



LIFK IN RKP.EL PRISONS. 55 

At nine o'clock ^ve were al)le to chronicle 
our 

AinaVAL AT ANDERSON VII.LE, 

or rather at the station, lor there is no viUafre, 
and the prison is nearly a mile out from this. 
Thih' place, so notorious in the history of the 
\\ ar, is situated in Sumter Co., about sixty-five 
miles southwest from Macon, and fifty from 
the Ala])ama State line. We were counted as 
we left the cars, and then marched a short dis- 
tance from the depot, where we remained all 
night, surrounded by a line of fires and a 
heavy guard. Here we heard terrible stories 
of small-pox being prevalent in the prison, 
and also about the "dead line" which w\as 
death to any one who should step over it, but 
even then we thought they might be trying 
to frighten us. 

We were aroused from our slumbers the 
next morning at an early hour, and called to sub- 
mit to the orders of a bustling officer, dressed 
in Captain's uniform, who did his work with a 
great deal of swearing and threatening, divi- 
ding us into messes of ninety men each, each 
mess to be in charge of a sergeant, who should 



56 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

call the roll every morning, draw the rations, 
and receive an extra one himself for his 
trouble. Three "nineties" constituted a de- 
tachment, which was also in charge of a ser- 
geant. Thus classed, and our names taken, 
we were marched off to the prison. As we 
came near it, we found it to consist of twelve 
or fifteen acres of ground, enclosed by a high 
stockade of hewed pine logs, closely guarded 
by numerous sentinels, who stood in elevated 
boxes overlooking the camp. 

As we entered the place a spectacle met 
our eyes that almost froze our blood with 
horror, and made our hearts fail within us. 
Before us were forms that had once been active 
and erect; — stalwart men, now nothing but 
mere walking skeletons, covered with filth and 
vermin. Many of our men, in the heat and 
intensity of their feeling, exclaimed with 
earnestness, "Can this be hell?" "God protect 
us !" and all thought that He alone could bring 
them out alive from so terrible a place. In 
the center of the whole was a swamp, occupy- 
ing about three or four acres of the narrowed 
limits, and a part of this marshy place had 



andkrson^viijT^f: rtoctcadk. 




EXPLANATION. 



1. Stockadb. 

2. ''Dead Like." 

3. Rrook. 
4 Swamp. 

5. Rebkl Pdttlers. 

n. BAKE-nOl'SE FOR CORN-BREAD. 

7 Cook-house for Bacon, Be.vns. 

8 & 9. E.MEASces. 



10 & 11. OcTER Stockades. 

12 Eartrwork Fortifications. 

13. Location of Hospital. 

14. Place where the Sirgeoks pre- 

scribed for the sick a.nd admit- 
ted to the Hospital. 

1.'). Road to ('ai'Tain"8 Office. 

IG. Li:<E Of Old Stockadb. 



58 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

been used by tlie prisoners as a sink, and 
excrement covered the ground, the scent aris- 
ing from ^vliich was suffocating. The ground 
allotted to our ninety was near the edge 
of this plague-spot, and how we were to live 
through the warm summer weather in the 
midst of such fearful surroundings, was more 
than we cared to think of just then. 

Along the edge of the swamp, from one 
side of the camp to the other, ran a little shal- 
low brook, three or four feet wide, and this, 
with a few small springs, were to furnish our 
water for the season. Whatever we may have 
thought of the dangers of tlie past; of the 
uncertainties which encircled us prior to our 
captivity, when we vrere exposed to the 
assaults of the enemy, we now felt that almost 
infinitely better would it be, to 

*' Dwell in the midst of alarms, 
Than reign iu such a horrible place. ' 

No shelter was provided for us by the rebel 
authorities, and we therefore went to work to 
provide for ourselves. Eleven of us combined 
to form a '' family!' For tlie small sum of 
two dollars m greenbacks we purchased eiglit 



LIFE LN REBEL PRISONS. 69 

small saplino;s about ciiilit oi* nine feet long; 
these we bent and made fast in the ground, 
and covering- tlioni Avitli our blankets, made a 
tent with an oval roof, about thirteen feet 
long. We needed the blankets for our pro- 
tection from the cold at night, but of the two, 
we concluded it to be quite as essential to our 
comfort to shut out the rain. In the after- 
noon we drew rations, each man getting a 
pint and a half of coarse com meal, about two 
ounces of bacon, a little salt, and also a little 
soap. We baked a cake of the meal for our 
supper, and being very weary we laid our- 
selves down upon the cold ground to sleep. 
It was very cold, and our hard couch, without 
any covering to wTap about us, made it com- 
fortless indeed. 

There were ten deaths on our side of the 
camp that night. The old prisoners called it 
" heing exchanged^' and truly it was a blessed 
transformation to those who went from such a 
miserable existence on earth, to a glorious one 
above. We could not weep for such, but only 
rejoice that their cares and toils were ended. 



60 LIFE IN REBEL rPJSONS. 

We could not wonder that they should feel 
in their last hours that — 

"It is not death to die — 

To leave this weary road, 
And, 'mid the brotherhood on high, 

To be at home with God. 

It is not death to close 

The eye long dimmed by tears, 
And wake, in glorious repose, 

To spend eternal years. 

It is not death to bear 

The wrench that sets us free 
From dungeon chain, to breathe the air 

Of boundless liberty." 

Faith alone could rise above the feelings 
which shrink from death and burial in such a 
place, and in such circumstances, but faith 
opens wide the '^ golden gates'' of the Celestial 
City, and through them the redeemed soul 
may pass to the abodes of purity, itself bright 
and shining, whatever might have been the 
condition of its clayey tenement below. A 
decent grave and a friendly burial would be a 
great mercy, but careless hands and unfeeling 
hearts hasten the soldier to his last home; but 
their dust shall not escape the Father's care, 
and future re-animation shall testify to the 
power and constancy of the heavenly Watchen 



LIFE IN REBEL rRIS0\3. CI 

After Ix'iiiii; tlioro n sliort timo, ilio 1);il;ince 
of the Plyinoutli pilL^riiiis canio in, including 
the renijiinder ol" our re;j,luient. We Averc in 
better spirits than the day before, having had 
time to accustom ourselves to things a little, 
so that ^vhen they fded in through the misery, 
Ave even laughed at their disconsolate looking 
faces, forgetting Ave, too, looked equally dole- 
ful on the preceding day. 

What can not soldiers make up their minds 
to endure ? AVe found upon inquiry, the name 
of the prison was Camp Sumter, and that ten 
thousand prisoners were then confined within 
its boundaries. We were particularly cau- 
tioned by those who had been there some 
time, to beware of the 'Ulead line,'' about 
which we had heard upon the night of our 
arrival, and then believed to be untrue. We 
found it to be no fiction, however. All around 
the inside of the stockade, and about a rod 
distant from it, was a slender railing, and the 
least trespass over or under this, whether 
ignorantly done or not, met with instant death 
from the vigilant sentinel who was eager for 
an opportunity to shoot one of the "damned 
Yankees'' 



62 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

About this time Maj. Gen. Howell Cobb, 
commander of the Georgia ^State militia, made 
us a visit of inspection, and the ladies in the 
vicinity gave a pic-nic to the rebel soldiers in 
honor of the occasion. What his august 
presence would have to do with our w^elfare 
was a matter of conjecture. We heard float- 
ing rumors of an exchange of prisoners, but 
dared not hope for their truth. There were 
men who had been prisoners through the 
jDrevious wdnter, upon Belle Island, in the 
Danville prisons, and other places, ragged, 
some of them nearly naked, worn down by 
long suffering to mere skeletons ; who ought 
to be exchanged, if only for humanity's sake. 
"Wliy does'nt the government do it?" we 
asked, but we could not answer. 

A PLAN FOR ESCAPE 

was natural enough for men in such condi- 
tion. On the night of the fifth some of llicm 
^Hunnelled out,'' hoping to be so fortunate as to 
pass once and forever from such fearful bond- 
age, but the hloocl hounds were soon put upon 
their track, the usual method of our chivalrous 
enemies in finding and re-capturing runaways. 



<:' \ A 




LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 65 

Their yelping- could be plainly heard in camp, 
a sound litted to intensily our sympathy for 
the poor objects of their search. In conse- 
quence of the absence of these prisoners the 
rest of the camp ^vere kept in ranks for a long 
while after roll-call ; probably while the rebel 
officers were seeking to acquaint themselves 
with the manner in which they had made 
their escape, and who they were. 

I had always supposed it to be the privilege 
of a prisoner of war to make his escape if he 
could, but there it was considered a crime, 
and a man was tracked like a felon or an out- 
law who should dare make the attempt. 
Talk no longer about '^mudsills,'' and ''grease/ 
mechanics r — public opinion at the North 
would not tolerate the barbarity which finds 
ready applause at the South. Either the race 
of F. F. Y.'s must have become sadly degen- 
erated, or they were always inferior to the 
people of the North. 

To insure correctness in the roll-call, the 
guards of the stockade were instructed to fire 
upon any men who should attempt to cross 
the brook from one side of the prison to the 



60 LIFE IN RECEL TEirOXS. 

other. Thinkiivj: it avouIcI l)e no violation of 
orders to step to the side of the brook, to 
Avasl] my hands, I did so, when snap went the 
cap on the gun of one of the guard near me. 
On looking up I found he had intended to 
shoot me, but his gun had missed fire — 
thanks to a good providence. Thinking ''dis- 
cretion the better part of valor," I hastily 
retreated from harm's way, imagining it best 
to observe the rules tolerably in letter if not 
in siyirit 

Three rebel officers of rank, Surgeons, it 
was supposed, rode into camp in the forenoon, 
and after inquiring into our causes of com- 
plaint, made us many fair promises of improve- 
ment in the prison, but we doubted at the 
time if they would ever be fulfilled. The 
rations which followed w^ere a little more 
varied, having in addition to corn meal and 
bacon, molasses and rice, with a little salt, but 
^exceedingly small quantities of anything. It 
w^^s difficult to obtain w^ood enough to cook 
even Avhat little we did have. 

At this time we began to find lice upon our 
clothing, although we had been in prison but 



LiFi' IN iinr.r.L riiisoxs. G7 

two or three days, and it was of no ii?c to 
attempt to rid ourselves of llieni lor tliey were 
everywhere, even erawhng upon the ground 
where we slept. We thought of our friends 
at home, and wondered how they would feel 
if they knew we were in such condition. To 
add to our sorrow and indignation, we fonnd 
a large gang of desj^eradoes among our own 
men in camp, whom we called '^Moshi/s 
Haiders^' and who lived by robbing and beat- 
inir, sometimes almost mnrderino; their com- 
rades in misfortnne. They attempted to carry 
ont their plans in a thieving raid upon ns, 
probably meeting wuth a strong temptation in 
the looks of our overcoats and blankets, but 
we were out in a twinkling, prepared for our 
defense, and they, seeing an overpowering 
force, beat a hasty retreat. We would fain 
Ijelieve that such men are an exception 
among Federal soldiers, but it may be we can 
not tell how harsh treatment, and long con- 
tinued neglect and abuse, w^ould degrade man- 
hood in any case. We, as a regiment, pre- 
sented a united front, and were therefore too 
strong for them. It required no httle vigi- 



68 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

lance and sacrifice to adapt ourselves to all 
these circumstances of our prison life. "Man'^ 
is said to be '-a creature of adaptation^ but 
let him be placed ^vithin the stockade of a 
Georgia prison, subject to the will of arbitrary 
rebels, and he will be puzzled to make himself 
a very graceful representative of the truth. 
Much can be done, however, and these things 
I resolved to make rules for personal ohserv- 
ance, at least. Feeling that cleanliness was 
an indispensable condition of health, I deter- 
mined to keep clean at all hazards, and there- 
fore I would repair to the brook at early 
dawn, before it had been disturbed by others 
with like intent, and there wash my clothing 
as well as I could. "God willing," I would 
say to myself, "the ^rebs' shall never have the 
satisfaction of carrying my body out upon a 
stretcher." "I will live to spite them." 

A few days after we had been in camp, I 
visited the boys of the 16 th on the other 
side of the camp, and found them w^ell and 
pretty cheerful, considering their situation. 

Towards evening of the day, Corporal F 

and myself walked up by the large prison 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 09 

gate, and tlicrc lay ten dead men ready to be 
carried out for burial. They were io be taken 
just as they were, placed in an army wagon, 
one npon the other, until it was filled, and 
driven oiY io the place of Ijurial, like so many 
animals, without colIin, or even a winding 
sheet. Then they were to be placed side ])y 
side in long, shallow trenches, a few boards 
placed over them, a covering of earth thrown 
in, and the burial of the j^^^i^'^ot was ended. 
We could but sigh for these thus passing 
to their graves, "unw^ept, unlamented and 
unhonored," but, '^loas it sof' Surely a 
nation's pity, and a nation's gratitude must be 
stirred at sight of these countless sacrifices 
upon her altars. Then, too, as the intelligence 
should find its way back to many a home 
in northern vale or hill-side ; to the hamlets 
on western prairies, or those among the rug* 
ged slopes of the East, there would be loving 
hearts that w^ould mourn, and many tears 
would be shed in memory of the silent sleepers 
in southern graves, and for the future they 
must be like those who seek in vain to — 

"Pluck from tbc memory a rooted sorrow." 



H 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 



As we stood there in presence of the uncov- 
ered dead, the consciousness of our situation 
led us to feel, — 

" We arc fellows still, 

Serving alike in sorrow. Leaked is our Bark, 
And we, poor mates, stand ou the dying deck 
Hearing the surges threat :" 

The weather was very warm, and at even- 
ing many of the poor sick men repaired to 
the brook to bathe. One poor felloAV whp 
was reduced to a mere skeleton, found himself 
too Aveak to drag himself from the water, and 
was obliged to receive help from a comrade. 
Upon passing from our tent the next morning, 
I discovered a dead body lying near, and look- 
ing more closely saw it to be this same poor 
fellow who, the evening before, had sought the 
invigorating influence of a bath for his weary 
frame. He has met the grim sentry. Death, 
passed over the dark waters, and /io/;c would 
picture him as among the glad immortals. 

At the gate were twenty others, most of 
them from the poor fellows who had been 
prisoners a number of months on Belle Island, 
in the Libljy and Pemberton at Richmond, 
and also at Danville. With them, also, the 



LIFE IN REUEL PRISONS. 71 

warfare was acconiplislicMl ; (lie race run, and 
ill sonir iiistaiicL's, at least, w c trust a wulcuiiie 
victory gained. 

The reii-inients of rel)el soldiers stationed in 
the vicinity seemed entirely unmoved by the 
sight of so much suffering, and the knowledge 
of such inhuiiiau treatment of thousands of 
poor fellows in their midst, only served to 
kindle their exultation and make them show 
it out in wildest demonstration. Before we 
had been many days in captivity, they held a 

SHAM FIGHT, 

which drew admiring crowds of people from 
all the surrounding country to see how the 
thinii' was done. The so-called ladles of the 
South are exceedingly bitter in their opposi- 
tion to the North, and follow their '^ liege 
lords'' in the exhibition of it, and therefore 
on all such occasions they are present to do 
what lies in their power to keep the zeal and 
enthusiasm of their soldiers up to the fighting 
standard. When we first heard the firino; we 
thought the "Yankees" had surely come, and 
the hearts of our poor men bounded with joy 
at the very thought of deliverance, but they 



72 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

sunk jDroportionately Avlieii tlie truth of tlie 
case was made known to them. Our imagina- 
tions pictured something other than viaJce 
believe struggles and we hoped before the 
summer was over there would be realities that 
would tell with some favor upon our destiny ; 
that, at least, we would catch the echo of 
some sounds of different spirit and intent from 
those our heartless foes poured into our ears 
during that, to them, hilarious season. After 
their sport was over in that line, many of the 
women came down to our prison, crowding 
around the gate, amusing themselves by 
throwing in bread, and witnessing the eager- 
ness with Avhich our half starved men w^ould 
scramble to get it, for at this time life was 
sustained only by a miserable pittance of 
poor corn bread, and a small bit of boiled 
bacon. Had they been like some of the sym- 
pathising women of the North of whom we 
had heard, the sight of so many pallid faces 
and wretched forms, would have stirred tlieir 
pity, and called forth some effort to relieve a 
little of tlie suiTering, though it were among 
those who had held arms aii-ainst them. In 



LIFE IN IlEHKL I'RISONa. 73 

how many oases liad loyal ladies gone forlli, 
llieinselves reared in luxury and unused lo 
liardslii[)s, and with their own hands minis- 
tered to the ^vants of the siek and wounded, 
not overlooking even the rebel sulFerer in 
their Christ-like mission. 

We eould but think of the linmanc treai> 
meiit our foes had reeeived in the Federal 
dominions, and contrast it with our forlorn 
condition. They, with the best of clothing, 
abundant rations, comfortable lodgings, and 
the kindest hospital treatment, while we had 
scarcely covering for our nakedness, food 
insufficient to satisfy even the cravings of 
hunger, no bed but the ground, and a condition 
of things in the hospital that induced speedy 
dissolution, and withal we were compelled to 
endure the sneers, taunts, and abuse of men 
and women alike. Not that we in our misery 
Vvould have retaliated, for we felt that it was 
the Bil)le way of doing things ; that we were 
thus exemplifj'ing the spirit of the gospel, in 
heaping "coals of fire" upon the heads of our 
enemies, and besides, we had not been with- 
out evidence of its beneficent results in our 



V-i LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

own experience. The men who had attended 
lis a portion of the way, a North Carolina 
regiment, had, at a previous date, been pris- 
oners of Avar npon our side, and in remem- 
brance of the kindness they received were 
more favorable to ns than they otherAvise 
would have been. 

We reflected, also, that the time would come 
when the "cruel war''' w^ould be over, and it 
w^ould be better to have an honorable record 
upon the pages of history, than to have the 
disgrace of the w^orld npon ns, for such "inhu- 
manity to man," as made our "countless thou- 
sands mourn." Amid all onr thoughts and 
imaginations, nothing seemed so strange to ns 
as the apathy of the Federal government, and 
of the northern people toAvards ns ; that they 
Avere doing nothing to release us from the 
inconceivable Avretchedness in AAdiich Ave Avere 
j)laced. There we Averc, thousands of human 
beings, Avho had cheerfully volunteered for 
the service of the country, ready to sacrifice 
everything in lionorahle defense of her hiAvs 
and institutions, crowded into an enclosure, 
Avith no room for exercise, scarcely enough 



Lin: IN ni:ni:L riu.^-oxs. 75 

to inovo \vitliont jo tliiiL]^ against each other, 
tlie very air (illcd witli irlid odors, whieh of 
itscdf was sullicieut to phuit the seeds ofdcalh 
in every system, ilevoltmg as the scenes 
Avere, which constantly met our vy^J^y^\G conld 
have borne it all; \ve could have met sickncc?^, 
hunger and exposure, and tlic thousand prison 
ills Avhich beset us, "svith brave hearts, 1)ut lor 
the cruel suspicion which tormented v.:^, and 
Avhich Avas "assiduously fanned by the rebel 
authorities/' that we were abandoned by our 
government and our friends ; those A\diom we 
had so faithfully sought to serve, and but for 
whom we would then have been in our homes 
of cheer and comfort at the North. Many — 
yea ! hundreds, who would have experienced 
every form of hardship uncomplainingly/^ sank 
away and died, heart-broken, under this mel- 
ancholy delusion, while a few, whose ties to 
the Union were new and slight, sought to 
avenge their supposed wrongs by taking 
service in the rebel ranks." 

We had no means of ascertaining the falsity 
of any of these things, shut out as we were 
from all conmimiicatiou except that from 



76 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

rebel authority, and that was not calculated 
generally, to soothe our fears or quiet our 
suspicions. This much, liowever, we have to 
say to the credit of our brave boys, that in a 
vast majority of cases, no combination of 
suffering makes them a whit less firm in their 
allegiance to the Union cause, or prompts a 
desire for j^eace, except on a true and lasting 
basis. They do not wish to see the old Union 
as it was, with the dark stain of slavery upon 
it ; to have it remain, a perpetual element of 
discord at home, and a just cause for reproach 
abroad, but they do wish for the use of prompt 
and energetic measures to hasten the day 
that shall bring a desirable end. They do not 
ask to be free from all participation in the 
strife, but they do long to walk forth from 
their ccmkerous dens, even though it be to 
meet the sulphurous smoke of the cannon, in 
the fiercely contested battle, for there, at least, 
would ])G glorious action, and per chance a lull 
that might give a grateful moment under the 
shadow of some tree, tlie mossy seat rendered 
specially inviting by ihe remembrance of the 
place where not a foot of earth could be 



LIFK IN RKHEL PRISONS. 77 

found ])iit was infesttMl witli crcqnng tilings 
that made it well iii^i^di intolerable. 

When we had ])een captives of little more 
than a week standing, the rebel sergeant, 
Carmiehael, who counted our squad every 
morning, told me, after roll-call in the morning, 
that the exchange officer. Major Turner, w\as 
in Andersonville, and the work of exchanging 
prisoners woukl begin as soon as the action 
on the Rapidan was over. Allowing the state- 
ment to have an exhilarating influence upon 
my own spirit, I went up to the hospital to do 
^^ hat I couki by way of comforting the poor 
sick men there. I read to them and tried to 
cheer them by telhng them of wdiah I liad 
heard of the prospect before us, but the poor 
fellows had been deceived to6 many times to 
dare ])uild a hope upon such a rumor. 

Little did we then know how many would 

pay the last debt of nature, and leave their 

Avasted bodies in Georgia soil, before such a 

result would be accomplished. Happily for 

us, then, we could not read the ''Book of 

FatCj' or turn the leaves of w^onder-working 

Providence for the utter blasting of our hopes 
4 



78 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

would have been too miicli for iis^ and many 
would have died in despair. The pious heart 
could only remember that it was to 

" Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, 
But trust him for his grace," 

and also comfort itself with that other assur- 
ance, that 

"Behind a frowning providence, 
He hides a smiling face." 

The policy of the Confederate authorities 
respecting us seemed to be, to unfit as many 
as possible for future service, and to secure 
the object more speedily, they cut down the 
rations to half the usual quantity, so that the 
old prisoners who had been in the notorious 
Lihhy, at Richmond, declared it was even 
worse than at that place. Had it been by 
reason of scarcity ; — had we known their sup- 
plies were tmequal to our need, we should 
have felt diiTerently — we could liave submitted 
to the inexorable necessity, but we had reason 
to think otherwise. 

About this time a copy of the '' 3Iacon 
Telegraph'' was brought into camp, giving an 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS, 70 

account of the coimnencement of the great 
biittle betwctii 

GRANT AND LEE. 

It was represented as the "bloodiest battle of 
tlie bloody ^var," jjut not Ijoasting much of 
their success, Ave concluded the "Stars and 
JStrijJCs" Avcre triumphant, and "God grant it," 
Avas the fervent prayer that went up from 
many a heart. Of one thing we w^ere certain, 
if our General w^as defeated we knew our 
enemies w^ould not be slow in acquainting us 
w ith the fact. In the numbers that immedi- 
ately followed, the telegraphic news was cut 
out, a circumstance that looked rather omin- 
ous, and quite inclined us to the belief that 
Grant had pretty thoroughly routed Lee. 
Feeling well over the reports, a crowd of boys 
of the IGtli collected and showed their enthu- 
siasm by singing "America" "Star Sioancjled 
Banner;' "Bed, White and Blue;' at tlie top 
of their voices, probably much to the disgust 
of our guards on the stockade, though possi- 
bly not, for many of them were so ignorant it 
Avas doubtful if they knew one song from 
another. Their general lack of intelligence 



80 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

was illustrated in a little incident which 
occurred when we first entered the prison. 
A rebel officer, with all the dignity of his 
position, while surveying the newly arrived, 
remarked to them, "if there is a sergeant 
among you tluxt can write his name, he may 
step forth," — as if it w^as a matter of doubt 
whether his northern guests had even such 
an advantage as this in their training. A 
smile might have been observed on the faces 
of the entire crowd, not one of whom, boasting 
New England origin but could wield the pen 
with more or less grace. Southern statistics 
could show no fact that would coincide with 
this. The very constitution of things in their 
society rendered the whole system of educa- 
tion defective. 

Following closely upon our jubilant concert, 
and as if to dampen the ardor of our patri- 
otism, an item of news was brought in by the 
rebels, more in accordance with their wishes. 
They maintained that Gen. Steele, commander 
f)!' our forces in Arkansas, had been captured, 
ivitli his whole army, consisting of upwards of 
nine thousand men. We could only hope it 



LIFE IN IWAW.L rRISONS. 81 

"was untrue, for we were still keenly sensitive 
to our n;u ion's honor. Let things be as they 
nii'iht outside; let them be shrouded in nncer- 
tainty and doubt, of one thing we were pain- 
fully conseious, that a gnat courjregation was 
fast going to the .silent dead from cur midst. 
Visiting the hospital one morning I fonncl 
that from thirteen in one tent, three had died 
within a few hours, and the rest looked as if 
their da3\s were fast being numbered. Shortly 
after, another breathed his last, but from what 
I saw of him I think lie was ready for the call 
of his Master and considering our situation 
we almost felt inclined to say wdth more than 
ordinary emphasis, "How blest the righteous 
wdien he dies." 

Strange as it may seem, these ever recur- 
ring death-scenes had no humanizing effect 
upon some of our o^vn men. The gang of 
gamblers and desperadoes wdio w^ere a pest to 
the camp, and with whom life and property 
were not safe, w^ere ever ready to incite 
whomsoever they could to join in a lawless 
mob, although the solemnities of life's closing 
day w^ere thick about them. They even had 



82 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

a fidit when this last mentioned man was 
dying. Who would not rather make his exit 
from earth mider different circumstances? 
Who would not choose that the lamp of life 
should go out among friends at home, — gently 
— free from such distracting influences ?• But 
there was manifestly no help for it. The Con- 
federate authorities seemed to have no care 
of what passed inside, provided we were 
unsuccessful in making our escape from thence. 
We were left entirely free to frame our o\vn 
laws, and carry them into execution if we 
could. 

The morning of the 11th found us exposed 
to a pitiless storm, the first rainy day we had 
in camp. Much to our gratification, however, 
we found our own little tent, made of woolen 
blankets, to shed the rain very well, but what 
they would become by the continued action 
of sun and rain was a question that deeply 
concerned us. According to frequent rumors 
we might soon be in the land of plenty, and 
moreover of humanity, but herein was our 
trouble, there were too many stories afloat to 
have a good foundation. One day might be 



L\V\: IN REBEL PRISONS. 83 

cheered ])y .strong assuranees of immediate 
exchange, and the next sink us correspond- 
ingly low in despair. For some reason decep- 
tion seemed the pecuhar delight of our ene- 
mies. Whether they did it to gratify an 
insatiable thirst for rcvencje in themselves, or 
to keep us more reconciled, more Avilling and 
patient to abide our time, was something we 
could not determine. The feelings occasioned 
])y our disappointment can be better imagined 
than described, but imagination even in her 
most extravagant flights, can but poorly pic- 
ture the horrors of this prison life. Our con- 
stant experience was "Hope deferred" that 
"maketh the heart sick." Almost every new 
arrangement that was made seemed to make 
it the worse for us, or, at least, left us nothing 
but to fear a still more rigorous discipline, if 
it were possible. 

At this juncture of affairs, when Gen. John- 
ston was being badly pressed by Sherman's 
army, it became necessary for the rebels to 
send every available man to the front, conse- 
quently the soldiers who had been our guard 
were ordered to Dalton to aid in repelling 



84 ^ LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

him, and tlicir places ^vcre filled by some of 
the Georgia militia. The former looked upon 
these latter Avith supreme contempt, and 
applied to them the name o£^hiew issues,'' but 
we thought not of anything, or cared, except 
the possible change it might ^vork in our 
treatment, although we expected not much in 
our favor by this movement. 

From this time omvard, for a while, we had 
some communication with the outside world, 
through the 

ARRIVAL OF PRISONERS, 

who w^ere coming into camp in greater or less 
nmnbers almost every day. A squad of 
eighteen or twenty came in on the afternoon 
of the twelfth, all of them from Sherman's 
army, with the exception of two or three from 
Currituck, N. C, near our place of capture. 
The boys from Dalton brought us cheering 
news from our forces at that place, telling us 
that our brave General was in the rear of the 
rebel army and giving them what we were 
pleased to denominate ^'particular fiisr We 
did'nt know what our neighbors thought in 
the camps outside, Ijut for some cause there 



i.iFK IX Ki:r.i:L riiLON;^. 85 

was a givat deal uf cheering among llieni — 
possibly it Avas exultation at scenic fancied 
vk'torf/, a not Aery strange way of doing 
things for them, as the}' have sometimes been 
falsely informed for reasons ))est known to 
the original inventors of the fabrication. 
Occasionally these things were varied by some 
trilling attention to our comfort, as for 
. instance, a number of men were set to work 
in widening the brook, Avitli the idea of hav- 
ing it planked upon the bottom and sides, in 
order to give the men a clean place in Avhich 
to wask These matters were things of ines- 
timable value to us, and Ave Avatched their 
progress Avitli the deepest interest, all the Avhile 
hoping that summer Avould not pass aAvay 
Avithout its completion. 

We turned from Avatching this enterprise to 
Avelcome sixteen more prisoners, but no ! Ave 
Avill not say loelcome, for this implies congratu- 
lation, and Ave could not extend anything like 
this to a human l)eini»: about to be initiated 
into such a terri])le experience. There Avas 
one thing about it, the ncAvs they brought 
was most eagerly received. These Avere from 



86 LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 

DaltOn, and we learned from tliem that, wlien 
they were captured, Sherman was flanking 
the rebel army, and that Kilpatrick was there 
with a large force of cavalry and mounted 
infantry. Hope suggested the possibility 
that he might come down and release us, in 
which case we thought we could speak of 
welcome in unmistakable terms. The sight of 
a man at the head of such a force would have 
been hailed as w^as 3Ioses, in ancient times, by 
the oppressed Israelites, as the Great Deliverer. 



CHAPTER III. 

DISCOVERY OF A TUNNEL. 

It were quite remarkable if among so many 
men, in miserable confinement, there w^ere 
not various methods of escape devised and 
attempted. Our greatest source of trouble 
was the fact that there w^ere so many con- 
temptible traitors in our midst, who, for the 
.s<ake of an extra ration, would l)etray any 
uttempt to escape on the part of their com- 



LIFE IN REBEL rUISONS. 87 

rades. This iiiiulc iiu effort to cscripc almost 
an impossibility without the certainty of detec- 
tion. The work of completing a tunntl had 
been silently going on, and we hoped to be 
successful in keeping it from the peering eyes 
of the rebels, but in some way they discovered 
it on the afternoon of the thirteenth, and 
Capt. Wirz swore that no more rations should 
be issued until the place was filled again wdth 
earth. This captain w^as the commandant of 
tlie interior of the prison, and was a w'retch 
of the first or w^orst degree; insolent, over- 
bearing, heartless, and of course a coward, for 
no man but a cow^ard would come into camp 
and draw a revolver upon helpless men as he 
had done. He was said to have been a 
deserter from our anny, but I could not vouch 
for the truth of it. Notwithstanding his 
threat, w^e did not go siipperless that night, 
for the "reb" quarter-master came in wdtli 
men and the necessary implements, and filled 
up the place, thus blasting one more hope ; 
but as this principle is strong in youthful 
spirits, we quickly turned from one thwarted 
plan to the formation of another, wdiicli might 



88 LIFE IX ilKBEL PRISONS 

in its turn come to naiiglit, yet. nevertheless, 
afforded us an opportunity lor the employ- 
ment of our otherwise inactive energies. 

At this time I formed an acquaintance with 
Sergeant Major E., of the 15th Wisconsin 
Volunteers, from whom I learned there was a 

SECRET ORGANIZATIOlSr 

in progress for the purpose of attempting an 
outbreak and escape on a grand scale. I told 
him he might count me in on any such project 
as that, for one might as well lose his life in 
such an attempt as to die by inches in the foul 
atmosphere of the prison. The plan was to 
re-commence tunneling, and in this way under- 
mine the stockade at several different points. 
At a pre-concerted signal the men were to 
rush upon it in a body sufficient to overturn 
it, and still another body w^crc to seize the 
artillery and turn it upon the rebel camps, 
leaving us to pursue the way we had chosen, 
towards Pensacola, Fla., as the most feasible, 
from whence we could join our lines. A great 
deal was involved in the enterprise, and it 
was necessary to start right. It needed 



exfreme caution, linio niii] ])ati<Miro, and more 
than all, pL'ifect union anion^" tlic prisoners, 
for the "rebs," \villi eagle-eyes, were awake to 
the possibility. 

Under pretense' of digging for "water wc 
would sink a well in some chosen spot, and 
after getting down several feet, aljandon it 
and commence m another place, which was 
really the point of attack all the while, but 
which could be better worked by the ostensi- 
ble object of the other. Eeaching the requi- 
site depth in the second, the tunnel was to 
proceed out from it to the desired place. Of 
course the work must be done at night, and 
with just such instruments as could be 
obtained. These were old knives, spoons, 
broken canteens, in short anything that could 
scoop out a handful of earth. This in one 
part of the camp was of a reddish color, while 
in others it was so sandy as to defy all attempts 
to make a way through, as it w^ould fill in as 
fast as we might dig. To dispose of this as 
fast as it would be taken out, wx obtained an 
old sack, and this was to be filled and passed 
alonir to men who were to be stationed at 



90 LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 

proper intervals between the point of work- 
ing and the first well, Avhich it was found to 
be very convenient to fill up just then, as a 
\vell without Avater Avas of no account. 
Beyond this it w^as conveyed to the marshy 
places, and to the brook itself, and left there. 
As nothing could he done except under cover 
of the friendly shadows of night, it must be 
comparatively slow. 

The days were many of them fme, and the 
Johnnies had a gay tune without, all uncon- 
scious of what was going on within. While 
we were contemplating the best method of 
action in our proposed endeavor, they w^ere 
having a pic-nic, or something of the sort, 
among themselves, being regaled by a band 
of music with such airs as the " Bonnie blue 
flag," and "Southern Marsailles," doubtless 
designed to '^Jire the southern heart,'' and 
inspire it wdth hope and courage, now that the 
two armies were actively contending for the 
mastery. A great crowd of ladies were dis- 
coverable, who were probably present to 
applaud and admire the men who thought it a 
brave deed to shoo"^ ? defenceless prisoner. 




LiFi: IN ih:i'>i:l rmsoxs. 01 

111 these iiiuUR'nts ui" ubsei\;itiuii I said to 
myself ''What a dilleivncj being niside ol' the 
stockade makes in one's condition ! Without 
all is gayety and happiness, or at least, (q^pa- 
renthj so, Avhile within, misery remains nn- 
checked," hut countless others have known 
sorrow, even — 

" Illustrious spirits have conrcrsod with woo, 
Have in her schools been taught," 

then why should we not nerve ourselves as 
well as others to the stern discipline ? 

Nearly a hundred more Yankee prisoners 
came in on the 15th, most of them from 
Sherman's army at Dalton, but a few from 
Newbern and Pl}TTiouth, N. C, those from the 
latter, however, being such as w^ere detained 
at Tarboro on account of sickness. The 
few who came in on the day previous were 
attacked and robbed the very night of their 
arrival, by the band of marauders who still 
infested the camp, and almost completely- 
ruled it. It was reported that one poor fellow 
came to an utimely death at their hands, and 
another received a most unmerciful beatino^ 
because he showed resistance to their inhuman 



92 LIFE IN REBEL TRISOXS. 

attempts. Some might suppose that thesft 
men, all prisoners for the same cause, would 
be bound together by kindred ties, inasmuch 
as they were sharers of the same misfortune, 
but we are not to forget that under any cir- 
cumstances the same number of men would 
furnish specimens anything but favorable to 
humanity. There was a Judas among the 
''twelve,'' of Palestinian memory, so now, there 
are men of like passions and character in small 
groups of whatsoever locality. One thing is 
certain, the monotony of our camp was too 
often varied by these unwelcome demonstra- 
tions. 

It was about these days a rebel publication 
fell into our hands, printed at Richmond, and 
called "The Second Year of the War." It 
was a very one-sided affair, full of misrepre- 
sentations, making everything Southern about 
perfect, and all action on the corresponding 
side im worthy and barbarous. I finished its 
l^enisal, ending with thorough disgust, and 
wondering if that was the kind of trash the 
Southern people would have to accept as 
Idsiory. It spoke of the robbery of shoes 



LIFE TN REBEL PRISONS. 93 

and clotliin«^ from i\\r dead and ^voIlndod, at 
the second JUdl Run haltle, as a very com- 
mendable act on the part of their soldiers, 
and the tenor of the \vhole was in kee[)inL; 
with the same, but if it did no more for me, 
it whilcd away a few tedious prison-hours, 
and that was something of a consideration. 
Things which we would not have once 
paused to consider, now arrested our atten- 
tion, and really ministered to our happi- 
ness. Just before sunset, one afternoon, the 
clouds thickened in the sky above us, and 
poured upon us a little rain. They soon 
l)roke away; the sun came out, and in the 
eastern sky appeared a beautiful rainbow. 
" Is it a good omen for us ?" was the question 
it prompted, and though we could not answer, 
we certainly looked upon it w4th pleasing 
emotion, for it almost seemed like the coming 
of a heavenly messenger, and this w^as the 
pledge he brought that God had not forgotten 
us. "We accepted the pledge and allowed 
faith to bring its own comfort into the passing 
hour, nor was the future made any darker, 
but rather brighter, by the sweet teaching of 
the heavens. 



94 LIFE IN REBEL miSONS. 

The fifteenth was our second SalDbath in 
Camp Sumter, though one would have hardly 
thought it holy day, there being nothing to 
distinguish it from any other through the 
week. There was no sanctuary summons for 
us ; no pealmg bell to remind us of the crowd 
who were gathering under the roof of God's 
sacred temples, nor scarce an influence more 
quieting and elevating than usual. Had there 
been even a retired sj^ot in any comer, one 
might have stolen away and found a sort of 
Sabbath for his own soul; the calmness of 
solitude might have brought him nearer 
heaven, but there was no such place known 
there. Those who were so fortunate as to 
possess small shelter tents could retire within 
them during the warm hours of the day, and 
perchance forget present discomfort, for a 
reason, in recollections of the j^as^ and antici- 
pations of the revealed future, but even then 
distracting sounds would soon recall them to 
the sad scenes among which they must live. 

About noon this day we were startled by 
the renort of a gun from one of the sentries, 



LIFE IN REP.EL PRISONS. OO 

r.nfl on pookinc^ to discovor the cause found 
that 

A rRIPI'LE, 

uhoni ^ve had often seen, had been .shot for 
gonig inside the ''dead line,'' and refusing to 
go out, saying he wished to die. The guard 
fulfilled his wish very quickly, and indeed, any 
one having any desire to "shuflle off the 
mortal coil," has only to step inside that line, 
and the work is done. It was the general 
opinion in prison, that this man^ though a 
prisoner himself, was a traitor to the rest of 
lis, and was the principal agent in showing the 
rel)el authorities the locality of every new'^tim- 
7}cJ" just for the sake of a small reward in the 
shape of something to eat. "We felt that if 
this was so, shoot'inrj was only too good for 
him. Capt. Wirz was around soon after with 
a guard, spying out the land, bnt w^e heard 
nothing of his being enlightened as to our 
undertaking, which was still steadily going on. 
I was daily becoming better acquainted with 
the ringleaders of the plot. They were a 
bold set of fellows, most of them those w^ho 
had been prisoners for a long time, and had 



96 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

tried to escape several times before. We only 
hoped tlicy woidd be more successful now. 

Towards evening of this same Sabbath, I 
again visited the hospital, and found only one 
living of the thirteen who were under that 
one tent fly a few days ago. Death reaps a 
rich harvest here, surely, I thought. It has 
emphatically all seasons for its own. Not an 
hour of the day but souls were winging their 
way from that miserable prison up to the 
throne of God. Angels, we believe, came 
down to that wretched place on errands of 
love ; as guards to earth-weary spirits in their 
upward flight, and moreover, the compassionate 
Jesus looked down to those lowly couches 
upon his trusting ones, and paved the way 
with light for them. 

From the hospital I went to a ^;r«2/^^ meet- 
ing ; — not such a meeting as people have at 
home, and as I had had in the land I had left, 
but, thank God, we could pray as well, if not 
tetter there, for we felt the need of Divine 
help more than we ever could while sur- 
rounded with every help and every comfort. 
The shadows of evening had gathered about 



LIFE L\ IlLEEL PRISONS. 97 

US, and wc luid no luui' over our licads Ijut 
the .^kv, and no liglit I)ut tluit of the moon 
and .stars, hut these thhii^s we knew would 
prove no hindrance to our access to the mer- 
ciftd thronCy and the listening car of the 
J'JteDKil would as readily hend to our ^;?'a<ses 
and comjjhdnts there as anywhere else. 

The next day twenty-one more prisoners 
were added to our ninnber, coming from 
the same point as those who had recently 
arrived. They brought us right good news 
from Sherman's anny, telling us of the cap- 
ture of Dalton, and that the rebel Gen. John- 
ston was fallini]!: back with his forces to Resaca. 
These things did not a little to keep up our 
spirits. Everything was dark, however, in 
regard to almost all other points. We 
heard nothing from Richmond, although one 
of the guards told one of our boys, at this 
time, that it was "a cjone-up case^' and that 
our armies were getting the better of them 
everywhere. 

No letters at all came to us, and we con- 
cluded all communications were interrupted 
hy our '^ raldlnr/ jKirties^ As Kilpatrick and 



98 LIFE IN EEBEL PRISONS. 

Stoiicman were both at Eesaca, and meeting 
with excellent success, we could not but hope 
they would head an expedition for our libera- 
tion. For some reason the ''rehs'' were par^ 
ticularly watchful over us, evidently fearing 
something would escape their notice, and they 
would in some way lose their hold upon us. 
Very strict orders in regard to attempts to 
escape were read in the camp at morning 
roll-call. We thought it very poor policy for 
them to do this, for the 2:)enalties were only 
what we expected, as a matter of course, and 
the issuing of the order only proved that 
they were ''on the scare'' a httle. The pun- 
ishment assigned for the violation of such 
orders, was the w^earing of a heavy cannon 
ball, attached to the ankle by a chain. This 
had already been awarded to some, but 
Yankee ingenuity had found a way by which 
they might be unfastened, so that freedom could 
be enjoyed through the day, and the thing 
put on to appear in. due form before rebel 
majesty at the hour assigned. 

None can tell our intense longings to know 
the real condition of affaks in the field. Ke- 



LIFE IN REBEL ITJSONS. C9 

ports in rc^^'ird to operations were various. 
At limes we would feel remarkably cheerful 
over liie good news brought in by the })ris- 
oners, and were content to remain in our 
wretched quarters longer, if we could only 
know Uncle Sam's armies were steadily accom- 
plishing the desired result. Through this 
medium we learned that Gen. Wessels was 
confined at Macon, and that Col. Beach had 
been exchanged, being held as prisoner of 
war only a few daj^s. We were again told 
that we might hope for this. Capt. Wirz, and 
the Confederate newspapers, also, assured us 
that a general exchange liad been agreed 
upon, and that four hundred had actually 
been exchanged already, — Aiken's Landing, 
on the James river, and Savannah, Ga., being 
the chosen points for execution ; but our expe- 
rience in these matters had been to confirm 
doubt instead of hope. 

At this time the weather w^as quite w\arm, 
but fine, and the evenings beautiful. The 
bright moonbeams looked dowTi lovingly upon 
us, and with seeming pity, making it so light 
w^e could see V> read the fine r)rint of a 



100 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

small testament, quite readily. Could we 
have commissioned it to do anything in our 
behalf, many would have said, 

*' Roll on, thou silvery moon," 

and tell the friends of the soldier the misery 
in which they dwell, that they may do some- 
thing for our rescue." 

Resaca contributed another quota of men 
on the 20th. They brought the mtelligence 
that Joe Johnston was falling back from 
Calhoun towards Atlanta, and that Sherman 
was flanking him all the time as usual. These 
things, doubtless, had some influence in 
exciting the fears of our enemies, and it soon 
became evident that all the promises they had 
made to us was simply to keep us as quiet as 
possible. To this end we attributed the slight 
increase of rations for a time, but no light 
thing could divert us from our fixed purpose, 
and the oiit-hreaJc society had a consultation 
in spite of it all, and at its close we could say, 
in the words of a once famous Connecticut 
politician, " tMnrjs is worldngT 

^^y ^y ^''^y ^^^ weather was getting 
warmer, and it was fearful to think of sjicnd- 



LIFE IN Ri:i5EL PRLSONS. 101 

iiig the summer in our mirrow pen. Pi'isoners 
were coming in by tlie hundred, and this 
made it still more dreadful. Among half a 
thou.^and \vho came in at one time, one luui- 
dred and fifty Avere from the army of the 
Potomac, Avho Avere taken at Parker's store, 
May 5th, m the lirst of the series of battles in 
front of Kichmond. The next day six hun- 
dred more came in, having been taken in the 
Avilderness near Chancellorsville. The 7th 
Penn. Reserves were among them, being pecu- 
liarly unfortunate, as their term of service 
expired in a few days, and now they were in 
a situation not to be as promptly mustered 
out as they would like. Through them we 
obtained some knowledge of the manner in 
which things were progressing. They told us 
of the confidence of the army in Gen. Grant, 
and also declared that it was in splendid fight- 
ing condition. We heard, too, that Holcomb's 
Legion, S. C, were captured by Spear's cav- 
alry, so the tables were turned upon them. 
A short time before they had been guarding 
us at Tarboro, N. C, and now they too were 
prisoners. Truly the fortunes of war are 
varied. 5 



102 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

"VYe felt sorry to see so many of our men 
captured, but they assured us that the rebels 
lost more by far, than we ujDon our side. For 
a time they came m rapidly, both from Grant's 
and vSherman's army, and while this state of 
things lasted we were tolerably well mformed 
of the doings in the different fields. When 
some of the latter came through Atlanta, the 
women and children were being removed to 
Macon and other points out of the reach of 
the Union army. This, of course, indicated 
the character of Southern opinion with refer- 
ence to their advancing foe, but we were 
cheered in proportion as they were distressed. 

The rapid influx of prisoners made an 
enlargem.ent of our prison limits necessary, 
and a number of men were taken out to do 
the work. They had extra rations as an 
inducement, and better treatment in every 
respect, as the reward for their labor. I 
hardly knew what to think about it, whether 
it was right or wrong. The question would 
come up, "would our government like to have 
its soldiers l)uil(l their own prisons ?" It cer- 
tainly was a great improvement, and of untold 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISOXS. 103 

benefit to the inmates, and clrcnmstanocs 
might have rendered it right and proper that 
it should liavt' l)t'en done in this ^vay. On the 
twent v-roiirih nine hundred came in, and ^ve 
Avere getting fright lully crowded. There Avas 
no circulating abont the camp except Avith 
the greatest inconvenience. 

There was a great deal of talk among the 
prisoners about breaking out, but compara- 
tively few knew of the o^Derations in progress 
to secure such a result. This very night of 
the day when so many came in was the time 
fixed upon for the grand demonstration, and 
if evervthini>' went as we thoutrht it miffht, 
it bade fair to be a success. The stockade 
was duly cared for, being undermined in 
five or six diflerent places, and we looked 
with the greatest interest for the hour to 
arrive, when at the sound of the trumpet, the 
walls, Jericho-UkCy would fall and let us go free. 
The men were all read}' for a general rush upon 
the artillery, and imagination already pictured 
the dismay of the rebels, and our own triumph 
as our exulting hosts should pass on beyond the 
boundaries of oj^pression towards then: native 



104 LIFE m REBEL PRISONS. 

land of freedom. Many hearts beat high with 
hope and expectation in view of what might 
be coming. Possibly they were on the eve of 
a mighty dehverance, and the morning might 
dawn upon the place where imprisoned legions 
had heen, but were not. The night was auspi- 
cious, being dark and rainy, and we ardently 
hoped everything would favor our darling 
scheme; but alas! these things were all 
doomed to sudden re-action, and we were 
made to feel how strangely evanescent are 
the brightest and strongest hopes ; how 
quickly these may yield to despair, and glad- 
ness be turned into sorrow. Just before the 
hour for action had arrived we found the 
whole 

PLOT WAS DISCLOSED. 

One of the ring-leaders had given the 
minutice of the affair to Capt. Wirz ; one 
Avhom we had supposed true from his very 
position, and whom we thought by every 
motive of self-interest would feel himself 
bound to Ijc faithful to the organization of 
wdiich he was so prominent a member. Of 
course, immediate preparations were made to 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISOXS. 105 

fi'iistrato our designs, and tln'ougli the ras- 
cality of this one man tlie ^vllole thing came 
to naught, leaving us like 

^'Patience on a inoiiuinont, 
To sit sinilh^j at ^r/iy'." 

He was at once taken out of prison and prob- 
ably riehly rewarded for his villainy, and it 
Avas well foi him, lor his long continuance on 
earth might have been a matter of doubt if 
he had remained in his accustomed quarters. 
Vigorous measures were quickly taken to 
prevent any further attempts on our part. A 
large reinforcement of rebel troops arrived to 
make the guard doubly sure. The stockade 
was strengthened in such manner as to resist 
a like onslaught in the future, and things 
generally indicated a detennination on their 
part to make sure their hold upon us a while 
loniicr. 

o 

The evening after the disclosure ^yc found 
the following, posted near the prison gate : 

Notice. 

" Not wishing to shed the blood of hundreds not connected with 
those who concocted a mad plan to force the stockade, and make in 
this way their escape, I hereby warn the leaders and those who 
formed themselves into a band to carry out this, that I am in pes- 



106 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

session of all the Aicts, and have made niv dispositions accordingly, 
so as to frustrate it. No choice would be left nie but to open with 
grape and canister on the stockade, and Avhat effect this would 
have in this densely crowded place need not be told. 

May 25th, 1SG4. H. WIRZ. 

As it proved, the only consolation we could 
reap from the transaction, was in the idea that 
we had pretty v;(A\ frightened them. We had 
no reason- to think our condition would be 
any the better for it, nor could it hardly be 
worse. It was a matter of chagrin that we 
were betrayed in the manner we were, but 
could only endure what we could not cure. 
It had no particular tendency to allay our 
irritation to see the rebels bring in over seven 
hundred prisoners that day, making more 
than sixteen hundred poor fellows who had 
come in within two days. They were from 
Grant's army, and had been taken in the early 
part of the month. They had been robbed 
of almost everything in their possession — 
coats, blankets and haversacks — leaving them 
utterly unprepared to stand the hardships of 
prison life. I could not forbear exclaiming, 
"What a chivalrous enemy we are lighting!" 
but, "He robs himself wlio spends a bootless 
grief" and therefore, amid everything calcu- 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 107 

latcd to dejorcss, I dcterniinorl to maintain, as 
lar as possible, that cncrr/fj of character Avliich 
Xon Kneble says is the basis of all '^inte 
liopc'' ''A strong mind," he says, ^'always 
hopes, and has always cause to hope, because 
it knows the mutability of human aflliirs, and 
how slight a circumstance may change the 
Avhole course of events. Such a spirit, too, 
rests upon itself; it is not confined to partial 
views, or to one particular object. And if, at 
last, all should be lost, it has saved itself — its 
own integrity and "svortli. Hope awakens 
courage, while despondency is the last of all 
evils; it is the abandonment of good, — the 
giving up of the battle of life with dead noth- 
ingness." Fully confident in this, that hope 
and courage were the best physicians, I 
brought my soul into as close companionship 
with them as possible. I had seen many give 
themselves up to life-consuming anxieties; 
had seen them torture themselves with insa- 
tiable longings for home, friends and comfort, 
and they had been the sure victims of the 
(jrlm tyrant. These were, indeed, in a pitiable 
condition. They -svere suffering, and naturally 



108 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

enough came the desire for the tender minisv 
trations of mother, Avife or sister. It Avas 
natural, also, that they should think of the 
little home luxuries Avhich would be so grate- 
ful now to their sickly tastes and feverish 
frames, but these vain, incessant longings 
always told sadly upon their condition. It 
was those who bore up with brave heart and 
strong will that came out the best, or perhaps 
one might say came out at all. Some, by 
yielding to the influence of the liori^ors 
about them, relapsed almost into a state of 
idiocy, and indeed it required no little care to 
preserve the type of intelligent manhood at 
all. The tendency of everything about us 
was to belittle both mind and body, and the 
call was urgent for a high standard of courage 
to resist the swelling current. In view of it 
we would say to every one just being intro- 
duced to prison-life from the army of his 
country, "Be lio][)('fid, be coitrcirjeous, for herein 
lies your strength." 

The day following the sensation notice of 
Capt. Wirz, he took several men into his 
employ for the purpose of digging a trench 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 10 'J 

around the cniiip inside llie ^^dead Zme," .for 
the more ready di.seovery of finy ^'hnineh'^ 
that might have been dug, and also to render 
it more diflioult to attempt any more in the 
future. Doubtless he thought he Avas doing a 
smart thing, accomplishing that Avhich ^vould 
cflectually put an end to all similar working, 
but even then Yankee incjemuty was busy in 
solving the problem — how this could be made 
void — and the result was a conclusion to dig 
under the trench, although it involved a 
greatly increased amount of labor. It was a 
time of sore extremity with us, and it was 
daily becoming worse, so that we felt from 
shrinking from no undertaking, however haz- 
ardous, that afforded the least glinnner of 
hope that we might escape. The rations were 
miserable and wholly inadequate to the 
demands of anything like a healthy organiza- 
tion. About this time they w^ere slightly 
varied in the shape of two buckets of mush 
for ninety men. '^ Chicken feed^' the boj's 
called it, and it seemed a very appropriate 
name, for it was nothino; but coarse corn meal 



110 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

and water, with a little salt, half cooked. The 
manner of 

DISTRIBUTING THE RATIONS 

was as follows : — Once every day might be 
seen a large, uncovered army wagon, drawn 
by two span of mules, coming into the prison- 
gate, the driver seated npon the near mule 
behind, and an officer in the vehicle whose 
business it was to check what was issued to 
the sergeant who stood ready to take it from 
another who stood between them, and pass it 
over to the "ninety" which constituted the 
division over which he was placed. These 
"nineties" had sub divisions, so that the w^ork 
of dividing and circulating the given material 
was quickly done, and indeed, often times this 
might be done by reason of the very small 
amount that was allowed for distribution. 

Among so many men, with such variety of 
taste and disposition, feeling and motive, it 
was not strange that some little incident, 
calculated to enhance the serenity, or disturb 
the equanimity of the prisoners, should be 
almost constantly occurring. Oftener it was 
the latter, as the passions of men, so little 









i,!Vv.t, 




l=^^l!, .1 






LIFE IN RKBEL PRISONS. ]1:J 

iestniiuetl, fouiKl iiuuiiiestiillon in a way llicy 
would not in tliu niid.st oi' c'i\ilizL'(l society, 
where public sentiment frowns upon anything 
like general disorder. It was not inlre([rient 
that one oi" the camp thieves or '' raiders'' 
would be arrested in hi.s 2^^^owIing operations 
at night, carried to the l^rook, to endure the 
process of '"(jcicjrjinrj''' and "huck'incj^' having 
one side of his head shaved, and this not 
being considered sufficient punishment, he 
would finally be thrown into the sw^amp, there 
to consider the propriety of discontinuing his 
^' raids" for a season. Tridy, ''the way of 
transgressors is hard." 

Another thing which tended to keep up a 
little excitement was the frequency with 
which we were met by false promises from 
the heartless Captain over ns. Notw^ithstand- 
ing the repeated instances of deception w^e 
had experienced, every fresh assurance would 
of course stimulate our hopes that possibly it 
might be true. When he told us that in four 
weeks w^c would surely be within our own 
lines, and that we w^ould commence going out 
in a few^ days, we could only say to each 



114 LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 

other, " time will prove the truth of the state- 
ment." ^' It may or may not be, — most likely 
the latter." 

Soon after these things were told us, the 
'•rebs" showed unmistakable signs of alarm 
about something The working parties were 
all ordered inside the stockade, while their 
soldiers were posted around the outside of 
the prison, as if in expectation of an immedi- 
ate attack. Appearances indicated something 
quite out of the ordinary course of events, 
but it was of short duration, as they finally 
returned to their camps, and everything went 
on as usual. We afterwards learned that the 
whole thing was occasioned by a report that 
a body of our cavaly had crossed over Flint 
river, at a point only twelve miles from us. 
We began to reckon of " the good time com- 
mg" and were content to "wait a little longer" 
for it, provided it would only come, but as we 
heard nothing more from it we were obliged 
to consider the whole report incorrect, and 
settle ourselves down again to the toleration 
of our wretched lot. What this wretchedness 
includes, one may imagine somewhat if he 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 115 

seriously think what it means to have nothini^ 
but half a loaf of corn bread, weighing about 
six or seven ounces, as the only thing upon 
which to subsist for twenty-four hours. 

Whether what preceded the distriljution of 
this short allowance had anything to do with 
it or not, I can not tell, but it Avas quite cer- 
tain that this was the way we had often been 
made to feel the power of their indignation. 
A number of "tunnels'' were discovered about 
this time, and filled in by the "Old Dutchman'' 
and his minions. This personage was none 
other than Capt. Wirz himself, who was best 
known in prison by that name. Indeed, a 
stranger would have thought it his only title. 
In all things that pertained to this common 
labor of the prison, he had become Argus-like, 
and every new discovery only tightened the 
cords which his hate would draw about us, but 
whj should ice cease f We could but perish 
if we were betrayed, and it was quite certain 
many would, if they remained much longer. 
One hundred and seventeen men were added 
to our number on the 28th, having been cap- 
tured at &ass Station^ twenty-five miles from 



116 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

Atlanta, in the rear of our army, but they 
were a stupid set, mule drivers, &c., and they 
brought us but little news of any character. 
The '^ Macon Confederate'' was boasting of 
a great victory. Grant had been defeated 
with the loss of sixty thousand men, and Gen. 
Sherman's army was '^greatly demoralized^' 
but we felt a little inclined to make some 
allowance for its stories, since the latter had 
met such success in flanking Joe Johnston and 
his army, and to set down the paper as the 
chief o^ false teachers. 

The 2 9 til was the day so often sung by 
Christian assemblies as the one of 

"All the week the best, 
Emblem of eternal rest," 

and do you wonder that I allowed memory 
and imagination to do their utmost to convey 
me to a difierent atmosphere ; that I found my 

SABBATH THOUGHTS , 

to be recorded at its close in somethinG* of the 
following manner? "My mind has been at 
home to-day, and I have seen in imagination 
the dear old church with all its blessed associ- 
ations ; the Sablxith school with its teachers 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 117 

and scores oi' liai)})}' children, and last, hut 
not least, ^ the old homestead,' in its rural 
peace and ([uiet. 1 wonder ii' they know at 
home of our real condition here. IT the 
nation itself knew of it, it seenLs as if we 
would be liberated, even if an army had to be 
raised for this work alone." 

Nearly a thousand prisoners came in on the 
afternoon of that Sabbath, what would have 
been considered a large congregation in many 
of our city churches at home. A few of 
them were those who had come from other 
rebel prisons, but the greater part of them 
were from Grant's army, and Siegel's corps in 
the Shenandoah valley. Some of the 1st Mass. 
regiment were among the number. They were 
captured just on the eve of their departure 
for home, their time having expired, and 
great must have been their disappointment to 
have been Ijrought to such a place, when 
they had slmost felt the touch, and seen the 
smile of welcome from the ^'loi'ed ones at home.'' 
An almost equal numl^er came in on the 
following day, among whom w^ere a large 
number of Connecticut men. Tw^enty-four of 



118 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

the 8th regiment ; fifty-two of the 7th ; one 
hundred and thirty of the 11th ; and fifteen 
of the 21st. They all belonged to Gen. But- 
ler's division, and were captured two weeks 
before, in an attack upon Fort Darling, near 
Eichmond. Their captors had robbed them 
of everything, from blanket to haversack, so 
that there was nothing before them but actual 
suffering for the want of a covering amid the 
exposures to which they must be subject. 
That night I worked until near midnight, 
with a few friends, upon a^'iiinnel" It was 
new work for me, and rather hard, but I 
was w^illing to work hard, if I could only get 
out of that horrible den, into GocVs country 
once more. Our 

"MODUS OPERANDI" 

in '^ iunnelincj'^ was something after this sort: 
To begin with, a situation was selected near 
the dead line as possiljle, in order to make the 
distance as short as it could be to the outside 
of the stockade. A hole, or ''well,'' as we 
termed it, was first sunk straight down to the 
depth of six or eiglit feet, and then the ''iun- 
neV proper v^'dii started tow^oi'ds the stockade, 



LIFE IN REBEL PIIISOX.S. HQ 

under ^vliicli if passed. But one man could 
di-' at ;i time, hut Ave often relieved each 
other, as the Avork uas very fatiguin^^ As 
Nve continued our excavations tlie dirt was 
pushed ])ack in the manner I have indicated 
))elbre, in a meal tmcJc, which we stole from 
WiQ ration wagon for the purpose. Every 
morning a line of bright red earth could be 
seen along the edge of the swamp, the nightly 
result of the labors of earnest seekers after 
freedom. 

Every night fires were kindled at short 
intervals all around the prison, and a line of 
pickets posted outside these fires, so that 
"tunnels" had to be continued a long distance 
out in order to have the place of egress as 
safe as possible. AVe usually commenced 
operations about nine or ten o'clock at night, 
or as soon as it was dark enough to admit of 
our working without being seen by the vi^^-i- 
lant sentinel upon the stockade. In this par- 
ticular we had the advantage of them, for we 
could plainly see and watch them by the 
light of the circle of pitch-pine fires around 
the prison, while they could not see us at all 



120 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

down in the darkness of the pit. In this 
instance, at least, we preferred "darkness 
rather than light/' although our deeds were 
not evil. 

If the thing could be carried through to 
completion, some dark and stormy night would 
be chosen in which to pursue the pathway to 
light. The slight curtain of earth that had 
been left at the end would be carefully broken 
through, and those who had dug the lane 
would stealthily cravvd out and make for the 
woods and swamps, but a few rods distant. 
After the owners had safely passed through, 
any one else was w^elcome to go out by the 
same way, and it was considered quite desira- 
ble to have them, as it distracted the blood- 
hounds, and prevented them from getting on 
the track of the first ones. Yery few, how- 
ever, succeeded in making good their escape 
in this way, for insurmountable obstacles 
would almost invariably occur to render the 
attempt a])oitIve. As Ave liave before stated, 
it was ahnost impossible to complete anything 
of the kind Avithout being betrajed to the 
Confederate authorities by some of the cow- 



LUE IN llEDEL PUISONS. 121 

nrdly traitors In our iiiidst, Avho for lire sako 
of ail c'Xlni ration ot" corn Lrcad, or a l)lug oi' 
tobacco, would tell all they knew of any 
attempt to escape, and beside it was not 
iniconnnon lor a '• tunnel," when nearly com- 
pleted, to cave in on account of the niiture of 
the soil. 

Although the exertion made us tired and 
stiff, WQ yet continued our labors, and thought 
we were progressing gloriously, coming nearer 
and nearer to freedom every hour, when sud- 
denly we came upon an unlooked for barrier, 
which ended alike our visions and our efforts. 
An old hospital sink had been covered over in 
this very spot, and stood there a thing impen- 
etrable, between us and the liberty we thought 
we Avere brinfj^inur to ourselves. These were 
some of the '-shadows'' of camp life. If there 
were any ''Ufjhts^' they were the feeble hopes 
built upon rebel falsehoods. About the first 
of June they told us that the 51st Virginia 
regiment Avas at Andersonvillc for the purpose 
of guarding us to the place of exchange. 
Whether they were there or not we can not 
say, but we are quite sure we were not among 
any thus guarded. 



122 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

Prisoners still continued to be brought in, 
the majority from Butler's army, the remain- 
der from Sherman's, Avith the exception of 
some few from other prisons that were becom- 
ing somewhat unsafe, in consequence of the 
movements of our forces in too close prox- 
imity. Some eight or ten of the latter came 
on crutches, having already lost a limb in the 
service. We hardly saw the propriety of 
sending such men to us, for they could not 
rim away if they would. 

About this time there came a severe rain 
storm, giving us a good Avetting, but we felt 
little like grumbling, for it proved a rich bless- 
ing to the camp, washing away an immense 
amount of fdth. It was hard, however, for 
the thousands of men who had not even the 
poor shelter of a woolen blanket for their 
protection. It was just such a time as we 
might expect some poor fellow would try to 
make his escape, and a couple of shots after 
dark told us that such was probably the case, 
and this was the greeting he received. 

We had had Init little rain in the early part 
of our history in camp, but now we began to 



Lin: IN iii:iii:L riasoxs. 123 

think lli;it June was the rainy month in 
Georgia, and that it liad set in, in right good 
earnest. We could not betake ourselves to 
any refuge from the tempest, and though the 
wind should hlow, and the rain descend in 
torrents, Ave must stand and take it. Of 
course none will be surprised if we had to lay 
ourselves down to rest in rather of <a moist 
condition, but let such a night jje followed by 
good news from our army in the morning, and 
it was wonderful how it lessened the feeling 
of discomfort consequent upon it. It was at 
such time that we heard that Gen. Grant had 
l)roken Lee's center, and that the 5tli corps 
occupied Mechanicsville, onl}' four or five miles 
from Richmond ; also that Fort Darling had 
fdlen. It was almost too good to believe^ 
and prudence suggested that we wait for its 
further confirmation before we Avere very 
jubilant over it, but it afforded us, at least, 
something to think upon. These things were 
also accompanied by the report that His 
Majcst)/y King Jeff, had asked for an armistice 
of six days, in which to repent of his evil 
ways, and seriously consider the question of 



124 LIFE IN KEBEL TRISOXS. 

submitting to lavrful authorit}^, but vre in our 
prison hoped most sincerely, if anything of 
the kind had been asked, it ^voukl not be met 
by disgraceful com2)romises for the sake of 
2)eace, but by renewed activity on the part of 
our armies to bring things nnto such a basis 
that the sword might be honorably sheathed, 
and the Union be restored and preserved as 
it should be. To hold any communication 
with the arch traitor for anything less than 
this Avas something of which we did not like 
to think. We were in a place that seemed to 
us to surpass all others in everything that 
tended to make life gloomy, but we could still 
say, ''Our country forever'' — ''tribulation shall 
not make us part with our love for it." 

A miscellaneous crowd of prisoners came 
in on the 3d. Avho were captured at different 
times and places, having fought under the com- 
mand of three Generals, Grant, Burnside and 
Siegel. Some came in also from colored regi- 
ments. A number of the 54tli Mass. regiment, 
and some others, were already of our number, 
and they were universally treated better than 
we white soldiers. They were taken outside 



LIFE IN rJ-r.KL ri{I:-ONS. 12.") 

every day to peiTorm pomo labor, nn;l allowed 
double rations, and also tbe ])i'ivil(".r(' o(" buvin'.^ 
tilings outside and brinuing them into the 
])rison at evenin^^, and selling them to such as 
lijul any money, for a good round price in 
'- (jrccnljacl'x!' 

Haul Avas tbe order of tbe day about i\\Qi^Q 
times. It Avould eonnnence very early in the 
morning and continue througli tbe day, per- 
baps slacking just enougb to enable us to 
cook a little. To tliosc v.bo dwell in their 
'' celled houses^' tliis may not seem a particu- 
larly important item, but to tbose v»bo had no 
slielter, no alternative but to feel tbe pitiless 
torrents upon their stiffened, acliing limbs, 
and no bed at niglit but tbe cold, wet ground, 
it Avas a matter of painful interest. The 
tbunder Avould roar and tbe ligbtning flash, 
und we would liave wliat tlie ^'rebels" would 
call a ''rigid smart shoiver,'' but it was all the 
same to us, — we must take it. Imagine these 
wretched* thousands trying to shield them- 
selves in every possible way from the fast fall- 
ing rain, and then see them turn hopelessly 
away and lie down, with their scanty garments 



126 LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 

already clrenclied, to be tantalized with dreams 
of comfort, if so be that sleep does not utterly 
refuse to embrace them in such circumstances. 
Then, too, comes the waking hour, surely 
attended with the consciousness of weariness 
and pain, that can not be removed, since the 
aggravating cause is ever present. I remem- 
ber, myself, waking long before daybreak with 
these uncomfortable symptoms, and finding 
them my companions all the day long ; but I 
meant to keep well at all events, if determina- 
tion of will could do anything towards it. 
Sickness began to increase fearfully, in conse- 
quence of the Avet weather, and many, doubt- 
less, died from the effect of exposure alone. 

The 4th of June I idsited the outside world 
for the first time since my entrance into 
prison. An opportunity was offered to a few 
of us to go out after wood, and I gladly 
availed myself of it, just for the sake of 
breathing the pure air. Oh, how good it 
was for us to get out into the woods once 
more, among the trees and flowers ! It almost 
seemed like a Jieio world, and my spirit rev- 
eled in the glad change for the brief season it 



LIFE IN IlKI'.rL PRISONS. 127 

"W.1S r^ivcn mc to enjoy it in. Wliat a Ijlcsscd 
tliin/^ it Avoukl have seemed to ns then, if 
^ve could have made tlrat plac;e our home, 
instead of ^uoiiiL,^ back to that Jill/iij den I How 
much better it ^vould liave ])een for us to 
have made our ])ed under tlie spreading 
]) ranches of those trees, that ^vould have done 
their best to have screened us from the chill- 
Ing dews and falling rain, for the unconscious 
kindness of inanimate things is dearer to the 
lieart than conscious, continued iinkindness of 
hving men, at least, we felt that it would have 
l)een so then. A half dozen men took advant- 
age of the freedom thus allowed, and made 
their escape, making the rest of us feel that 
the han of iiroscription would be put upon 
all like privilege in the future. AVe were not 
'with them when they managed to do the 
thing, but they ''muzzled^' or overpowered the 
guard that was with them, and left on a hee- 
line for their federal comrades somewhere. 

An unusual number of camp rumors were 
afloat on ilie fifth, one of Avhich was, that 
Pearson, the re1)el Colonel, had positively 
stated that the work of paroling would com- 



128 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

mence on the following day. It was also told 
us that Gen. Lee had evacuated Richmond. 
We put them both down as rebel lies for we 
had seen and heard so much wx would 
scarcely believe them upon oath, and the 
sequel proved us correct^ for the next day 
came, and evening also, and j^^^^^^^'^^O "^^'^^ 
something of wdiich nothing Avas known or 
heard. 

Two or three days after this, several hun- 
dred more prisoners were brought in, some 
from the armies of Grant and Sherman, but 
many of them found their way thither as the 
result of a clearing out of the Eichmond 
prisons and hospitals. Through this medium 
Ave learned that Gen Siegel had been relicA^ed 
of his command, by order of Qen. Grant, for 
disobedience of orders, and that Maj. Gen. 
Hunter had taken his place ; also that Gen. 
Lee's head-quarters Avere at DanAdlle, Ya., he 
haAdng fallen back from his position near 
Richmond. From every appearance the gen- 
eral condition of things did not seem calcu- 
lated ta keep the rejjel element about us very 
quiet. The men were in commotion, and evi- 



LIFE IN REBEL PRLSONS, 129 

ilonth' inaiiiil'stcd concern al)Out sonietliin"-. 

o 

Tlioy went hiislly to work planting artillery 
to conunand llic camp and railroad, an cdloit 
thai was understood when >ve found that 
Kil[)atriek was operating with a cavalry force 
in the vicinity of Augusta. They Avere, no 
doubt, preparing to receive a visit from 
their Federal brother, and thought it advisa- 
ble to guard against too great intimacy Avith 
the household, in general^ over which they 
presided. As for ourselves, whenever we 
thought of such a j^ossible visit, we counted 
upon a violation of their laws of etiquette, 
and an acquaintance as intimate as w^e desired. 
"We calculated to enter our complaint, and he 
in turn would show forth his sympathy in a 
^vay agreeable to us, but displeasing to them; 
but our imaginings were useless, as no oppor- 
tunity was given us at that time. We were 
to encounter the storms and tempests a little 
longer. This had come to be our dady expe- 
rience. Our blankets w^ere getting w orn and 
threadbare, and afforded us but poor protec- 
tion. The large drops beating against them 
would find their way through, and give us a 
thorouofh wettino". 



130 LIFE IN REBEL TIIISONS. 

Copies of the Charleston Mercury of the 
sixth and seventh found their Avay to our 
hands, giving an interesting account of a 
naval conflict on Albemarle sound, between 
the rebel iron ram of the same name, and 
several of our new w^ooden gunboats; also, 
the capture of the U. S. steamer ^^ Water 
Witch,'' in Ossabaw sound, near Savannah, Ga., 
by five barges filled with ^^rehs" who boarded 
her as they did the Under Winter, at New- 
bern, N. C, last winter. The editorials of 
these papers expressed a great deal of regret 
that any of their State legislatures should 
advocate j)eace i:>roj)ositions at this time, as it 
would very likely be construed as an evidence 
of loeakness on their part, and gratuitous infor- 
mation that tended to an^^thing of this sort 
was against their principles. 

Although wx Avere mindful of the alloioance 
it was necessary to make for the communica- 
tions of these papers printed in reheldom, yet 
they gave us something of an idea of what Avas 
passing on tlie oilier side; a side from whicli 
we were as eiTectually barred as the Orientals 
m their strong-walled cities at niglit, as far as 



LIFE IN KKBIIL PIIISONS. 131 

jiny inlcrcoiirsG was concerned. There uns 
this diilcrence, however, the gates opened lor 
thcni every niornhig — for us, ahnost never. 
They could go I'orth to traverse the hills 
and vales beyond, as they Avishcd, leisurely 
beholdiu''- the risiu'-' <i-lories of earlv dawn, or 
musing ^\ilh cahn content upon the richer 
beauties of the setting sun. Xoontide, morn 
and evening were alike to us, save as, now 
and then, we Avere hurried under a heartless 
guard, to some neighboring wood, to gather a 
small supply for our necessity, and then 
hastened back within hues and bars, rigidly 
drawn and securely fastened. 

The country about our camp was gently 
undulating, and not far from us were large 
pine forests, that evidently had not rang to 
the looodman's axe for a long tune, if ever. 
In the immediate vicinity of our camp there 
was nothing green. Should anything struggle 
for life through the hard earth, it would soon 
be trodden down by the tramp of so many feet. 
It might be that in some chosen corner, some 
dwarfed and stunted thing would be tenderly 
guarded, because of the idea of greenness and 



132 LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 

growth which it might impart. In this way 
a few staMvs of Indian corn were permitted to 
grow, and it would have well nigh been con- 
sidered sacrilege to have destroyed what 
was so richly suggestive, to thousands of 
hearts there. How much the remembrance of 
kindred things had to do with our repeated 
attempts to escape, 1 will not say. At any 
rate we determined to keep them up. I 
became interested in still another ''tunnel^' 
and things again proceeded so far that it was 
almost ready to ''hreakr If the weather was 
favorable, one more night, we thought, would 
be sufficient to complete the arrangement, 
and put us on the way to freedom. Before 
dark I went over to the other side of the camp 
to see Sergt. Maj. S — , with reference to it, and 
there learned to my surprise and deep regret, 
that it had caved in, after having been dug a 
distance of ninety feet. Disappointed feeUng 
exclaimed, '^This is too hadT All our 
attempts to escape had been frustrated just 
as they had seemed on the point of succeed- 
ing, but remembering the old school motto — 



LIFE IN iu:dll prisons. 133 

" If at first you don't succeed 
^''7/, try agaiu;' 

^ve immediately began to dig lor another. 
There might be this advantage in ^\■orking 
inider the earth, one might possibly keep dry. 
Above, tJauider storms ^vere the order of tlie 
day, somethnes one following another in quick 
succession. 

J^o nuich rain seemed to hold the 2^i([/dlsilc 
element in cheek, but the ^'raiders'' event- 
ually meant to make up for lost time. On 
the return of a pleasant morning, they had 
five distinct fights before roll-call, Avhich was 
in the early part of the day ; but one 
must remember we had no laws but those of 
our own making, and these could not be 
enforced with authority they thought bind- 
ing. There seemed no way but for every one 
to follow the bent of his own inclination, and 
in numberless instances the leaning of the 
''tree" showed the unhappy twisting of the 
"iiDuj'' at some other period of history. 

For some days no prisoners were brought 
in, a circumstance that was quite remarka- 
ble, since they had been coming so rapidly 



lol Liri: IN hi:i5i:l trisons. 

almost vwry day. Ibr a long time. But the 
absence oi' this excitement \vas balanced by 
the rumor in <reneral circulation, that a thou- 
sand men were to be taken out of prison for 
the purpose of 

nKTALIATION', 

as our frovcrnmont h;id showed signs of doing 
the same thing for the Fort Pillow massacre. 
^•'Tf it is so," we said, '-let them try it, and see 
how tliey will succeed." '•Perha[)s in some 
way they may get a full cup wrung out to 
them." 

Amid all these unpleasant episodes of 
prison life we continued to brighten luany 
an evening hour by talking over old home 
Kcencs, and rehearsing the j^^Wy times of old 
in our regiment, before we liad been called 
'•to hang our harps upon t!ie willows," in a 
8trang(* land, 'i'hese tbiugs furui>hed us with 
material for lively con\ersations, and reminded 
lis of a story of two men who were once placed 
in the confinement of a ((11 for some yean*, for 
a nuitter relating to triiib aud consciLMiee. No 
light was ever given tbem to .^liow tbem tbe 
di.smal walls of tbeir windowless, sunless 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 135 

apartment, or to reveal to each other the 
features of his companion. They could only 
listen to each other s voices, and the first yeai 
they whiled away the time by rehearsing in 
each others ears every little incident of their 
lives. The second year they amplified and 
embellished these as best they could, but the 
third found them altogether talked out, and 
no alternative left them but 'perpetual silence, 
so that the loecunness of their confinement 
pressed heavily upon them, and there was 
danger that the mind would cease its power 
to work. It required no very great stretch 
of the imagination to take in the truth of 
this. Actimty of mind, in any case, requires 
that it have its appropriate aliment to stimu- 
late it, and shut out for any considerable 
period of time from all this, it will necessarily 
grow feeble and sluggish. It is true that, as 
far as numhers were concerned, these were 
enough, but all were in the same condition, 
circumscribed in range of thought and action. 
It came to be quite an era in our lives if 
we could be guarded to the adjacent woods 
for a season. Several of the boys were 



]3G LIFi: IN IlKHKL riUSnNS. 

allowcil to L^o out in this inaniKT on tlie lltll 
of what would havt» bi'on the '^ month of 

roses in our own land. Sergeant V and 

one of the Corporals from our own little 
s(|uad went out, :md came hack in «rreat glee, 
bringing with thrni some beautiful llowers, 
and what was (^f more u.^r to us, a good sup- 
j)ly of wood. They brought us a glowing 
account of the hvdul'ns of the outside world, 
making ii.s ask again, in addition to times 
nnnund)ered before, '* HV/r;/ will our irksome 
confinement end".'" That iii;jlit the sun went 
down lik(» a (//(the of Jirc, in the mid<t of rain 
clouds, and thus closecl another week of our 
8tay in what so many have called tliQ ^ sKtifiy 
Southr 

Wc awoke Sunihiy inoniing to li ud our 
thovf/Iits '" lioim trurd />o?///r/," as usual. We 
Avondered what thev were doiu'j", thiid\in«»" 

* « o 

and wiving then*, and it really seemed to do 
lis good to think and dream of home. We 
felt that we nliould be fully prepared to a|)|)re- 
ciatc itH comforts, if we siiould live to return. 
Sixty-eight prisonerH came in that day from 
Bliennan'a army, which they reported to 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. ' 137 

bo aear Marietta. The rations which awaited 
thtm and us were a few^ siDoonsfuU of 
uncooked rice^ a tea spoonful of salt, and 
about two ounces of bacon, and this to be 
cooked and eaten amid the mud and misery 
which a regular "north-easier'' was producing 
about us. 

It was said that one hundred and two died 
that day, and from what I saw I think it was 
true. We became so accustomed to death, it 
lost all its solemnities, and Avas looked upon 
as nothing unusual. Indeed, one or two could 
ahnost ahvays be seen dying at the brook-side. 
For some reason the roll-call was omitted on 
the following morning, and the Sergeants of 
the ''nineties'' received orders to send the 
sick up to the prison gate. This at once gave 
foundation to the report that these were to be 
sent off to our lines, and that a large number 
beside were to be ^paroled. Many believed 
the rumor, and there was excitement for a 
wdiile, but it soon passed away, as no one left. 
We were to learn that it was not very easy to 
gain a transition from our mud and filth to dry, 
cleanly things. It was very damp from inces- 



138 LIFE IN KKUEL rRI.^ONS. 

.<;inl rain, and >vo .^^ufll'iod \\itli llie coKl, but 
Avere better olV than hundicHJs, vea, thousands, 
-who lav clown cvciv niirlit tu seek their rest 
witiiout any coverini,^ at all. JhIIo Island 
could not have been nuuh worse. '* Will God 
prosper a irovernuient uliicli treats defence- 
less men like this'.'" vj asked, and we were 
answered/' No I it is ix „ui to think so for a 
n.'onient.*' 

AVhen I would have to sta\" in my little 
do^-kennel of a tent nearlv the ^^llole dav, on 
account of rain, it was hard sometimes to 
keep iVoni ''fttlnifj hhit^' but I had ki'pt up 
good spirits so long, I rea^soned with myself 
upon the ])ropriety of continuing the same 
until 1 should step within Uncle Sam's lines, 
and then it would require no effort to be 
light-hearted ; it would come as a matter of 
course. I emerged from my narrow c|uartei*s 
for a little season, on the afternoon of such a 
day, hoping to luxuriate in the woods for a 
time, as it was our turn to obtain fuel. We 
waited at the gate a long time, with the 
vxpectiition of having it opened unto us, but 
were finally tohl by the rebel Sergeant that 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 130 

we could not go, and we went back to our 
tent again, to do as best we could^ with our 
meal and bacon. 



CHAPTER lY. 

ARRIVAL OF PRISONERS. 

About the middle of the month things 
seemed to be growing w^orse and worse. 
Twenty-three hundred prisoners came in, in 
two days, the fifteenth and sixteenth, partly 
from Grant's army, but more from Butler's. 
"Poor fellows r we said silently, as they came 
in, "it is an awful place for you to come into 
just now." It was bad enough at any time, 
but w^orse than ever then, because of the mud 
and filth which everywhere covered the 
ground. Several of our regiment who were 
left behind to take care of the wounded at 
Plymouth, were brought along with them, 
introducing a w^elcome visitor, in "T'ri/)," Co. 
B's little dog, who had been with us long 
months before we were taken. We at once 



140 LIFE IN RKHEL PRISONS. 

(oncluded to consider liiin a lortunatc doy; if 
he was not converteil into stiak or soup in 
the early part of his rrsidence anion<x ns. 
A\'(' \\(rr actually sufiVrinL^ iVoni Jiunger. 
When I attcni|)ti'd to arise rit)m a sittinir po.s- 
tnre I would Jind niysclt' di/zy and blind for 
a few nronients, and I could attiiltute it to 
notliin^^ but our exceedingly meagre diet. 
It was ])()or in (jiumtit}/ and miserable in 
qucdliy. At this tiuK* we bad but just wood 
enongh to cook a little rice for breakfast, and 
we could have nothing more the remainder of 
the day. Let the intensity of our cravings 
be ever so great, there was no I'cmedy. Six 
of our "/ihuf}/^' were at length ])ennitted to 
gather their ''handful <>f ^tlrks^ that we 
might cook our cake of meal on the morrow, 
and truly men must l)e of the true vwtal to 
remain atauniJi and true through all this. 
That they did the f.llou Iiii-- liffl.' Iiicidrnt< 
wiJl testify . 

A YANKKE TRAITOR 

who works in Americus, making phoes for the 
Jeff DftviH government, wiid to be i]\^i and 
foremost in the ahop, came into camp and woa 



LIFE IN KEBEL PRISONS. 141 

caught trying to entice out others to work 
with him. It excited the indignation of 
many, and as a fit punishment for what was 
esteemed his vihainy, he was taken and haU* 
of his head shaved, and then left to make his 
way out, hooted and jeered at by the whole 
crowd, but even then it was considered alto- 
gether too slight for one who would dare 
tamper with their loyalty. This was a jeal- 
ously guarded treasure through the whole. 

Our hopes that things would be better after 
the visit to the woods, were not realized, for 
if nothing else were in the way, the rain 
would seriously interrupt our cooking. The 
Orderly and myself made a breakfast of corn- 
meal and water, stirred together without salt, 
and half cooked upon a tin-plate, and a little 
scrap of bacon beside, although we felt it to 
be a shame to dignify such stuff by the name 
of " hreakfastr 

In the after part of the day I went up for 
medicine for the sick men in our "mess," and 
wdiile waiting for my turn to be served, I had 
a good confidential talk with one of the 
guards, whom I found to be a true Union man. 



142 LIFE IN r.nDEL PRISONS. 

lie hail been driven frcjin his home into the 
Confederate army about four ^^eeks before, 
althou«xli for a yrar and a half he liad man- 
aged, in one way and another, io keep out of 
tlie service. Ilr was a \ny inlelhgent man, 
of about middle age, and gave it as his opinion 
tliat the C. S. A. was about ''played out!' The 
lieavy rains had destroyed the wheat crop, 
and it was doubtful in liis mind if the Confed- 
erate governuK'uL could subsist us three 
months longer. The matter tiius represented, 
of course, made it appear more hopeful for us. 
He was looking for a speedy change in his 
own condition, for **a.s soon a.s your army 
crosses tiie Chattahoochee river," lie said to 
me, '*! shall turn away from these things and 
seek my home.*' When I returned to my tent 
after tiiis inter\iew, I found that the old 
stories had been renewed with great zest, and 
that some liclieved that transports were at 
Savannah, N\ lib rrl*. 1 prisoners for exchange. 
Tlie nund)cr. however, who had been ready to 
receive such doctrine had greatly diniinislied, 
and there was no lengtliened exultation over 
thi.s. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 143 

Scenes of a different character soon engaged 
our attention. A man who was quietly sleep- 
ing in his httle blanket tent near the edge of 
a w^ell, was suddenly buried alive by the fall- 
ing in of the earth. This was followed not 
long after, by the wounding of two men by 
the guard. A man had stepped inside the 
'' dead Ime" and was at once fired upon, but 
instead of receiving any injury himself, it had 
fallen on the innocent two who were lying 
down in their tent. Amid these scenes we 
noted the arrival of ninety-five more men ; 
those who had belonged to a 7nid sent from 
Memphis, Tenn., under command of Gen. 
Sturgis, and were attacked and badly defeated 
by the rebel Gen. Forrest, at a place in Mis- 
sissippi. Gen. Sturgis is said to have been 
intoxicated during the engagement, and that 
as soon as he saw things were likely to go 
against him, he turned away with a portion 
of his cavalry, and sought to save himself 
from capture. A recruit for our regiment was 
among the number who came in. He was 
captured on a raid in Hertford Co,, N. C, and 
that was the first time he had ever seen the 



144 LIFE IN rS.VT.L PRISON?. 

Sixteenth, to ulncli he \\:i^ iM.un.l. Quite a 
novel place to join tlieni in. 

On the niornini^ of tin* iMltli wc In^ird that 
gold \yi\s down to I !'• in New York, and that 
mam- In'ok' rs lia<l heen ruined 1)V its decline. 
A\'(' thoiiLiht, however, that it was tjood neirs. 
if onh' trut . for surely it would in»t have had 
such a fall, hut lor •^nvat mil (fur if successes, 
and these were our special deliiiht. We wen 
ourselves, in a situation to do uothiuLT. and ii 
alVoiMled us iuten<(» satisfaction to know that 
the irJiids of jn'Of/rcss -were moving. It 
called all our enerj^ies into re(|uisition to keep 
the current of life in our own hodies from 
utter stagnation. We atleinpte(l to huild a 
mud stove for our eondort, as there was plenty 
of that material at hand, hut the rain mad'' 
our lahor inellectual. Ahcady we had seen 
ticentf/ days of rain in sueeessiou, and ^^ . 
began to reckon on hecoming used to ii 

Tluit day Corporal W , of oiu' regiment. 

who had been long time in a sickly condition, 
rmi.^^hed hi.'i earthly course. Ihwa.M the first 
of our nnmhc r to die lu that j>Iac«', and it 
very natunilly gave rif<e to tho inquiry, in 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 145 

tlioiiglitful mincls^ " Who will go next through 
the dark valley into the spirit world?" The 
blows of the fell destroyer were falling thick 
and fast, and none could Avard them off. By 
nig^ht and day he rioted in our midst, claiming; 
his victims by the score, and forcing upon us 
the reflection that 

" The appointed house, by heaven's decree, 
Receives us all at last." 

While awaiting the completion of the new 
stockade, the roll-call was omitted a few morn- 
ings, and lest some have a wrong idea of this, 
I will here say, that names were never called, 
but every morning a rebel Sergeant would 
make his appearance, at which time we Avould 
fall in, four ranks deep, w^hen he would count 
us, and make sure that everything was right 
before he left us. This intermission, we 
thought, would have afforded us a fine oppor- 
tunity to escape without being missed, if 
other things had been favorable, but hitherto 
some 'Hinconquera'ble bar'' had always been 
interposed between us and freedom, and there 
seemed little encouragement to proceed. Be- 
side, the rebels were on the alert, being in 



in; Lin: i\ nr.nEL prisons. 

conslant expectation ol" an attack, i\< it was 
reported that uur ca\alrv were in the iinnie- 
diate vicinitv. Nearly all the forces about 
the prison wi'rc sent a\Nay, leaving scarcely 
none luit the L^iianl on the stockade. In this 
period two hundred more IVoni Gen. Sturgis' 
7'aid came in, all ^ivinir the sanic stoiy in 
regard to the shamerul conduct of their coni- 
niandiT. Thus can it he seen how little oiu" 
every-day life varied. Almost constantly we 
uerc seeing new ones conic in to swell the 
tide of misery for themselves nnd us. Now 
Ave Avould see a ''raider'' led l)y our tent in 
chains, v.ith his head sha\cd, to seme place of 
])unishment, and again the report of sonic 
gun would till us that some poor and perhaps 
inicon.Hcious trespa.sser had gone too near the 
line of death, and had sealed his fate with his 
Mood, it was so on that da v. One poor 
Rdlow was shot through the hody just for 
reaching inside the *• ///2c," to get a root for 
the ])urjK)se of making a littlo fire to do some 
cooking, 'i Ih' one who thim shoots a soldier, 
it iH said, receives a ^furloufjh^' as a rewar<l 
for the very virtuous deed he hiw done. 'J'he 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 147 

absolute truth of this I can not vouch for, but 
I ha"ve noticed that ahnost invariably the man 
Avho performs such an act is relieved from 
duty by another person, and he is not seen. 
Desirable as a furlough might be, I would 
poorly relish it, if gained only by murdering 
a helpless fellow creature. Not long after 
this I narrowly escaped a similar fate myself. 
Going up after medicine for the ''ninety^' I 
ignorantly stepped over the boundary line, 
but looking up just in season to observe the 
attitude of the too willing sentinel, I saw my 
danger and saved my life. 

Almost every afternoon, at four o'clock, it 
vras the duty of the Sergeant of the "nineties" 
to obtain remedies for the sick, provided there 
were any to be had. After roll-call in the 
morning the sick ones were allowed to go out 
of the gate, into an enclosure made for the 
purpose, and the rebel surgeons would pre- 
scribe for them, and also admit a few to the 
hospital. Then, w^hatever their sufferings 
might be, they must go nearly all the day 
long with nothing to alleviate them, but we 
might consider it good fortune if, even then^ 



148 LiFK IN i;i:ci:l ruisuNs. 

anv soothing clnuight touUl Ijc ol)t;iineil Nvlicro 
uilli to casu the i)ain whuh >va.s often times 
intense, iVoiii tlir airgravatiMJ Ibrni which 
disease would ahnost ncces.^arily take inukr 
sueh a rcylme as we wi re all subject to. 

The cheerful sunshine cauu' to hlrss us at 
length. Tlir Iwcnt v-thinl was a warm, bright 
day, and three liundred more prisoners marked 
their entrance into ])rison then; not a very 
desirable era in tiuir history, as they will 
soon lind out, wc tliought. They were from 
the lid corits, and were cajjlurcd at Peters- 
burg, Va.. about a week before. They reported 
our Ibrees close upon that city then, and 
Ave fancied it already ours; — yes! ourHy for 
did we not still Ixdong to the hopeful Unioiiy 
and were not lur victories ours also? Wc 
were identified with our country's struggle in 
a peculiar sense, and her j)rosperity was nev- r 
dearer to us than then. It gave us coura 
to hear from them that Grant's army wjis 
excellent condition, and constantly reccivii 
reinforcements. IIoj)e was slightly confirnn 
also, by the OKsertion that a copy of the N« 
York Herald was in circulation through t! 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 149 

prison, in which it was stated that " exchange " 
was to commence on the 7th of the coming 
July, and that transports had ah^eady left that 
city for Savannah, with that end in view. We 
longed to knoAV if it was really so, for the 
suspense we were in was terrible, and this, 
combined v>'ith the actual privation we were 
constantly enduring, made the days seem 
insufferably long. That night we had no 
bacon with our rations at all, — nothing but a 
pint and a half of corn meal, and a little salt, 
for twenty-four hours. Many of the men 
would eat up Avhat they received at a single 
meal, and then go hungry until the next issue. 
The morning following this, we had some 
fresh meat, from which the orderly and myself 
made a pretty good soup. That Avhich came 
to our part of the detachment was very good, 
but much of it was miserable, being badly 
tainted and full of maggots. 

During the day, notice was given to all pris- 
oners, who had their money and valuables 
taken from them at Richmond, to send in their 
names with the amount of their loss, to Gen. 
Winder, and he would settle with them. We 



150 LIFE IN HEDEL PRISONS, 

assigned it just about the samo place in our 
belief tbat "vve cli<l manv otIuM' tbiiiprs tboy 
paid, supposinLT, of coui*se, that it would 
amount to nothin^r, or at lca,st nothing more 
than an order \ij)on the rebel sutler, whieh 
Avas equivalent to the same, at the prices he 
charged for cverv thing. 

In eonjiuiction ^vith this came another hum- 
hufj. Tlie rebel regiments about us, it wa.s 
said, had an order read to them at dress 
])arade, announcing to them tliat in about 
tliree weeks thev woidd be allowetl a I'ur- 
lough, as the jirisoners were to be sent away. 
It would have been a most agreeable truth, 
but unhappilv there was none of that virtue 
about it, and it was ])erpetrated for rea.sons 
best known to our eneinies themselves. 

The weather wa.s getting very warm, and to 
]>reclude the necessity of toiling and sweating 
in the hot sunshine, we adopted the ])lan of 
rising liefore sunrise, to ct^k our scanty 
breakfast, and we found it to add materially 
to our comfort We coidd but think of our 
comrades in the Union army, who were 
marching and fighting in the intense heat. 



LIFE IX REBEL TR-ISONS. 151 

^'^God grant them victory!'' was our hearty 
prayer. 

General Sturgis' ill-fatecl raiding party still 
continued to furnish small additions to our 
number. 

According to the reports they brought, it 
seemed that opposing forces sometimes came 
very near each other. Forrest had been 
wilhin one mile of our pickets at Memphis, 
and captured many prisoners, and these had 
been re-captured by a force sent out by our 
oflicers to repulse them. We could certainly 
congratulate the rescued. At this time I 
received a letter from Adjutant Clapp, who 
was a prisoner at Macon, from which I learned 
that five generals, eleven colonels, twenty-five 
lieutenant-colonels, and nine majors — fifty in 
all — had been sent away from that place for 
exchange. Lieut. Col. Burnham, of our own 
regiment, was among the fortunate number. 

Plainly the hour of our release had not come, 
and we must content ourselves as well as we 
could under rebel jurisdiction, until such time 
as we could hail the promised dcii/ of jubilee. 
Meanwhile, I must studiously consult duti/ and 
7 



152 LIKK IN IIKBKL PRISONS. 

interest^ in m^ wise lu-L^lrcting the former (o 
Bccure tlic hitter, niiless 1 wished my life to 
pay the forfeit. 

It .'iLTain came my turn td lto out with the 
pquad after wood. We obtained our scanty 
supply, and were on our way back to prison, 
when we stopped f m' a few moment.s to rest. 
I improved the opportunity to dij^ all the red 
root that I could, as it was a valuable remedy 
for diarrhea, v:\nQ\i was distressingly prevalent 
in camp. The sergeant in charge of the guard 
was rather cross and surly, and allowed us hut 
a little time to get breath, and then ordered 
us on again. In my haste I left iny knife 
upon the ground, and did not discover my loss 
until I was nearly back to the stockade. The 
sergeant then refused to let me return for ii 
I was just giving it up for lost, when Captain 
Wir/ came ri<ling along, and as a last n\^ort I 
appealed to him. For a wonder lie told me to 
go with him, and, walking liis horse, he went 
with me to tin' spf»t where I bad used tli.- 
knife, and thus I recovered it. If 1 bad failed 
to find it, he would have doubtles,s thought f 
was guilty of deception, and sliot mo through 



LIFE IN KEBEL PRISONS. 153 

without any remorse whatever. As we 
went back toward the prison-gate, we met 
other squads of prisoners going after wood, 
under guard, and seeing me in company with 
the "Old Dittchman^' they supposed I had 
been captured in an attempt to escape, and 
consequently had a great many jokes at my 
expense. The captain, noticing this, remarked 
to me, ''They tinks you have pen iqo to some 
tevilmentr The next day when the squad 
was called for again to go out after wood, no 
one wished to go, and I concluded to try it 
once more, though my feet were pretty sore. 

While we w^ere waiting at the gate to let 
the dignitaries pass us through, there came up 
a thunder-storm, and as a matter of course we 
received a thorough drenching. We were not 
to be intimidated by this, however, and went 
on, finding it all the more pleasant in the 
woods because of it. Our guard this time 
were very accommodating, and we had a right 
o^ood time amono; the trees and flowers. While 
we were out, six or seven hundred prisoners 
from Grant's army entered the prison, and 
about the same number had been introduced 



154 LIFE IX REBEL PRISONJ^ 

the (lav boforo. The last ones had been treat- 
ed with the greatest sevurity at Kiehmond. 
They had been stripped and searched, and at 
lengtli turnrd in upon us with ahnost nothing 
for tlieir com fort 

Tlie d;iys now wlien ])risoners did not come 
in WQTC exceptions:. Al)Oiit three lumdred ;ind 
fifty came on the 'JOth, niostl\" from Western 
Virginia, and they brought us some good 
tidin<rs. Thev informed us that Ocn. Poix' 
entered Lvncldnu'g while Cien. Hunter had 
drawn away the enemy^B forces by a feigned 
retreat, and that ]w had destroyed the im- 
mense tobacco wareliouses in the city, and 
also the large bridge over the James river at 
that point, although he laile(l to hold the 
place. 

One of the men told me that he l)ought a 
paper on his way, which stated that tlie ex- 
change of j)risonei*s woidd conunence on the 
7tii of tlie following month. As thi."^ coincided 
in every respect witli a previous report, we 
could not hut think it had some foundation. 
Surely anytliing that woidd appear twice cdik 
fiiUi^t mean .something. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 155 

These new comers afforded the ^^ raiders^' or 
camp-robbers, fresh opportunities to continue 
their work. They seized upon one of these, 
and it was soon seen that it was 

A ROBBERY 

in earnest. After severely beating and cut- 
ting his head, they took from him his watch 
and $175 in money. He entered a complaint 
to Captain Wizz, and the whole camp being 
completely aroused^ a crowd collected, armed 
with clubSj who began to arrest the gang as 
fast as possible. As soon as one vfas caught, 
he was handed outside to the care of the 
rebels, who w^ere to watch over them until 
they could be tried by our men. A few, 
against whom positive proof could not at once 
be brought, were sent into prison again, where 
they had to run the gauntlet between a long 
line of enraged men, who, armed wdth heavy 
clubs, dealt blows at the miscreants as they 
ran past. 

One man was killed w^hile undergoing the 
punishment. About fifty of the band were 
caught, and the prospect was good that th^ 



156 LIFi: IN HKBEL PRISONS. 

infernal proceedin<^ ^vhiili li:i«l so lonc^ boon 
conlinued would come to an end. 

All throuLrli tlie rirxt day ihcy woro hunted 
with great success. Tht' Kehid Quarterniastei-, 
rebel sergeants and L^iard, wunt into the 
prison, and, pilot e(l hy a notorious character 
known as '"'Limber Jim^' and hi.s comrades, 
they soon ferreted out the infamous scoun- 
drels. They were t^dvcn outside, where they 
were \o be tried by a jury of twelve men 
selected from the newly arrived, who of course 
would know tile least about them, an<l wouM 
therefore be more impartial in rendering the 
verdict. Ik'ueath their tents wi're found 
knives, pistols, watches, money, &c., and it is 
said that buried beneath one tent was the 
IxmIv of a man who was supposed to have 
been murdered by them. 

It was a day of great excitement, ami one 
which we thought would place an eflectual 
barrier against such operations in the futuri'. 

Fourteen j)ri.Honers canic in on the afternoon 
of the day, and among them was James Mar- 
tin, of our regiment, wlioin we all supposed to 
be dead Ills appearance created quite u sen- 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 157 

sation, and we gave him a hearty welcome to 
om^ hearts, if not to the j^rlson. 

He was wounded on the skirmish hne at 
Plymouth^ on the second night of the attack, 
and was then taken prisoner and conveyed to 
Wilson C. H., North Carolina, where he was 
treated wdth the utmost kindness, so that he 
became quite w^elL 

While the surgeons were attending to our 
sick at this time, they were suddenly ordered 
off, and left in a hurry w^ithout much cere- 
mony. We conjectured that there might be 
special need of their services at Atlanta, and 
that this was the cause of their hasty de- 
parture. 

On the first day of July, the 

ADDITION TO THE STOCKADE 

was completed and opened for the reception 
of the prisoners. All detachments, above forty- 
eight in number, were ordered to be inside of 
it in two hours, and failing to do this, their 
blankets, &c., would be confiscated. This, 
then, was the alternative, — thirteen thousand 
men must crowd through an opening about 



158 LIFi: IN RKr.KL PRISONS. 

ten feet ^vi(le, in two hours, or lose all their 
littk* property which was so very precious to 
them there. Thire was a perfect Ptampci^ 
towanls the open ])hiee, and thi' camp, gener- 
cdhj, presented a veiy animated scene. Wc 
^TQW '^heaut'ifulhj It ss^' in a .-hort time, leaving 
us a larixer space in whicli to move and 
breathe, than we had known lor a considerable 
period. 

Our own retrinient was to retain its position 
as before. During the niglit the part of the 
old stockade left standing between us and the 
new, wan visited by an extensive ^raldlufj 
party, tlie men from all parts of the priso:i 
"working until nearly morning in pulling down 
and carrying it olf for fuel, so that at day- 
light but a very small portion of it wa** lell 
standing. Then came the nuuor that ('apt 
Wirz had ordered that no nu)re rations should 
be i.ssued until the timber was replaced, 
but Huch ordei*s w(» received with tlie same 
coolncw a.M usual. Tlic day was fdled with 
more or lefw excitement on account of tht 
reporta concerning ^cxc/<«;iyc,'* which w( r» 
(lying through the camp. The d^ito fii;cd 



LIFE IN RECEL PRISONS. 159 

upon was the 7tli of the mouthy and as this 
was the same we had heard mentioned at two 
different times, and upon separate occasions, 
before, w^e thought it might be possible that 
it had a truthful foundation. We heard, too, 
that the people of the North w^ere greatly 
aroused in regard to the subject, and were 
holding indignation meetings, and petitioning 
Congress to interpose in our behalf If this 
Avere true, w^e hoped for good results to accrue, 
and therefore looked with some solicitude to 
the approaching day. The intervening time 
was short, and hope, and sometimes feai% was 
in the ascendant, lest the story should j)rove 
a fiction, and we be still left "m the stormy 
We could only bring ourselves to meet it, if 
it should be, and 

" With a heart for any fate, 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 
Learn to labor and to wait," 

The latter grace, particularly, it seemed we 
might gain to perfection, if we were apt pupils 
at all. We were realizing the vision of the 
2Joet, in more than one respect, for we were 
leaving '^footprints'' not only upon 'Hhe sands 
of time" but perchance upoij other and more 



IGO LIFE IN RKBEL PRISONS. 

unduring matfrial. Our inij)risoninont had a 
purpose to accomplish, and tlie part it would 
perform in future history nuLdit do nion* tiian 
\vc could iinairine. 'fhus we luiLdit sublimely 
theorize, hut o\n* j)ainrul experience would still 
Hirust itself ujH)n us, and make our fhsireS 
Ftroni^ and earnest for the fulfdlment of our 
)iopes that had been newly awakened. 

The first Sahhath of the month came on 
llii' third, and we thou^dit of our Iriends at 
home gathering around the sacramental tabl(\ 
and we longed to be there, to enjoy with them 
(he blessed feast, ami the communion of kin- 
flrcd spirits, but we knew we were not forL^ot- 
ten ; that, though absent, there were man\- 
who would send us a iris/i and a fhour/hfy 
and that \n ])rrn/ers winch would wing their way 
upward the .so/r/ar and ihv friaul would have 
a ])lac«\ 

Life in rmnp certainly needed grace, in 
measur(*« ^Inrrje and free" to keep the ftpirit 
(|uiet«, for externally th(»re was but little to 
calm the mind and stay its restless surges 
Through this Sabbath there wa** a great deal 
of confiwion, ailiong the |)rkoiicr8 composing 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. IGl 

the newly arrived detachments, and it took 
ahnost the entire day to get things into a 
condition of tolerable order. Eoll-call was 
resumed throughout the entire prison, and no 
rations at all issued in all the long hours, so 
that we laid down to our rest at night, the 
helpless victims of hunger. We thought a 
corresponding prison-life might be a good 
reform school for some of the Southern Se- 
cessionists; they w^ould be so struck with the 
amount of sympathy displayed by their 
'^mimeroushrethren ;'' their "wayward sisters'' 
Monday brought ''the glorious fourth'' 
One year before, it had found us up) the Penin- 
sula, about eighteen miles from Richmond. 
Little did we dream that its next anniversary 
would find us in such a predicament, but there 
w^e were, and we must make the best of it. 
We wondered what was being done ; if Rich- 
mond was ours, and with it Lee's army, or if 
we were to fight longer for the prize. The 
"rebs" were busy all day in re-numbering the 
detachments, preparatory to a parole, it was 
said. Our number was changed from forty- 
three to ninety-five, and we had numberless 



102 MKi: IN IIKBKL PRISONS. 

secret questionings a.s lo uliat clToct it would 
have upon our destiny, it' cxchmuje f<houl<l 
really be determined upon. 1 wished to keep 
fiUit hold of my ronlidenee in the government, 
although the thith of ui:iny wius grownig 
weak. Reason asserted that there must 
be Bome satisfactory ichj that we were not 
exchanged, for surely we would not be left to 
die of gradual starvation, month after montli, 
without it wore so. 1 saw a man in the 
morning wlio wa.s completely di.^couraged, 
and, really, he scciiiimI partially uisfinc. lie 
refused to eat what littlo was given him, and 
declared that he was going to die in that way. 
^You will not have to try very hardy' I said to 
myself, as I gazed upon his pallid face an»l 
emaciated fonn. It seemed that all must 
meet a similar fate, unless there should be 
8omc change, for the material for food that we 
had just received was raw, and we had no 
means whatever of cooking anything then, 
as wood woH wanting. Notwithstanding our 
cheerless condition, some were inclined to 
show some remcMnbrance of the day. One of 
the boy 8 had a few percussion caps, and by 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 163 

snapping these with a fragment of hrich and 
a tenpennij nail, we had a miniaiure celebra- 
tion, the oration and refreshments being indefi- 
nitely postponed. It might be that at home 
they were firing cannon over some victory 
that we knew nothing about; perhaps p*ub- 
Hcly eulogizing some Geneiral who had sud-' 
denly won immortal fame by some brilliant 
achievement, and thus fostering national jyricle. 
We hoped it w^ere so, for loyalty had not 
been starved out of us altogether, and we 
could rejoice in the country's prosjyerity even 
there. 

It was not very warm just at this time, but 
we had a great deal of sickness. The Cath- 
olic priest was in almost daily, visiting the 
sick of his own order, and giving a word of 
good counsel to all. He was untiring in his 
administration of the rites and consolations of 
the Romish church to sick and dying Catho- 
lics. Clergymen of orthodox denominations I 
thought would do well to imitate his example 
m faithfulness and kindness to the dying 
soldier. We sometimes tried to draw out 
from him some information of matters in the 



ini LIFE IN RF.nnL PRISON'Jl. 

world out>ide, Imt we coiiM si'ldom gain nny- 
tliinir, as ho was not allowed to make any 
comminiications to the prisoners under pen- 
alty of heini; forbidden admission to the 
prison. 

Kveninrrs called together a circle fhr jyrayer. 
and we liad some good seasons in letting yV////^ 
rise into a ^^serencr atmosphere.^' and who 
shall tell how richly freighted with blessing 
were those evening breezes to the 's^iiiting 
souls; who tell of the heavenly xchisperings? 
since 

*' More thinps aro wrought by prayrr. 
Than ihw world dreams of." 

It was understood at this time that it would 
])ecome a ])ernianent institution, and that 
every return of the twilight hour, would 
bring the praying band logelbci" in souu' part 
of the camp. 

Ou thr lull our uuudier was increased b\- 
three or four hundred from DanviUe, \'a., wln> 
had been captund in au attempt to destroy 
the niilmad. They tore it uj> for a distance of 
liiirty miles before they were obliged to dis- 
continue their labora by rebel interference. 



LIFE IN REBEL TRTSONS. 165 

They told us that Gen. Speare was there with 
his cavahy brigade, and we counted upon 
something being done, since he never did 
things by halves. They all agreed in saying 
that Richmond was completely surrounded, 
and that everything was working well, the 
fighting continuing day and night, worse, if 
anything, during the latter season, than in the 
day. We set this down as good and reliable, 
and hoped accordingly. 

We concluded the day with another interest- 
ing meeting by the hrook-side, near our quar- 
ters, and we could but think it would have some 
good effect. The boys seemed more willing 
than ever to ''hear the word,'' and it is to be 
hoped that the Recording Angel carried some 
good news to the upper world that night, 
respecting some poor soul in that little assem- 
bly. 

The day so long before fixed upon for the 
commencement of the work of exchange, at 
length dawned upon us, and each hour found 
us anxiously awaiting the revelations of the 
next. We watched for the moments to be 
'' big with blessing," but they did not come. 



166 LUK IN REBEL PRISONS. 

Nolliing unusual marked niiy part of the day, 
and at night one might have looked in upon 
/mmir.J.i and thousands of disappointed ones. 
Many had firmly holievcMl it lor a long time. 
They had oonlidcnlly expected that it would 
be the date of theu' rcloitse. It was a release 
from earth to one of our regiment J. IIo.«<kin.s 
(dosed his eyes upon all that wa.s mortal that 
day, and the mysterioas lingei's of death were 
busy in severing the cord that bound several 
othei*8 to life. 1 then wislu'd that the President, 
under whose banner we had fought, could look 
in upon our suflerings, for sunly the sight 
would move him to help \is, if any thing couM 
be done. Live wornis crawled upon the bacon 
that was given us to eat. "It w all riijfitr we 
said; '* we are nothing hut Yankee pru>oners, or, 
Its the rebels usually speak ij^ us, '^liamncd 
YanJcees!' 

A party of three hundrejl more took up 
their pcrmannit abode with us on the Stii. 
One Innnln-d an<l twenty-fne were from 
JameH Island near (.'harlestun, and tlie re- 
mainder from Petei-sburg, Va, Those fmm 
the fonuer place were captured in a miserably 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 167 

sustained attack upon it, led by Gen. Davis. 
Five of the fortf/ boats tliat were to land their 
forces, they say, had touched the shore, when 
a hre of grape ar>d canister sent terror to the 
hearts of the rest, who beat a hasty and cow- 
ardly retreat, leaving their General and the 
men who had already landed to Ml into the 
hands of our enemies, and theirs. The follow- 
ing day, four hundred more names were en- 
tered on the roll-call. These, too, came from 
the vicinity of Petersburg, having been all 
the Avhile since the 27th of June in reaching 
us. Some of our old friends in Spear's Cavalry 
were in the crowd, to begin their experience 
of the horrors of rebel administration. 

Almost every day brought something to 
excite fresh disgust. A short time after the 
opening of the new apartment, I took a stroll 
over to its ground, and had a look at some of 
the new wells that were being dug there. 
One of them had been sunk to the depth of 
sixty-five feet, and still lacked completion. It 
was very difficult to obtain water in this man- 
ner, and the great mass of the prisoners had 
to depend for their supply on the little brook 



168 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

which ran throiiL'-li iIk' j)risoii, and which a 
great part ol' the tinu' was completdy centered 
tciih jloiiUng grease and offal from ilic cook-house, 
wliich was situated ju^t out^iidc the stockade, 
or coui*j<e nothing but dern uccessitg would 
have UKule tht'ni willing ever to have touchrd 
their lij)s to such a forbidding mixture. I low- 
grateful then would have been the clear water 
of some bubbling spring from the Northern 
hill-sides! How rrlVcsliing would have been 
a draught from some '^old onken huekcV' in a 
^^ j)ioss-€overed tvcll^* whose sparkling depths h;id 
not been stirred by unclean hands ! It wouM 
have seemed like a ^'God-send'' to many a 
weary prisoner, especially to the thirsty, fever- 
ptricken invalids. TJie sufiering occjusioned by 
lack in this respect can be seen in the follow- 
ing instance, which was oidy one of many. 
One morning the Ivcbel authorities issued an 
order to the effect tliat all who were too sick 
to walk should be carried outside the pri^on- 
gat<; by their commdes. Such a great number 
went \ip that they were not all allowed to go 
out, and tho>e wIkj did were h: ft nearly cdl day 
in tlic hnrniuy liot sun, before they were conveyed 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 169 

to the hospital, without a drop of water. We 
were told upon good authority, that about thirty 
of them c?/^t/ while lying there in that wretched 
condition. What might not pure^ cold ivater 
have done for some of tliem ? It was only a 
specimen of the utter heartlessness of our 
foes. We felt that we would be glad if the 
Buffering could be limited to those already in, 
instead of having it constantly augmented by 
new arrivals; but there seemed no prospect of 
an end, for the army at Petersburg were again 
dimmished by eleven hundred, while ours in- 
creased correspondingly. These men had to 
march eighty miles, in consequence of the de- 
struction of the railroads by our raiding parties. 
This looked like operating somewhat unfavor- 
ably upon Gen. Lee's communications. 

Sickness, now, was rapidly increasing. Many 
of the boys had been obliged to give up and 
go to the hospital. Uncooked rations, without 
salt or ivood to cook them with, were the order of 
the day. Hearing that Hitchcock of Co. C in 
our regiment, was sick, I went over to see 
him. He was almost gone. Not many hours 
after, he went to his long home, where no 



170 LiFK IN nr.nr.L prisons. 

rebel could tr()u])le him any inoiv. lie w;is n 
quiet, j^ood boy, and. we believe, ready lor his 
sr.nnnon^ to drpart. Thus, anotlier of our 
lUUnlxT has ended hi< nianhrs and contlici 
hi.s trials and sorrows. 

Stranirely difTeront scenes often follow each 
other in pri 0:1, anrl it was so at this time. The 
12th w;is a day of luuisual excitement. 

A c; ALLOWS 

]i;id ])i'on erected on the south side of tlu' 
prison, and it was said tlLit half a dozen of 
the canij>-rob!/crs, ^\\io had been tried and found 
guilty, were to be hunt^^ At haU-past four in 
the afternoon, Capt, Wirz came in with the sij\ 
under a rebel «ruard, and turned them over to 
the Police, or \'i;^ilance Conunittee. They 
had been coiivicti'd ol* murder and rohbcn/. and 
were sentenced to I)e hung xniiUUieif were daul. 

Upon givmi^^ ihein uj) li»r puui>hment, lie 
made tlie foUowing remarks: ^'Tlic^c nun 
have been tried and convicted by their own 
r Hows, and I now return tluMu to you in f\» 
good com ht ion as I received tliem. You can 
now do with them tt.s vour rca>on, iustiei", and 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 171 

mercy dictates. And may God protect both 
you and them." *■ 

The Cathohc priest begged hard that their 
lives might be spared, but finding himself un- 
successful in this, he turned his attention to 
their spiritual condition, and spent a season in 
prayer for them. They themselves seemed 
strangely unconcerned, apparently thinking it 
was simply an affair got up thoroughly to 
frighten them, and they appeared to cling to 
tlie idea, even until they had ascended the 
platform erected for their execution. As they 
were about mounting the scaffold, one of them 
broke from the men who Avere holding him, 
and ran through the crowd, across the swamp, 
to the opposite hill-side, as if by one desperate 
effort he would escape his fearful doom, that 
began to take on the semblance of reality. 
He v/as captured, however, and led back; and 
as he was securely placed with the other five, 
such forlorn ivretchedness, such miserable hopeless- 
w-ss, was visible in his countenance, as is im- 
possible to describe. Opportunity was given 
them to speak, if they had any thing they 
wished to say. They said a few words, bidding 



172 LiFi: IN ni:r>i:L niisoxs. 

tlieir comrades take wariiiiiLr liy their fate. 
One, niindl'iil ol' his rehitives in this hist hour, 
uisJK'tl ;i friend to eall upon them in New 
York City, iT hu should hve to get home. 
These ^vonN ended, meal-saeks were (h'awn 
over their heads, tlie fatal ropes were adjiLsted, 
and as the drop fell, the rope around the neck 
of the leader of the gang brake, thus setting him 
free. He was at once taken up. had it re-ad- 
jiisted, and was pushed off; the whole six were 
thus suddenly launched into tlie eteiiial woild. 
It was a sad s])e('ta('le to see their hodies 
swini^ini^ in tlie air, hut we felt it to he iust, 
and another illustration of th(» truth,' that 
"The way of transgressors is hard." 

Their depredations had hcen eni^ied on so 
long, and with such a hold hand; they had 
become so reckless of human life and prop- 
erty, it was necessary that an example should 
be inad(i of them in such a way as to make a 
Irt-sting impression upon all those who shouM 
be Himilarly incline <1. Prisoners wore coming 
in every day. Of course the crowd eomprisecl 
nil cla.ssos and dispositions, an<l it was desind>le 
to have some system of law an I unlr that 
would control the mjiaa. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 175 

The knowledge of such a fact ayouIcI, at 
least, inspire the newly-arrived with something 
of ivJwlesome fear, and the general tendency 
would be to keep in check a like outburst. 
Although the ''raging element" had been com- 
paratively smallj it had been productive of 
most unhappy consequences, and we longed 
to have it shorn of its power, and severe 
measures were alone requisite for its accom- 
plishment. 

Five or six hundred came from Petersburg 
before the day closed. 



CHAPTER V. 

J^EW ^^ TUNNELS.*' 



About this time the influx of prisoners was 
rapid and great. Six or seven hundred came 
in on the morning of the 12th. They brought 
us information that we could hardly credit : — 
that the remnant of our regiment was consol- 
idated with the 6th and 7th Conn. Volunteers, 
and were in the front at Petersburg. It migM 



o 

170 Lire IN RIXKL rnisoNS, 

he tnie, but of ono tliinir we were certain, 
tliat we were still coiuleiiiiK'd U) miii?li and 
meat, and it kept the idea of escape in con- 
stant agitiition. Having made tlie acquaint- 
ance of Sergt Maj. C , who was interested 

in tlie subject^ I finally decided to try '*tun- 
nLding" a«rain, in company with him, II. P — , 
and otheni. I had very little Iiojk^ of success, 
however, since we had been ballliMl ni so 
many attempts, but I called u]M^n .Tack F — , 
an old and exi)erienced hand in tlie business, 
and received so much ^;c)()d advice, I felt 
encouraged to go on, when ih(* favoniljlc time 
for working should appear. This was not at 
all hours, as hits been seen. Meantime, tlie 
usual routine was to be obs(.'rved with the 
siunc calnmess as ever. The meeting at even- 
ing was ujM)n our side of thi' j)i'ison, and con- 
ducted by Sergt. Card, of the lOtli Regular 
Infantry. It was an niton^sting season, and 
at its close, it Iwing very pleasajit, several 
iw prolonged our conversiition until nearl\ 
midnight, n*henrsing s<*enes and stories of the 
j/nsf, which came befoiv us j)leasantly and 
vividly. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 177 

We awoke early on the following morning, 
and went to work with the rest of the boys 
to build a mud stove, our old one having 
been destroyed by digging under it for roots 
to hum. When we completed it, it was a per- 
fect model in appearance, and attracted a great 
deal of attention. We only hoped that, for 
the sake of comfort, it might be as fair in its 
operations as in its looks. Great 7iews was 
in circulation that morning. The pirate "Ala- 
bama," it was said, was sunk hy three of our 
steamers, and we were told, also, that Gen. 
Lee had again invaded Maryland with his 
army. Various things seemed to exist to 
cause unwonted excitement. The Sergeants 
in charge of messes were all ordered outside, 
in obedience to orders from Capt. Wirz, who 
informed them that he had discovered an 
organized hody of six thousand men who had 
planned a 

NEW OUTBREAK, 

and he threatened if the attempt was made, to 

02}en icith his artillery upo7i the prison, and 

^'fire as long as there loas a man kicking!' 

Somsbody had humbugged him in fine style, 
8 



178 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

for no such thing was in contoniplatiun, niurh 
less in proccs,s of working. 

A little later In the day we were a little 
cxcittMl hy lira ring the ritU'd pieces, bearing 
on the pri-oi). very hiiddciily discharged. 
They were loacK-d witli blank ((trtrulf/es, as it 
proved, and no damage was done. Ininie(H- 
ately following tliese discharges, a great coni- 
motion was visihle in the rehel camps. The 
regiments fidl in at tlie double quick, and 
formed in line of hat tie around the stockade. 
All tlie pieces of artillery were manned, and 
"we thought our forces must surely he in the 
vicinity, hut such hopes were, a,s usual, hla.'ited, 
and we kMrncd that it was merely an atteuipt 
on the part of the Confederate authorities to 
«ec how ([uick they could get their trcMips out 
in ( ase we really shouhl ivy to force the 
sUjekadi'. Amid it all, the Captain so far 
Foftened a^ to j>romise that we might go out 
tiAer woo<l under guard, at the siime tinif 
acknowledging that "^hc knew we were suff'< > 
iiKj for Ity He spok<?, also, of our President. 
#i.H Mr. Lincf)ln, in thr course of his remarK 
aiul we th(night it quite an impmvenient on 



LIFE IN KEBEL PRISONS. 179 

the titles with which he had been wont to 
designate him. The next day our forces num- 
bered seventy more, who had been captured 
near AtLanta. They were bearers of positive 
new^s, to the effect that two corps of Gen. 
Sherman's army had crossed the Chattahoo- 
chee river, and that Athanta itself, and John- 
ston's army, w^ere in a tight jolace. Such infor- 
mation we were always glad to receive. It 
greatly encouraged us. There was a prayer 
meeting in the evening, as usual, but as it was 
the time for the newly organized company to 
commence the tunnel operation, Ave rej)aired 
to the spot, but circumstances being unfavora- 
ble, it amounted to nothing, and the prospect 
seemed to indicate that it would die out alto- 
gether. Probably past experience was not 
without its influence. 

Soon after roll-call, on the morning of the 
16th, a rebel Sergeant came in with an order 
from Capt. AYirz, for the Sergeant of our 
'^ninety'' to come out and rectify a mistake 
which had been made in the roll of names. 

Sergt. L being on the other side of the 

prison with his brother, I went out in his 



180 I.IFi: IN REBEL PRISONS. 

place an«l «li<l the rtM|uiml Imsiness. On my 
way back to the prison IVoiii tlic Captain's 
ollicc, 1 «iuictly .-lioiiklcrtHl a pine log, whicli 
lav invitinirlv lu-ar the road-side, and earrifd 
it in. For a wonder, the reSel otlicers made 
no objection to it. and we really oxulte<l in 
onr valnahle prize, lor our *Wi/;ir/^" had had 
no wood ^^iven them hy thr *-;v7>.s'" since tlie 
.'JOth of June, or )U(irh^ a niondi^iind uncooked 
rations had been distributed to us many times. 
About the only variety we had in those days 
ys'iis a little sorgJium inolassis with our (•«)rn 
meal. Salt, we concluded, was a scarce article 
in the confederacy, since wc would pass four 
whole days in succession without seeing an 
While our temporal wants were thus poorly 
supplied, we were not wholly denied .spiritual 
Ibod. It was a blessed consolation that no 
earthly foe could interrupt our communion 
with the heavenly world, lie who visited 
Jacob with bright visions, as he lay uj)on his 
stony pillow, coidd also make a Bethel for us in 
our place of exile. \\r \\\u\ preachlnfj. Ehh i 
Shcphnrd, ft Sergeant in the DTth Ohio Heg 
and ft prisoner with us, ofliciated. Ju.st alter 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 181 

one of our quiet sunsets, we gathered together 
and he gave us a splendid discourse upon the 
text, "Fight the good fight of faith." lie 
drew a comparison between the Christian and 
the soldier^, and carried it through in an admi- 
rable manner. At the close of the meeting 
four came forward for prayers — one backslider, 
one new convert, and two who were just begin- 
ning to feel the infinite importance of eternal 
things, and their relation to them. How 
strange it seemed to be enjoying such privi- 
leges in so terrible a place. 

The 18th was a sad day for us, for D , 

one of our beloved comrades, died. At about 
five, P. M. I went to see him, and found him 
in a dying state, unconscious^ and breathing 
very hard. I spoke to him, but there came no 
response. He had spoken his last word upon 
earth. I left him a few moments to finish 
cooking my scanty meal, and on my return 
found him rapidly sinking. He lingered until 
about sunset, and then passed away. It was 
a touching sight to look upon; the sober, 
thoughtful faces of the few comrades Vvdio 
were at his side ; the blanket thrown back to 



182 LIFE Vi REDEL PRTSONS. 

admit as much fivsli air as possible, and al)Ove 
all. \hv «:la/.rd ryrs and vacant I'xprcssion of 
our dead hrotlirr. .lack-on, of Co. 15, con- 
ducted a short service over the body, l)efore it 
wa.s carried out of the j/risou fjaie. A chap- 
ter from the hiMe — a prayer — and the funeral 
services of our friend were o\ cr. 

Such impressions, however, were soon 
cfliicod, by the new and excitiiiLT lo|>ics that 
\vere continually coming up. It was so in 
this case. Jiumors l)e_ian to l>c in cinMilation of 
the nearness of some of our forces, and almost 
all were whispering, '*Sometliin»^'s up." The 
rebels ])osted their men about the prison, a- 
if in readiness of some exjiected attack. 
Simultaneous with this came up an exciting 
matter among the prisoners themselvea Some 
of them started 

^ J'KTITIoV, 

urging the President, and Governors of Stati*- 
to procure for us a speedy release, cither b 
parole or exchange. When it came to m 
knowledge, I had a talk with Sergt. Ia^c about 
it, and we both came to tlic conclusion that it 
waa afoolU/t '[(J'"''f\ and one not calculated to 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 183 

effect anj'tliing in getting us oiit^ while, at 
the same time, it would materially lower 
our standing as soldiers and meUy both 
with the government and the people. Ask- 
ing the former to release us, seemed to 
imply that it could do it, but did not choose 
to, and I was not quite willing to believe that. 
It was true our number was becoming less 
every day, by death. Some were being con- 
stantly released in this w^ay. A day or two 

after we had taken leave of D , we 

mourned the departure of another dear friend 

and comrade, C , of Co. A. He died in 

the early part of the day, and although he 
was unconscious, and left no dying testimony, 
yet we knew from his previous life that his 
peace was made with God, and that he had 
gone to be the willing inhabitant of another 
sphere. 

Such were the scenes transpiring within. 
Without, all was hurry and excitement, for 
some cause or other. The rebels were busy 
as bees in throwmg up earth-works, in plain 
sight of us. Trains were coming up from 
below, loaded with troops, and a large number.- 



184 MFi: IN Ri:nEL prison's. 

of new tints wciv j)it(h(Ml nr:\v the railroad 
Htatioii, and things generally indicated uncom- 
mon stir and bustle. Tlu' inforencc we vei 
naturally dri'W IVoin it was, that the Yankee 
raidei's were nearer than had been reported, 
but we could not tell. They worked away 
busily upon their ])reastworks, inakinic them 
as formidable as they eoulil. As a train came 
in at eleven oVlock at night, and the whistle 
was heard, tlie "IJehs" greeted it with loud 
cheers, but there was ii sudden cessation when 
they lialtcd, wliich we attributed to the recep- 
tion of news that was not very welcome to 
them. 

Seventy-five prisoners came in during t!i 
21st, from den. Shennan's army. Ono of theui 
was placed in our '•ninety," to till the vacancy 

caused by the death of C . He \vt\n a 

member of the 11th Kentucky (';ivalry. and 
wius in Atlanta thr morning before his entran< 
to prison, at which time* most of our army had 
cros.Hed the river, and our skirmish liiu' wi 
but three mih's fmm the city. The niilroad 
\ipon which lie found conveyance to Anderson- 
ville, wafl cut an liour aflenvards by a party of 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 185 

our cavalry. It was said, also, that our forces 
were operating in the vicinity of Columbus, 
Ga., and destroying all the flouring-mills in 
their way. We were not particularly ^lubilant 
over this, for it seemed quite likely to affect 
our rations, and we could ill brook a reduction 
in this matter. We had hoped that some of 
them would come to our liberation, but if there 
was a way in which we could accomplish our 
own, we would wait for nothing. The HiinneV 
had finally been carried through, and was so 
nearly ready we counted on passing through 
it at night; but just before sunset the "Rebs" 
made the discovery. 

Four of the boys were at work in it at the 
time, and of course were caught ; but instead 
of meeting with punishment, the Rebel Quar- 
termaster gave them each a double ration for 
the skillful manner in which they had con- 
structed the "tunnel." It seemed of little use 
for the men to think of getting out, but they 
were coming in by the hundred. Six hundred 
came on the morning after our attempted 
escape. They Avere a part of Wilson's raiders, 
and were captured on the 29th of June, but 



ISO LIFK IN REBEL PRISO^i^. 

had ii'mcc been detained at Richmond on ac- 
count of the interruption of their raih'oad 
faeihties. Wliile thin«,rs wiiv thus proceeding, 
the rebels were usin^^ all \Uriv available time 
for the strentrthening of their position. The 
result of thiir lai)or soon became apparent in 
the long line of fortification which appeared a 
little way fioni the stockade, and directly in 
front of it. ]*]\ idcntly, it wa^ the intention of 
the enemy to use us ivs a shield for themselves 
in case of an attiick,for an assault could not be 
made on them without exposing us to the fire 
of our own men. It would be a sorry day for 
them, we thought, if they should undertake to 
commit so dastardly a drrd. Things at this 
time were hard for us. A small allowance of 
coni-brcad was our principal article of diet, 
1 began to look about me to see if there was 
any tiling in my pos.ses.sion with which I could 
part, that I might have something a little dif- 
fcii'iit. My strength wa.s failing, owing in 
great measure to the miserable and insutfieient 
fare, and a change of food neemed absolutely 
neccH.sary. I thought of \\\y geld jycu, that liad 
done mo daily Hervice, and rei5olved to sell 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 187 

that. Thus decided, I went forth to see if I 
could raise money for my need in this way, 
but the first day my efforts were all unavail- 
ing. It would not do to let courage die out, 
so I said, "Perhaps I will be more successful 
to-morrow;" and so it proved, for I finally 
succeeded in selhng it to a Rebel Lieutenant 
for three bars of soap, I then sold the soap for 
five dollars and twenty cents in "greenbacks," 
retaining a good sized piece for my own use. 
The following morning I w^ent over to the 
Rebel Sutler's, bright and early, and mvested 
my little fortune in beans and salt, and for 
that day I had something good to eat, in com- 
parison with my usual food. I felt much bet- 
ter every way, and was convinced that it was 
nothing but gradual starvation that had made 
me feel so weak. Oftentimes, the quality of 
what httle we did have was such as to destroy 
even the small appetite we had. I not only 
managed to obtain some variety of food by 
my trade, but it really varied the monotony 
of prison life a little by my speculations 
therein; but what would my parents say, I 
said to myself; if they should see their only 



188 LIFE IN REBEL PIUSONS. 

% 

son seati'd mii [\ir i:runii«l, si'llin«^ hCiins by tli<; 
pint, and loiully rxtollini^ tlirir excellent qual- 
ities. It was ji eoinlition of things best appre- 
ciated by tbose who were receiving nothing 
but three spoonfuls of sorLrliuui molasses and 
less than half a loaf of corn bread to live on 
for twenty-four houi*s. 

We heard from one of the clerks out*<idc 
that Atlanta had really fallen into our hands, 
and that eighteen thousand of the* prisoners 
were to be removed to other prisons in ditVer- 
ent parts of the South, and most earnestly did 
we hope that we might be of the number, 
since things were growing worse and wor>e 
with us. The petition schenu^ was not yet 
abandoned. One of the principal actors in 
the aflair came around one morning, with the 
much-talked-of document, and requested our 
action in the matter. 

Sergt. L«'vjmghn ordered the "ninety" to 
fall in, the petition was read aloud so that all 
could hear, and then we were called upon to 
vote whether we woidd give it our indoi*semen! 
or not. When the **ayes" were demanded, wo/ a 
man responded to them; ])ut the **nayH" were 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 189 

given tuith a ivill. Mr. Petitioner did not find 
it convenient to stay about our quarters long, 
and we missed liim very soon. The majority 
of the prisoners, however, were in favor of the 
measure, although our vote was so decidedly 
against it. 

Our prison army received reinforcements to 
about ^^Q hundred on tJie morning of the 
27th. A greater part of them Avere "one 
hundred days" men, and had been taken by 
Early in his Pennsylvania raid. They came 
in with their knapsacks, but the cavalry who 
were with them, some of Wilson's party, were 
stripped and robbed as cavalry usually are. 
The rebels always seemed determined to 
wreak special vengeance on these men. I 
have seen them come in hatless, shoeless, with- 
out even their coats or blouses. They brought 
the story of exchange that was to take effect 
in August. It hardly seemed that these men 
could have any object in fabricating such 
news, but it had proved false so many times, 
we did not dare believe it then. The next 
day a thousand more made their entrance 
through the gate that was always open to 



IJO LlFi: IN- 111 r.lL l'RIS0N5. 

receive, but never lo dc^^ait, A better lookini^ 
set of men, and men better provided \vitli 
thin^^<<, hud not come in since the Plymouth 
garnst)n entered in May. Neail^\ all of them 
had their knapsacks and blanket.s, besides a 
new suit of Uncle Sum's blue. Why the rebel- 
allowrd tlu'in to come in ^vitll()ut robbing 
them at all, was iiiori' than we coiiM accoimt 
lor. .Inst before they came in at the prison- 
gate, the "Kebs" in the fort around the Ca]v 
tuin's quarters fire<l a solid sliot across th<' 
prison, directly over our heads. A Large 
crowd of us had gatherecl near the ,L'"ate, to 
wutch the new-<!omei*s, and the "Johmiies," 
thinking we might possibly seize upon th< 
opportunity to make a break and get out, had 
fired over us in this manner to intimidate us. 

What a howl of derision went up from "the 
doomed thirty thousund!" 

iSoon after this, a line of poles was plunted 
through the j)ris()n, to whieh were nailed 

WIIITK FLAGS, 

not 08 a HJgn of surrender, but a.s a wannng 
to u», that no crowd hhoidd aj)prouch nearer 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 191 

the gate than those, under penalty of being 
fired upon with artillery, — that is, when pris- 
oners w^ere being marched in. Their utility 
might have been quickly tested, for several 
hundred more came in the same day, and, like 
their immediate predecessors, they were pro- 
vided with blankets, and well prepared to 
"stand grief," if things external would conduce 
to it. 

The latter part of the month, the rebels 
were moving around in camp, endeavoring to 
entice prisoners outside to work at shoemaJcin^ 
for the so-called "Confederate" government. 
They had done this before, and we then 
thought they would be careful how they did 
it again j but they had much to do about this 
time, and no doubt they thought it would be 
very desirable to have help. If they were 
successful in obtaining it, I am ignorant of it. 
They still continued to work faithfully upon 
their fortifications, not discontinuing their 
labor, even for the Sabbath. This was strange 
to us, for they had usually paid some regard 
to the observance of holy time, and we won- 
dered what so much preparation could mean. 



102 UFK IN nr.iiKL prisons. 

We could hardly think that they would takr- 
so much pains, and put llicniselves tx) m much 
trouhlo, a.s to do it simply to prevent an ouf- 
break on our part. We tiierefore conjectured 
it might bo as a place for Hood to fall hack 
upon in case of an emergency in his history. 
They felled an iinniense nund)er of ])in«' trees, 
so that the landscape about us began to pre- 
sent (juite a barren appearance, and this 
seemed to indicate the fact that they wishe(l 
uninterrupted range for their artillery, for 
some cause or other, but of coui^e we couhl 
know nothing, until the actual accoinplish- 
nu'ut of a thing had made it existing fact. 
()ur information was mostly received through 
the newly arrived j)risoners, but we would 
sometimes gain a little Ironi some one of the 
rebel guard with whom wi' were thrown in 
contact In a convei*sation 1 bad with on(\ at 
one time, he remarked to me : 

"1 had a boy who was a prisoner with your 
])eople at the North" "Indeed," said 1, "how 
was he indtclf' ^ \ cry kindly, sir, very 
kindly," he replied. "Did you receive letter 
from him wliile liu wwi iii pri;>0Q ?" I conliuued. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 193 

^^Yes, sir, he wrote to us and we vrvote to 
him." "He probably fared much better than 
we do in this prison," said I, "did he not?" 
With great frankness he answered, "Oh! yes, 
sir, — I reckon you fare pretty hard in there, 
but we aint to blame for it. The ' Old Cap- 
tain' is as hard on us as he is with you. A 
heap of us were taken right off our farms, 
and we left the crops standing, with nobody 
to tend 'em but the women folks'' This is 
the way, then, I thought, that these men are 
conscripted. No wonder that " Jeff" manages 
to keep his army full. Our guards, generally, 
were an ignorant and superstitious class of 
men, and spoke the Southern dialect in all its 
native purity. They would sometimes ask us, 
"What makes you 'uns come down here to 
fight we 'uns?" and then would follow the 
confident assertion, "If you 'uns had staid at 
home there would have been no war." They 
had no proper understanding of the true 
merits of the case at all. They seemed to 
think that we had come South merely to dis- 
possess them of their property. Many of 
these were poor whites, and although they do 



194 LiFi: IN nr.ur.L trisons. 

not own shives iheniselves, ihcy .^tand up as 
firmly for it as the more wealthy and iiitelH- 
t^ent. One of the hitter, a Kcntuckian, and a 
Surgeon in the Conlederate army, said to me 
one day, "1 heHeve tliat slaviry is a divine 
instiUition. 'J'he negroes are phiced in our 
liands, and \ve will he held aecountahle at the 
hist day, lor the maimer in which we have 
treated them." I wondered if all t(jok that 
view of it, espeeially tlie owner of that slave 
I had seen so unmereifully heaten a morning 
before. The Suri^^eon, himself, said that ho 
'•brushed his up a little when they needed it.'* 
Indeed, the whole system, say what tin 
might, is one oi* eruelty and barbarism, and 
Avho does not know it ? 

OiK litlle alliiir ha])|)i'n(Ml about this time, 
which we considered the "eheekiest" thing 
that had been done by the ''Johnnies." It was 
an attemjit to .secure the Hcn'iees of our men 
as artilleri.>ts, probably to drill their ignonmt 
conscripts at the guns. A number of their 
Sergeant* were sent, and circulated among 
our men, ostensibly for this ])ur|)ose, but we 
thought it an instance of cool audacity on 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 105 

their part. Soon after this was another speci- 
men of rebel doings. A man, professing to 
be a Confederate Chaplain, came into prison, at 
the request, as he said, of Gen. Winder, and 
read an extract from the New York Herald, 
to a large crowd, regarding the matter of 
exchange. The article stated that the com- 
missioners had met several times, and that 
through the tact cf Col. Mulford, all existing 
obstacles had been removed, and that an 
immediate exchange was more than probable. 
After reading this he held a religious service. 
Whether he really believed what he had read, 
or whether the whole thing was perpetrated 
to raise our hopes, and keep us quiet, was 
more than we could tell. " It would not be 
strange, if there were none other object than 
this," was the thought that filled many minds, 
so faithless had we become in everything 
they said. 

On the 2d of August, it was reported, and 
denied, also, that about two hundred of the 
sick in the hospital had been paroled, and 
were to be sent to our lines. Our men were 
dying. Three or four of our o^yn regiment 



19G UKK IN IJilEL rnisoNs. 

li:ul passed away wiihin a few days. O 
tlistress ami exposure was great I mana^^« 
to buy a pair of shoes of one of the new! 
arrived prisoners, for my own eonifort, hut it 
ua.s the lirst time 1 had worn any for tuo 
months. We were often visited hy sevi 
thunder storms, and it was not a tlii:. 
unknown lur the h;j-htnin;_r to strike a tall 
pine tree in close ])ro\iinity to us: heside, we 
had nothing to shield us from the rain, for o 
blanket tents had come to he of little woi 
now, except to shelter us from the hiu'ni: 
heat of the sim. Tliey had heeome sa«lly woi n. 
and were almost no protection from theston" 
One could hut notice, at this tinie, the ehan_ 
Avhich had taken j>lace in us all. When \ 
first entered the pri>on. we thouirht the ti;. 
would not he \()ti.: that we should have tO 
Stay, and we tried to pass the tinu' away na 
plea.Hiintly as possilile. Fine, clear evenin 
\vc would ^rather together and sing, hut now 
everybody looked rare-worn, and the boys 
moved about (juietly and siidly. It was sur- 
prising, also, to see how many of the men 
were victims of insanity -, tlioso wlio iiud 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 197 

become so in that place, we could scarcely call 
anything less than a hell ui^on earth. 

One young man, of excellent education, 
and evidently of good birth, while in this sad 
condition, would go down to the little brook 
nearly every day, at noon, when the heat of 
the sun was most intense, and taking off his 
clothes, or more appropriately rags, would 
wade backward and forward, but rarely, if 
ever, washing himself Seeing him one day, 
while performing his accustomed round, I said 
to him, "Why don't you wash and come out, 
and not stay there in the sun ?" His hopeless 
reply was, "I am waiting for the water to 
become clear." Fooi^ felloio ! It never be- 
came clear to him. Another man would con- 
stantly imagine that he was some sort of an 
animal, and he Vv^ould strip himself of all 
clothing, and persist in wallovv^ing through the 
swamp on his hands and knees. Still another 
occupied his time in making curious sketches, 
in which rebels and devils would figure in 
intimate companionship, but not so very crazy 
there, we thought. He must have been a 
man of study at homC; for he was well versed 



198 Mn: IN ia:ni:L prisons. 

in history, ami could converse iluenlly iijv 
almost any scientific subject, — almost t 
readily sometimes, lor he never knew ^\\u n 
to stop, when once started. 

Melancholy as these things were, they wci. 
mild compared with what I saw afterward, — 
that of a Hr'nifj indu htlnfj dtvourcd htj mn'j- 
(jotH. Parts of liis Ixxly were eaten until tli 
liad heeonu* raw and Moody, and they could 
even he seen issuiuL'" iVoin his eyes and mouth. 

lie hrl.Ml-ed to Co. A, of the olM N. V. \\v 

and he came to this terrible state throu 
sickness, exposure and ne«xlect. I then 
thon«rht if I should live to get North, I would 
never speak of these horroi-s. for they would 
seem too much to believe, but tbey were tho 
solenui realities of our pri-on lile, as will Im 
a!)undant]y coufnimMl by hnndre(ls of otiiei 
1 iiad a feeling (juite in syuij)athy with that 
of the iuniiortal poet, when he wiX)to, 

*• Hat that I «m forhid 

To trll the nccnM* »»f my prt«on-houM*, 

I roiihl B laic unfoltl, «hoM« li;*litcfft worfl 

Would hiirrow up thy noul ; frrrtc thy younf^hlood; 

Make thy two rym, likriitJini, utart from thrir uphcrot; 

Thy knniia-fl ninl coinliinod lock* to part. 

And each itarlirular hair to utatid mi end, 

Uko quilN u|ion ih* fretful porcupine.** 



LIFE IN REBEL TIIISONS. 199 

A number of cavalry-men were captured in 
the attack upon Macon, and found their way 
to our dwelHng place, or rather had it found 
for them, on the 2d of the month, it now 
being August. The city was receiving a brisk 
shelling when they left, and they reported 
Maj. Gen. Stoneman taken, with a number of 
his men. Thus did we obtain an occasional 
glimpse of the battling world in which we 
were deeply interested, and in this way expe- 
rienced a slight disturbance in the even tenor 
of our thoughts, that otherwise might have 
found themselves tending to stagnation. 

Coming in contact with one of the boys 
who had an old Bible, I found upon the back 
part of it, in almost obliterated characters, the 
following lines, which I thought worthy of 
preservation, although ignorant of the author- 
ship. It was certainly richly suggestive of 
that holy tenderness of love, that sometimes 
dwells in the heart like a fragrant flower, 
which blesses with its sweetness those who 
come nearest to it : 

" Forget thee ? If to dream by 

Night, and muse on thee by day; 
If all the worship deep and wild, 

A mto'^s heart can pay ; 



200 LiKi: IN iu:iu:l nusoNS. 

If pravcrt AMrrnd for tho« 

To Heaven's i)roieciing power; 

If winpcd thought that fleet. 

To ihco, a ihouHJiiui in au hour; 
If bu.HV fancy blending thee 

With all my future lot : 
If this thou callcst /or7r//i»t7, 

Then indeed art thou forgotJ^ 

Kqually origiiKil, no doubt, Init not quito in 
the same style, is the follo\vinL^ written by w 
**secesh" younir lady to bcr lovrr. The letter 
which contained the l)rilliant ellu^ion was 
fonnd by one of our men. 

*'Ti'< hard for you'unfl to live in campj«, 
'Ti.H hard for you 'uns to fight ihe Yank.^, 
'Tis hard for you 'uns and we'uua to jwrl, 
Now you 'uii.i \\&A wc 'una hcarla." 

For some reason unknown to us, au altera- 
tion was made in the line of white Hags, soon 
after they were stationed in our midst; somo 
were moved nearer to the stockade, while 
others were left remainin«; on the old line. 

It is vltv noticeable how little 

TIU: KKUEL FLAO 

w diiiplaycd at the South. Om* might almost 
travel from one end of tlic Confederacy to the 



LIFE m REBEL TRISONS. 201 

other, without seeing one, while at the North 
the " Stars and Stripes " are floating from nearly 
every prominent public building, and often- 
times from private dwellings. "Perhaps," we 
thought, " they are ashamed of their ill-omened 
emblem," or, what would be quite as likely, 
bunting might be scarce. But there is a rea- 
son that lies deeper than these things, which 
accounts for the difference. The people of 
the North have long been accustomed to asso- 
ciate their dearest interests, as a people, with 
the flag of their country. To them it is the 
symbol of everything that is just and true, 
and in its starry folds lies hid that peculiarly 
stimulating power which kindles the flame of 
loyalty, and makes them of strong heart and 
unconquerable will in the day of struggle, 
when its triumph is called in question. They 
are jealous of its honor, and rather than see 
it insulted and torn from its rightful position, 
they will do and dare until death in its defense. 
It has come to be almost an household idol in 
every Northern home, and children are imbib- 
ing a strange love for it, that will tell upon 
their devotion to country in their future his- 
9 



202 LIFK IN IIUIV.L PRISdNS. 

torv. To the soldier and the patriot it has a 
wonderful significance. To what holy heroism 
it moves him ! — to what deeds of valor it in- 
cites him ! What suhlimc instances of faith- 
fulness have we seen in many of the color- 
hearers of our regiments I We have seen 
them steadily marching on in the face of dan- 
ger, choosing to give their lifc^hlood rather 
than prove recreant to the trust committed 
unto them, and all because they loved the 
cause which the flag symbol izxxl. 

Not thus with tlie South. They have none 
of this all-pervading apj)re('iation. Their 
newly-constructed emblem does not appeal to 
the heart with much of power, for it has too 
weak a hold n])(m existence itself, to he ns a 
])ledge or basis of anything to come, — and bt^ 
sides, it means too little; it is too narrow, and 
declares the selfishness and arrogiuice in which 
it had its origin. T(» live, it must be planted 
in the hearts of men, spring up, mature, nud 
hear fruit and yield its rich harvest of bless- 
ing, or, if this seems far-fet<*he(l, it must ho 
iriomughiy tested, and made to show its adapt- 
ation and iitnciw for the wants of men, before 



LIFE IN KEBEL PRISONS. 203 

it can be readily received by them, calling 
forth their love and veneration. 

A squad of prisoners, about one hundred in 
number, came into prison on the 4th, and by 
their being stripped of everything in their 
possession, we concluded they had belonged 
to a raiding party. The old adage that "Mis- 
ery loves company," was out of place with us. 
We could not but deeply commiserate the 
condition of every new one that came among 
us. It was nothmg but an introduction to a 
life of wretchedness that could hitve no coun- 
terpart, it seemed, upon the face of the earth. 
One principal topic of conversation, forced 
ujoon us by our necessity, was, "something 
good to eat." I remembered having read that 
Lieut. Strains' party, in their perilous expedi- 
tion across the Isthmus of Panama, when al- 
most dying with starvation, were accustomed 
to assemble themselves aromid a fire, and lux- 
uriate in imaginary feasts. Little did I then 
think that I should ever do a similar thing, — 
for the idea of a stay in any place, that would 
incline me to it, was something that never en- 
tered into my calculations at all ; but we were 



204 LIFE IX REBEL PRISOXa. 

})mnght to it, nii«l tlirn* was no roliof, and wc 
tliorofore resorted tn a like expedient. If anv 
one knew of a ran* dish, soniethinir particu- 
larly nice, lie would edily the rest by entering 
into a minute description of its ingredients, 
manner of cooking, &c., and anything extra 
would he noted down hy those who had dia- 
ries. In consequence of these, 1 had in tiie 
hack part of my diary a tempt iuir array of 
receipts for making j)ot-j)ies, j)udding's, kc, 
while in reality I was almost starve(l, lacking 
even necessaries, — much more luxuries. 

C , of ^'o. n oi' our regiment, died 

n])out this tiuu'. He was a professor of reli- 
gion, an«l, I think, a memher of our Hegi- 
mental cjiurcji. 

This church was orgaui/cd f)\- Chaplain 
Dixon, of the ICth Conn. Reg.. au<l was calliMl 
ti**Chrisfirni Assocuitiony being composed of 
tho.Hc who had hren church-memhers at houi' 
find those also were received into its fellowsliij> 
who experienced a diange of heart while in 
the nnnv. 'riicrc were a larvre number of 
thef^e. 

It was not srct.iiian at all, but included 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 205 

every denomination, even all that loved the 
Lord, without regard to name. 

While we were at Portsmouth, Ya., we had 
a chapel, built mainly by the subscriptions of 
the men, though there were officers who were 
interested and materially aided, by their con- 
tributions, the worthy cause. It would have 
been thought a rude structure at home, but it 
answered the purpose of its construction very 
well, and we had very many happy seasons 
there. A number of ladies were visiting their 
husbands in the regiment at the time of its 
erection, and taking an interest in the object, 
they gathered together and did what was in 
their power to add to its comfort and neat- 
ness. They covered the preacher's desk with 
blue muslin* and when all was done the edifice 
was dedicated. It was on the Sabbath, and 
^Ye Chaplains were present, a number of 
ladies, and a great crowd of soldiers. Rev. 
Mr. Smith, of the 8th Conn. Reg., preached 
the sermon. 

Besides the religious services to which it 
was primarily devoted, one evening of every 
week was spent in it in debating topics of the 







200 LIFK IN \\VA\KL PRISONS, 

(lav wliicli excited freneral interest : r«)r a 
*• Temperance and Debating Society" had been 
formed in the rejriment previously to tiiis. 
All mcmbei*8 thereof signed a pledge of absti- 
ncn(** from intoxicating liciuors, which was 
binding nj)()n tlu'iii wliiU' thoy were in the 
army. 

On the night of the (»tli, another of our 
boys passed away from cartli, — a slender little 
fellow, only fifteen years of age, who never 
Alght to have been admitted into thi' service. 
He was a brave boy, and felt quite proud th.i' 
he was enduring his imi)risonment as well as 
he seemed to for a time, but sickness seized 
upon him, and lie died. 

'Hie next day we said among oui*selves, 
^ IJedt/i, notJihitj hut dtfifh here!'* — for wc 
were called iij)()ii to mourn tiie di'parture of 
another dear comrade, ('orj)oral Flower, of 
Hartford, Conn. llr eloped his eyes upon 
earthly scenes just at twilight, and his name, 
stricken from the n»ll-<'all of ])rison, wjis added 
to the long list of sleeping iieroes treasured in 
the country's annals, and to that otiier list 
above, from which no name of earth will be. 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 207 

found wanting. Alas ! who could send the sad 
tidings to the family circle he had left ; who 
tell his bosom companion and fatherless ones 
of their loss ? Such duty is mournful for any 
one to perform. Not only they, in this case, 
but all who had known him, would long hold 
him in cherished remembrance for his amiable 
qualities and manly virtues. 

We held a short funeral service over his 
body before it was carried out, — the last and 
best tribute of respect we could give, and this 
we cheerfully accorded to all of our regiment 
who died in prison. Hardly were the services 
ended, before we learned that another. Cor- 
poral B ; had died also. We performed 

similar service again, with his mortal remains 
before us ; and he was carried out to the dead 
house, and the men who bore his body thither 
were told that two more were dead in the hos- 
pital. What a day's record was that! It 
seemed heart-rending to see our comrades suf- 
fering and dying on every side of us, while 
we were utterly powerless to do anything 
towards alleviating their pain. We felt that 
this was worse than starvation. 



20S LIFE IN UKIillL PRISONS. 

Another prisoner also ended his days in a 
dilVerent manner, being shot, or murdered, !• 
the rebel guanl. The fatal fjullet missed tli^* 
pei>()n it was intended Tor, and pierced his 
head, while three feet away from the dead 
line. This, it will be remembered, was not 
the only instance in which tlu' innocent suf- 
fered for the ^Miilty, in the eat^eniess of the 
guaixl to secure a victim to their L'"l<>ry. 

The Piehcl (Quartermaster told us on the 
7Ui, that he had seen a dispatcli from th • 
Confederate (lovermnent to (Jeneral Winder, 
orde'-in<^ him to commince paroling the pris- 
oners at once, or, at least, maki* j)reparatioii 
for it Still we said, ''A rebel lii', and noihii: 
more," Ibr past and sad experience had tau;i:h 
u>; tliat the word of a rebel oilicer meant littl' 
if anything. 

ThirtA'cn men, however, were taken from the 
first detachment out of pri.H(m, and instructed 
to t4ike their things with them and bid their 
friends '•Ciuoil-bye," .is they would see them 
no more. It certainly looked a little like ex- 
change, hut why not take a larger number it 
tlmt wa« the case? Another thing looked 



LIFE IN KEBEL PRISONS. 209 

as if they mtcnded to keep us a while lon- 
ger, — some of us, at least. 

They had before had the building of some 
barracks in contemplation, and the frame of 
one was now brought in, ready to be put up 
very soon ; so we were sure they did not in- 
tend the prison to be wanting in inmates a 
while longer. 

The 9th day of that sultry August month 
was a day long to be remembered in Camp 
Sumter, for it almost seemed that the elements 
of heaven were commissioned for our rescue, 
and that in spite of armed soldiers we should 
go free. About noon, a 

TERRIFIC RAIN STORM 

commenced and continued nearly the whole 
afternoon. It must have extended over a 
large tract of country, for very soon the little 
brook that ran through the prison increased 
in size, until it became a rushing torrent, cov- 
ering the whole of the swamp, and tearing 
through the camp with irresistible force. 
The stockade was soon undermined, and fell 
over in six different places, but, of course, the 
alarm was given in what the rebels would call 



210 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

"right smart quirk," lor two of the guns in the 
fort about tlic hcad-ciuarters of Capt Wizz, 
were at once ilisehargetl as a signal for them 
to rallv, and instantly tlieir whole force out- 
side fell in under arms, and took position in 
front of these pip^, to keep the ** Yankees" 
in. It was some little consolation to many to 
see them stand there in the ])Ouring rain, and 
>ve cared little if they had to continue their 
patchings through the night under the same 
dispensation. The large tiud)ers which had 
composed the stockade, came floating down 
the stream, and as wood was an almo.'jt price- 
le.»vs treasure to the men, many of them 
plunged into the angry waters, at the risk of 
their lives, to secure, if possible, the much 
coveted article. Many were successful, but even 
then, after all their risk and their labor, tin 
were not allowiMJ to cut it nj). nn<l«'r penalty- 
of the uiioje eanij) lo-ing their rations i'nv \\\ 
days. W'c cnnld ill afioi'd to dispense with 
our onlinary fare, if we thought of remaining 
in the terrestrial sphere, although that day it 
was 'nothing nuue than a few boiled beans, 
cooked without salt, and full of dirt 



U f 



i 'l/V 




LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS 21^ 

The rebels worked faithfully and steadily 
until morning, to close the openings which the 
heavens made for us, and at that time things 
were mostly replaced, so as to appear in their 
old condition, and let in three hundred more 
prisoners from Gen. Sherman's army. 

Left to themselves, the inanimate forces of 
nature w ould have opened a highway for our 
exodus, but even they w^ere checked in the 
attempt. The time had not come. 

"How poor are they who have not patience." 

In everything pertaining to our earthly lot, 
w^e w^ere as poor as mortals could well be, and if 
there w^as any wealth in the cultivation of the 
graces, we might as well observe them, for 
there was no growing better in any other 
direction. If there was any advantage in 
being tested, one might surely realize all the 
benefit accruing from that, for w^e had been 
subject to the crucible a long time, and the 
true metal could but be manifest, if there was 
any to be seen. It is true, we were weary of 
pacing our little round, and longed ^or freedom 
— ^uc\\ freedom as w^e had once known, and in 
thinking of it, the language of Young seemed 



211 UFK IN REBEL PRISONS. 

not extravagant to apply to it in connection 
Avitli our relations thereto. 

•* Art ihou nol dcan-r lo my eyes tlian light ? 
Dosi thou nol circulate through all my vcina. 
Mingle with Life, aiid form my very Soulf" 



CHATTER VI. 



IIOTES AND FEARS. 



Tm: Itoys who went up at sick-call <m the 
morniiiLT ot* the Huh, to receive their prescrip- 
tions IVoiu tiie Surgeons, saw a meniher of 
our regiment, who had heen detailed to work 
in the cook-house, and had a long ccmvei-sa- 
tion with him, with reference to our afTaii^s. 
Tiirough him we learned that our Lieutenant 
Colonel was exchanged, with the rest of the 
oflicers wlio were sent from Macon to ('liarle»- 
ton, S. C, and also that Gen. Winder had heen 
heard to say that ])aroling would couunence 
among \\» on the 15th of the moiidi. If our 
ofTirors had really heon tickete(l for the North, 
it really neemed there was h(>j)e for us also. 
It wa.H true **dog day" weather. We were 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 215 

having heavy showers of ram frequently, and 
the crowds of men, unsheltered, were rapidly 
becoming diseased, and fast dying. Small 
numbers still continued to come in, many 
of them from cavahy parties, who had been 
thoroughly robbed. The following day Avas 
the anniversary of my soldier life, and in 
view of it I made this record in my diary : 
"Two years ago to-day I entered the ser- 
vice of my country, and I can honestly say 
now, / am not sorry that I enlisted, although 
I am ^in durance vile.' " 

CONFIDENCE 

in the justness and importance of our cause 
had not faltered in all the days of our 
exile. We could not go heart and hand in 
sustaining the government, as we had done, 
but we could go heart and soul, .and that we 
generally did. It is true, that with our feel- 
ings of hope and confidence were mingled 
those of pain and sadness, because of the fear- 
ful reduction of our numbers by death. Upon 
an average, up to this time, one had died 
every day of the month, and others were very 
sick, and evidently sinking. At this rate, if 



L'lO LIFE IN RF.IIKL PRISONS. 

wc should remain prisoners, it ^^()ul(l not be 
long before nearly nil our rcixiuunt wuiilil be 
.sleeping the sleep iliat knows np waking; 
they would have passed "beyond that bourne 
fniin whence no traveler returns." "Coming 
events" (lid iiol -cast their sIkuIows before," 
in all their leuL^^lli and breadth, when we 
pa.ssed throiiLrh the streets of Hartford, with 
jubilant tread, twice twelve months before, 
else we had been eonscious of deeper emo- 
tions, amid the cheers and congratulations of 
parting. Doubtless there was more or less of 
vague feeling, that some would be left behind, 
since the chances of battle were such, but 
each hiid a certain buoyancy of hope that, 
after all, he might escape to return to home 
and friends. 

About one hundre(l came into ])ris()n on 
this day of which we are speaking, and 
some of tiie PUnioiith ni«n- ^\]lo had been 
wounded and left in hospitals, were among 

tiicm. Our Orderly Sergeant, N , wa.s one 

of them. Tliey ha<l been at Salislmrv, N. C, 
and bore eviden<-e of good treatnuMit. for tliey 
came in with clean faces an<l clean clothes. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 217 

while we scarcely made even a respectable 
appearance. We were without any convQn- 
iences whatever, to keep curselves clean, 
and beside w^e sadly lacked soap. But two 
issues had been made of this article since we 
had been in prison, and then we only received 
about a table spoonful of soft stuff, of the 
poorest kind, for each man. In our own army 
we had always a plentiful supply, and that 
which was of very good quality. 

We obtained access to some Macon newspa- 
pers about this time, which stated that Mobile, 
or its forts were in our possession, and that it 
surrendered without firing a gun. Were this 
the truth, we could not have a very exalted 
opinion of the fighting capacity of the garri- 
son, we thought, but editorial expression was 
uot always correct, we had found, and were 
destined to find again. These same papers 
stated that the work of paroling prisoners was to ^ 
commence on the 15th, and as it Avas a simple 
corroboration of the story we had been told 
before, we dared to build hopes upon it. 
However valuable concurrent testimony may 
be in most cases, we had never found it par- 



218 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

ticularly ivliuMc in our intercourse uitli the 
soutliern people. Wh.it .in exhibition of 
their pride and pas^^ion we had seen! What 
ideas of their intelhgence and humanity we 
had been compelled to form ! What manifes- 
tations of their power and ability to govern, 
had been thrust upon us ! The treatment we 
had received, in every respect, was not such 
as was calculated to enhance in any wise, a 
man's admiration for the Soutliern Confede- 
racy, but only to make liini ]>ray to be deliv- 
ered from it. '• It will not la<t always," was 
tlie consolation we took to oui-selves in suth 
hours as ration-<l rawing, when there was noth- 
ini^ to come to us, for at times we receivecl 
nothing at all, and were left to experience tlu* 
fjnfur'nir/s of hunger without mitigation. As 
if stftrrnfion was not enough, we had i* 
endure the insults of their oniceiN, — !)oa*<t- 
, ingly drnominatiMl hlLrb-toncd and chivalrous. 
One of them, a s<>-ealh'd 

<»KFI('KU OK THE I> AV 

for the time, n.H<'end«'d the sentries* 8tan<l, nonr 
the main entrance to the pri.**on, and began 
U) taunt us witli the idea that we were j)lacing 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 219 

ourselves on a level with the "nigger," hy 
making a soldier of him. After he had gone 
on in this manner for some^ time, one of the 
prisoners interrupted him with the query, 
" Captain, which is the w^orse ? We use the 
7iefj7'0 as a soldier. You employ blood-hounds 
to do a soldier's duty," referring, of course, to 
the mode of pursuing the prisoners wdio made 
attempts to escape. Evidently he was not 
lost to all sense of shame, and he replied, as 
he hung his head, "This is the only place 
where they are ever used." A mavi who had 
been confined at Danville, Va., spoke up at 
this juncture, informing the officer that they 
were used there, while another who had been 
at Cahawba, Ala., asserted that he knew them 
to be kept there also, for the same nefarious 
l^urpose. It was quite plain that the Captain 
didn't relish the turn in the argument, for he 
said no more, and quickly took himself from 
our midst, — a wiser and a better man, we 
hoped, from having thus been enlightened by 
us. 

One hundred more prisoners now came in 
from Sherman's army. One of our number. 



2-0 LIFE IN ROKL PRISONS 

who was at work outsi(l(\ framing barracks, 
gathered u\) the inlorination that tliis General 
had blown up part oi^ Atlanta, and tlanked 
Hood's army attain ; .^o that we ima^^nied tJiat 
tinngs were working, notwitlistanding nlTairs 
seemed so cjuiet to us. We judged, in some 
measure, of the activity of our armies by tlie 
numln'r of prisoners who were captured by 
the enemy. More or less of these determined 
the (juantity and (juality of movenuuit, inas- 
much as .si(/)is are often the full expres^sion of 
lan«niatre that is not written. Wood wa.s 
i.ssued to us ai>out this pe-rioil, the lirst time 
since the .'>Uth of duiu', and then we were 
only given two sticks f»r the whole *-ninet\. ' 
We made up our minds that one thing was 
cert^iin, — ''generosity" was not a distinguish- 
ing feature of the Southern character; and it 
revived the wish in all its intensity, that the 
time might not be far distant when wi' would 
be out of the clutches of these miscreants. 
With what fervor did we exclaim, "Oh that 
we could once more abide in the land of the 
*niud«illH,' 'greaxy mechanics,* and 'IJlack \l 
publiauis' I " We would willingly have bmle 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 221 

adieu to the warm-hearted hospitaHty of the 
South, of which so much had been cited, and 
turned our feet towards a less pretentious 
region. 

The 14th was the Sabbath, — the time for 
Sabbath School Concert at home, and we 
knew Ave should not be forgotten in that gath- 
ering. Having faith 'in the efficacy of prayer, 
we hoped their petitions for us might be speed- 
ily answered in our deliverance from this liv- 
ing death. That day we took the last look of 

another of our boys, — Jimmy B , of Co. 

A. Ho had joined our regiment but a short 
time previous to its capture, and was young 
and inexperienced. A few days before, he 
had told me in conversation that he thought 
he should live to get home, and asked about 
some rules of diet which it might be best to 
observe, should he find himself in the midst 
of plenty again. He was possessed with a pas- 
sionate longing for a turkey, — ^^a large one," 
he said; and he seemed to anticipate much in 
looking forward to the comforts and luxuries 
which home might furnish for him. Appa- 
rently it was a bright vision for him, to think 



222 UFF. IN REBEL miSdN.-. 

of lii- mother proparin«^ these nice thin;_^ 
hut thi'V wiTi' all ('11(1«m1, an<l loving luuuU 
couUl no more minister unto him. 

Tlie sun rose on tJie lollowin«r mornii; 
l»rin;^^in;^^ tia' lung-looked-for day which \va.s 
pivsi'uL to our ca«j^or iraze the grateful spec; 
ch' of SL'ViTal thousand |)risoners leaving 1 
our liiu's on ])arol(', — at least, it was the^;rom- 
ised day. Slowly the hours passed away to 
the anxious multitude; a. id what was wor 
they eame an 1 went, without hringing aii\ 
change. We had known enough in the pa 
to teach us not to he too sanguine, l)nt liope 
will hang on a slender thread sometimes, and 
lor this rea.son we had allowed the siiying of 
the papeiTs to have some weight with us. Oi. 
of the rehel surgeon<. or one in ;/amr, scarcely 
8o in reality, told nic that the j)ress was con- 
trolled hy their governuicnt. and they could 
not themselves helieve lialf they read. Is this 
the hojusted independence for whi( h they a 
figliting? was my mental (piery. Ahn 
twenty prisoners came in through tlie da,. 
The numher had heen gradually diminisliinj^ 
£L>r Boiae hltle time, bo tiiut at lliLs period 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 223 

coiuprirntively fow made their entrance to- 
gether. 

Whether the sight of our misery was atr 
tractive to the rebels, or something else influ- 
enced them, we could not say, but some pho- 
tographic artists came from Macon, and taking 
their position in sentry-boxes at different points 
around the stockade, they proceeded to engrave 
our wretchedness by art. It might have been 
b}^ order of the authorities, or simply a private 
enterprise, but we thought we would have 
liked one of the pictures to show to our friends, 
and to look at, if we should ever be aAvay from 
the miserable scenes themselves. They cer- 
tainly would be daguerreotyped upon faithful 
memory as long as we should live, but no 
words or touch of pen could give any sem- 
blance of the reality to others. 

SCURVY 

began to be fearfully prevalent. We had had 
iio vegetables given to us since we entered in 
April, and we were without money to buy 

any. Sergeant L , who had been in 

command of the "ninety" ever since we had 



2-\ LIKK IN KEHKL riUSONS 

been in prison, bocame so tlisablcd by the di.s- 
ease in liis ankles and feet, as to render liiin un 
fit to perform tlie duty of drawing rations; and 
being yet free from it myself, 1 took his place. 
This is the form which the disease often tiikes, 
HO contracting the cords of the limbs as to 
deprive the suflerL-r of llie power to walk. 
Again it will be seen in the swelling of the 
dirterent parts of the body, and still again in 
the decaying of the gums and loosening of 
the teeth. Hundreds of poor fellows lost their 
lives by this disease alone. Nearly the whole 
of our regiment were more or less afl'ected by 
it. Perhaps the stories of exchange, which 
were in almost daily circulation, did something 
to sustain some of the men, who were expect- 
ing and fearing the unchecked workings of 
that terrible scourge. 

A little dillerent version of things w:is 
Btiirted by some who professed to know some- 
thing about it, to the effect that an article 
deemetl of considerable authority was to be 
cut fn)m the paper, and posted upon the letp 
ter-lK>x, wliero we might see it. Curiosity, of 
cuiirse, was on tiie alert, to disco\'er the pecul- 



LIFE IN KEBEL PRISONS. 225 

iarities of the case ; but it turned out to be 
the identical piece which the Confederate 
Chaplain had read to us with so much dignity 
the first of the month, and we conckided it 
would hardly pay to become much excited 
over it. 

In the midst of these things, one of the boys 
who had been at work without the stockade, 
brought in the gratifying intelligence that 
there was a large quantity of letters from the 
North at the office of Captain Wirz, and that 
probably they would be brought in soon. 
How our hearts bounded with joy at the pos- 
sibility of hearing from home once more ! A 
perfect fever of expectation seized us all, for 
who would be the favored ones, and what 
would be the character of that which we 
should hear? How, too, should those bear 
the disappointment that would be passed by 
with no word or message from those their 
hearts were with ? News of some sort I did 
find, however, as I went over into the prison- 
extension to visit a friend of the 7th P. Y's 
He had a copy of the "Macon Telegram," and 
I learned from it that Maj. Gen. Himter had 



226 LiKi: IN iii:r>i;L riu*^<>Ns, 

been relieved bv Gen. Sberiilan. and that 
Gen. Gnint's canipaiLrn liail pmved a failure, 
although soniothini^ >vliispered to nu\ in 
rcganl to tho latter, "they had better wait until 
thev see the end of it. hr fore niakin<^ puch a 
ronlident declaration." It had, also, an article 
c()ninientin<^ upon the ^'disLTaceful and lunnil- 
iatiu)]^ surrender" of th(^ forts at Mobile. 
Doubtless, the Confederate lieart was some- 
^\hat tried by tlie course tilings took in the 
matter. 

For once, our rations increased a little, and 
^vcrc of better quality than usual. Informa- 
tion al.HO came to us, throuirh the rebel Quar- 
ter-master, that he was a)»oiit to commence 
i.*<suing sweet potatoes, and that he would soon 
make us as sick of those as we were then of 
l)eans, and this, we tliouirht, would be no hard 
matter, if they were cookrd in the same fdthy 
way. The rebels claimed that iron wire wa5 
W) very scarce, that they covd<l not ])rocure 
enough to make the necessary sieven with 
wliich to ch'an their beans, before cooking, 
and thcn'fore we must cat them as they were, 
dirt, j>ods, sticks an<l all. 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 22? 

In addition to the other sensation stories 
which were in circidation, was another, that 
the rebels had asked again for an armistice in 
which to treat for peace, this time to consist 
of thirty days, and that our government had 
granted it. We could not believe that the 
Northern people were so very inconsiderate 
as to allow them such a resting spell at the 
time when they seemed in a fair way to be 
conquered. The way for them to obtain 
peace, it seemed to us then, w^as the one and 
only v.ay we had ahvays maintained, — and 
that was to lay down the w^eapons of their 
rebellion, and submit to our lawfully elected 
administration. We must conquer our peace 
if we would have it real and lasting. We 
had known four months of imprisonment for 
the cause, and we would not have it lost. 

Death vv^as rioting among the strongest 
men in our regiment, making no distinction 
between the stronger and the weaker. We 
wondered if another month would find us 
there still, but we felt like saying, 

"Conquer we must, 
For our cause it is just^ 
And this be our motto, 
1 A In God is our trust." 



228 LiKi: IN KKiiKL rniroNs. 

Capt, Wirz, our inhuman prison command- 
ant, was taken sick about this time, and went 
to Macon. Various were the wishes of the 
men as thev hoard it, hut the miklest Ibrin 
they took Wiis, that he might never recover. 
lie wa.s succeeded, temporarily, by Lieut S. li. 
Davis, and iVoin idl that we couhl learn of 
him, we thought the change might be mueli 
to our advantage, as he would probably be 
more huuiaue in his treatment of us. He 
had the reputation of Ix'iug a good officer 
among the men who knew him, and the 
rations which lollowcd his inauguration were 
certainly larger ami better, and indicated a 
heart little larger than that which dwelt in 
the bosoui of his predeces5or. The day before, 
we only had a little corn-bread, without meat 
or salt, and now caiue IVc-li l»eef, bacon, beans, 
bread and molasses. 'I'liest- things, which may 
Heem ot lit tic eonsciiuence to some, >\i': 
nevertheless, of vital importance to us, who 
were HufhTing from the privations we had 
fndur.Ml. '1 hf ."^lightest addition to our com- 
fort, in any way, wu.s iiighly prized. To necure 
a little more, externally, it became necessary to 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 229 

remodel our little tent, wkich was sadly out of 
repair. The blankets were worn a great deal, 
on the side exposed to the rain and sun, so 
we turned them and put the other side out, 
and when it was completed, we found our- 
selves in possession of quite a stylish resi- 
dence, compared with those who had no cover- 
ing at all. 

The prison was visited at this time by a 
foppishly decorated 

CONFEDERATE CAPTAIN. 

As he stepped around very daintily, in his 
patent leather boots, he professed to feel 
"quite shocked" at the horrible condition of 
affairs which he saw. It was very evident 
that he counted himself something on an 
argument, for he began to discuss slavery and 
the war, with an air of wonderful dignity, 
little imagining, probably, that he would find 
any one in the ragged, dirty, uncouth crowd 
of listeners before him, who would venture to 
dispute his opinions. He was greatly mis- 
taken, however, for some of his hearers 
advanced better arguments entirely, soon 
worsting him, and driving him from the field, 



230 LiFK IN iu:ni:L riii< ^ '. 

perhaps with the thought that, though tlie 
external coiuhtiou of persons uiiiy nut be pre- 
possessing, jet 

"A man'.'* a man for a' that," 

Our knowledge of things, now, was mainly 
gathered from such as caliiMl upon us, and 
from the southern j)a|)ers which we oceasion- 
nlly saw, for prisoners had ceased to con)c in 
as fiCfpiently as in the past. From tlic hitter 
we learnc(l tli at Joneshoro, on the Macou and 
Augnstii raihoad, was held by a hirge force of 
Federals, with the intention of causing tlie 
rebel army to fall hack fiom the position it 
was then occupying, ll was also stated that 
a large body of cavalry and mounted infantry 
were marching on Milledgeville, N\itli ultimate 
designs u[)on our place. •Well, let tlu'Ui 
come," we said, but yet leared we should 
never see them. There was a little appear- 
ance of something being doni' in our midst 
Quite a huge nundier of Sergeant.^ holding 
officers' connnissions, but who had never been 
mustered in as si cii, weix) taken outside, and 
we were told by tlie rebels they wore (le»- 
lined to our lines for exchange. Two of tlie 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 231 

Plj'moiitli men vrere among tlie number. 
This seemed a favorable indication for the 
rest of us, for surely, we thought, the govern- 
ment would not exchange the officers, who 
fire better than we do, and leave us to die by 
inches. 

Much to my disgust, I found on the morn- 
ing of the 23d, that the scurvy had at last 
got hold of me. I had been hoping that it 
would pass me by, in its visitations, but it was 
unmistakably present in my mouth. J went 
up to the sick-call, and was prescribed for 
by the Surgeon, the first time since I had 
entered, and in consequence, at night I was to 
receive about a table spoonful of sumach ber- 
ries, the usual remedy for the disease, the tea 
made of it being very sour and astringent. 

Meantime, a few sailors came in, who had 
been captured at Mobile. " How is Mobile ?" 
we asked. " That's all right ; we'll have it in 
a week," was the reply. This, of course, gave 
a momentary impulse to languid courage, but 
w^ith such a dreadful disease starino- us in the 
face, we could do nothing less than dwell upon 
the probabilities of deliverance in our own 



232 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

case Wo could hopo for lit tic iinprovomcnt 
where we \vcri\ but as diversiou of mind 
often tends to pin sical advantage, we availed 
oui-selves of evervthing that was oflered, to 
secure this. One of my comrades, by some 
means, became the ])ossessor of *• Woodbury's 
Shorter Course in (Jennan," and 1 began to 
8tudy that language, or rather, re-commenced 
it, as I had been engaged in its acciuisition at 
the tune of our capture. Tliis book was a 
perfect treasure, and with it I passed many 
an otherwise dull hour, agreeably an<l profita- 
h]y. 

Lieut. Davis, our new commandant, diii 
institute a better order of things. Our food 
was better every way, and beside, he i.^sued 
an order, requiring the prison to be kept 
clean. The order was ])()ste(l in dilVerent 
parts of the prison, so that all could sei* it, 
and avail themselves of its privilege.**, lb' 
furnished us with the requisite tools to per- 
fonn tlie work assigncnl t«) us, and it \vju< 
•wjmething so unusual to kcc our enemies 
taking even a slight interest in our comfort., 
we ardently hoj)i«d that Capt. Wir/. wouM 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 233 

never make his appearance again^ for he 
would never do as much for us as we were 
havmg done then. With his second advent 
we knew woukl come anew, misery and starva- 
tion, for his active mind w^ould probably 
devise new methods, while he was lying by, 
to enhance our sorrow, if he should return. 

We deemed it no wonder that so many of 
our men died. The wonder, rather, was that 
any lived. At roll-call on the morning of the 
twenty-sixth, thirty-two in our squad of ninety 
men were too sick to stand up in the ranks to 
be counted. If they had been in our lines, 
they would have been sent to the hospital, 
received the tenderest care, and the most deli- 
cate food, but there, it was the same coarse 
bread and greasy bacon, for sick and well 
alike. Sorghum molasses was an article they 
seemed to have in great plenty, and this was 
often dispensed to us. 

I recovered from the influence of the first 
day with the scurvy, so as to feel quite well 
again, and, indeed, it seemed quite necessary 
that I should keep up, since I was the only 
well man, with one exception, in "our family" 



2^>{ UFK IN i:!:i;i;l ruiynxs. 

of eleven. The rest were either lame or sic! 
We hoped much from a (•lian«^a» hi the atmo 
phere, as the weather was growhig elearer ana 
cooler, anil niiirht induce a better state of 
liealth in the canij) ;icncrally. 

Two or three hundred niun IVoni Shennaii 
army came in during these days, to take boanl 
in our extensive establishment. -Twenty-six 
States of the old Tnion," they boasted, -were 
represented in the prison at Andei*sonvilh 
It certainly revealed tlie fact then, that the: 
were Union-lovin;^ men in Stales they ha I 
claimed their own, — men who were willing to 
run the risk of great privations, and of even 
life itself, that they might be mstrumental, it 
possible, in restoring what had been rnthlessl 
cut olf Whi'tlier they thought of this amid 
their boastings or not, we can not Siiy ; but 
History may suggest the thought to them in 
coming tliiif, if tlir\- li\-e to see it. 

The entrance of these prisoners, and ore ' 
sional news concerning exchange, weiv tiie 
pn)minent mattei*s to bri'ak the monotony of 
our life during the latter part of this month. 
When tlio Saiibath came, we would indulge in 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 235 

cxtm day-dreams of "Home, sweet home," and 
perhaps the prayer went up with still more of 
fervor, " God grant we may not be doomed to 
disapjDointment again." 

Quite the last of the month, within the last 
day or two, it was said that our Government 
had really accepted the proposals made by the 
South in regard to exchange. The all-absorb- 
ing question in connection with it was, "What 
are the conditions upon which the South is 
wilhng to do this?" The rebel officers all 
agreed in saying that they only required man 
for man and officer for officer according to 
rank. This, certainly, did not seem unfliir; 
and if true, we could not imagine why our 
release was not secured. "Can it be," we 
would ask among ourselves, "that our Govern- 
ment is not aware of our suffering condition ? " 
If they were, there must be very strong rea- 
sons against exchange, or they would not leave 
so many of us to be sacrificed in our pestilen- 
tial prison-pen. 

Another canard in circulation also, was to 
the effect that Vice-President A. H. Stephens, 
Gov. Brown, and one other, had gone on to 



23G 



LiFi: IN iii:nrL prison?. 



AVu-^hington, bfariii;:: projn)-;.!- lui |)L'acf ; h\ 
MO Ik'UcvchI k'ss of llii-^ tliaii the utliur. 

Wliile ruminating upon tlicse tliin^r^, M- 
tlie clerk in the ollice of the Prison CommaiM 
ant, came in <>ii a pas--, bringing with lilni till 
unwelcome intelli^a^nee that Capt. Wirz, oi 
old tormentor, was l)a('k airain from Macoi 
and in eonnnand again, so we had nothing to 
look foi' hut a iH'turn of our old regime. He 
also told us that he overheard the rebel ofli- 
cers say that an army corps had left Sherman, 
with fifteen days' rations, for an unknown 
])oint ; but it was the opinion of Captain 
W'iiz that they were dcstinrd to strike a blo\f 
I'oi* u<. Thu-, like guilty pei*sons, always fear- 
ing detection, did tlicse uieu in authority con- 
tinually fear tlu' adsaucr of our troops up' 
them. No considerable portion could move ! 
any direction, but they supposed it to be with 
evil intent upon them. 

Quite II number of letters came in on tl. 
1st of Se|)tember, foi- the boys of our re;_' 
ment. They wore all from home, but con- 
tained nothing but domestic news. One « 
our number ptussed beyond the boundaries of 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 237 

time in the morning : G , of Co. A. His 

brother, an old prisoner, who belonged to an- 
other regiment, died a few days before. The 
next day, still another died after a long sick- 
ness. The boys who carried out his body to 
the dead-house, learned that another of the 
same company was also lying dead. Our reg- 
iment was getting sadly thinned, and we said 
in our sorrow, " God only knows how many of 
us will live to tell the sad tale." The charge 
of the "ninety" devolved upon me, as the 
other sergeants had become too feeble to 
discharge their wonted duties. It would keep 
me busy nearly the whole day drawing rations 
and cookmg for the poor sick boys w^ho were 
imable to cook for themselves. As if we had 
not enough already, some sick and wounded 
ones were sent in from Macon, and a few so- 
called convalescents were sent in from the 
hospital to the prison, that room might be 
made for them there. 

The idea of "thinning out" was started, and 
one of the men who worked outside brought 
it in to us. The plan, he said, was in contem- 
plation, to remove about eighteen thousand 



238 LiFi: IN uiinEL prisons. 

of us to some other prison. Any change, ^ 
thought, would he agreeiihle, iilthough it wtr • 
nothiug more than :i rhanirr in yy/•^s•o7^^•. 
Among other things, he luanud that General 
Winder had heen reUeved from coiiimand, by 
a person ^vith a queer name, which he could 
not remenil)er, hut whuni the rebels declared 
a "better man." Of one thing we were cer- 
tain, that he could not be much worse. But 
we had known even Gen. Winder to do one 

KIND ACT. 

One of the Plymouth j)risoners was rwi old 
citizen, who had been chief clerk for the Post 
Quartenuaster at that place, and in former and 
more prosperous days a captain in the regtdar 
army; even holding, at one time, a position 
upon this same Gen. Winder's staff. He wa,s 
very nuich respected wliere lie was known, 
and almost every body In Plymouth knew 
Capt P^vcrctt He was put into prison u itli 
the rest of us, ;nd was finally taken sick, th.- 
liardships of his conlinement pmving too 
much for his age. When (Jen. Winder learned 
the condition of tiie man who had once been 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 239 

associated with him, he took him out of his 
miserable place and gave him good care, pro- 
viding medical attendance and better food 
than he would otherwise have had. But it 
was too late. The old Captain died, yet he 
had a respectable Christian burial; and this 
convinced us that there was one soft spot in 
the heart of the Kebel General, after all. 

Early on the morning of the 4 th, I wa^ 
aroused from my sleep by one of the boys, 
who gave me the sad news that Orderly Ser- 
geant L , of Co. C, was dead, at the 

same time requesting me to break the mourn- 
ful truth to his brother, who held a corres- 
ponding position in another company. It was 
a hard task to go and do this, but I did it. 
Elder Shepard conducted a very touching and 
beautiful funeral service over the body before 
it was carried out. The afflicted brother was 
present, and though he said but little, we all 
knew that silent grief was at work, and we 
deeply sympathized with him. 

It was a calm Sabbath day, and our friends 
at home were probably enjoying it; but we 
were suffering — dying. Soon after this wo 



210 LIFK IN REBEL PRISONS. 

had a deatli in our nwii tint. One of our 
comrades, ^\h^) liad In cii witli us uver since 
the reginu-nt \]\>[ wcut out, passed away, after 
an iJlnoss of just two weeks. A night or two 
hefore his departure, when lie was very feehle, 
he said to me, ""If I could only live just to see 
my wife aid mother, I could die happy ; hut 
to die hert\ far away from home, and to he 
huried here, — I tell you, Robert, it is tough!" 
And it was. None hut those who were there 
could realii'.c it in all its terrible eaiTiestne- 
They were scenes that could not be imagined, 
and only endured with patience and cheerful- 
ness by those who had such faith as to bear 
them aloft above earth, where they could 
catch a glim})se of the 

"Sweet fielJa beyoud the swelling flood," 

which 

"Sund dressed in liting green.** 

It was sai<l on the «»tli, that a general ex- 
change of prisoners had been agreed upon, 
and it wn.s accompanied by orders for the fn 
eighteen detachments to be ready to move ;i 
any moment afU'r twelve o'clock at uighi. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISOXS. 241 

This really looked as if it might amount to 
something, and we hoped the 

DAY OF DELIVERANCE 

had at last come. All was rejoicing and hurry 
and bustle in the detachments that were or- 
dered to be ready. Indeed, the whole prison 
was in a furore of joyous excitement Every 
body was talking over with his neighbor the 
probability of the reality of the movement, 
but most of them were quite certain that this 
was surely the first true step towards exchange. 
The next morning our eyes did indeed behold 
a joyful sight. Seven detachments, or over 
eighteen hundred men, were taken out of 
prison and put on board cars, and in all proba- 
bility they were bound for our lines. The 
orders to many more were, to "be ready to 
leave," and it would come our turn soon. 
What exultation was kindled at the prospect ! 

It seemed hard that H could not have 

lived to go with us, but it was not for us to 
question God's doings. Evans, another of our 
number, was very sick, and we feared he 
might die before our turn should come. We 



212 LIFE IN REBEL PRLS0N8. 

wore not counted in tlir moniinir. and we 
indul;xed in the l)lis.<l\il llioiiLdit that \\r 
should 1)0 no niorc troiii)!* <1 in that way. for 
the ofliccrs o\cv us iiad hccn in'ai'd to doclari' 
that tlio prison was linally to bu Icil cntptij. 
That ni«j:ht, at one o'clock, or rather niornini:. 
they he^^an taking out more detachments, and 
at dayhght the opposite hill-side looked quit.' 
hare. When the hght of the morning dawned, 
poor Kvans was no longer an inhabitant of 
earth. Ilu was ready and willing to go, and 
his last message to his friends at home wa . 
"/e// them I icas jyrijjartd to dn y It wa.s sor- 
rowful indeed to see our comrades dying, even 
"when the work of exchange was going on 
Some of the detachments who \\v\\\ out in 
the morninj^ came in a«(;iiii lu tlic afternoor. 
to wait until nune cars should anive. Tlu \ 
said they were allowed to ha\i' thiii* lilu-rtN. 
and do about as they pleased while out>i(lt 
and that only two guards went on each car o! 
the train that had already left. Some wouM 
not, even now, hcdievc that the movement 
meant exchange, and pei-sisted in wiving, *^It* 
ull hiuiibug," although the Confgderato oHl 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 243 

cers, without exception, assured us that 
we were going home, and that they had 
not another prison large enough to put us in, 
if they wished to. If they were really 
attempting a transfer, and nothing else, we 
thought they would have placed a larger 
guard in attendance. Everything looked 
favorable to our hopes, but we had so many 
times been disappointed in these, we could 
hardly believe they were to be realized, even 
when the door was open for us. It seemed 
to us high time for a change of some sort, for 
for we were drawing only a little coarse com 
meal and a scrap of raw fresh beef for our 
rations. The next morning one of the boys 
who had deserted from the rebel service, and 
had been with us ever since we were captured, 
died. When Plymouth surrendered a number 
of the 

LOYAL NORTH CAROLINIANS, 

of the 2d regiment of that State, were taken 
with us. The rebels were very bitter against 
these "buffaloes," as they called them, for many 
of them had been on their side, and left it for 
the service of the Union. These men had 



244 LIFE IN RKRKL PRISONS. 

sufTercd almost everything nt the hands of 
those tlu'v ivrusid to serve, and llioy felt for 
them corresponding hatred. To avoid detec- 
tion, nian\ of tlicm assumed diflerent nam 
and passrd olVas members of our regiment, or 
some otluTs. Some of them were afterwanls 
discovered hy the "rchs," hut a numi)er >vent 
into prison with us as Connecticut, Pennsylva- 
nia or New Yoik men, and we did evervthimc 
in our power to 1h'1|) tlicin, autl prevent tln'in 
from heinL!: I'ound out. It was one of tli" 
who IVll, a victim to (Hsease, that morning. 

Over twelve liiUKhi'd men went out hefore 
sunset, and a large iuunl)er had the promi^ 
of being taken out before morning. Seven 
of our "niiu'ty " succeeded in "Hanking out" 
with the detaeliments wlio went out the 
night before, and others, encouraged by their 
exampU', went up to the gate with the.sc, 
hoping to find a more speedy relea.M' in this 
way. TIk' n<'\t day we wailed inijiatiently 
for onlei-s to move, and at twibglit, or near 
the close of the day, our wishes were gratified. 
We were drawing rations, and a rebel Ser- 
geant came (h)wn with the welcome inform* 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 245 

tion that our "ninety" must be ready imme- 
diately, and take their position in line near 
the prison gate. We had very little baggage, 
of course, to care for, and in a very few 
moments we were waiting to go out. We 
w^ere all in a tremor of excitement. To think 
that we were really going to leave that horri- 
ble place, was enough to fill our hearts with 
deepest jo}^ There was one drawback to our 
happiness, however, caused by being com- 
pelled to leave two of our number, who were 
sick, and altogether unable to be moved. We 
tried to cheer them by telling them they 
would probably come along in a few days, 
and meantime they would receive better care 
than if they went with us, but when we 
finally bade them farewell^ we were very sad, 
for it seemed to us the last time we should 
ever exchange a word with them, and it was 
manifest that a like feeling was theirs also. 
We had suffered so long together; so long 
shared each other's trials and misfortunes, we 
loved each other as brothers, and it vfas hard 
to leave them, but there was no other alterna- 
tive. While these things were passing through 



24 G UKK IN KKUEL PRISONS. 

the mind, we were siuklenly diverted by the 
cry, *-tliere they go," and sure enough the lii 
h;id commenced lo move, iind \vf wure to p;! 
out th^t gate that had been elosed against 
so manv weary niontlis. Many, very mar. 
who hatl ^one in with us at lliu heginnii: 
were now no more, but a sigh and a tear was 
all the tribute we could leave ihcm lb* n. We 
had ministered to them in sickness, and closed 
their eyes at the last, and each had a place in 
memory, but notbinLT more could be done. 
Tiie place wi' were lea\ Iult was one about 
which the saddest associations would ever 
cluster; not wholly because so many of our 
brothers-in-arms had found the prison gate the 
(jfitc of death, but there were other things 
combined to make us shudder at the renieni- 
Ijrance. Taunts, insult and al)use iu almost 
every possible form had been lieapcd u|)on us, 
and tlie inipressiou of this could ni'ver he 
efTuced. 

IJut iu'lbn* we ])i'oo.red any further \w our 
narrative, and in onh-r to give a complete 
hiiitorv of alVairs at Andersonville, we inHc»rt 
a chapter relative to tlie JToHpiUd department. 



LIFE LN REBEL rRISONS. 247 

For information concerning this, avc are 
indebted to the following testimony of Iliram 
Buckingham, Quarter-Master Sergeant of our 
own regiment, wdio w^as detailed as hospital 
steward, or Doctor s clerk, and consequently 
^Yas well fitted to give a just description of 
the inner and outer condition of that melan- 
choly place. 



CHAPTER YII. 

HOSPITAL AT AND ER SON VILLE. 

Thousands throughout our country have a 
personal interest in this ill-fated spot, for 
thither, husbands, sons and brothers were car- 
ried, to finish their earthly course ; their 
career as patriots and soldiers, and there, 
within a short distance, their bones lie, as it 
may seem to some, a lost contribution to 
national honor, but to many, far otherwise. 
Though no monument of granite ever mark 
the place wdiere these heroes lie, telling of 
the mighty sacrifice that w^as made there, yet 
that spot in Georgia soil will be forever conse- 



218 LIFi: IN IlKUIIL I'iUSO.XS, 

cniteil, in countless homes in every part of 
our land, and >vlio shall intimate the l)o^\. 
an«l extent of that inlluenee that shall 
forth from these to awaken the fire of patri 
ism in other hearts, biddiniz them "^go and • 
likewise," if need he. IndKjudt'ujn, too. will 
fan the tlamc, for the sad cDnNiction is font 1 
upon thr minds of people that, were it not for 
Utter ncfjlcct and urJndndirihj, thousands < 
vahiahle lives nuLdit have heen spared that 
are now forever lost to tVienrls and country 1 
this one cau<e. It is a tcttrful hi star jf — a tofi 
record, and many will shrink from the revolt- 
ing details here given, hut it is confidentlv 
asserted tliat there are none of these 8ta* 
iiients hut will he eorrohorated hy every oi 
AN ho had the mi^fortuiu' to he a j)risoner in 
that unhappy locality. -Wlieu I first went 
into the prison," says Mr. Buckingham, "^on 
the first of May, 1801, the hospital was insi ' 
the stockade, lialf of it on one side of tlie 
Htream that ran in our midst, and half on tho 
other side. The c»»n<lition of things wa,H hor- 
rihle in the extreme. A single glimpse of 
things within wius enough to make a man nic 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 249 

He could but turn away in loathing and dis- 
gust, from the sight of so much wretchedness 
aiid misery ; so much filth and pollution. 
Most of the inmates at that time w^ere Belle 
Island prisoners, who had endured all the 
hardships of the previous winter, and were 
worn and wasted by exposure and its conse- 
quent diseases. There were comparatively 
few of them then, scarcely over two hundred, 
a circumstance accounted for in two ways. 
In the first place, a man never went in and 
came out alive, for usually he Avas so low 
upon his admission, that there Avas almost 
nothing to hope for, and in the second place, 
if a man had a friend or comrade to help him, 
he would not go in at all, for he preferred to 
die in the comparative quiet of his own tent, 
surrounded by such comforts as friendly sym- 
pathy could procure, rather than end his days 
where so much wretchedness was congregated. 
This was the last resort, and to see a poor 
fellow brought in upon a blanket, was to con- 
clude that his race was almost run ; his days 
well nigh ended, and that there remained 
nothing for him but to breathe his life away 



L'.jlJ LlFi: IN KKHKL TRISONJ?. 

in the midst of such miser}' n-s wa5 inconccivn- 
ble to anv but those who walked the mehm- 
eholy round themselves. The utter want (>'* 
cleanliness; the pestilential air ; the improjn . 
and miserabk- food, and scanty medicines, all 
combined to render the swift coming of deatli 
sure. One could expect nothing else when he 
entered. If by any possibility one siu'vived 
the shock, and went fortli ainonir bis fellows a 
living man, it was looked upon as something 
well-niLdi miraculous. It was rarely, if ev- 
known, li was tiie general expectation, when 
any went into the hospital, that it was the last 
of earth for them ; and bow could it be other- 
wise ? Where was the single condition that 
tended in the leiust degree to restoration? 
Where was the slightest thing favorable to 
anything like invigoratiou ? The excellent 
condition of oiu' Northern bos])itals : tb* 
comfortable couches, tender nui*sing, abundant 
remedies, with their appropriate stimulants 
and delicaci(v<<, ofltMitimes win back the feeide 
sufTerer to life, and make him strong and well 
again ; but nc^t so there. Pieces of canvai^ 
only sheltered those poor sick and d> ing m< 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 251 

from the rain and sun of a climate that would 
have been none too favorable for them imder 
the best of circumstances. 

Their emaciated^ pain-racked frames liad no 
place to rest but upon the cold, hard ground, 
and in numberless instances their heads were 
pillowed upon nothing softer than a stick of 
wood. 

The skin would often wear away, leaving 
their bodies sore, and these could not be cared 
for, as there was nothing to dress them with ; 
and even if there had been, their necessary 
position allowed no respite in the acuteness of 
their suffering. 

Added to these things, the sink was dug 
within a single rod of these men, which, of 
course, did not add to the purity of the air 
about them. It was enough, of itself, to make 
a man sick. 

What would not these men have given for 
a clean bed, pure air, and a dish of something 
that would have been inviting to the taste ! 
Many of them had been unused to want or 
hardship before they entered the army, but 
words of murmuring or complaint were sel- 
11 



252 LIFE IN REBEL PRISOXS. 

cloin heard. Many of ilicm were conscious o. 
having been moved with the '' sublime in>i)iic.- 
tiou of a ^wiii purpose," uhcn they cnlistcnl 
to fight the battles of their coiuitry. au<l they 
took its chances and its changes with htroi • 
firmness. 

In all prol)al>ili(y a great many lives might 
have been saved, that have now been sacri- 
ficed, had it not been for the barbarous treat- 
ment to which they were su])jected. A sad 
necessity was upon us. We must see oi; 
men pine away and die, while we were utterl 
powerless to helj) them. Could we have had 
the satisfiction of feeling that everything had 
been done for them that could be done, v > 
might Iiave seen them close their eyes i:i 
death with far different emotions, but w 
could not escape the impression that a va 
amount of life blood had been spilled, simpl . 
to gratify the malice of a hearfless foe, wh* 
gloried in the wrecks before them. 

About the first of J;me. tlie h(r<pl(al wa 
completed outsiik* the st(X'kade. This wiw sit- 
uated about one hundred rods from the er 
trance to the latter place, and occupied (|uit< 



LIFE IN KEBEL PRISONS. 253 

a pleasant position. Some of the trees had 
been left standing, and furnished quite an 
agreeable shade. It was enclosed by a board 
fence about six feet high, and contained about 
four acres of ground. This was laid out in 
streets and wards, and now and then a tent 
was to be seen, but most of them were noth- 
ing but square pieces of canvas spread over a 
pole, which formed a roof, but left it all open 
below, so that the patients were exposed con- 
stantly to the rain, sun, and night dews. 
Quite a stream of water ran through one end 
of the enclosure, and all the men who were 
able could repair to this for the purpose of 
keeping themselves clean. About a thousand 
poor creatures had refuge there at that time. 

They began with an attempt to keep the 
sanitary affairs of the hospital in tolerable 
condition. They had a police squad, who 
made their appearance twice a day to see that 
the requisite order was maintained to secure 
this result. About a month after the removal 
from the stockade, they enlarged the grounds 
so that they could accommodate twenty-five 
hundred ; and at its completion, Dr. White, 



254 i.u'F IN Ki:r.i;L I'iu^ons. 

Surgoon in charge, adinittod seven hiindn'l 
nu'ii in one ilay. Nearlv liall" of ihese eouUl 
walk, hut tlie remainder of them went in jii 
as thev couM, some of them on thrir luunis 
and heels, their legs hcing so (hawn with 
scnrvv that they euuld not keep in an erect 
position. 

A ])«'rson coming in at such a time, unnsed 
i() the lioiroi's of jn'ison hfc ^^()lll(l have turned 
])ale at the .sickening ."<ight hcfoic him. II • 
would have ft It things uuuttcrahlc in view of 
these h;df-star\'e(l, half-clot lied, diseased ami 
wretche(l heings, who had once (hdihenitcdy 
elothed tliemselv(»s in the uniform which <]is- 
tingnishiMl them as the peculiar property of 
their coimtrv, hut were now (hin«^ under a 
pressure they had no j>ower to resists History 
tells of hands ol' men that are sent forth, 
(loomed to infamy and poxcrtN', \\ ri'tche<lne- 
.•md want, hecaiise ])uhlic opiuiou \\here th« 
dwell del•m^>• it a just punishment for what 
they have done. No symjiathy goes with the 
exiles, for hocii'ty is hetter ofT without them 
than with them. Their hard Tea ture.««, reck lesjj 
vxpre»8ion and uneoniely visages niny awaken 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 255 

contemptj but scarcely pity, for they have 
wrought out their own destiny, by their own 
perverse willfuhiess. These are the lawless 
ones that are a scourge to the world, and 
every one feels that it is a mercy to be rid of 
them. In such case we might look upon an 
equal amount of misery, and not be touched 
as in the other instance. In the one case, it is 
self-inflicted and for base ends ; in the other, 
imposed upon for devotion to and action in 
the prosecution of noble aims; for unselfish 
working for the general good. 

The little army that filed in at the hospital 
in July, at Andersonville, may have looked 
externally like beggars ; but they were no 
convicts, — no exiles for crimes that they had 
done. They had left home in the full exercise 
of every manly virtue, and society mourned 
their loss. 

They were the pride of loyal people ; the 
light of countless homes ; the idols of many 
hearts ; and Love was keeping the fires bright 
upon myriad altars awaiting their glad return. 
One looking upon them would have known 
that these fires w^ould go out in darkness ; that 



25G LIFE IN KKHFX PRISONS 

but few, if nnv. of tliat sickly crowd, would 
ever look a;^Min u|)on tliosu thev had loved : 
ever see or hear airaiu a cuni^cuial sight oi 
sound. 

It was this tliat would have unscalrd il: 
fountaiu oi' tears, aud stinvcl the heart i' 
truest pity. It wa.s a siul sight, — sad for au\ 
one, but more so to those who knew what they 
must suirrr whin once admitted and subjected 
to the treatment of 

rilYSK'IANS, 

many of whom had no feeling for them. Ail 
were conscripts, and chose the profession in 
which they were engaged, rather than shoul- 
der the mu.sket and go to the front. They 
were allowed eU'ven dollars a month, whi<'h 
wa.s about ecjual to o;ic in "greenbacks," and 
the govrrninent ration of meal and bacon. 
They availed themselves of the opportunity 
to nc*r(uaint themselves with surgery, and wer 
not therefore slow in pi'rforming an)j)iUations 
if they saw fit. They ha<l also a dissecting- 
house not very far distant, where they coutin- 
ued their experiments. 



ANDERSONVILLE HOSPITAL. 






WARDS 1 



STREETS 



19 



18 



17 



\16 





6\ 


1 


13 






/r"^\ 












1 o 1 




7 


14 






\^^2^ 














8 


13 




















9 


12 
















10 


11 




A Well. 
B Gate.* 
C Fort. 








D 
E 
F 


Heae 
Dispi 

DiSSE 


►-Quarters Tents. 
:nsatory. 
CTiNG House. 







•The other sides of the Hospital border upon Swamps. 



I 

258 LIFE IN Kr.r.KL riu^'cvs. 

Tlioy commenced their duties about eigli 
in the morninir, anil rmisheil alx)ut one in th« 
afternoon. The interest which they felt in 
tJieir work was inanifest in the manner ot 
doin^ it. They would stand in the middle of 
the .street, and with folded arms ask the patient 
how he felt, and llun very indiflerently tell 
the clerk to renew the prescriptions of a pn-- 
vioiLS time. In justice to some, however, we 
can say, they were kind to the sick and did 
what they could for them, hut they were re 
luctant to go into the tent,s on account of tli 
lice which were there in such ([uantitie.s. 

The form to he observed before one could 
get into the hospital at all, was a burden tn 
the men who were already so feeble the 
could scarcely support the weiLrhl of their 
bodies. 

Oiit^idi* was built a board ^vnvr the whole 
length of the stockade, and about tliree rods 
wide, where the (loctors liad the 

SICK CALL. 

Here they had a little shed built to j)rolecl 
theiniHjlves from the nun, nnd here over one 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 259 

thousand persons would come out daily, hop- 
ing to find some remedy for their sufferings. 
A third of them would be brought in blankets 
by their comrades, as no prescriptions were 
given unless they saw the patient. The num- 
ber then sent to the hospital would correspond 
with the vacancies death had made in the pre- 
vious twenty-four hours. These would have 
a piece of paper, with their number and 
name, put upon their clothes, or in their 
pockets, and it was not a strange thing that 
they were left in the hot sun all day, without 
anything to eat, or water to drink, and with a 
burning fever in their veins. Their sufferings, 
of course, were indescribable, and it was little 
that their comrades could do to help them. 
Some of the physicians were educated men, 
from whose hearts the law of human kindness 
was not wholly effaced, but some were unfit- 
ted in every possible way for the work 
assigned them. 

The Doctor of my ward was a Georgian, a 
fine fellow, and a Union man. To him I con- 
fided my purpose to escape, and met with the 
assurance that he would afford me any assist- 



260 LIFE IN REBEL PRIRON'R. 

anco in liis power to L^lin such an end. With 
hiuK as witli many others, choice could n< 
have it.s way, else they would have heen 
found in other positions, more con<xenial tn 
their leehni^s ; they would have i)een oflerin 
help and comfort to their fellow-men, undei 
an administration more desirahle than that of 
the Confederates. Everything ahout us seeme<l 
marked hy cruelty and heartlessness. On 
niirht I was startle(l hy the sound of a muskc'. 
and iiuuu'(liat(dy after, 1 recoLrnized a Innnau 
voice, uttering the exclamation, in plainti\ 
tones, '*()h. I am shot." 1 in>tantly arose and 
hastened to the spot from whence the soun 
proceeded, and then.' found tiiat one of the pooi 
fellows in my ward had gone to the fire that 
was kej)t hy the guai'd who were statione«l 
inside the fence, for the j)urpose of warm 
ing himself Some one fnnu the outside pn> 
ing by, callcil out grullly to Inm, '*(iet awa 
from then'," and without giving iiini time : 
obey the heartlesH order, fire(l upon him, 
breaking his leg just above the knee. Tl 
following morning he was subjected to anij)u- 
tation, but ho never rallied from it, lb' 






LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 261 

Iing:ered about three ^veeks and died. Some 
of the physicians pronounced it an outrage, and 
seemed inchned to do for him what they could. 
This was not an isolated case ; an individual 
instance where hatred and malice wreaked 
their vengeance upon a single object of dislike. 
It is only one of the countless number that 
we might record, of which we have been eye- 
witnesses, and which show the merciless char- 
acter of the men with whom we had to deal 
constantly. 

Among so many, selfishness finds expres- 
sion, also, and such manifestations among the 
sick in a hospital, give anything but the pleas- 
ant side of human nature. Some of the 
nurses were very kind, and did all in their 
power for the comfort of those upon wdiom 
they attended, but others would stand over 
dying men, and search them for the valuable 
things they might have in their possession, 
before the breath had left the body. The, 
physicians had something of a variety of 
medicme, but it was altogether insufficient in 
quantity. They obtained them from the labo- 
ratory at Macon, and a month's supply would 



2G2 LiFK IN ia:ni:L riasn.Ns. 

last only about ten da vs. There was no 
alternative, then, imt to Irt disease go on its g 
way inicheeked, or to rci^ort to the woods for 
such barks and roots as were known to hv 
medicinal in th«'ir natme. For astrin<^ents, in 
cases of diarrhea, we used white oak and 
sweet feni, and sumach berries for scurvy in 
the mouth ; but it was not medicine, after all, 
lliat was so much needed, as good, wholesome 
food. Could we liavc had this, with plenty of 
vinegar, or some acid, what a change would 
have been wrought in our wretched looking 
company at the hospital! 

TIIF. RATIONS, 

for twenty-four hours, for these poor sick ones, 
was a piece of corn bread about two inches 
square, and two ounces of meat. In case of 
very severe sickness, they might have /fro 
f/ills of /lour, enough for a biscuit, ami tliis 
would be baked by th(» nuise of tlie wanl, and 
•sometimes they had a little rice, but so mis- 
erably cooked ixH to be almost loath.Home. It 
would be boilrd in two large kettles, and then 
fdled up with cold water to make it hold out, 
fur the supply of those who needed it. Any 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 263 

way and any how, seemed to be the principle 
upon which everything was done, as may be 
seen in case of the meal of wdiich the bread 
was made, it being a mixture of the cob and 
corn, for it was all ground together, thus fur- 
nishing no better material for the diet of a 
sick man than we had commonly seen given 
to swine at home. What wonder, then, that 
we saw so many living skeletons constantly 
before us ! 

I have seen men walking about, in hundreds 
of cases, that, according to my judgment, 
would not weigh seventy-five pounds, and 
these w^ere men, too, who had once known a 
uniform w^eight of one hundred and eighty. 
They w^ould live in this w^ay for months, grad- 
ually growing thinner and weaker, until they 
were entirely worn out, and there was nothing 
left on which life could feed itself The 
principal 

DISEASES 

were diarrhea, scurvy, dropsy, and typhoid 
fever. To think of these as they exist at the 
North, one ha^ no idea of them w^hatsoever. 
The aggravated form they assumed there, 



204 LIFE IN REliKL PniSONS, 

Avith everv possible tliin*^ to niig^ment thoir 
power of working, is past all conception, ter- 
rible. The intensity of suflering, among those 
Avho were tlie victims of the first mentioned 
disease, surpasses all description. I have 
known many of them to eat nothing for 
a week at a time, except a little flour paste, 
^vllile all the wliile their evacuations would he 
nothing hut /y/oor/, and attended with the most 
e.vcniciating pain, ;ni(l oftentimes the requisite 
change in their position would at once produce 
faintness. We always expected death as the 
inevitable result in such cases, for uono wore 
ever cured. 

In dropsy, the suffering was hardly less 
acute. I have seen the limbs of some of the 
patients which had hc'coine so Imdly swollen. 
they would burst, and for the \\ai\\ of ])roj)('r 
treatment become IiIKmI \\ith lixing things. 
An instance occurs to my mind now, of one 
poor man, who.se body was so racked wilii 
pain by this di.^eiuse, that he cried out in his 
ngony for some one to kill him. He lingered 
a while in this condition, and death finally 
came and took away the spirit fix>m it4» diir 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 2G7 

eased and wretched tenement, leaving it all 
unconscious of the torments it had endured. 
Sometimes it would settle in the face, and in 
such cases they could not see at all, and they 
would meet us in our round, their disfigured 
countenances mutely challenging our sympa- 
thies, and kindling constant regret that we 
could do so little to help them, when they 
must have it or die. 

The horrors of scurvy none can know but 
those who have witnessed them. It appeared 
in different forms. Sometimes it would appear 
in the limbs, and the cords would be so drawn 
up they could not walk. The flesh would 
become discolored as if they had been beaten 
Avith clubs, and so soft, the impress of the 
fingers would remain as they pressed upon it. 
Sometimes it would be confined to the bones, 
and not show itself outside at all. In such 
cases it would be attended with the most 
intense pain. At other times it would be in 
the mouth, and the gums w^ould become sepa- 
rated from the teeth, and finally they would 
drop out altogether, and not a tooth be left in 
the jaw. I have seen hundreds of eases in 



2G8 LTFT IN REBEL PRISONS. 

this fliseaso, uhcro tlio men have actnalh 
starved to death, hocau.se thoy were unahle 
eat the coai*se food that was furni.^hed thei 
hy the Conlederates. 

They had hut a hinittd sn])j)]y of ine(hcines" 
that were nece.s.sary in these instances, and 
fur want of these it would he unchecked until 
fjancjrene sot in to fill up the measure of suf 
fering. 

The ])l()()d of ilir men, generally, was in 
such an impure state, that the least hreak of 
the skin would he ahnost smv to lead to a 
gangrenous sore, and many amputations were 
pcrfonned in consequence. Under the inlhi- 
cnce of a scorching sun, the entire upper sur- 
face of tlie foot wouM hecome hlistered ; thesr 
would hreak, IcaviuLT the Uesh exposed, and 
Iia\ing nothing to dress it with, or protect it 
in any way, gangrene was inc\ itahlc and tin- 
would he luljowcd hy the loss of tlie foot, if 
not a hirger portion o|" the lind). In maiiv 
cases tliey were ho mudi dchilitated wlien tin 
attempt wa.s made, they would never recovci 
from tlie inlluence of the chloroform. an<l il 
tliey had strfiiL'-th at the h«"/innln«'". they 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 269 

would afterwards die for the want of j^roper 
nourishment, which it was impossible to obtain. 
The amputations would average as many as 
half a dozen every day, and I knew not a 
single instance of recovery from them. 

In addition to these things, there were also 
cases of extreme suffering, without number^ 
caused by the use of bad vaccine matter. 
"Whether the rebels did this intentionally, or 
not, we can not say, but it certainly became a 
melancholy fact among us. I remember the 
sad condition of a man, who had it break out 
under his arm and eat into his vitals, and the 
opening was so large as almost to admit a 
man's hand. 

Some became the victims of total hllndnesSy 
occasioned, it may be, by constant exposure to 
the heat of the sun, and its action upon the 
nervous system. 

In the month of June it rained twenty-one 
days in succession, and it was not strange that 
disease should multiply and assume every 
imaginable form. There were fifteen thou- 
sand men in the stockade, without shelter of 
any kind, and it might be expected that the 



270 uyy: in ukukl prisons. 



hospital would be rapidly puoplod from their 
ranks. Indeud, the latter place was hardly 
any better. During the warm season it wa.s 
dreadrul. The men scann'ly ever wore anv 
elothin"- :it all, but a sliiit. tlial tliev niiL^L. 
keep its IVee as possible iVom tlie lice, whidi 
covered all their elothinL^ It was thn 
hours' work every day, in my ec^mparatively 
healthful condition, to keep my own body 
tolerably free from them, and tlie poor, sick 
men, who were too feeble to help themselv* 
would actuallv find llicir life-blood taken away 
from them in this way. Many men have died 
apparently from no other cause than that of 
being overrun with lice. 1 have had men's 
hair cut, wlien, if these had been measured, 
there would bave been in bulk a ball' pint of 
them, and in size aljout a <jnarter of an incb. 
Mosquitoes, tno, wen^ tcrribl'. A man w bo 
coukl not, through weakness, defend himself, 
looked as if be bad tbe measles, so completcl 
would his face bo covered with their bites, nnd 
Jleas without number vied with these to tor- 
ment the poor prisoner, sick or wcdl. It is 
liardly possible to conceive a crreater accumu- 






LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 271 

lation of woes to come upon mortal men, 
than fell to the lot of our prisoners at Ander- 
son ville. 

In view of all these thmgs, some of the 
rebel Surgeons felt compelled to call for some- 
thing better, but it fell mostly upon unlieed- 
ino: ears. 

Nearly 3 thousand died during the month 
of August, and in the midst of this fearful 
mortality. Surgeon Keeves reported as follows, 
and we must remember this bears the mild- 
ness of 

REBEL TESTIMONY. 

"I find the tents in bad condition, a great 
many leaking, and a great many of the 
patients lying on the ground and getting very 
wet when it rains. w^ould most respect- 
fully recommend that straw^ of some kind be 
secured for bedding; also some arrangement 
to raise them from the ground. Yv^ithout a 
change in this respect, it will be impossible 
for me to practice wdth success." No response 
was made to this, and still later another. Sur- 
geon Pelot, uttered his protest with regard to 
diet "The corn bread," he says, "received 



272 LIFE IN KKHKL riUSONS. 

from the bakerv, beiiiL^ iiuidi' up without sift- 
ing, is wholly unlit for the sick, and often, 
upon examination, \hv inner portion is found 
to he perftM'tly raw. The i)eef reeeive<l ]>y the 
patients iUns not amount to over two ounce*; 
per day : and lor the ]>ast tliree or four da\ 
no llour has Ijcen issued to tlic sick. The 
bread can not l)e eaten by many ; lor to do so 
would be to increase the di.seasc of the bowels, 
IVom which a larire majority are suflering; 
and it is thcrclbre thi'own away." 

Themselves being judges, they (h'clared the 
rations too small, and not sufliciently nourisii- 
ing, and they gave it as their deliberate con- 
viction that the ])atients of the hopital suC- 
fcreil as iiiucli iVoiu huuii-cr as IVom disca.-' 

About the middle of August \h\ Thornburg 
reported his patients in a '*de|)l()iable condi- 
tion," some of them beiui: with(nit clothinjr of 
nny kind. "In the lir>t, secon<l and third 
wanls," lie writes, "wc have no bunks, the 
j)atients being comprlli'd to lie on the gn)und, 
many of them witln)ut blankets, or any cover- 
ing what.H<H'ver. If there are any beds in 
*Dixie/ it iu to be hoped that they will bo pi- 



LIFE IN REBEL TRTSONS. 273 

cured. We need straw very badly, especially 
for the fifth ^yard. We have men in this 
ward who are a living, moving mass of putre- 
faction, and can not possibly be cured of their 
wounds unless we can make them more com- 
fortable." 

Such is the testimony of men whom we 
would not think likely to exaggerate in this 
matter. They even declare that some of the 
food furnished the prisoners would "produce 
di.^case among swine." 

As a sad consequence of all this, thirteen 
thousand of our brave boys lie buried in that 
ever-to-be-remembered place. How often did 
we think, "had they died on the field of bat- 
tle we could have felt differently," but they 
must die by inches, in the most miserable of 
places, and with the most miserable treatment, 
day after day, and week after week, hoping, 
watching and praying for release. Hundreds 
of times in a day w^ould the question be 
asked, "Is there no news of exchange?'' They 
seemed to have a wonderful tenacity of life. 
Hope seemed to keep them np until almost 
every spark of life had gone out, and when it 



274 UFi: IN lu.nix niisoNs. 

>vent altogether, it was so sudden they seldom 
mentioned anythin*^ about dying, and, indee ' 
they never seemed to realize it when deaii 
was just u|u)u them. So gniihial and eonstai 
would be their deeline, the} would be accu 
tomed to weakness and suflering without 
thinkiuLr what it would inevitably tend to. 

One poor fellow Tell over and died while in 
the aet of eating a biscuit, and very niai. 
canu' to their end in a way ecjually su«l- 
den and unlooked for. We eould searcel 
account for it. Evidently the springs of 11: 
liad been drying at their source, all uncon- 
sciously to themselves and others. Occasion- 
ally some one would talk with me of the coi 
intr event, and send little messages to t!. 
friends ^\ ho shareil their dying thoughts, 

I). S. Hirdsell, of Hartford, Ct., went in: 
the hospital just before I left. I'pon li 
entrance he told me he tliought deatli was 
doing its work, and every tleature of his com 
tenance was mark(»d with sadness as he sa 
it, for he had a wife ami diildren that woui 
niouni his lo.s.s. Tears fdled liis eye.^ fts li 
thought of them, and how dc:iinible it woul 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 275 

be if lie could only spend his last days with 
them. It was a struggle for nature to yield, 
and he said, "It's hard to die here. I had 
hoped to die at home^' and how much tliat 
word means to a soldier and a prisoner, espe- 
cially to one that sees his days to be almost 
numbered. I obtained soup for him that I 
thought would strengthen and revive him, 
and did all I could for his encouragement, and 
for a time he seemed better, but it did not 
last long. He died, and is one of the thou- 
sands Avho lie buried there. At his entrance 
he gave me his diary and pictures to have in 
charge until I could send them to his family, 
and bade me tell them of his love and remem- 
brance in his last days, far away from them. 

Others also sent pictures and messages to 
their friends, but these instances were com- 
paratively isolated, for reasons that we have 
before mentioned. 

It may seem strange that this should be so, 
and it often appeared so to myself, but it is 
best understood by those who were acquainted 
with the condition of the men and witnessed 
their slow decline. 



276 LIFE IN REBEL PRISON?. 

Dofith was oHon times doiiifr its work before 
the men were carried to the hospital. Tli' 
had two ainl)ulances and an army wagon, 
in which they always carried the patieir 
An and)nlance wonld hold fonr, and from tlii> 
nnmbcr 1 have often seen two taken out dead, 
having breathed out their lives on the way, 
and many died while waiting outside the stock- 
ade for some one to come to their lelief 

Alter death, the men were carried to the 

gate and laid inside the stockade, next to the 

dead line, a\ here they often remained in the 

hot sun until the next morning. They were 

then taken by our own mm, who had been 

j)aroled for the })urj)Ose, and carried outsid-* 

to a 

DEAD uorsE, 

made of pine boughs, which formed a kinil 
of screen. After all had been collected at 
this ])lace, they were carried out unto the 
plnce ol' burial. I have seen one hundred 
bodies in a row, and some of them «o decom- 
posed as to fall to pieces on being removed. 
T-N'irge quantities of whisky were given to the 
mm who nttmdi'd to the burial of these. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 277 

Surprising as it may seem, it came to be 
considered a great privilege to assist in this 
work, so that men would almost contend for 
it. It even came to be a matter of trade, and 
from one to three dollars in U. S. money was 
the price for being permitted to carry out a 
dead body, — those who died in the stockade. 

Not havino; a sufficient number of stretch- 
ers, they were carried out on blankets or on 
sticks of wood, and the bearers thus found ad- 
mission to the hospital, where they were likely 
to find some untasted portion of food that had 
been given to the sick, and this they would 
obtain to appease their hunger. They could 
also get wood in this way, by which they could 
cook their small allowance, so that it was es- 
teemed a double gain among these half-starved 
men which they realized for their dreadful 
work. 

After the death of the men, they were num- 
bered, and their names written on a piece of 
paper and pinned to their clothing. They 
were then taken to the dead-house, as we have 
said, but this was within hospital grounds, so 
that it was a wonder to ourselves that we had 
12 



278 LIFE IN HKBKL PRISONS. 

110 contagions diseases from having so many 
decaying bodies in our midst 

Before the phm of marking and nnmhering 
'Nvas observ('(]. those ^\h() (linl while waiting to 
be carried to the hospital were bnried with 
the single word upon them, ^* l"nl'noic7i'' — and 
these Avere men. many of thrm, wlio liad been 
reared in hixury, and who had Iriends whose 
lieart.s would well-nigh break if they knew 
half the trutli respecting their snfTe rings. Of: 
entimes 1 tliought it blessed ignorance for 
them, but melancholy in the last degree f * i 
the poor soldier. I have shed many a tear 
myself at their sad fate, as I saw them rudel; 
and nnfeelingly conveyed to their last home. 

Every morning a large army-wagon would 
be driven u[) to the di'ad-house, and twenty or 
thirty bodies woidd be loadetl in like so many 
logs of wood, oiu' tnj) of another, some with 
an arm hanging out at the si<le, and othei 
with tlnir liiubs ])rotruding at the sides, for 
there was no covering at all. 'I'he n^bel 
finally became ashamed <»f tluir own want ol 
decency, and provided a covered wagon. 

When they fn^i took their priijonei-s to 



I 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 279 

Georgia, they furnished coffins, but the mor- 
taUty became so great that they finally neg- 
lected to do that, and dug a trench. about two 
and a half feet deep, with a kind of shelf of 
the dirt ten inches high, on which they placed 
slabs of wood to keep the earth from them. 
In a little time they died too fast for even 
this, and they then dug a trench that would 
hold about one hundred and twenty-five bod- 
ies, in which they placed them close together 
and covered them up. Being thus buried, 
they would take pieces of wood upon which 
the numbers had been placed, and drive them 
down at the head of each body, not knowing 
or caring whether they were where they ought 
to be or not. 

The place of burial was about half a mile 
from the hospital. It was situated on high 
ground, being level, and surrounded with pine 
forests, which made it very pleasant. It is 
emphatically a Soldiers' Cemetery, and a fear^ 
ful comment upon Southern cruelty. 

But for their ^vretched system of treatment, 
the earth would not have held in its embrace 
so many of our brave boys j but for this, so 



280 LIFK IN REBEL rRISONSL 

many of the survivors would not carry with 
thcni brokcMi constitution^ and maimed bodies, 
a.s they must now do. 

The recital of these tales of horror touches 
the deepest spriuLTs of syTn]>athy, and kindles 
the lircs of indignation to :i fervid glow; hut 
it may not he for us to strike the blow which 
justice demands. 

'*Venfreance is mine; I will repay, saitli (he 
T>()i(l." I1ieci-y of the niartyied thousands lias 
gone up i)efore high Heaven, — not lieedles>ly, 
but to })e the means of a a i>itation, it may he, 
to the oppressors, which they will he ill pre- 
pared to meet. 

Fearful wrongs may not always exist. There 
comes a time when RiLdit will a.^^sert its inhe- 
rent dignity, and show itself tiiumj)hant; hut, 
meantime, the friends of the Northern soldier 
should he awake to their duty an<l tln'ir trust. 

If then? is anything that <'an he (huic the.«<o 
men ought not to be sufTered to pine away in 
the miasma of SoutlnTu prisons. The fart 
that one hunrjred and fifty have died in a 
single day in the foul atmosphere* of such a 
])lace ail the pri-on ..f Andersonville, ought to 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 281 

awaken the people, and through them the Gov- 
ernment, to a sense of these things, and bid 
them hasten to their rehef. Much of the 
seeming apathy is doubtless due to the want 
of knowledge respecting the real state of af- 
fairs ; but when we give these mournful state- 
ments, we know whereof we affirm. 

Day by day we have gone the rounds of 
that wretched hospital, and looked upon al- 
most every variety of suffering that the hu- 
man frame is capable of presenting. 

We have seen the misery of " hope deferred " 
written on many a countenance as we have 
passed the patient creatures on their low 
couch of earth. 

We have seen their gaunt faces and pro- 
truding bones make their silent and wistful 
appeal week by week, and wondered that 
there was none to remember us in our sor- 
row. 

We have witnessed amid all their woe and 
want, their 

FIRM DEVOTION 

to the Union cause, and known their ihtense 
longings for victory and success^ tQ, crown t% 



282 LlKi: IN UKIJKL PRISONS. 

Federal nrins ; and thuuglit would continually 
suggest that such unsellisli patriots were wop-j 
thv a better lot, — that they ought, at least, i 
ije rescued IVoin stiirvation. 

1 wearied of tiie biekeiiin;^ si<dils con<tantl\ 
before me, and detenniiied to make my es- 
cape. I accomplisiii'd my objrcl by obtaining 
a suit of sailor's (•K)thes, changing my nam 
autl allowing inysrlf to be taken to CharK 
ton. .111(1 from tlR'nce to Libl)y prison at 
Kiehmond. 'J'luTe I was exchanged, bavin 
]}een a prisoner just six months. No stai 
mcnt bavc^ I made but will be confmned b 
every ])ris()n('r at Andersonville, who kne. 
anything of the interior of the hospital. Tii 
tnith can not be told ; it beggai^s all descrij- 
tion. It is to be liopi'(l that the time j)a 
will suffice, and that a like e\j)erienee will not 
ba\i' to be wrought out by any company ol' 
holdiei-H in tln^ future. The (ieorfjia Cemetery 
nhould i)e as a mighty trumpet to j)ix>chiini 
against it 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 283 

CHAPTER YIII. 

DEPARTURE FROM PRISON. 

As we marched out of the gate, we were 
divided into squads of sixty men each, and 
marched over to the depot. The sick ones were 
placed between the strongest of us, who bore 
them up, and in this manner we wended our 
way slowly along the road. When we were 
passing the head-quarters of Captain Wirz, he 
cried out to us, "You'll never come back here 
again ! " and if it was not expressed, the sin- 
cere and inward response of every man was, 
"I hope we never may." Upon our arrival at 
the depot, we were immediately loaded into 
the cars, a squad of sixty in each one, with 
two guards upon the top. They were merely 
common box cars, such as are used at the 
North for transporting freight. We found 
placed for us inside, some corn-bread and 
bacon, which we were told was our allowance 
for two days, and also one or two wooden 
buckets in which we were to get our supply 
of water at the different stopping-places. We 



284 LI Ft LN KKUKL TKISONS. 

iiniii' 'v (livi<K<l and distributed the i 

tioii.*^, auU iiad baivly time to fill one of our 
buckets witli >vat(M% when the cheering souii^ 
of the locomotive's whistle was heard, and \'. 
"vvere ofl'. Yes! we were really leaving behii 
us that plague-spot upon the fair earth — Au- 
dei'sonville. We went as far as Macon that 
evening, and waitrd thi-re unld four o'clock in 
the morning. .lust before reaching Fort Val- 
ley, while tiie train was stopping for a few 
minutes, several men, who would not belie\ 
the aflair would be crowned with exchan; 
after all, jumped from the cars, and attempti 
to make good their escape. Our first know 1 
edge of the fact was the simultaneoiu^ di 
charge of two muskets iVoni the guards wl 
saw them and fireil. I'liey were captured and 
brought back. 

Sunrise found us traveling at a rapid ra' 
on the Georgia Central Railroad, bound for 
Savannah, as we then supposi'd. The country 
through which wi' were pjussing wa.s ve^^ 
beautiful, and looked like Ivlen to our deligli 
ed gaze, nhut uj> as wr hail l»een for so nuin 
xuontlm. 'Hie trees, tlic green gntH,M, the 



LIFE IN REBEL I»RISONS. 285 

flowers and pure air, — everything was lovely 
to us, and received our w^armest praise. As 
w^e passed Gordon, w^e saw some of the 
destruction wrought by our cavalry, under 
Gen. Stoneman. The handsome railroad sta- 
tion and freight house was burned, and stood 
there dismantled and lonely, while bent and 
twisted rails, and partially burned ties, "were 
scattered all about. 

The road had been rebuilt, and was then in 
good, running order. When we arrived at 
Millen, instead of continuing on the Central 
road, we switched off to the Augusta road. 
"How is this?" we began to inquire. Not 
having very strong confidence yet in those 
w ith whom we had to deal, we were a little 
fearful what might happen. Visions of an- 
other prison began to appear before us, but 
our fears were soon dispelled by assurances 
that this was the nearest and quickest route 
to Charleston, which we were told was the 
point of exchange. 

The fifty-two miles from Millen to Augusta 
was quickly sped, and shortly before sunset 
we entered that beautiful city^ and here w^ 



28G LIFE LN REBEL PRISONS. 

had to wait a long time, but it was far from 
being tedious, for we received every possiltl 
attention from the citizens. Men, women aii«l 
children liid their utmost to sujiplv us witli 
jxood, cool water, and this was homething >\ 
were greatly in need of. One family in par- 
ticular, I shall never for^a-t. Their home was 
in a large white house, near tt) the car in 
which I sat, and all of them kept hard at 
work, fdling our canteens and tin cuj^s with 
refreshiuLT water, and hriuLnuLf milk, bisci 
and meat, witli the request that it miirht he 
given to the sick, and it may 1k' imagined 
how gratefully it wiis received by those wl 
had nothing but misenible bri'ad and bacon to 
tempt their sickly a])petites. As the lady of 
the house was stepping away fmm the car. 
after having bmught a j)1ate of delicacies, 1 
said to her, '^Mfifhimy if yon j)lease, frill you 
let me know tJie name of one irho Jinx been so 
kind to }tsf'' **Ye8 sir," she i*eplied, "Mi*s. .1. H. 
O'Donnidl." Our hearts pnimpted the strongest 
cxprcKHions <»f gratittide, and even now, in 
remem}»rance of it, I feel like Niying, 'Mnay 
God blesw her for the sympathy and kindncag 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 287 

which she and her family displayed toward 
usl" I do not know whether she was Union 
or rebel in sentiment, but I do know that she 
had a heart overflowing with kindness, A 
great many were gathered there, and those 
w^ho talked with us, wished us a safe passage 
home, and above all other things did they 
wish for peace to be smiling upon them again. 
They spoke as if they were heartily tired of 
the war, and indeed we thought all Georgians 
were from some things we had seen. When 
we left there, we were taken out of the cars 
and marched over into another street, where 
others were awaiting us on a difierent track. 
While waiting here we came in contact w^ith 

A REBEL SOLDIER, 

who had been exchanged only a few weeks 
before, and held quite a conversation Avith 
him. We had a great many questions to ask 
him, for he had come from our own land, and 
we imao-ined there had been quite a contrast 
between the treatment he had received and 
that which we had endured. 

"Where were you kept while a prisoner ?" 
we asked. '^On Johnson^s Island," he told us. 



288 LiKK IN iii:iu:l riu:>u.N;?. 

**lIow did our j)('0|»K' trral you," wo oonti - 
lied, anxious t(» draw liiui out ou j)oint« of dif- 
ference. '* r^ry ^^ I'll, indeed, sir." **I)id you 
have enouLdi to rat, and good fcxxl, loo'" 
'•Yes, sir!" "Did you receive any voeeta- 
bles?" '*Oli, yes; (piite often." "And how 
WHS it if you were sick," we ti.skcd, ** could you 
get medicine and receive medical treatment . 
To this lie readily rejdied in the atVmnative, 
and haviuLT satisfuMJ our curiosity as to the 
maimer in which our L^overnment ti-eated its 
prisoners, we Ijcgan to enlighten hiiu a littl.' 
on the way we had heeii treated, and we had 
pretty conclusive |)r()of of the truth of our 
statement.s with us. in our own person^, or, at 
letust, he seemed to think so. Reaching into 
my cloth hag, wliich answere(l as a "haver- 
sack," I drew forth a j>icce of corn hread, 
about tiie size and weight of a goo<l brick. 
I handcil it to hiui for inspection, Haying, 
**thrr€, that is what your people give us. 
What do you think of it ?" lie looke<l at it, 
f(dt of it, and shaking his head, hande<i it 
hack, acknowledging it wa.s ** mighty poor 
foixL" "iViid. lo<.l; hurc," said I, "what do yon 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 289 

think of this shirt," as I pointed to the misera- 
ble apology for such a garment, ^^all worn to 
tatters, and these pants, all rags and dirt ?" 
He was honest enough not to undertake to 
excuse such a course of treatment, and con- 
fessing that "it was'nt right," he turned and 
went away. 

At ten P. M. we left on the Charleston train, 
bound direct for that "city by the sea," carry- 
ing with us pleasant recollections of our short 
stay in Augusta. On awaking in the morn- 
ing, we found we had traveled only thirty 
miles during the night, and the journey 
through the day was conducted in the same 
style, brmging our 

ENTRANCE INTO CHARLESTON 

at three, P. M. We immediately left the cars, 
and were marched about half a mile, to the 
race-course, where a guard was thrown about 
us, and we were left to our meditations, first 
being told, however, that it was no exchange 
after all, but simply a hurried removal, caused 
by great fear of Gen. Sherman and his army. 
"How blind we had been," we thought, "not 
to have been mindful of that before !" "Now 



290 LIFE IN RKBKL PRISONS. 

we see," we said to ourselveti, '* tliai those wlio 
did not believe in the rebel lies were thi' (cis. 
men, and we wore the loolish ones." 

**Can those robols have any lu'iirts at all, tu 
deceive sufl'oring, dyin|^ men, in tliis syste- 
matica manner?" we asked, Init u[)()n considera- 
tion wo thouL^ht it no wondor aftor all, for 
they perjurod thomsolvos when they seceded 
from the government, and wlion nun ]ia\' 
once dono this, it becomes an ea.sy nnitt^'i 
afterwards to repeat it lus often a,s they please, 
and in such form as suit.s them best. It 
seemed that a low more such developmenl.s, 
and a little more of like experience, and we 
shoidd have a pretty clear insight into rebel 
character. 

Collecting oin* thoughts, we looked about 
lis to SCO how wo wore situatocl. The rac- 
course upon whicii wo wore caiiipod, was a 
broad, gra.<sy Hat, just outsiih' tlio city, but 
commanding a view of its houses and build- 
ings. Tlio track was grown over with gras. 
and the judgi's' stand looked very lioket 
indeed, hardly able to stand by it.«<eir Tli 
'irge building formerly used aa a staud for 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 291 

spectators, was now occupied by Col. Daniels, 
of the 5 til Georgia regiment, and Lieut. Col. 
Iverson ; the latter in command over us. 
These soldiers were much better clothed, and 
were a better and more intelligent set of men, 
than the conscripts who guarded us at Ander- 
sonville. They told us, with a great show of 
pride, that they had "always been at the 
front, until within four weeks." 

We had been there but a little while before 
Gen. Foster sent his compliments over to the 
city^ in the shape of a shell, which burst 
in the air, directly in front of us. It did 
seem aggrp.vating to be there, so near those 
who manned our own guns, and yet as help- 
less as if we were a thousand miles from 
them. After we left the cars, and were 
marching over to the place of encampment, 
we met with great kindness from the citizens, 
who brought us water to drink, and gave us 
food to eat. They all expressed a great deal 
of sympathy for us, and a few of them dared 
to whisper, while unseen by the guard, that 
"they hoped our army would soon come to 
our deliverance." 



i 

oiT 



202 LIFi: IN UEBKL PRISONS, 

That niglit our rations were wholly e 
hausled, and all that wc received wa.s pro: 

ises that we nuLdit have irood hread and haco 

> (^ 

on the morrow. 

The disappointment was so very great, uc 
feared it would i)rove too much for the bo 
wlio were sick, and that thev would die, but 
those who were well, eouM hut feel that it 
was some improvement to he surrounded by 
cool, clear air, not yet laden with pestilential 
odors. 

When the morrow came, we received our 
hard hread and hacon which had been pn»'' 
ised, each one having three and a half lai 
crackers, made of good sweet Hour, about - 
inches nqunre, and ai)out twice the ([uantity 
of bacon we had been in ihr habit of having 
nt our prison tiouw of the messes had, also, 
8onp and salt. 

Wc were organized, here, in a manner alto- 
gether dillerent from that down in CJeorgia, 
Instead of being in detiichments, as there, 
here >ve were placed in ** thousands" and **iiun- 
c1rcd«." Our squad was designated as the 3d 
•^ bimdred." 1st '• thousand." Each one of these 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 293 

divisions was commanded by a sergeant. The 
rations were drawn from the rebels by the olfi- 
cer over the " thousand," and those over " hun- 
dreds" drew their respective shares from him. 
The whole number of prisoners gathered there 
was some over six thousand. We had no 
tents and no shelter whatsoever furnished us, 
but such of us as had blankets erected some- 
thing that served to shelter us from the heat 
of the sun, but they were of little use when 
it rained. 

We could obtain plenty of water by digging 
down about four or five feet, but it was not of 
very good quality. However, a great number 
were quickly dug by the men ; so numerous, 
that one could scarcely walk at all after dark, 
without danger of falling into some of them. 
A saltish kind of mineral water was also 
brought up from the city, and was said to 
have been obtained from an Artesian well. 

A great many of the women and children 
came over, bringing with them wheat bread, 
sweet potatoes, and clothing, which they would 
throw over the line, when the guards were 
turned with their backs toward them. They 



201 Llri: IN UKHKL rUISUNS. 

Iijul orders to stop nnythini:^ of tlic kiiul they 
J aw, and Fome of them were so aceomnioda- 
ting they would not sec if they could, and 
kept their faces turned away purposely, that 
ill this way we niii.dit receive what the ladii'^ 
brought us for our comfort. 

Unpleasant as our situation was at this time 
while experiencing the sorrows of blighted 
hope, it iK'Vi rtlieless seemed grand not to be 
confined inside a stockade. But our old friend, 

THE DEAD LINE, 

M'cMied deteniiiued to follow us wherever w 
went. A rebel soldier, with a hoi*se and plow, 
went round our camp, turning over a liglit 
furrow a few feet from the sentries' beat; and 
tliat was to be all that should mark the Hue 
between lil'e and deatli lor us. Not even a 
railing was put up, bke the one we had been 
convei'Siiut with. Sixm after this, the whole 
of UH were mariUied out of camp, and after 
staying awiiile out, we liad tiie siitisfaction of 
marcliing baek again, — done, as W(» learne«l, 
to ufl'ord a better op|>ortunity of our being 
couutod 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 295 

Fifteen of tlie " hundreds" were finally given 
one day's rations, and ordered to be ready to 
take their departure on the next day; and it 
was matter of much speculation with us, as to 
where their place of destination might be. 
They started early in the morning for their 
unknown home, but we conjectured that it 
might be Florence, as we learned the rebels 
had another prison there. 

That day was to us one of the old-fashioned 
starvation days, for we had nothing but a 
scrap of fresh beef until after dark at night, 
when we had a little hard-bread given us. A 
Rebel officer came to the prison entrance in 
the afternoon, and called for volunteers to 
work upon fortifications in Charleston harbor, 
promising, as an inducement, all they wanted 
to eat, besides tobacco and whisky, and threat- 
ening to force them if they should refuse to 
do it of their own accord. I am sorry to say 
that several hundred did volunteer their 
services, and were accepted. It might be 
that they did it with the hope of escaping. 
We could not think they. would so violate 
their enhstment oath, "not to render aid or 



296 LIFK IN REBEL PRISONS. 

comfort to the enemy," on ;iny other con- 
dition. 

I received a line ai»out this time from Major 
Pasco, of our regiment, wlio wa.s a prisoner in 
the Hoper Hospital i)nililings, down in the 
city. It was brought to me hy the Catholic 
''Sistei's of Charity," and made me feel like 
setthig down one good (]vi'i\ in their favor, for 
it certainly seemed like an act of kindness 
then. 1 wrote a re|)ly U) the note, and suj)- 
j)Osing that it would have to he examined 
hefore it was allowctl to go, I stepped uj) to 
the Lieutenant who was oflicer o[ the guard, 
and explained the case to him, asking him to 
read it, in order to siitisfv him-elf that it con- 
tained nothing contraband. lb' m.ade very 
hIow work of it, and another oHiccr, obscrNing 
it, steppccl up, and between them botli tb< 
camo to tlici eonelusion that it was all right, 
and I was permitted to send it. 

Several of our boys were siek, and really 
needed to be admitted to the hospital, and T 
\i.sed all my en(leavoi*s to secure such a resuh. 
hut my eflort.s were all fruitless. It was a 
])()or place indeed for a man to be ,sick, with- 



LIFE IN BEBEL PRISONS. 297 

out shelter or medicine, and apparently no 
prospect of having his condition bettered. 
My own right hand was getting to be in a 
very bad condition, arising from a little scratch 
on one of my knuckles, which had spread rap- 
idly, and bid fair to render it unfit for use 
speedily, unless something could be done to 
arrest it. My blood seemed in a terrible state, 
and my system full of scurvy, for I had not 
eaten a vegetable of any kind since my cap- 
ture in April, as none were given us, and we 
had no money to buy. It was not long before 
I had to give up the care of the "mess" to 

Sergeant G , as it became impossible to 

do any work at all. In this state, one of the 

SISTERS OF CHARITY 

did a good thing for me. I asked her if she 
would be so kind as to give me some bandages 
for my hand. ^'"Wait a few moments," said 
she; and she immediately went to an ambu- 
lance Avhich stood near the guard line, and 
returned with her arms full of things for the 
men. Coming towards me, she put quite a 
large package of something done up in a 



208 I.TFE IN REBKL PRISONS. 

snow-white napkin, into my Ihnnd, saying tli; 
wa-s for niysi'ir. Tlianking her heartily, I 
walked away, wondering wli;it it could be, h\ 
did not examine the gill until 1 reaehed tl. 
boys. 1 then imdid it, and found it to contain 
t^ome superb home-made wheat bread. 1 tore 
the napkin into strips for bandages, and ad- 
ministered the broad internally, and with sueh 
immediate and gratifying results, 1 went to 
sleep as hajipy as a kinL^ 

Every day. aln-r thi>, two or three of the- 
Sisters, accompanied sometimes by a dappc 
l<K)king httle Priest, would ride over from tli.- 
city in a two-horse ambulance, which was well 
loaded with good things and brought into 
prison to be dispensed alike to Protestant and 
Catholic. 

To us it was a beautiful sight to see them 
come right in among u<, not afniid to approach 
\18, dirty and ragged as we were. They would 
have, at least, a kind word for us, but oftc : 
they were attended by some more solid tokei 
of sympathy, and in the gratitude of our 
lioartii we said, '*May God bless them* for their 
kindness!" 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 20C 



The rebels, it seemed, fully believed that 
^Wariety" was the "spice of life," for they 
issued in a single day, rice, hominy, corn-meal, 
flour, beans, beef, soap, and salt. It sounds 
very large, but in reality it was very small, for 
no one had enough of each, or all, to do any 
good. 

Early in the morning of the 17th, I spoke 
to an officer respecting my own admission to 
the hospital, and ascertaining there would 
probably be an opportunity, I took my posi- 
tion near the prison-gate, with two of my 
comrades, and waited for the surgeon to make 
his appearance. After a long while he came, 
and as a result of the interview I was admit- 
ted. This was the first time I was ever 
booked in such an institution, and I thought it 
might be the last, for I was much reduced in 
strength, and there seemed to me no great 
prospect of recovery. We had no food that 
day but what was brought us by the kind 
ladies of the city. They brought bread, soups, 
&c., which were divided among us, thus giving 
each quite a taste of good food. The surgeon 
made us a visit in the afternoon, and I was 



300 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

po fortunate ns to get my hand dressed by 
liiin. 

The next day was tlie Sabbath, ])iit it w;i 
fio painfully unlike holy time at home, that we 
were sad. So f^reat was physical depression 
with me, I had begun to despond, and I won- 
dered if I shouhl ever sec liome and friends 
nirain. We liad been deceived so many times, 
I had no confidence in an exchange, and my 
liand was getting so crippled, I was dependent 
on my comrades for even ordinary comforts. 
\)\\i Faith reasoned that it was the time above 
all others when I ought to look beyond myself 
to lliiii who noteth even the ^'sparrow's fall, 
and whose grace was suflicient for support in 
any and every trial that His trustful ones were 
called to endure. While engaged in these 
soothing reflections, the surgeon came to give 
attention to my hand. It had been growing 
worse, continually, and was now filled with 
ganj^ene. I began to be sorely afraid that 1 
wouM bo obliged to lose it 

External things did not conspire to render 
my Bitnation |)aiiicidar]y pleasant. I could 
hear the church bells ring for senice, but the 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 301 

summons was not for me, for I was a prisoner, 
and sick. I knew that our forces w^ere not 
very far away, for there was heavy shelling 
upon the city, all the day, but they were igno- 
rant of my condition, and could not help me 
if they were not. 

Our hospital had really no claim to any 
such title. The treatment we received was a 
mere farce. I longed to gain admission to 
one of the city hospitals, that I might have 
more of some things which seemed absolutely 
indispensable to my recovery. There we 
were, about four hundred patients, sleeping 
upon the bare ground, with no covering fur- 
nished us at all, and no tents but such as we 
could make, of the few threadbare blankets 
that we had held on to, since our capture. 
Every afternoon the Surgeon, a young physi- 
cian from the cit\^, would pay us a visit, 
sometimes bringing with him a few diarrhea 
powders in his pocket, or a few drinks of 
whisky in a little stone jug. We very much 
needed acids, for the scurvy, but these, he 
declared, it w^as impossible to obtain. We 

thought he would have done more for us if it 
13 



oUli LiiK IN i;kiii;l riusoNs. 

had been in \n< j»owor, l)Ut nionly Erood Inten- 
tions Averc simply aLrLT;i\atii)L', ^^llt'n mvu 
Merc (lying a.s they were tliere. A h-irge 
nnnil)er of the strongest men were returned 
to the ])rison, on Monday, and their places 
fdled ])y other sick ones, hut many of then), 
however, were in no worse condition tlian 
•omc who were sent away. I now suhniitted 
my hand to the painful oi)crati()n of severe 
cauterizing, lioping hy some moans to stay 
the progress of the poison. 

About this time we were called to experi- 
ence, what seemed to us, simply an 

ACT nV INIirMANITV. 

An order was issued from head-quart ci*^. 
for the liospital ramp to l)e moved at a greater 
distance from tlir (\imp of the ")th Ooorgia 
regiment, an<l in the midst of a drenching 
rain, the sick men had to strike their blanket 
tcnt.s, an<I put thrm u[) again as best tb«'\ 
could, upon the wet, soaked ground, in tlir 
new position. We were told by an oflieer of 
the guard that there was considerable yellow 
fcvcr in the citv, and that we wen^ movcji 
from fear of contagion. It may have been 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 303 

SO, but the following day brought us a repeti- 
tion of the same suffering. 

Early in the morning everybody who could 
walk, no matter how sick, was ordered inside 
of the prison camp again, and so, several 
hundred of us, poor fellows, had to totter in 
as best we could, many, only to die soon after 
getting there. No reason was assigned for the 
heartless transaction. How we longed to 
hear from the flag of truce boat which had 
been sent down the harbor, or from the meet- 
ing of the exchange commissioners. 

I found a welcome asylum in the tent of 
three of our regiment, who promised to take 
care of me until I was better, if that time 
should ever come. We received, at length, 
some vinegar with our rations, but in exceed- 
ingly small quantities. Some of the boys 
kindly gave me what was assigned to them, 
and by putting them together I had quite a 
drink, that I hoped would tell favorably upon 
my diseased hand. But it was not so easy to 
gain relief My sufferings became so intense 
that I was finally admitted to the hospital 
again, where I was told that it was impossible 



301 LIFE IN RKBEL miSOXS. 

to save my hand, an<l tliat 1 mii^t submit to 
amputation. I wa,s sick at heart to think of 
losini; it, \n\{ conchided that 1 must do it, oi 
lose my hfo, and therefore I chose to have 1' 
performed. I was sent for, and taken out to 
the ani]nitatinir room, -which was in the lower 
part of the buiUlini; formerly used as specta- 
tors' stand, at the great races. Upon arrivin;_' 
there I found several Surgeons, with tli' 
requisite instruments at hand, and also :i 
crowd of Confederate olheers an<l soldier-, 
who had ])re<se(l in to witness? the operation. 
One beside myself was present to undergo 
similar treatment, which was also rendered 
necessary by gangrene. He was selected a 
the first victim, and in a few moments he wa > 
stretched upon the tloor, with the chlorofonn 
at his nostrils. It took some time to get him 
sufficiently undtM' its influence to begin tli 
work, but as soon as the ])rospect justified tli< 
attempt, the young Surgeon in < barge of i; 
ap])lie<l the knife and the saw, and in a very 
short time the ann was oH'. and lying besid- 
the unfortunate man. The arterie.^ wer< 
quickly taken up, th(» blood sj)onged ofT, and 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 808 

the stump properly bandaged. The patient 
now began to arouse himself, as if from sleep, 
and seeing blood upon the face of the Sur- 
<reon. he besran to lau«:h. 

"Aha! old boy," said he, "your arm is off, 
did you know it ?" He glanced at the place 
where once he had a strong right arm, and 
seemed surprised to find it gone. A little 
whisky Avas then given himj and he was 
removed. 

I stood by, looking on, during the whole 
operation, laboring with the unpleasant con- 
viction that my turn came next. The Sur- 
geons then came to me and carefully exam- 
ined my hand. The one in charge of the 
prison hospital was in favor of r jiputation, 
but the other three, who were old, gray- 
headed men, differed from him, and the final 
decision was not to cut it off then, but to give 
it a little longer trial. What moments of sus- 
pense w^ere those, and with what a rejoicing 
heart did I leave that room, w^hen I found 
that I was not to part with my good right 
hand, the value of which I had never known 
before. 



306 MFK IN REBLL PRISON^ 

I received, i\hnui tliis time, $5.00 in Con- 
federate money IVom our kind-hearted Major, 
and a similar amount fmm our Adjutant, 
both of them bring confined in one of lh< 
city prisons. The money and Iclters 'were 
both brought me ])y the Sisters of Cliarity, 
and they also carried back my messages to 
them in reply. I invested this money in vcg 
etables, knowing theii great vahio in cases 
of scur\'y. 

A rebel sutler came up evfry day from the 
city, uilh one or two wagon lojids of bread, 
sweet potatoes, radishes, salt, and oilier arti- 
cles, which he sold at (uite reasonable rates, 
considering the higli prices that were de- 
manded for everything in the Confederacy. 
His price for bread was lifty eents for a small 
loaf, and twice th'^ amount for one a little 
larger. Sweet ])()tat()es were $10.00 a bushel; 
cooking soda $10.00 per pound; pepper, in 
the berry, $20.00 a pound ; radishes, ten for 
J5.00, and other articles in the same pn)por- 
tion. Tliese prices, however, were in Confed- 
erate currency, which wa.s worth but little 
compared with Undo Abe's "^^cnbacks," 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 807 

One dollar of the latter was -worth seven of 
the former. At Andersonville it had been 
five to one. We thought it something to be 
proud of, that our money commanded so large 
a premium in the very heart of the Confede- 
racy. The loaves of bread which we bought 
for one dollar, were about the size of a five 
cent loaf at home, and he would have charged 
more for them, as well as his other things, had 
not Lieut Col. Iverson, the rebel commander, 
checked him in his exorbitant demands, and 
forbid him taking any more than would be 
required for the same things in the city. 

This was one good quality in the rebel, we 
thought. This officer was a young, boyish- 
looking fellow, but one glance at his face 
revealed a great deal of decision and energy, 
and his soldiers obeyed him unhesitatingly, as 
indeed they did all their officers, down even 
to their Corporals. I never saw but one 
instance of disobedience of orders by a rebel 
soldier, and that was at Charleston, when the 
men had crowded rather too closely upon the 
"dead line," at the prison entrance. CoL 
Daniels, of the 5tb Georgia regiment, seeing^ 



r>08 UFE 15 REBEL PRISONS. 

it, stopped 11]) to f 11 » of till* gimrds Bntl ■! 
ordered Lim to lire into us. lie replied,**! 
can not do it, Colonel." ^\ order you to fire 
into these men," repeated the Colonel, sternly, 
and again the t^oldici' Kiid, '* Colonely I can uU 
do it.'* The Colonel haid no more, but turn- 
iiv^ on his heel, he walkc 1 rapidly away, and 
1 never knew "vvhetheL* the soldier waa pun- 
ished for his disobedience or not 
The name of 

THE YOLNG SURGEON 

in charge of tlie prisoners, was Yarmony, and 
he was what wa.s usually termed, "or fast 
yoitufj man.'* He wore a tasty looking Con- 
federate uniform, l)ut seemed to care nothing 
at all which side was successful in tiie war. 
He had been, in otiior times, a medical student 
in >scw York city, and said **he'd like to be 
there again ' We generally thought he did 
wliat he could for us, considering the limited 
means at his disposal, Imt tliere was (mh* thing 
the doctor could not possibly do, .-md that 
was to Bpeak without badly Htuttering. One 
of the hoHpitiil attendants was tlic fortunate 
poeseasor of a medium sort of violin, nnd ho 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 809 

used frequently to tune his instrument and 
strike up a lively piece, much to our gratifica- 
tion. It happened that the Doctor was a great 
lover of music, and the melodious strains came 
to his ear one day, when he was making his 
rounds among the sick. From that time until 
we left, he made it his daily practice, after 
making his examinations and prescriptions, to 
come round and have some favorite air played 
for his special benefit. There was one lively 
thing, in particular, which he very much liked, 
and which he called the " I-I-rishman." The 
first thing he would say, usually, after sitting 
down, would be, — "C-c-come, F-F-Ferguson, 
p-play us the I-I-rishman ;" so he would give 
him this and other lively pieces. Then he 
would say, "N-now p-play something s-soft;" 
and then something of this sort would follow, 
much to the Doctor's edification. 

Still again he would urge, ^^S-s-sing some- 
thmg." It so happened that Hope, a member 
of our regiment, was also on duty as an attend- 
ant in the hospital, and he was widely known 
as the boy who could sing a song or dance a 
jig equal to any one. The Doctor; being told 



310 LIFE IN nEHFL I'niS0N5;, 

of this, turncMl to liiin, saviIlL^ " O-rome, Hope, 
s-s-sing lis fi'^-soynefhltifj, h-ih'MT inind w-\v-wh;it 
it is." Hope wisli('(l to !)(' excused, but no; 
the Di^etor would not hear of any excuse, so 
without sayinir anythin«^ more, he sang the 
followini^ "true hlue" Tnion song, to the music 
of "The Swonl of lUmker Hill." 

S;itJly wc f;;i7.o«l upon that Flap, 

Torn from a hrotlicr's liaiid ; 
And hhed a tear for ilio-^o ©noc loTcd, 

Now jo'humI to traitor's hand. 
They have left the Flag of WastuDgton, 

Tlie Flap our Fathers pave ; 
A richer t>oon was never pivcn, 

No prouder flag to wave. 

But when JcfT. Davis rai.«ed \\\» hand. 

To marshal for the fipht, 
Six hundred thou'^and freemen roM 

To halllc for the right. 
Then to our (loil the pniyer went up, — 

Protect our noble hand! 
God hleHS our cause!— our Flag now warst 

Witliin the traitor's land. 

Down, down with that ha-M- Rrlnl Hag! 

Tread it beneath Totir feet; 
And gaily to the breeze unfurl 

That Hap we love to preel. 
Wave on, wave on, thou glorioiiii FUgt 

And Ktill our Hong hhall l>e. 
Long lire, long lire that go<Ml old Flag, — 

T»ir. ., , ».. . r^, three clH'eni, for thee! 

T]iii Doctor beruK'd not ftt nil disi)lea.se(l 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 311 

with the sentiments of the song, but if he 
were, he very quietly kept it to himself 

The shelling of the city continued the whole 
time we were there. During the day the ex- 
plosion of the shells would not be heard on 
account of the noise in the camp; but at 
night, when all was still, w^e could distinctly 
hear the booming of the cannon, and the 
scream of the shell from the moment it left 
the muzzle of the gun, until it fell, with a 
crash, into some building of the city, and 
there exploded with a dull somid. The papers 
claimed that no lives had been sacrificed, but 
we heard from Union people that a great 
many had been killed, and that a large part 
of the city was entirely uninhabited. 

Receiving no medicine one day, we learned 
through the Surgeon that one of our shells 
had visited the office of the Medical Purveyor 
and rendered it necessary to remove it to a 
safer place; consequently, the usual issues 
were withheld. 



,012 LiFi: IN ni:m:L riusciNs. 



Tin: vki.i.hw rr.\ r.R 



began to rage fcarruUv, mid many ui" the offi- 
cers ami inen aiiiong our guards, of the 5Ui 
Georgia Keginient, diuil of it. It did not make 
its appearance, however, among the jirisonei's, 
until about the Isi c)f October. Two of the 
hospital attendants were then seized with it, 
and werc at once removed to a phice used 
solely for such cases. Then commenced our 
removal fi-om Charleston to Florence, which 
was pi*asecut<}d witli as much rapidity as j)os- 
sible, and we were not sorry to have a long 
distance intervene between us and the dreaded 
dLseasc. Al>out fifteen hundred a day were 
tiiken, and the last of us left on thr 8th. 
Those who were well went fii>^t, and \\\o sick 
in the hospitiil last. I was one of the last to 
leave the sjx)!, and theicfore happened to bo 
an eye-witness of a very laugh;iJ)le afTair. 
Sqiuuls of rebel soldiei-s and a few of their 
officers were sauntering lazily over the desert- 
ed camp, when suddenly and accidentally they 
made an important di.H<M)verv. Two of tlic 
priiioners had got into a well during the night, 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 313 

and head been covered over with some old rub- 
bish by their comrades, hoping in this way to 
remain concealed until darkness should come 
again, when they designed to crawl out and 
make for our forces at Port Royal ferry. They 
had either been hastily or carelessly covered, 
and in consequence, one of the "Johnnies" 
had caught a glimpse of them. Of course 
they were immediately unearthed and brought 
forth, looking dirty, and evidently feeling 
rather cheap to be made the subject of laugh- 
ter both by the rebels and their own men also. 
The rebels now w^ent to work, and probed the 
ground with short sticks, and thus succeeded 
in digging out quite a number of "Yanks" 
who were attempting this underground way 
to freedom. This was an entirely new dodge 
to the rebels, and one which they had not 
dreamed of, and but for that unfortunate 
glimpse, it would have been a success. After 
the ground had been thoroughly canvassed, 
and they were convinced that no more of us 
were stowed away, we were loaded into the 
cars, which were in waiting, and soon sped 
away to Florence and another stockade^ 



314 LIKK IN lUUJFX rRlSONS. J 

Tlial ride 1 .^hall lu'vrr forj^^i't. The cai*s, nx 
usual, wore sinipl\- tlnxt* wliirh hail hccn iis(m1 
lor rr»'iL''lit. ami ihcN' wcrr IiHimI \n their utmost 
ca|)aeitv with the sick, many of llieiii so had 
and lielpU'ss as to ])r hrouLdit to the cars on 
PtrelcliiM's. ^^)sl of them were covered with 
fdtli and vermin, and the odor that filled the 
j)hicc where we were Avas suflocatin<(. As if 
appry^hensive that these skeletons, like riclu's, 
mi«^ht "take to themselves wim^s ami lly 
away/ a couple of guards were placed ovei 
us, to kccj) us in the proper sphere. It may 
he, however, that they were not unmindful of 
what had once occurred at Andersonvillc, and 
concluded that no precaution could be too 
great. It was the custom in the prison there, 
to carry .a man's hody to the ^*dead luuisi'" on 
a stretcher, as soon as the hreath was gone. 
One day a man so successfully counterfeited 
death, that hi* was carriecl out oi^ the gate, 
pn«t the scrutinizing gaze of the gunnls, and 
dej)osited in tlu^ wonted place witli a hmg row 
of really dead men, where he rcmainetl im- 
xnovalde \mtil the Hhades of night came on, 
wlion ho *^made liim.self F^carce." Ever nflcr 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 815 

tliat, a sentinel was placed over the dead, to 
tfee that they did not run away. 

At one of the stations between Charleston 
and Florence, the train stopped for wood and 
water. An old darkey woman came out with 
several ^' pones" of corn-bread for sale at $2 
apiece, in Confederate money. My whole 
worldly fortune consisted of just that amount, 
and as I w^as very hungry, I concluded to 
invest it in that way. She had only one or 
two cakes left, however, and a score of voices 
were shouting, " This way, Aunty ! " — " Let me 
have it ! " — "Here 's your money!" &c., but by 
dint of great yelling, and continued waving of 
the dirty-looking bill, I finally secured one of 
the " pones," and when I got it, it was nothing 
but meal and water baked before the fire with- 
out any salt ; but it tasted good then. 



CHAPTER IX. 

ARRIVAL AT FLORENCE- 

We made our entrance into Florence, or, as 
we afterward learned, about a mile from it, 



318 LL>E IN IlEDHL PRISONS. 

at ten o'clock in tlie evening, llore we wore 
ordered to leave the cai-s, and spend the night 
in >vhat had once been a corn-field, making 
our bed between the furrows. It Wiis a cold, 
frosty niglit, and we sulVered intensely. Our 
guards had bright, good fires, but we were 
neitlier allowed lo eonie Jiigli them, ur get 
any wood ft)r oursidves; so all we could do 
^vas to let our teeth chatter, our knees knock 
together, and wait for daylight and the warmth 
of the sun. AVhen it did rise, we well-nigh 
forgot these things in that other thing it dis- 
closed — the dreaded stockade! 

At about eight or nine we entered the 
prison, and although our sensations were dif- 
ferent than when we entere(l our Cleorgia 
pri.*<on, yet I tliink we Alt worse now than we 
did then ; for at that time we did nut dream 
of being held but a short time, and now wc 
were n.sking oui*Helves in fear, '*Can wc live 
here through this winter?" Then, again, when 
wc entered Anderson ville, we were strong and 
robust, while now, those of ns who were alive 
were broken down by long-continued exposure 
to all weather and all dLtco^^cs. In the sorrow 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 317 

of our lieartS; we inquired, "What can the 
government be thinking of, that it leaves us 
here, month after month ?" 

The interior of the prison, in its general 
features, resembled very much our old place 
of confinement. A swampy spot extended 
through the center, with a hill upon each side, 
but in one respect this was far superior, inas- 
much as a fine stream of clear, cold water ran 
through the Avhole prison. The stockade 
enclosed, it would seem, about fifteen acres of 
land, nearly five of which were rendered una- 
vailable by its being so swampy. 

The "dead line" there was marked by a 
shallow ditch, or furrow, having no railing at 
all Instead of sentry boxes, the guards 
walked upon an elevated beat of earth, which 
was thrown up so high as to overlook the 
camp, — the top of the stockade reaching 
about breast high to a man of common height. 

The enclosure itself was built of unhewn 
trunks of trees, of nearly a uniform length, 
wliich were let into the ground, and placed 
side by side very closely. No tents or shelter 
of any Idnd were furnished us. 



l^UHt. 






u 


O 




^ 




.^t 



I 



L'. 



U 



'West. 



1 8TO<*K4t»K. 

2. I>r.Ai> I.iHU. 

I. IltmriTAL. 

I. VlUMK. 



C. PWAWP 

7. (\t Hcn AT Ast> nmoat. 

8. KlKTaTKI) PLATfORM FOM i R- 

Tir I ruT. 
ft. ftrRrirr 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 319 

When prisoners were first put into it, a 
large number of trees were left standing, but 
they had all been cut down when we entered 
and the stumps were being worked up. Part 
of our regiment were among the first to enter 
at this time, and we improved the opportunity 
to lay in an ample store of wood for the win- 
ter ; beside we were able to build some quite 
comfortable huts with the material we gath- 
ered. The 5th Georgia regiment, which 
guarded us at Charleston, were sent on to 
guard us here. There were also several bat- 
talions of conscripts, or "reserves," stationed 
there for the same purpose. 

We found ^vith surprise and sorrow that 
many of our men had really taken the oath 
of allegiance to the Confederacy, and had 
gone into the Southern army, and that still 
more had signified their intention of doing it. 
Over at our left was a camp which we were 
told was occupied by those prisoners who had 
taken the oath. It was not hard to account 
for it. They were ragged, half starved, and 
death was staring them in the face. 

By entering the Southern army they, no 



S20 LIFE IN IIKBEL PRISONS. 

doubt, expected to receive better food, and it 
was their hopu ;m<l inti'iiiion, alx), to c'j«ca} 
at the fiiNt opportuiiit \ . \\ <> all shuddered ; 
the jMO-port of staying through the wint. 
in the Confederacy, if, indeed, we should \\\ 
so long. 

Our laiiDii-, at lirst, were Hour, corn meal 
and beans. We were organized as in Charles- 
ton, into "thousands" and "liinidreds," — the 
Avhole nund)er being about twelve thousand. 

Soon after our entrance, we heard that mo 
of our comrades wlioui wi' had K*ft beliind i 
the Georgia prison, because they were too sick 
to go with us, and whoui wc had nr\. 
expected to sec again, were really in the In- 
j)ital, about a mile from us. We had a great 
curiosity to see them, and hear nl" their adven- 
tures since Septend)er, and, indeed, necessity 
8eeine<l to render it (piite prol)ai)le tliat I 
might be an inmate of tlie liospital, too, foi 
iwy hand, though better than it had been, Wa 
f^till a source of great troid)h\ and needed 
care. At about f lur o'clock every aftcnioou. 
the Surgeon in charge, Dr. Stn)ther, would 
com© to tho prii^ngato nnd take out all whom 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 321 

he thought best to have go. Those who were 
able, walked to the appomted place, and an 
army wagon, drawn by a span of mules, con- 
veyed the rest. 

One afternoon I presented myself at the 
gate, with a score or more of the sick, and 
when the doctor came he kindly admitted me 
to the hospital with the others, although my 
general health was quite good at the time, the 

vegetables I had procured at C having 

infused new life nito my system. I v/ent Avith 
those who were able to walk, but as most of 
the crowd were lame with the scurvy, we had 
to march at a slow pace to accommodate them. 
We reached the place of our destination just 
before sunset, and found it guarded, and also 
surrounded by a "dead line." Some preten- 
sions to shelter were made, in the shape of 
nine long sort of sheds, made of a frame-work 
of poles overlaid with pine boughs, which 
afforded some protection from the sun, but 
none at all from the rain. 

There were ward divisions, eleven in num- 
ber, and each one was in charge of a ward- 
master^ assisted by from eight to ten nurses. 



uzz LiKK IN iu:in:L rKi-'j.N.s. 

There were also so von stewards, wliose busi- 
ness it was to HTrivi' tlio iiuMlicino from the 
(lispeiKsarw and see that it was laitlirully 
achninistereil to the sick, of wlioiii there wero 
about sixty in each wanl. 

Not far from the middle of the montli I 
recovered sulliciently to be detailed as a ^ 

IIOSriTAL STKWAKD, 

procuring the situation quite reachly hecauso 
of my knowledge of medicines, having been 
a (Irufj clerk before entering the army. In a 
day or two after this, in company with a num- 
ber of the other hospital atttMidants, 1 wa^ 
marched over to the iH^ad-ipiarters of Lieut. 
Col. Iversr)n, and there signed the following 
parole of honor : 

nKAn-QiAnTr.H«, V'taixt rni.^ns, 
KioRKNCK, S. C, Oct. 19lh, 18M. 
"I. n n. Krllopp, .Vrpeanl M;ijor 16ih Conn. VoN., a paro!c<l 
prinotuT of war, jIo herrliy plcdpo mr word of lioiior th»l I will 
not Tiolatc my parole by going beyond one-half niilc from th« ho»- 
piul liniiu. 

W:inc»j«, r. H M«»ot»T. (Signed,) R. 11. KKLLOoa. 

I now had a good opj^ortunity to observe 
many things, uhich ollierwi.se 1 would never 
liave known. Whenever I could get awaj* 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 323 

for an hour or so, without neglecting my 
duties, I did so. About this time. Dr. Strother, 
the young Surgeon who had been in charge, 
was taken with the yellow fever, and nearly 
lost his life in consequence. His place was 
supplied by the Assistant Surgeon, Junius 
O'Brien, a Kentuckian, and one of the most 
rabid secessionists I had ever known. When 
he detailed me as a steward, he asked me what 
State I was from. " Connecticut, sir," was my 
reply. "Well," said he, "lam down on men 
from that State. That's where they make 
wooden nutmegs, isn't it?" "Yes, sir! and 
oak hams, too." I passed, however, notwith- 
standing the unfortunate connection. 

While there we received a large lot of sup- 
plies from the U. S. Sanitary Commission, con- 
sisting of shirts, drawers, hats, shoes, stock- 
ings, slippers, dressing gowns, blankets, bed- 
quilts, besides things for the comfort of the 
sick, such as condensed coffee and milk, 
extract of beef, tomatoes in tin cans, &c. 
These articles were stored in the log house 
used as a dispensary, and one of the prisoners 
placed in charge of them. They were drawn 



324 LIFT IN REBKL PRISONS. 

from this place as they wore needed, ])y tlic 
stewards, and 1»\ tliein given to tlie ward-m:i 
ters, who issued tlioni to the sick nu'ii in their 
respective wards, they keeping an account of 
them as they were expended. The Surgeon 
and other ollicei-s acted very honorably, allow- 
ing nothing to be stolen or wasted. f 

The supply of niedicineji for the sick were 
obtained from Dr. (.'hisholm, the medical pur- 
veyor at Cohiinhia, S. C. They were limit* 
in tlieir variety, and entirely insulheient in 
(piantity. ^V hat was furnished for a month 
supply, was barely sufficient for iialf th 
period. AVhen the drugs failed entirely, resc 
was had to the bark of forest trees, of whir., 
strong decoctions were made. One of the 
principal remedies for diarrhea was prepared 
from oak, sweet gum, and ])ei*simmon bark. 
There wa.s also a tonic made from the bark of 
the wild cherry. 

Nearly all tho pnckages of herbs in the 
dispen.Hiiry, bore the label of tln^ "C\ S. A. 
Laboratory," but the quinine, and valuable 
drugs, had on a foreign label, Knglish, 1 think, 
and undoubtedly found their way into the 
coiintry by way of the blockade runners. 



LIFE IN REBEL miSONS. 325 

A sour beer was made from com meal, and 
admmistered to those who had the scurvy, 
with very good effect. But a great many of 
our men died there, and were buried on the 
plantation of Dr. Garrett, a wealthy land- 
holder, and an owner of many slaves, but who 
was said to be a Union man. He offered to 
enclose the ground used as a place of burial, 
by a railing, to preserve it from desecration, 
though I am not aware that it was ever done. 
The dead were carted away from the hospital 
every morning, in an army w^agon drawn by 
mules. The deaths amounted to twelve per 
cent, per month of the whole number. As 
in Andersonville, they were piled one upon 
another until the wagon was filled. A party 
of prisoners were at work every day digging 
trenches where the bodies of the dead soldiers 
were to be laid. 

About the 20th of the month the hospital, 
with all the sick, was removed inside the 
stockade, a reascii .or which we never ascer- 
tained. For some time after, the sick were 
without shelter, but by the first of November 
one barrack, or shed, was completed for their 
14 



320 LIFE IN REBKL PRISONS. 

accommodation, aiul preparation made for the 
erection of mori'. 

These strurturos would lii:j;lily excite the 
risihles of a Xortlicrn house-builder. Two o!" 
them were seventy-live feet lony, and thirty- 
one in width, without a nail in them. The 
frames were made of timber, cut in tlie 
swamp near the prison, and fastened together 
with wooden pins. The roof was made of 
"shakes," or shingles held on by heavy pole- 
for weights. 

Dr. O'Brien was now relieved of his duties 
as Surgeon in charge, by Di-. Oivid Flr.iM, 
who was oil" of the original signers of th- 
Secession Act whicli placed South Carolina 
out of the Union. 11 (^ was very kind and 
gentlemanly, iiowever, with n<, and won the 
respect of all wlu) knew him. 

A number of other surgeons arriVed about 
this time*, and were assigned to duty in thf 
hospital. More patients were admitted also 
until the whole number amounted to nearl\ 
eight himdre<l, so many that they could hardly 
gain sufficient attention to obtain presoriptionn 
or have medicine dispensed to them a.s oden 



1 
I 

I 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 327 

as necessary by the stewards. The 5th ward, 
which was assigned to me, had at one time 
over one hundred and fifty patients in it, and 
some of them very sick, to whom I had to 
give medicine, with the help of the nurses, 
three times a day, and sometimes oftener. It 
scarcely allowed me time to eat, and it was so 
with the other stewards. Another supply of 
Sanitary Commission stores reached us while 
in this condition. Among other things a large 
quantity of sheets were sent, some of them 
entirely new, and of fine quality. The sick 
men in the hospital were lying upon the bare 
ground, and these would do them but little 
good to be spread down in the dirt, so it was 
decided by the principal surgeon that they be 
exchanged for sweet potatoes, as these would 
be of more real benefit to the men, especially 
those suffering with the scurvy. A notice to 
this effect was posted in several different 
places, and soon the ladies, young and old, 
were flocking in from all the surrounding 
country, anxious to make the exchange. In 
this way quite a large quantity of potatoes 
was gamed and issued to the men in the hos- 



f 



328 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

pital. Tlie old sheets were used for bandages, 
and were invaluable lor this purpose, as manv 
amputations of limbs, aflected by gangrene, 
were almost constantly takinir placi*. Many 
of th(' ladies who came to the Dispensary to 
examine the goods, wore dressed in the height ■ 
of fashion, wearing clothing of the most I 
co5tly material. It was dini(nilt to see where 
the war had cost them much personal suf- 
fermg 

On each corner of the prison was a rah»eil 
platform ; and from two of these, pieces of ar- 
tillery frowned upon tlie helpless men inside. 
At all iioursof the day and night, a man stood 
by these guns, ready for action in case of any 
attempted outbreak on our part. 

The ladies usually concluded their visits by 
a.scending to the top of one of these platform^, 
accompanied by the Confederate officei-s, and 
there laugh and joke at the misery of their 
enemies, ^o frue ladf/ would have stood there 
and looked with such spirit at the sights before 
them ; but they seemod to enjoy it 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 329 

As the 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 

drew nigh, the rebels became intensely excited, 
and eager to know the result. McClellan was 
their universal favorite, and they built high 
hopes upon the success of this cause. "If 
McClellan is elected," they would say, *^we 
shall have peace in a short time." I never 
remember hearing this candidate spoken of in 
any other terms than those of the warmest 
commendation. 

On the day of election, a quantity of white 
and black beans were given to Sergeant Kemp 
of the 1st Conn. Cavalry, by the Rebel Quar- 
termaster, with the understanding that they 
be used as ballots, whereby the political opin- 
ions of the prisoners might be ascertained ; 
the white beans representing McClellan, and 
the black ones President Lincoln. Two empty 
bags were hung up on the stockade, inside the 
"dead hue," and the "thousands" were ordered 
to flill in, in succession, and all v/ho mshed to 
vote, to march in hne to the spot. Beans 
were given them, and one by one they stepped 
Tip and deposited their vote as they chose, a 



330 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

man standintr ^>v. tlio wliiU\ to see that no 
fraiKl wai> conimittr<]. It was conducted fairl 
and quietly, but thr ivsult was not particularl 
gratilVing to tlio-e who coninienccd it. 1 have 
not the exact figures, but I think the propor- 
tion was two and a half for Lincoln to one for 
McClcllan. Tiiis was an exjn'cs.'^ion of feelin;^ 
and opinion anioni; mm wbo were ragged and 
lialf ianiisbin^^ witli hun«rcr, yet were not in 
lavor of any peace irainiMl by disgraceful com- 
promise. In about a wcrk after this, \l 
result of the great contest at tbe North wa.s 
known, and the rebels were blue indeed. Such 
a set of sour, gloomy-looking fellows is rarely 
met with anywhere. 

Thev understood tbe full siLi'nifieanee of the 
re-election. Tbey knew witb sorrow the. 
could not yet lay tbelr ai'inor olf, and tbat 
their favorite liobby oi' " inde|)endence fmin 
Yankee rule" was far iVoni being realized. 
This vote of tin- jjrisoncrs was all tbe more 
valuable from tbe fact tbat the Administni- 
tion liad been constantly misrepresented by 
the Confe<lerate oflicei-s, to tbe men who had 
but little if any mrans «if (imling out nnvlbln-^ 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 331 

to the contrary. I had myself heard Dr. O'- 
Brien repeatedly say to our men, ^'Your Gov- 
ernment does n't care anything for you;" and, 
"Your Government will not exchange such of. 
you as have served your time out;" and for 
proof of his statements he would refer to the 
refusal of Gen. Sherman to exchange a couple 
of thousand rebels for an equal number of our 
men, held by Gen. Hood, w hose term of service 
had expired. "Was it a wonder, then, shutout 
from the world as we w^ere, that the faith of 
many in our Government was changed to dis- 
trust?" 
One of the 

PUNISHMENTS 

at Florence, for attempting to escape, was to 
suspend the offender hy the thumhs, with the 
feet from the ground, thus bringing the entire 
Vv^eight of the body upon the thiunbs. One 
afternoon, while at the dispensary, which was 
outside of the stockade, and but a few rods 
from the guard-house, I was attracted by the 
cries and groans of some one w^ho was evi- 
dently in intense agony. Turning my eyes in 



332 LIFE IN UEDEL PRISONS. 

tin* direction of the 8oun»l, T Siiw fur the first 
time, one of the prisoners mulergoing this ter- 
rible torture. He was han<ring from one of 
the ])eaiiis which projected from the roof of 
the guard-house, swinging in the air, and cry- 
ing, **0h, for God*s sake, liavc mercy upon 
me! Let me down! Oh! mercy! mercy!" 
But mercy was sonicililng that liis tormentors 
were not ])lessed with. My hlood Ifoilrd a.s I 
witnessed this inliuman punishment, and I re- 
marked that ^-I would rather he liung ))y the 
neck, than to he in ^^wrli misery." One of the 
Burgeons heard me say it, ;iiid r<'[)orted it to 
O'Brien, wlio inmiecHately came to nu\ and 
wanted to know what remarks T liad ma(h'. 1 
repeated the words 1 Iiad uttered. "Well," 
said he, in a great pjissioii, "I (K'tallecl you to 
aH.si.st in the liospital, and not to pass remarks 
upon the doings of the Confederate Govern- 
ment; and if you ai'e imt satisfied, you can 
return to the stockade." II ' continued his 
remarks hy saying it was ]iU duty to support 
liis Govenuneut in all things, and not to ques- 
tion whether they were right or wrong. AHer 
tL long talk upon ihiy enormity of my offence, 



^ r 




I 



( 



LIFE IX REBEL PRISONS. 335 

I was allowed to return to duty, Then, prob- 
ably thinking that he would improve the op- 
portunity to the utmost, he assembled all the 
prisoners who were working outside on parole, 
and gave them instructions as to the course it 
was proper for them to pursue. "You can 
tJwik,'' he said to them, "what you please, but 
you must not express your opinions." 

This w^as a right he reserved for himself, 
and he was constantly forcing his opinions 
upon us. It was his favorite practice to sit in 
the dispensary by the hour, and recite to us 
tales of shocking barbarities perpetrated by 
our troops ; but he never allowed us to speak 
of a single instance of rebel cruelty. It w^as 
also particularly distasteful to him to hear of 
any circumstance in which a Yankee got the 
better of a Southerner in any way. But 
things occurred sometimes to show it unte 
him, — as, for example, the following incident: 

The rebel soldiers belonging to the different 
battalions were frequently granted passes by 
Lieut. Col. Iverson, which allowed them to 
come into the prison and trade for gold pens, 
rings, pocket-books, knives, buttons, or any- 



33G LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

thing that they could get, giving in return 
sweet potatoes or Confederate money. A 
''Johnnie" eanie in one day, with a great 
desire to ohtain some New York State but- 
tons, wliieh, heini^ very showy, were in great 
demand and Iiigli in price. It was quite phiin 
that lie had traded for tliem ])efore, as he had 
a full row iij)()ii the ;iray coat he wore, and 
also four of them in\ the l»ack. Whik^ he 
was harLTaiiiinLT witli two or three of the pris- 
onei*s, one of the l)oys stepped softly up 
behind, and willi a sharj) knife cut ofl' the 
four upon the tails of his coat. Then j)re- 
Fentini,^ himself in front of the"reb,"he wiid, 
'•1 have a few York State buttons that perhaps 
I'll sell you." "Have you?" exclaimed he. 
"with evident joy u])on his countenance, '•Ix^t 
me look at tlicui." '{'akin^r tlu-ni in his hand, 
and carefully examiniuLT them, he remarked, 
*'They are just like th(»se on m\* coat." so ])ay- 
ing n good lound jiiicc for his own buttons, 
jje departed, greatly pleased that he had found 
some "more of that same kind." A smill 
group of *• mudsills" jjad a (puet laugh to 
\liemselves when he wiu out of sij^hts 



I 



LIFE IX REI>1-L PRISONS. 3r7 

A few rods from the north side of the 
stockade, was a large camp occupied by 

SLAVES, 

several hundred in number, all under the com- 
mand of Lieut De Loyle, an engineer officer. 
This man had the sole charge of laying out 
the fortifications, and the slaves performed 
the labor upon them. 

A line of breast-works had encircled the 
stockade in a short time, with a small place at 
each corner, in vdiich to run in artillery. 
Beyond this was still another, and outer line 
of works, "with a deep ditch. The slaves 
would commence their work early in the 
morning, and continue until sunset, stopping 
only a short time for dinner. Their overseers, 
or drivers, were black like the rest, and stood 
with whip in hand directing and hurrying up 
the work. If they chanced to see one of the 
men slack at all, they would sing out, flourish^ 
ing the whip at the same time, '^Sharp dere^ 
boy ; sharp dere'' It seemed their disposi- 
tion to avoid work if it were possible. Sun- 
days all work w^as suspended upon the fortifi- 
cations, and they spirted about in their bes4 



I 



338 LIFE I\ Rl-HEL PRISOXS. 

clothes, which were none of \ho finest at that, 
howevtT. X 

Evidently, tliev were a hajjpy, kind-hearted I 
race by nature, but tbry wi'iv i\ept in great " 
ignorance, which accounts foi' ^^onle of their 
pecuharities. 

That they were often severely whipped in 
tlicir camp, we know, a.s tlie sound of the hush 
was often licanl at the dispensary. The rrli- 
LHous clement greatly predominates in the 
colored prople generally. At their ])rayer 
nieetnigs they work themselves up into great 
excitement. One of our boys once overheartl 
one of them pray, as follows : ^* Come (loioiy 
Of Lord, and f row corn in dc winder, and aabe 
us, poor darkies, from starbin dis yer tcinier'* 

It was also amusing to hear them sing at 
tln'ir work. One of them, a}»pareiitly a leader 
among his brethren, would perform the solos, 
and the rest would come in on the chorus, 
keeping time all the while ius they pounded 
away on the breast- work.'^. The following is a 
bl)€cimen of the richness of their songs: 

•• I'm- . m .;> A ^im Rtump, 

C'/«> .ij tic hulJ«r, 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 839 

Wake snakes, an June bugs, 
I'll gib you half a dollar. 

Chorus. 
Go 'long squirrel, hum de doodle dum. 
Go 'long squirrel, hum de doodle dual, 
Wid yer head upon yer shoulders, 
And yer feet upon der land, 
I don't know de reason yer don't go 'loEg.* 

One verse of another is as follows : 

"Aunt Sister Sal, she had a flea, 

She hung him up and skinned him, 
Carried him dovra to de shootin* match, 

And Uncle Ben, he win him. 

Chorus. 
And Uncle Ben, he win him, 
And Uncle Bea, he win him, 
Carried him down to de shootin' match, 
And Uncle Ben, he win him. 

Our own condition, in prison and hospital, 
was still melancholy. Death was still busy 
among us, choosing its victims as it saw fit. 
Rev. Mr. Gardner, of the 135th Ohio regimentj 
died in the early part of November. He was 
one to conduct the religious meetings at 
Andersonville, and also frequently held short 
services over some of the poor boys who died 
there. His illness was a severe and protracted 
one, and we mourned for him., for he wad 
known and respected by all« but wo knew Hi'di 



540 LIFE IX HEBEL PRISONa. 

his suflbrings were over, anil that lie had 
pained eternal rest and peace. The Chaphiin 
v)f the 5th Cleur^^a regiment now preached 
to us occa.sionally, and he also sent a great 
many tracts to be distributed among the 
patients in the hospital. They were printed 
by a Southern society, wliicb i.^.^iiL'd religion- 
publications, and were quite interesting. It 
was gratifying to u.s to see some of our ene 
mles taking so mueli interest in us, as tlii- 
but in things relating to our physical need w* 
were left to sufler. 

About the middle of the month, the rations 
of thj ward-masters, and other hospitid attend- 
ants, were greatly reduced. Before thi.**, \\' 
liad received plenty of Hour, bean.s, com meal 
and s\]t, with an occasional issue of fresh beef, 
but nr.v a bakery a!id cook house were con- 
BtructoJ outside, and we received what w-- 
had, ahvcdy cooked, but greatly reduced in 
quantity. At this same time, onr comrades in 
pri.Hon w^iro oidy getting a pint of coai'se corn 
meal, wiib t! e smallest modicum of salt occa- 
sionally. We were not allowed to carry any 
of our food to iiem, aud ii' we i^ver did it> it 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 341 

was by stealth, in order that it might not be 
detected by the inquisitive gaze of Dr. O'Brien, 
who was always on the alert to discover such 
things. Sometimes the rations of the whole 
camp would be discontinued, for some trifling 
excuse. I remember one occasion, when the 
prisoners went without food for sixty hours, 
and this, too, when the regular diet was simply 
a pint of meal. The pretense was, that two 
tunnels had been dug by the prisoners, and 
everything must be cleared up before any 
food could be given. 

The overseer of the prison was Lieut. Bar- 
rett, of the 5th Georgia regiment, and any 
one who was ever in that stockade, Avill always 
remember him. It seemed that a greater 
wretch never lived. Capt. Wirz surpassed 
him in cruel inventions to enhance our misery, 
but he did not equal him in coarse brutality. 
Like Capt. W., he constantly used the most 
profane and blasphemous language, and de- 
lighted in drawing his pistol and firing it over 
the heads of the crowd. 

The 24th came round — Thanhs giving day at 
home, and so I thought it there, for, although 



842 LIFE IN REBIIL PRISONa. 

I had nothing but a crust of bread for dinn* 
I was 80 fortunate as to receive two k'lt< 
from home, giving me the lii*st and only inl< 
mation I had of my friends since the previous 
April. I learned that all was well there, but 
they were ignorant of my condition, and 
knew not whether I was really alive or ii< 
Two days after this, the long looked for timo 
arrived; — the time when we were to he 
exchanged, or rather paroled, preparatory to 
such an act. The news of such proceedings 
came to us oidy nn hour before tlie work 
began. At about one, P. M., a number of Con- 
federate oflicers, acconipanied by several clerks, 
and a small guard of soldiers, came into tho 
hospital. Two tables were provided, and 
upon these the rolls were spread out. The 
masters of llu' diHiuvut wanls, in turn, called 
oIV the Jianu's of the patients lus they stood on 
the r»)ll-lM,()k, until lil'ty iVoui each ward had 
been paroled; making three Iiundred and liily 
in all. Our well man was then paroled, to 
each comi»auy of ten sick ones, as attendants. 
Tliesc were selected l)y the rebel Surgeons, 
from tiie hospital nurses, &c. It wcuf in thij 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 343 

way I obtained my freedom. No man was 
allowed to go, who could not walk ujd to 
the table and sign the parole papers, and for 
this reason scores of poor fellows were left 
behind, while their comrades who were 
stronger, passed out before them. The paper 
to which we signed our names, as nearly as I 
can recollect, read as follows : 

" We, the undersigned, do solemnly pledge our sacred word of 
honor, that we will not take up arms again in any garrison, fortifica- 
tion or field work of the United States, or do any police or con- 
stabulary duty, or any duty usually performed by soldiers, until we 
shall have been duly declared exchanged." 

Having done this, it was said we would 
leave for Savannah on Monday. It all seemed 
like a pleasant dream, but we had been 
deceived so many times, it was impossible to 
remove all doubts from the mind. However, 
I determined to act as if it were a reality, and 
accordingly I went over to the prison in the 
evening, and told the boys to have their let- 
ters and messages ready the next day, if they 
wished me to carry them to their friends at 
home. 

We were busy all day Sunday in getting 
the patients in readiness to leave. A special 



344 LIFT IN REBEL PRISONS, 

requisition for soap was made by the Furgcon 
in cliar;rc, and tlie nurses were ordered to see 
that the men who wvvc to leave were scrubbed 
ck»an with soup and water, and, if possible, to 
have them shaved and their hair trimmed. 
This was done so as to render them presenta- 
ble to our forces at time of delivery. One of 
the men in my ward, who wa.s paroled, died on 
Saturday night. Exchange came too late for 
liim, as it ilid for many others. 

Shortly before sunset on Monday, we were 
marched out of the stockade, and encamped 
for the night near the cook-hou.'^e ; and here, 
two days* rations were issued to us. 

That night we had a jolly time. No guard 
was placed over us, and we were left to do 
just as we plea.sed. 

While we were theris two rc1)el soldiers paid 
us a visit. One of them kept a sharp lookout 
lest they >li()iil(l be seen or hrard by some of 
their oHicerH, ami the other carried on (juite a 
convei*siilion with us. **They knew we wei 
going home," he said, "and wishi'cl u.s logo 
with correct impressions of the true ntato of 
tilings among them." ''My Father always 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 345 

taught mo to love the Stars and Stripes^' 
he continued, "and never to raise a hand 
against them ; but I am here in the Southern 
army because I can not help myself, and there 
are hundreds of men in the army who feel as 
I do, but it will not do for us to let our opin- 
ions be known. We are living imder a com- 
plete military desjJotismJ' That he was sin- 
cere and trutliful in his expressions^, I have no 
doubt. 

We were aroused at two o'clock in the 
morning, and marched over to the railroad 
track, a distance of half a mile, where the roll 
of the entire body of paroled men was called, 
after which we were loaded into the train, 
which had arrived in the meantime. Fifty- 
five prisoners and two guards were placed in 
each car. Dr. Orme, of Milledgeville, Ga., 
went with the train, and he did his duty well. 
A large tub was put in each car, and a body of 
men detailed to keep them filled with good 
water. 

We had started from Florence at sunrise, 
and arrived at Charleston after dark in the 
evening, having been all that time in rimning 



84G LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

;i distanre of one hiindivil ami three milea 
We waited a long tiiiR' at one station, and 
upon inquiring into ilic cause of the delay, 
we wt'iv toM liy tke (.'Uginecr that lie had 
been runninic Taster ^han si'lieduK* time al- 
lowed, and therefore he must wait awhile. 

We stayed about two hours in the last-men- 
tioned place, and then left on another train for 
Savannah. While on the way, we passed c 
train loadiMJ willi Union lU'isonei-s. We had 
an opportunity to speak with them, and 
lt'arni'(l that they had been confiiUM] at Black- 
fihire, S. C, and were on their way to Florcn< 
from Savaiuiali, wlii're they bad expected : 
be exchanged, having been previously paroled. 
We did not know what to rnalu* of this, and 
began to dtjubt (piite seriously whether \' •• 
were, even now, to realize our hopes. W 
made very slow progress, but finally reached 
the city of our destination, where we fouu 
great excitement in regard to Sherman's ad- 
vance, his army being only forty-five miles 
diHtant. The lU'groes and citizens were hard 
at work, throwing up light earth-work defeii 
8C.S, huch as the Generafs veterans would 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 347 

laugh at. What we could see of the citj; 
gave us very good nnpressions. The streets 
were wide and straight, and Kned with beauti- 
ful trees, known as the "Pride of India." The 
houses were neat and handsome, and indicated 
taste and refinement on the part of their pos- 
sessors. Here we were taken from the cars^ 
to spend the night on the corner of Liberty 
and East Broad streets, in a vacant lot. 

Some of the citizens came to see us. I had 
a short conversation with a wealthy cotton- 
factor, in which he said, "I have not handled 
a gun yet, and I do not intend to ; and as for 
Gen. Sherman, I'm not at all alarmed about 
his coming, for I have nothing to fear from 
him." 

The next morning the w^eather was clear 
and pleasant, and we marched down to the 
dock not long after sunrise, where three 
steamers were in waiting for us, and we imme- 
diately went on board. Here the old women, 
who made it a point to avail themselves of 
every opportunity to sell something to the 
soldiers, presented their baskets filled with 
pies, cakes, &c., and the boys, full of glee at 



34 8* LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

the prospect hrfoiv tlioin, were ready for ^ 
little fun, and therefore made corresponding 
offeiN, such as §100 in Confederate money, or 
three cents in silver, for a piece of pie, — a di 
tinction in the value of currency that some ol 
the Southern bystiinders did not relish partir- 
ularly. 

The names of the respective steamers were 
the *' Beaurcfrard," "General Lee," and **Jeff 
Davis" The first carried th? olhcers, and was 
also the lla<^-of-truce boat. The two latter 
carried the enlisted men. They were steere 1 
by three rudders. 

At ai)0ut nine o'clock A. M. we started from 
the dock, the **Beaurei^ard" carrying the fin 
of truce iu advance, and the other two follow- 
ing at a respectable distance in her wake. 
Jast before leavinir. Dr. Ornie said to Hospital 
Steward Heed nf tlie ll!(h X. Y. He;:imen!. 
**You can tell your peoj)le at home just a 
bad Htories as you plea,sc about the manner in 
wliich you li:iv«' been treated, — anything th.if 
will hasti'u an exchange, for we want our men 
Ijadly. But don't represent that we are nearly 
whij)ped, for, lus long m there i.s a piue tree 



LIFE IN BEBEL PRISONS. 349 

left for US to sleep under, we will fight you/* 
The Dr. was indulging in this same style of 
bombast one day in the hospital, when he was 
reminded by one of the ward-masters, a brave 
Ohio boy, that "they didn't talk in that style 
at the front." Upon that, the Dr. thought 
best to subside. 

To return to our trip. The distance from 
the city to our fleet was about twelve miles, 
and we reached Venus Point, the rendezvous, 
at ten o'clock. On our way down the river, 
we were passed by an iron-clad steamer dash= 
mg up toward the city at a rapid rate, — the 
same "Savannah," I think, which was blown 
up by the rebels on the surrender of the city 
to Gen. Sherman. Another formidable mon- 
ster of iron was anchored in the stream near 
Fort JacksoUo 

The river just below the fort was obstructed 
by rafts of timber, &c., leaving but a narrow 
channel to pass through. Only vessels of light 
draft could pass at all. The one I was in 
struck something which threw it up a foot or 
two, but did no serious damage at all. Hav- 
ing passed through this^ we soon found oui^ 



350 LIFE IN RIUJEL PRISONS. 

selves Hearing our own noble lleet, and there 
was our Flag, living from ihe rigging of a 
large steamer. It was impossible for us to 
gaze upon tliat precious omblum oi' Freedom 
with dry eyes. It was a touching sight to see 
the upturned faces, the eager gaze of our mrn. 
Never before was that Hag so dear to our 
hearts. IIow insignificant and contemptible 
in comparison was the Haunting Rebel rag 
that had so long been displayed to ILS. 

Tlie "Beauregard" steamed up side of one 
of the vessels, and held comnumication with 
those on board, while we lay off in the stream 
awaiting the result. Capt. Hatch, the Rebel 
Kxchange Agent, finally signalled to our 
steamer, and in a few moments we were 
alongside one of our transports, the "Star of 
the South," ready to go on board. 

When we stepped our feet upon her deck<, 
we breathed easily, and not before. The a 
Bertions of the rebel officers that our Govern- 
ment wouM uoL receive nun whose tenn of 
Bcrvicc was out, led us to doubt whether \\ 
ghould meet witb any reception at all, or 1 
turned back to linger yet longer in rebel hells. 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 351 

At the time of our jDarole, the rebel officers 
had taken, as far as practicable, those men 
whose time had expired, evidently intending 
to cheat the Government as much as possible; 
and one of the examining Surgeons also took 
out some of the men for bribes, obtaining in 
this way gold rings, greenbacks, &c. Two of 
my own comrades succeeded in making their 
escape in this way. 

Moored on the river with the steamer al- 
ready named, were the "New York" and the 
"Crescent." The one first mentioned was 
styled the "receiving ship," and we went on 
board that when we left the rebel craft. From 
there we went to the second one, as fast as 
circumstances would allow, that being desig- 
nated the "clothing ship." 

Here we were called upon to divest our- 
selves of our wretched garments and throw 
them all away, and we saw the miserable rags 
float down the river without the least feeling 
of regret, — and our old companions, the lice, 
also. We washed ourselves in water dipped 
from the cold stream, and though it caused 
some shivering sensations, we were heartily 
15 



352 LiFi: IN iu:ni:L prisons. 

glad of an opportunity to l»c^ clean once more. 
As fiust fus this was done, \\c ^vere marched in 
a row to the counter, where each man was 
given a new .^uit of Tncle Sam's blue, and a 
good pair of i^hoes. Being thus washed and 
clothed, and'*m our rujhi mlmh;' wc were 
allowed to go on board the '-Crescent," which 
waa the ** feeding ship." There wc received 
our first meal of army food, and what a feast 
it was. AVe could not Ihid words strong 
enough to express our admiration ; — and that 
pint of hot coffee; — it was fit ambrosia for 
the gods and goddesses ; nevtur — wliicii in- 
spired one with happiness and contentment 

I doubted if tlicrr was ever a happier 
crowd than we were tliat niLdit. Sonn- 
danced, others sang, and every one was full 
of jokes and good humor over our fir.e for- 
tune. 

"How is this," says one, "are we g(nng t<' 
another stockade?" "Not muchly, 1 guess, 
responds the one thus intermgatod. 

"IIow arr yon, corn meal V" says another, 
"that'H played, isn't it, Tom V' "If I know 
myself, it i«," gaily repliea Tom. 






LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 353 

Still another, thinking of home, saj's, "I 
wonder how we'll find things up North, and 
I'd like to know if my girl has gone and mar- 
ried another, wdiile I've been down in our 
Georgia ^:)en." He had been a prisoner a long 
time, and it would be no wonder if he had 
long ago been given up by his friends as one 
dead. 

One group might be heard singing "Just 
before the battle. Mother," and other patriotic 
airs, and still another company were engaged 
in looking at the rapid steps of one of the 
boys, who was dancing a jig, and in this way 
some of the abundance of good feeling escaped.. 
No sooner did one tire than another took his 
place, but there were many who were too 
weak to indulge in any such active demon- 
strations of joy, but who sat with a quiet 
smile upon their thin faces, drinking in all the 
fun that was going on about them. 

In the exuberance of our joy, I trust we 
did not forget to thank Him, who from on 
high had watched over us in all our ways, and 
had finally brought us deliverance. 

From the/ Crescent" we went on board the 



354 LIFE IN RKBEL PR I SONS. 

transport "Gen. Lvon," and when we finally 
weighed anchor, we fill that we wne K-avingtlie 
Confederacy I'oi thr pKasantir scenes ol' our 
nortlieni lioines; getthig into '^Gods country' 
once more, as the hoys called it. No teai*s 
were sIhmI as the land of the traitor fade<l 
away in the distance, hut only cons^ratula- 
tiuns were heard, and hopes expressed that 
^ve might never he called to sojourn there 
again. 

After we had passed Fort Pulaski, and wrre 
well out upon the ocean, there came up a 
fresh gale of wind, and tlu; sea was rough. 
It was not long hefore many were seen lean- 
ing over the side of the ship, evidently 
inclined to ])art with tiic L'"ood things they 
had so warmly praised a little time hefore. 
Tin* sailors enjoyed the rough condition of 
ufTairs, and douhtless looketl with supreme 
contempt upon us poor landsmen, w ho were 
able to endure so litth*. 

Aa wc w»'re proceeding, our steauu'r stop- 
ped to overhaul a small sehoon«r. whi( h had 
run the hloekadr with ahout eighty hale« of 
cotton. The first mute, with a hoiit's crew, 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 355 

went on board of her, but after taking an 
inventory of her cargo, they returned, allow- 
ing her to pursue her course. Why it was 
done we did not know, but it was probably 
for cjoocl reasons, or at least, so considered. 
But Capt. Ward was heard to say, he would 
send somebody after them who would take 
care of them. The next day was beautiful, 
with fine sailing, and we were going in just 
the right direction for us. Nearly all sail was 
set, and under the combined influence of wind 
and steam, we sped along right merrily — 
"Homeward Bound." We saw several sails in 
the distance, in the morning, and at noon one 
of our naval vessels sailed near us, when one 
of their officers put a speaking trumpet to 
his lips, and hailed us with the enquiry, '^ Who 
are you ?"" Transport, Gen. Lyon," replied 
our Captain, "with paroled prisoners." "Where 
are you from?" continued they. "From Sa- 
vannah river," we told him, with the additional 
information that we had fallen in with a block- 
ade runner the day before. "Where?" "Off 
Charleston."^, "All right, sir," said they, and 
off they went in pursuit of it. We continued 



356 LIFE I\ REBEL TRTSO^S. 

our course, and pass(Ml Capo llatteras at about 
eight o'clock in the evening. The sea at 
thus point 'sva.s very rough, and our steamer 
rolled and j)it('hed in a way that was any- 
thing hut (Udighll'ul, hut were we not near- 
ing the long wished lor port, and sliould trifles 
vex us? 

Just before reaching Fortress Monroe, we 
passed a large school of whales, which were 
spouting and ])lowing in all directions. They 
came very near to the steamer; so near that 
we could plainly sec their backs a.s they 
sported about in the water. We remained an 
hour or two at tliis place, so well known in 
tlic history of thi' war, and tlicn weighed 
anchor again, ])ound for Annapolis, Md. A- 
we arrived at this latter place, or neared the 
dock, we were greeted with ** Hail Cohunbia," 
from the Marine I5and, and it.s cheering strain- 
never fell upon the cars of more grateful list 
cners, for we felt that it savored strongly of 
^Homey We were soon on shore, and well 
cared for, and now, we said, "our troubles aro 
all over." There we received two month.s" 
pay, and commuUitlons of rations for tin 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 357 

time we had been in prison, at the rate of 
twenty-five cents a clay, and this was followed 
by the happy sequel for us,— a thirty days' 
furlough. 



Nations issued by the United States Government to Rebel Pris- 
oners of War.— (Note the difference.) 



Uard Bread, 


14 oz. per one ration, or 18 oz. Soft 




Bread, one ration. 


Corn Meal, 


18 oz. per one rat'on. 


Beef, 


14 " 


Bacon or Pork, 


10 " " " 


Beans, 


6 qts. per 100 men. 


Hominy or Rice, 


8 lbs. " 


Sugar, 


14 " «* 


R. Coffee, 


6 " ground, or 7 lbs. raw, per 100 


or 


men. 


Tea, 


18 oz. per 100 men. 


Soap, 


^ U it u 


Adamantine Candles, 


5 candles per 100 men. 


Tallow Candles, 


g (( «( « 


Salt, 


2 qts. 


Molasses, 


1 qt. 


Potatoes, 


80 lbs. 



Statement of Clothing issued to Prisoners of War, at Port Dela- 
ware, from Sept. 1st, 1863, to May 1st, 1864. 
7,175 Pairs Drawers, (Canton Flannel.) 
6,260 Shirts, (Flannel.) 
8,807 Pairs Woolen Stockings. 
1,094 Jackets and Coats. 
3,480 Pairs Bootees. 
1,310 Pairs Trowsers. 
4,378 Woolen Blankets. 
2,680 Great Coats. 
Average number of prisoners, 4,48f. 



CllAPTKK X. 



LI r> r, V. 

FiU)M the corner of a diiiL'^y lirick building 
in one of the streets of liielnnond, \'a., may 
be seen a small sign, Avhich tell< to the passer 
by, that ""Llbhy ^^ Son, sliif) cliandlei^s ami 
grocers,'' have invited tlieir patron^* to this 
point, as the one Avhere their ])usiness wjis 
conducted, and where those must rej)air who 
were interested in bargains particularly asso- 
ciated with thi ir vocation. It was not ol 
BufTicient importance, in time of pc^ace, to 
ol)taln a very wide celebrity, neitiier were the 
owners thereof so distinguished as to be of 
great notoriety, but as the inauguration of 
war has inducted many into oflice v ho were* 
hitherto obscure and unknown, so the contin- 
gencies of our civil strife, has opene(\ this 
place to tlie public gaze, and made it /(nious, 
or rather t;ifamous, before the world, Ixivide 
conferring a lustreless fanu* uj)ou the proj)ri- 
ctors. Tlic very name of Libby lia.4 become* 
a>'nonomous with that of tirror ; it carri«*« 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 359 

tyranny and oppression in its simple sound. 
The soldier who is taken prisoner in Viro-inia 
Tales, is at once haunted with visions of this 
darksome den, and shrinks from entering a 
place so full of bitter experiences as that is 
known to be. 

Fierce hate and revenge reign supreme 
there, and consequently there is wrought out 
a system of discipline which produces a condi- 
tion, such as we might expect when the dis- 
cordant elements of being rage unchecked, 
and we are not surprised to find the culmina- 
tion reached in almost fiendish expression. 
Thousands who have been in Libby prison, 
will rehearse the story of their misery, want 
and woe, to others; these will pass them 
along to other listeners still, so that the echo 
will scarcely die out at the remotest period of 
the present generation. Households, in com- 
ing time, will gather about the fireside, and 
talk of their friends and ancestors who ended 
their days in so much wretchedness, because 
of their attachment to the Union, and in pro- 
portion as their bravery and heroism, their 
courage and constancy is admired, will the 



360 LIFE IN REBEL TRISONa 

nialico and fury of t)ioir persecutors bo con- 
tleinned. 

It may be, and probably is, one of the es- 
PcntijiLs of Wiir, that places be provided for the 
confinoiuont of ])risoncrs l)ut they do not 
necessarily inrludo every species of tonnent 
which tin human mind is capable of conceiv- 
iuLT. They should not naturally presuppose 
the absence of all humanity, \nd t!x* annihi* 
lation of every condition of comfortiiblo ex- 
istence, as they have seemed to, in almost 
every part of the South where the Coiifcder- 
ato authorities have opened them. 

Says one of the 16th Conn. Re^nment, wlio 
was in Libby for a season, "Their treatment ot 
prisoners w;is very abusive, kicking them, and 
never speaking of one only iu the most oppro- 
Ijrious terms. 

Tlie nights were very cold, and there bi'inu^ 
nothing but gratings in the windows, the men 
were obliged to walk the whole night long, to 
keep fi'om freezing, and if they could meet tin 
friendly embrace of slumber at all, it wa 
iluring the day, when the sun would shed it- 
kindly beams uj)On them, and so imparting 






■ 4fk 







c * ( 










M 



LIFE IN REBEL PrJSONS. S^3 

stiiTicient warmtli to their bodies to keep tliem 
rom shivering/' 

Wo have an idea of their utter destitution 
when we Hsten to the statement he makes re- 
specting the manner of their obtaining the 
food which they must have in some way, or 
perisho 

^^I have seen men/' he says, "draw their 
bean-soup in their shoes^ for tho want of a 
cup, platOp or anything of the kind to put it 
in." And what seemed worse than all the 
rest, was the almost Satanic rule, that if a 
man was caught resting his eye upon the glad 
scenes of nature through a window, he must 
bo quickly translated from earth by the ball 
of a musket. The whole thing is arbitrary in 
the extreme,, but we could expect little else 
under tho very shadow of the Confederate 
Capital, where the original framers of seces- 
sion go in and out^ seeking to form a dynasty, 
though it be founded in the tears and blood, 
the cries and g; oans of their fellow-men. Of 
the numbers wau have been admitted within 
tho walls of the Libby building, we can 
^carcelv speak^ for xnultitudes have been con- 



3G4 LIFE IN RFnrL PRISONS. 

veyed thither temporarily, tn nMiiain ou]y \intil 
such time as they eould he transported toother 
places. Very many thousand have found ii 
transient home here, and their united testi- 
mony is the same. 

One who visited the place for the purpose 
of ascertaining the truth for himseU', has given 
the result of his visit in one of the leading 
journals of the day, and ^vc give the descrip- 
tion of it in his own word^, as afibrding the 
best outline we liave been able to get 

^•It was three stones high, and. I was told, 
eighty feet in width, and a hundred and ten 
feet in depth. In front, the first story wa.s on 
a level with the street, allowing space for a 
tier of dungeons under the sidewalk ; hut in 
the rear, the land sloped away till the ba.«?e- 
ment floor rose above ground. It^s nnpainted 
walls were scorched to a rusty brown, and its 
Hunken doors and low windows, fdleil here and 
there with a dusky pane, wen^ cobwel)))ed and 
weather-stained, giving th<' whole building a 
most uninviting and desolate ap|)earance.** 

Upon pansing inside, he says, "We entered 
a room oljout fortv feet wide and a hundred 



i 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 365 

feet deep, with bare brick walls, a rough plank 
floor, and narrow, dingy windows, to whose 
sash only a few broken panes were clinging. 
A row of tin wash-basins, and a wooden troiigli 
which served as a bathing-tub, were at one 
end of it, and half a dozen cheap stools and 
hard-bottomed chairs were littered about the 
floor, but it had no other furniture. And this 
room, with five others of similar size and ap- 
pointments, and two basements floored with 
earth and filled with dehrls, compose the fa- 
mous Libby Prison, in which, for months to- 
gether, thousands of the best and bravest men 
that ever went to battle have been allowed to 
rot and to starve. 

"At the date of our visit," he continues, 
"not more than a hundred prisoners were in 
the Libby, its contents having been recently 
emptied into a worse sink in Georgia ; but 
almost constantly since the war began, twelve 
and sometimes thirteen hundred of our officers 
have been hived within those half-dozen deso- 
late rooms and filthy cellars, with a space of 
only ten feet by two alloted to each for all the 
purposes of living. 



3G6 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

Overrun \vitli vermin, perishing with cold, 
breaihini; a stilled, tainted atmosphere, no 
space allowed them for rest by day, and lymg 
down at nidit -wormed and duvc-tailed to- 
getlicr like fish in a basket,' — their daily ra- 
tions only two ounces of stale beef and a 
8inall lump of hard corn-bread, and their lives 
the forfeit if they caught but one streak of 
God's blue sky through those fdtliy windows, 
— they have endured there all the horrors of 
the middle passage. My soul sickened as I 
looked upon the scene of tlieir wretchedness. 
If the liberty we are fighting for were not 
worth even so terrible a price, — if it were not 
cheaply purchiused even with the blood and 
agony of the many ])rave and true souls who 
have gone into that foul den only to die, or to 
come out the shadows of men, — living ghost»s 
condemned to walk the night, and to fade 
away before the l)reaking of tiie great day 
that i« coming, — who would not cry out for 
peace, for peace on any tenns?" 

We need no other j)roof of the true no])lc- 
noss of 8oul in the young men of our country, 
than tho voices which come ever and anon 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 367 

from these forbidding prison-places, tellino- u.s 
of a quenchless love for the cause of ri<>lit ; of 
a devotion and fervor that knows no abate- 
ment ; and a willingness to do and to dare, to 
suffer and to die, that the tyrant of oppres- 
sion may be crushed, and the glad hosannas of 
Freedom ring through the land, and reverber- 
ate among the hills ; that w^e may have, not a 
^^ circle within a circle," but one that is contin- 
uous, unbroken, clasping in its mighty embrace 
a free, happy, and united people. 



CASTLE THUNDER. 

Who that is conversant with English history, 
does not know of the Tower of London, and 
the gloomy associations of that place ? The 
mind is thronged with dark and mournful 
memories, at mention of its name ; and so in 
coming time will Castle Thunder appear to 
the mind and memory of the American. That 
place, where all manner of cruelty has been 
practiced, will not be forgotten. Even in the 



368 LIFK IN IIKKKL riUSONS. 

immediate locality, and among the rebels them- 
eelves, it has a most uni'avorablo repuUition, 
life tliore being considirr.l well nigh the cul- 
mination of earthly misery. Uut the length 
of time that prisoners wvvv cM^ndned lliere, 
with some other eireumstances, render it a 
phice of less note tlian many other phices, 
and less is said about it. IJcbrl convicts, 
Nortliern deserters and citizens. Southern 
Union men and negroes, are confined there, 
and there is a vast deal of suflering and a 
great amount of inhumanity experienced and 
practiced. 

Southerners generally make a broail clistinc- 
tion between the conniioii class of jK'oplc and 
tliosc they consider gentlemen, such lus occupy 
a ])lace in i\w aristocratic ranks of society ; 
and this (lisj)ositioii was manifest in their 
treatment of men at the place oi' which wo 
are speaking. Persons of the worst chai-neter 
were congregated there, but thc-c men were 
usually singhMl out, and elevated to a different 
Kphere, where they received something of the 
consideration their sujierior dignity entitled 
tliem to; where less t\raiuiy was shown, and 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 869 

more privileges accorded than to the general- 
ity of the prisoners. 

The "gratuitous indignities" which have 
been heaped so unmercifully upon the soldiers 
in some prisons, were not showered upon 
them there. But woe was upon many of the 
unhappy prisoners. The very name is sug- 
gestive of inflexible rule ; of stern authority 
and inexorable law, which might not be tram- 
pled upon without the bolts of Justice falling 
upon the head of the offender. 



BELLE ISLE. 

Howard Leedom, of Co. G, 52d N. Y. Eegi- 
ment, was taken prisoner at Orange Grove, 
near Chancellorsville, in November, 1863, and 
was carried immediately to Kichmond, and 
from thence to Belle Isle, and through him 
w^e obtain a glimpse of the fearful tragedies 
acted there. 

"The space occupied by prisoners is about 
six acres, enclosed by an earthwork three feet 



370 UFE IN IlEBKL PRISONS. 

in height; within this space were confined a,^ 
many as ten thousaml prisoners. 'I'he pan 
occupied in iheni is a low, saiuly, barren 
waiste, exposed in summer to a burning sun, 
without tlie shadow of a single tree; and in the 
winte", to tlie danij) and cold winds up the 
river, with a few miserable touts in which, 
perhaps, one half the number were protected 
IVom tlio night Tol^s oC a malarious region ; 
tlie others lay upon the ground in the open 
air." 

The oflicei>? of nearly all the Southern 
prisons seem to have imbibed the spirit of the 
prime le;ulers of the rebellion, and therefore 
sliiiw out the same ruling purpose in their 
treatment of prisoners, which appears to be 
notliing else than ]u*esent misery and ultimate 
unfitness on a broad scale, in the case of those 
with whom they have to deal. 

Tlu? history of the subject of this sketon r 
Himilar lo that of thousands of others \\li<i 
have dwelt upon tbi^ lonely islaixl in .Tanu 
river. He wa.H conveyed thither as the coldest 
and most inclement Hea.Hon of the year wa 
approaching, and instead <»!' being allowed tn 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 371 

retain what little lie had that was conducive 
to comfort, even this was taken from him, and 
he was left in utter destitution. His captors 
took from him his blanket, and even the 
gloves on his hands and the shoes on his feet, 
substituting for the latterj however, a misera- 
ble pair, so filled with rents as to be scarcely 
an apology for a covering, affording almost no 
protection from the cold and frost, as will be 
seen, w^hen we are told that his feet became 
badly frozen, and all the toes of one foot were 
lost in consequence. His fortune differed from 
that of some of his comrades, in that he had 
something in the shape of a tent to lie under, 
although it was nothing that would exclude 
the rain, or keep the sleet from falling thick 
about him. Many of them had to lie in 
the open ditch, without anything to impart 
w^armth to their shivering bodies; the only 
shadow of protection being a simple embank- 
ment, which w^as thrown up about them, evi- 
dently designed as their circlmg boundary. 

It is not strange, imder these circumstances, 
that hfe should become congealed at its 
§ource, and thatit should be written of many, 



272 LUT IN' UEDIL PRISONS. 

that they were 'frozai to dcatJi!' It is a mel- 
ancholy verdict to render, but it is conlinne 
by more than two or three witnesses, and w > 
nia\- thiTclore jud«i:e it to he estahhshed in 
truth The heart is sad a> inia;^ination show^ 
those delenceless sohhers, not only bereft of 
tlicir anii^-. which were so nnich their pride to 
bear, and their i:lory to wield, but also 
depri\ed of e\-ery ])ersonal eonifort and con- 
venience, and eondeiinied to lie down exposed 
to the frownin<^ elenu'nts of nature, and the 
ptill nu)re pitiless abuse of humankind. 

It were scarcely j)ossil)le to conceive of 
more persistent, wholesale misery, deliberately 
heaped upon men. than the ai^ent,s of South- 
ern malice have j)oured upon their Northern 
kinclpMl. Tlie r:ick< and the tortures of the 
Inquisition were terrible, and we shrink back 
with horror as \ve peruse the history of tin-- 
j)eriod, but did they rival in enduring an«?uisli 
the linpM'ing a^^onies of these imprisone 
ones, who are ronsum<'d by the slow but ce: 
tain j)re.s.sure of th«* f<nil han«l that is upon 
them? Thtr flames, uh they rise from the fa 
kindling fugot.^, and curl about »iio form oi 



LIFE IN REBEL TRISONS. 373 

the martyr, as he is tied to the stake, have a 
power to stir our souls within us to their 
utmost depths, but who will say they are more 
dreadful than the slow burnings which eat out 
the vitals, leaving the tenement of clay a 
mere w^reck before the spirit quits its frail 
abode ? — or more to be feared than the tight- 
ening of the frosty bands which prevent the 
play of life, as surely as the anaconda's grasp, 
or the tiger's embrace ? 

There are some of these things to be taken 
as the natural consequences of w^ar, and some 
that are not. We know that the '^ chances 
und fortunes" of Avar are varied ; that priva- 
tions, exposures and suffering, are the inevita- 
ble lot of those who engage in the service ; 
but we seldom hear our willing soldiers com- 
plain of these. It is the inhuman, inexcusa- 
ble treatment they receive as ^^risoners. 

They bear their misfortunes ^^ bravely and 
patriotically/' complaining not of their gov- 
ernment, or of their fate, only blaming the 
conduct of their merciless enemies, and can 
we w^onder at this ? 

The object of their hate in the case of the 



374 LIFE IN nilDCL ITIS'JNS. 

one of whom we have been .^peaking, suflered 
severely, merely e.-eaping slarvat:i)n ami 
death A lit lie lime on the Island Milliced to 
make him a i)H)i)er suhjeet for tliL* hospital, 
into whi( h he was taken to become the victim 
of piu'umonia. There, as well as in prison, he 
knew what it Wius to experience hunger, with- 
out nnytliinLT to irratifv the insatiable demand 
of the system. Not even corn bread was 
given him in suiheient quantity to appeiise 
the gnawing within, meat was a luxury 
granted only at intervals, sometimes once a 
(lay oftener but onee during the wei-l;. 

His fix)zen feet received daily attention at 
ccrtiiin seasons, while again, for days together, 
they went with nothing done to soothe the 
intensity of ])aiu occasioned by the neglect. 
He survived lo tell the story of wrong and 
sorrow, but multitudes found their graves on 
the island of tbe .lames. In hi^tor\ it will bn 
placed side by side witli other places of rebel 
notoriety, and it will excite the same vmo 
tions in the hearts of those who shall rea 1 
the reconls. Associations will ever linger 
around Belle Isle, of no phasing character. It 



\ 



LIFE IN REBEL miSONS. 375 

matters little how fair or how uninteresting 
it may be by nature, the name will start a 
train of melancholy reflections whenever it 
is alluded to. War has introduced it to the 
public gaze, but only as a place where "sharp- 
toothed unkindness" has played upon man- 
kind to the death. 



SALISBURY PENITENTIARY. 

The Salisbury Penitentiary, in North Caro- 
lina, was originally designed as a place of pun- 
ishment for Southern soldiers, guilty of milita- 
ry offenses, and as a place of committal for 
hostages, and all those captives the rebels 
desired to lose in forge tfulness. Later in the 
history of the Avar, it came into more gen- 
eral use, and thousands of prisoners found a 
home there, not unlike, in feature and charac- 
ter, to many others furnished by the Confed- 
erate authorities, in their so-called SoiUhei^n 
emjnre. When a household was first gath- 
ered there, the administration of affairs by 
those placed over it, was comparatively mild. 



J ( LiFi: IN iir.iux ruisoNS. 

The mcmbei'9 thereof ^vc'^e alluwi'd the privi- 
lege of exercising in an open enclosure, two 
hours each (l;i\ , tliereby reaping tlie benefit 
of the exhilarating inlhiciict's oi" nature, and 
ni:niy other things conspijvd to renckM* con- 
fniement toleiaide and imprisonment endura- ■ 
ble. In process of time, liowovi^r, there came 
a most unwelcome change. The inmates were 
compelled to sul)mit to a state of things that 
wa.s highly revolting. Apparently, the rebels 
were sorry they had allowed even a shadow 
of comfort to rest upon the poor men, and 1 
therefore went systematically to work to 
lessen it. 

That we may better obtain 'au insight into 
this prison den of th(^ Soiitli, we transcribe 
the testimony of Mr. Hiehardson and Bmwn, 
})oth widely known as being ])roniinently a.'^so- 
ciated with the jmhllc j)rcss. They were con- 
fine<l in this place, each of them, for a consid- 
erable length of time, and the following state- 
ment was made by the former before the com- 
mittee of thr conduct of the war: 

**I wafl captured," he says,*' on a hay bale in 
the MiBsiasippi river, opposite Vicksburg, on 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 377 

the 3d of May, 1863, at midnight." After 
experiencing a season of confinement in six 
different prisons, and thus enlarging the circle 
of his knowledge in regard to the peculiar 
discipline of Southern officials, he was finally 
sent to Salisbury, on the 3d of February, 
1864, where he remained until the 18th of 
December, of the same year, when he made 
his escape, thus gratefully terminating his 
unhappy and unwilling connection with a 
jieople w^ho had no sympathy wath his views, 
and no feelings in unison with his own. 

"For months," he says, "Salisbury w^as the 
most endurable prison I had seen ; there were 
600 inmates. They were exercised in ihe 
open air, comparatively w^ell fed, and kindly 
treated. Early in October, 10,000 regular 
prisoners of war arrived. It immediately 
changed into a scene of cruelty and horror; it 
was densely crowded, rations were cut down 
and issued very irregularly ; friends outside 
could not even send in a plate of food. 

The prisoners suffered considerably, and 
often intensely, for the want of bread and 
shelter ; those who had to live or die on 
16 



378 LIFE IN REIir.L PRISONS. 

prison rations always sufTorcd from hungov y 
\cry frequently one or more divi.sions of 1000 
men would receive uo rations for twenty-four 
hours ; sometimes tlu'V were wilhuul a morsel 
of food for forty-eight hours. 

A few wlio had money would pay from five 
to twenty dollars in Rehel curreury for a little 
loaf of bread. Many, though the weather wa.s 
very inclement and snow frequent, sold the 
coats from their hacks and shoos from their 
feet. I was assured, on authority entirely 
trustworthy, that a great connnissary ware- 
house near the prison was filled with provis- 
ions. The Commissary found it diflieult to 
find stora<'e for his corn and meal ; and when 
a subordinate asked the j)ost commandant, 
Maj. John II. Gee, "Shall I give the prisoners 
full rations?" he replied, with an oath, " Xo ! 
give them cpiarter-rations." 

"1 know from personal observation," he con- 
tinues, "that corn and pork are very abundant 
in the region about Salisbury." 

For weeks the prisoners had no shelter 
whatever; they were all thinly clad, thmi-ands 
were barefooted, not one in twriity had an 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 379 

overcoat or blanket, many hundreds were with- 
out shirts, and hundreds were without blouses. 
One Sibley tent and one "A" tent were fur- 
nished to each squad of 100 ; with the closest 
crowding, these sheltered about half the pris- 
oners. The rest burrowed in the ground, 
crept xuider the buildings, or shivered through 
the night in the open air upon the frozen 
ground. If the rebels, at the time of our 
capture, had not stolen our shelter-tents, blan- 
kets, clothing, and money, they would have 
suffered little from cold. If the prison author- 
ities had permitted them, either on parole or 
under guard, to cut logs within two miles of 
the prison, the men would gladly have built 
comfortable and ample barracks in one week ; 
but the commandant would not consent, — he 
did not even furnish one-half the fuel needed. 
The hospitals were in a horrible condition. 
More than half who entered them died in 
a few days. The deceased, always without 
coffins, were loaded into the dead-carts, piled 
on each other like logs of wood, and so driven 
out to be thrown in a trench and covered with 
earth. The rebel surgeons were generally 



580 I IKE IN i:ki{kl riusoNs. 

humane and attentive, and endeavored to im- 
prove the shoekinir condition of the hospitals; 
but the Sahshurv and Kiehmonil authorities 
disreganknl their protests. 

On thr -Mh of November, many of the 
prisoners had been without food for forty-eiglit 
hours, and were desperate, without any ma- 
tured phui. A few of them said, '*We may as 
well die in one way as another ; let us break 
out of this horriljle place." Some of them 
wrested the guns from a relief of fifteen rebel 
Foldiers, just entering the yard, killing two 
who resisted, and wounding live or six others, 
and attempted to open the fence, lnit they bad 
neither adccpiatr tools or coneert of action. 
Before they could eHrct a breach, every gun 
of the garrison was turned on tbcni, the field- 
pieces opened with grape and canister, and 
they dispersed to their quartei*s. Tn five 
minutes from its beginning, the attempt wa.s 
quelled, an<l hardly a prisoner w.-us to be scon 
in the yard. The Rebels kiUed sixteen in all, 
and wounded si.xty. Not one-lrnlh of the 
priHoncni had taken part in \\ir attenijit, an«l 
many of them were ignorant of it until tliey 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 381 

heard the guns. Deliberate, cold-blooded mur- 
ders of peaceable men, where there was no 
pretense that they were breaking any prison 
regulation, were very frequent. 

Our lives were never safe for one moment. 
Any sentinel, at any hour of the day or night, 
could deliberately shoot down any prisoner, or 
fire into a group of them, black or white, and 
never be taken off his post for it. 

I left about 6,500 remaining in garrison on 
the day of my escape, and they were then 
dying at the average rate of twenty-eight per 
day, or thirteen per cent, a month. The sim- 
ple truth is, that the Rebel authorities are 
murdering our soldiers at Salisbury by cold 
and hunger, while they might easily supply 
them with ample food and fuel. They are 
doing this systematically, and I believe are 
killing them intentionally, for the purpose ei- 
ther of forcing our Government to an exchange^ 
or forcing our men into their own army." 

In harmony with the above is the testimony 
of Mr. Brown, also a correspondent of the 
Tribune. 
"I have often wished," says this gentleman, 



382 LIFK IN REBEL riUSONS. 

"that I coulil obtain a pliotograph of that 
room in Salisbury prison, for I can give no 
idea of its ropulsiveness mm'I superlative 
squalor. 

The pri-on was fomicrly a cotton-factory, 
about ninety by thirty feet, and when we 
were there, they had only six or seven hund- 
red confined within its walls. A dirtier, smo- 
kier, drearier and more unwholesome place, I 
had never seen, than the room in which we 
were placed. It reminded me of some old 
junk-shop in Soutli street of the city I had 
left, and wa.s hung round with fdthy rags, tat- 
tered quilts and blankets, reeking witli ver- 
mni, wliic'h the wretched inmates used as 
clothes and bed-covering, and tli rouged mostly 
with Northern and Southern citizens, most of 
whom were in garments long worn out, and 
an far removed from cleanliness as tlie wearers 
from happiness. 

In tliat ai)horreil abode we were compeUecl 
to cat and sleep as best we might There 
were but two stoves, both old and broken, in 
the room, and they gave out no lieat^ but any 
quantity of smoke, which fillrd the apartment 



LITE IN REBEL PRISONS. 383 

"v^ith bitter blueness. Vermin swarmed every 
where; they tortured us while we tried to 
sleep on our coarse blankets, and kept us in 
torment when awake. No light " of any kind 
was furnished us; and there we sat night after 
night in the thick darkness, inhaling the foul 
vapors and the acrid smoke, longing for the 
morning when we could again catch a glimpse 
of the overarching sky." 

How many who have escaped from these 
pestiferous places in the South, will follow him 
who utters these words, with heart-felt appre- 
ciation, while he tells what he and they have 
thought and felt. 

"Think," he says, "of this death-life month 
after month! Think of men of delicate or- 
ganization, accustomed to ease and luxury, of 
fine taste, and .a passionate love for the beau- 
tiful, without a word of sympathy, or a whis- 
per of hope, wearing their days out amid such 
scenes. Not a pleasant sound, nor a sweet 
odor, nor a vision of fairness, ever reached 
them. They were buried, as completely as if 
they lay beneath the ruins of Pompeii or Her- 
culaneum. They breathed mechanically, but 



384 LIKE IN REBEL PRISONS. 

were shut out from all that renders existence 
eiuluriible. Every sense wjus shocked perpet- 
ually, and yet the heart, by a strange incon- 
sistency, kept up its throhs, and i)reserved the 
physical being of a hundred and lifty wretched 
captives, who, no doubt, often prayed to die. 

Few persons can have any idea of a long 
imprisonment in the South. They usually 
refMrd it merely as an absence of freedom, a 
deprivation of the pleasures and excitements 
of ordinary life. They do nut take into con- 
sideration the scant and miserable rations that 
no one, unless he be half-famished, can eat : 
the necessity of going cold and hungry in the 
wet and wintry season; the constant torture 
from vennin, of which no care or precaution 
can free one; the U)t;d isolation; the supreme 
dreariness, the dreadful monotony, the perpet- 
ual turning inwanl of the mind upon itself, the 
Belf-devouring of the lnart, week after week, 
month after month, year after year." 

Such are some of th<» horrors of our cruel 
war, — horrors thrust uj)on us by the imprinci- 
plcd and designing leadei-s of a wicked rel)cll- 
ion, wlio thirst for ])owrr and conquest^ regard- 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 385 

less of the cost by which they expect to obtain 
them. 

They hesitate not to pass through rivers of 
anguish and seas of blood, if it be necessary 
to the accompHshment of their unhallowed 
purposes, and in view of it, one can scarcely 
forbear saying with Cowper, — 

"Let eternal infamy pursue 

The wretch, to naught but his ambition true." 



KALEIGH. 

Statement of Hospital Steward Butler, of 
the 16th Conn. Eegiment, respecting the 
prison at Raleigh, N. C, where he was con- 
fined. 

"This was comparatively a favored place, 
and any one going thither from Andersonville, 
Millen, or Florence, could say, ^The lines have 
fallen to me in pleasant places,' so great was 
the contrast. Doubtless this was owing, in 
some measure, to the strong Union element 
that existed in the vicinity. The expressions 



380 LIFE IN RKBEL PRISONS. 

of feeling with other iiianifestat ions, convinced 
us that this wa.s the ivahty. Had the authori- 
ties allowLMl I lie people to contribute freely to 
the want< of the prisoners, it is not iinproba- 
l>le thev wouM iiave lariMJ a LHvat deal better 
than \\\r rebels theinscK-es, but the citizens 
were not allowed in visit them, or send them 
luxuries of any kind. Although this was 
strictly ]>rohibited, and the reiteratiou made 
constantly, that ntjtliing but urilinary fare 
should be allowed the captives, yet the friends 
of the Union and the soldier, outside the 
j)rison walls, did contrive, in various ways, to 
minister to. the wants and add to the couifort 
of the men. 

The ladies of the city wen^ n(U at all 
inelined to that insidting, abusive manne:. 
whieli was eharaeteristie of their more south- 
ern sisters. It was not imeonuuon for iheiu, 
while pa.Hsing llie liospital, to throw in bouquets 
tlirougli the open windows to the ])oor si(l> 
ones. Many similai- ads of kindnc.»<s ami 
esteem were thus unostentatiously performed. 
HO that we felt tliat it was quite to tin' praise 
of tlie good people of Raleigli that wo wero 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 387 

treated with so much consideration and 
respect 

Instead of the loathsome and repulsive 
prison pen, the abode of filth and indescriba- 
ble wretchedness, we had comfortable bar- 
racks. Instead of the inhuman and barbarous 
usage to which our fellow soldiers had been 
subjected in other prisons, we were kindly 
and courteously treated, receiving the same 
attention as the rebel sick and wounded, with 
the exception of those things we have named 
as restrictions. 

The hospital was large, commodious and 
w^ell ventilated. Beds were provided, and 
comfortable clothing allowed. The food was 
wholesome, and doubtless as good as could be 
procured, under the circumstances. 

Adjoining this building was a large yard, or 
rather field, where our men had plenty of 
room to walk and exercise. Games, also, 
could be instituted to relieve the monotony 
of continued confinement. 

Our own men were placed in the hospital 
as attendants^ and they also acted therein 
under the direction of the Surgeon, as occa- 



388 MFE IN nr.nrL piusuns. 

sion might reciuire. This olhror ^vas n Tory 
m;()()(1 iiKin, and did all in his power 10 make 
lii^* sitnation ()f the men comfortable who 
were snlVering iVom disease. The snpply of 
medicines was qnito good, and all reports and 
statements conceniing things in the hospital 
t\ere received without the least mtimation of 
distrust or hick of confidence, for unUke some 
of whom mention has been made, we could 
rely upon tlieir word \\]i('n once pledged to 
us. The men who died in their hands were 
decently buried, something that can not be 
said of the thousands who perished at Ander- 
sonville, for they were buried in -a manner 
that reflects everlasting disgrace upon tlie 
vaunted ^Southern chivalry.'' 



CAMP LAW TON. 



The following Is the testimony of Serj*t "W. 
Cjcx)dyear, Co. K 7th R'tC. V. who wa^removiMl 
from Anderson ville, Ga., to the pristm known 
as (ajjij) Lairtan, near Milieu, in the same 
State, on tho l»t of November, 18G4. It waa 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 389 

pleasantly situated, about eighty miles north 
of Savannah, in a country where pnie forests 
abounded. Indeed these were a prominent 
feature in the external surroundings of many 
of the Southern prisons. Trees -would be 
felled, a clearing made, and here located ,the 
rude structure that was to be the cheei'less 
home of thousands for long, weary months. 
Could a voice be given to these silent groves, 
and they become witnesses of what they had 
seen and heard, what revelations would be 
made of things that can never be known now 1 
The medium of human language fails to 
convey all the meaning involved in prison 
life in the South. It is true that a great 
part of the suffering in this present war, 
as in all wars, must forever remain with the 
secrets of unwritten history. A few w^ho were 
themselves actors in the tragic scenes, may 
rehearse the story of their individual experi-* 
ence, and thus furnish, as it were, a key to 
unlock the gates through which others may 
enter and take a look. This is the only way 
in which the people at large can become ac- 
quainted with this thrilling portion of the war, 



300 LIFE IN REDEL PRISONS. 

aiul authentic and rcHaUe statements are 
therefore of deep interest and importance. 

Forty-four acres of ground wi re enclosed 
1)V the stockade at Millcn. Tlic hirge pine 
timber which was cut down at the commence- 
ment of operations, for building the prison, 
was left upon the ground, and when the first 
prisoners went into their confinement there, 
they found these to be greatly to their advant- 
age, for tliry were able to construct for them- 
selves comfortiible huts of the logs and 
branches lying about them. In this respect 
they were more fortunate than many, or most 
others. The last division that entered had no 
shelter at all, or at least, of any account. A 
small stream of good water ran through the 
center, which the m<'n highly prized, particu- 
larly .'US it afforded the much needed privilege 
of bathing. 

At the time of my arri\al there, the list 
of j>ris(mers numberrd nine thousand. Tin* 
weather waa very cold and stonny» and as the 
majority of the men were very ])0()rly clad, 
many of them being without shoes, blankets 
or coats, and abo without t<helter. the sulTer- 



I 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 391 

ing was very great. No medicine was issued 
to the men within the stockade, and but very 
few were taken outside to the hospital, conse- 
quently the mortality was fearful. The num- 
ber of deaths averaged from twenty-five to 
thirty-five per day. The prevailing diseases 
were such as are common to almost all prisons 
— the scurvy, diarrhea and rheumatism. It 
was no uncommon occurrence for the mornino- 
light to reveal the pallid faces of three or 
four prisoners who had laid down side by side, 
showing that death had claimed them all 
during the night. Such sights were heart- 
rending to the most unfeeling ; the most sto- 
ical. K2^Tisoner is condemned to these things, 
and there is no alternative but for him to gaze 
upon them however sad and revolting they 
may be. He must steel himself against 
that which once w^ould have sent sympathy 
through his whole being — a gushing tide. It 
could not be that the fountain of pity be stir- 
red to its depths so often. Nature could not 
sustain the pressure, therefore it seems that 
the whole is something like a martyr process, 
in which the very juices of life are crushed 



02 LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS 



out by an uncontrollable force. At the begin* 
ning of luy stay at Millm, the rations which 
Mere issued were double the amount we had 
at Andersonville. We drew one pint of meal, 
#X ounces of uncooked beef six spoonsful of 
rice, one tea-spoonful of salt, as our allowance 
for twenty-four hours. Beans were sometimes 
substituted for rice, but these were so much 
eaten by insects that they were often thrown 
away without being tasted. After a little 
while, however, the (juantlty decreased every 
day, so that they becjuue nearly as small and 
])oor as those issuei] in other prisons. 

The j)rospect of being exchanged or paroled 
was so small, that some availed themselves of 
the opportunity to take the oatii of allegiance 
to the Confederate government, and entered 
the rebel service. The inducements which 
were offered them to do this, were three 
bushels of sweet potatoes, a suit of clothes, 
and one Inmdred dollars in Confederate scrip. 
1 was myself ac(|uainted witji <juite a numl)er 
who did this, and although I would make no 
excuse for them, I know the motive by whicii 
tliey were actuated. They siiw no chance of 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 898 ^ 

getting out of prison alive. They had barely 
clothes to cover their nakeclness; and they 
thought to prolong existence in this way, and 
coupled with this was the idea of escapiiig 
and fleeing to the Union lines at the ve^ 
first opportunity. But the whole thing was 
considered a mean, disgraceful act, by every 
true patriot. I would have died a dozen 
deaths rather than to have been guilty of 
such a thing, and there were thousands of 
others of the same mind. 

As the time of the Presidential election 
drew near, the rebels expressed a desire that 
we should vote upon the question ourselves. 
Accordingly ballot boxes were procured, and 
on the day when the people of the North 
were deciding the momentous issue, we gath- 
ered together in Millen prison, and in the 
midst of great excitement, gave expression to 
our political preferences. We knew that it 
was war or i^eace. As we deposited our votes, 
so did w^e speak for one or the other, and 
show forth our position in the country's cause. 

At sunset the votes were counted, and the 
result was 3,014 votes for Lincoln, and 1,050 
for McClellan. 



^^ 304 



LIFE IN REBEL PRISONS. 



CATTrKi: OF JLIIKKSON I)A\ 1> 



We tliink it a])j)ro|)nate to clo.^e our account 
of Life and Death Lu Kubel Prisons Ijv givin^^ 

« account of making a prisoner of Mr. Davis, 
c leading spirit in planning and executing 
the most h.irljarous system of treating prisonei*s 
of ^var ever recorded on tlie pages of History. 
That it was a deiiljerate phm of the rebel gov- 
ernment to unlit their prisonei*s for any further 
military service, and intimidate tiie people of 
the North, and retard enlistment, there can be 
no doubt in the minds of persc^ns familiar with 
the subject 

Mr. Davis was captured witliin a f'w mile- 
of Anderson ville i*ri-on ; is it unreasonable to 
suppose that the ])ainful reflect ions that must 
of necessity force thenrselves upon his mind on 
nearing that notorious ])lace, had much to do 
in uiniianning liiis bold and daring leailer, and 
prompting him to adopt a mode of e.*<capc that 
will hold him uj) to ridicule for all time to 
come. Havin;; failed to secure the end .*u)u«rht 
for, with what crushing: wei^rht must the 
thought of having so powerfully aided in pi-o- 
ducing siwh terrible suffering, death, and 
(leviujtation, have fallen on his guilty soul. 



DET.ULS OF THE CAPTURE. — OFFICIAL. 395 

FROM SECRETARY STANTON TO GENERAL DIX. 

War Depaktment, V\'ASiiiXGTON, May 14, 1865. 
Major Gen. John A. Dix : 

The following details of the capture of Jefferson Davi?, 
while attempting to make his esca[)e in his wife's clothes, have 
been received from Muj. Gen. AVilson. 

Edward M. Stanton. 



'^91 

Macon, Ga., May 12, 1865—11 A. mT 

Jlon, E. M. Stanton, Secretauj of War : 

The following dispatch, announcing the capture of Jeff. 
Davis, has just been handed m-e by Col. Minty, commanding 
Second Division. 

Head-quarters Fourth Michigan Cavalry, J 
CuMUERLANDviLLE, Ga., May 11. \ 
To Capt. T. W. Scott, A. G., Second Division : 

Sir : I have the honor to report that at daylight yesterday, 
at Iwinsville, I surprised and captured Jeff. Davis and family, 
together with his wife, sisters and brother, his Postmaster- 
General, Reagan ; his private Secretary, Col. Harrison ; Col, 
Johnson, Aid-de-Camp of Davis' statF; Col. Morris Lubbick, 
and Lieut. Hathaway ; also, several important names, and a 
train of five wagons and three ambulances, making a most per- 
fect success. 

He expressed great indignation at the energy with which he 
was pursued, saying that he had believed our government were 
too magnanimous to hunt down women and children. 

Mrs. Davis remarked to Col. Harden, after the excitement 
was over, that the men had better not provoke the President, 
or ''he might hurt some of 'tin." Reagan behaves himself with 
dignity and resignation. The party, evidently, were making 
for the coast. J. H. Wilson, Brevet Major-General. 

The HernhTs correspondence gives the particulars of the 
arrest of Jeff. Davis, fully confirming the official accounts. 
When the guard went to the tent, they were met by Mrs. 
Davis, en dishabille, with, " Please, gentlemen, do not disturb 
the privacy of ladies before they have time to dress." Pres- 
ently there appeared at the tent door an ostensible old lady 
with a bucket on her arm, escorted by Mrs. Davis and her 
sister : " Please let my old mother go to the spring for some 
water to wash in," said Mrs. Jeff, in a pleading tone. ••"' It 
strikes me your mother wears very big boots," said the guard, 
as he hoisted the old lady's dress with his sabre, and discovered 
a pair of No. 13 calfskins, and "whiskers, too," said the ser- 
geant, as he pulled a hood from the face, and lo ! Jeff. Davis 
stood before them. 



oi>G LIFE IN REBKL PRISONS. 



TIIK COrMIIVS SACRIFICE. 

An «■» lonrludo the sad !«tor,v of sufTcring in which our jouthrul 
noldii-n. i»iv«» borne i>o couj*picuous a jNirl, we art* coiiilH.-llid to |»au>. 
and ad;njrc their noble cndurunco, tla-ir «U«crful saciiticf.'*, and jkiI 
^BUo dt>votio:i to country aiuid want uad hanUhip. They dcM-rvc ;i 
rich and Ia>tinR tribute, but we fctl that .Surj/jV. tiud:j but poor ex- 
pression in human language, lliough it should be 

'• In though U th»t broatbe, and woni* that bum,"— 

for hcart-strugglcH and hcart-Iii^tories can not be written with the 
pen, or spo vca by the lips. There is no appropriate outward niaiii- 
fe!*tation for them, nothing to mark the htrengih and energy o( work- 
ing which characterize the inner experience ot tlio>e who arc cxer- 
cujed by them. 

That the present war in our land, with its varied calU to duty, has 
caused more of this severe inward struggle than will ever be known, 
we do not question. Doubtle.<M many went forth actuated by the 
love of novelty, the desire of adventure, a thirst (or excitement, a 
hope of plory, and fotidness for protnoiiun ; but aside from all the*«\ 
there went a body of men who formed, as it were, a mighty wave of 
patriotism, rushing down fro:n Northern hills to Southern plain;*, flit- 
ing the would-be-coii(juerors with terror and dismay The .spirit of 
iiacrificc marked them at the beginning. " What if we find a m>1 
dier'g grave," .'aid they, — "What if we sleep upon the field of atrife, 
unknown and unnoticed, provided wc fall in the di.-udtarge of duty to 
country and to God ! " This feeliug waa wide-spread, and every de- 
partment of labor turned out its repres«'ntatives. The merchant 
went from his damasked surroundingn, from measuring off hilk" and 
laecs for the dainty children of Fashion ; the artist laid aside his 
brujih and -iu*c\, and turned his back upon the charming slu«Iio, the 
man of culture turne<l from his literary pursuits u|k>ii which he ha<l 
counted ao much; the sludeni, wh()'>e delight had lM>rn to hnger in 
cIamiic hall*, was suddenly animated with new seal that mual Dceda 
bo cooled, or heiglitined on the "broad field of battle." 

The profesatonal aapirant for honor ceas4>d lo wed ambition, look 
« hroadet look, and wrut into the service of his country; while the 
poet, who bid found di« soul chiefly ble»>e I in the uitenince* of lifx 
" wet with Caalalian drwa." fi<lt that he must aUkt bit ihirM 4l oUier 
foooUins, — and be, loo, wa« teen on the way. 



LIFE IN REBEL miSONS. 397 

The minister at the sacred desk felt the new cause blendinr^ ^vith 
his own ; the mechanic and the artisan laid their tools to rest, and 
took others of a dillercnt character, wherewith they tnight strike for 
Liberty and Right ; and everywhere the sturdy yeomanry declared 
themselves ready to do or die in so noble a cause. They laid them- 
selves upon the altar of sacrifice, — and who shall tell how rich iho 
offenng, how precious the incense, that went up therefrom ! If it 
be wise to talk of anything pertaining to mortals, as being worthy 
to be recorded " as with a pen of iron and the point of a diamond," 
then might choice paragraphs be culled from the sacrificial records 
of these times, for posterity, ages down, to admire. The nobility of 
manhood has been vastly increased thereby, and lofty purposes and 
sentiments been written that do honor to mankind. 

It is true, the voice of lamentation is heard for those who arc r.r.t 
There is mourning for the many who have fallen upon the field of 
battle, and the thousands who have died in prisons and hospitals ; 
but if it be true that men live in actions more than in moments, in 
deeds more than in years, it may be these have accomplished more 
for the cause in which they were engaged, by their death, tlian they 
could have done in life. 

A leaf of geranium, withered and faded, lay upon the table as I 
sat musing upon these things, and the fragile thing, broken from its 
Stem, suggested points of contrast between itself and that living, 
breathing plant of human society, which had been torn from the 
place where it had been wont to grow, and made to droop and die in 
consequence. A fragrance, rich and sweet, came from the crushed 
and bruised leaf, more diffusive by reason of pressure, and it raised 
the inquiry, whethc*: there might not be, after all, holier and more 
blessed influences attending the hidden properties which a mighty 
power had wrung out of the heart of the nation, than would have 
been apparent if it had never been subjected to such a process? 

The delicate juices which conveyed such odor to my grateful ser- 
ses, were as a voice that told how the country had been enriched by 
what had been evolved in the struggle to which it was called, and 
how individuals had been blessed, because the springs had been 
touched which opened the cells where the most precious incense was 
Btored. 

Altogether, it whispered of the power and blessedness of sacrifice, 
for it made manifest the value of those costly offerings which have 
been laid upon the nation's altar, and which so many have thought 
to be made in vaio. It invested the sighs, tears and groans that 



C93 un: in nrnrL rnisoNs. 

h r.> bcon ioToWcd, with a peculiar Mcrcdncss, for they hare no 
uii..iii>ortunl mi.vtion to pcrJorm iu crcatiup the more fraj^nt atmos- 
phere which ia to surround the |K'Oploot coimnglime. More, indeed, 
hai« been domandcd, llian wai anticipated. IJad llic Tcil been up- 
liiied in that div when the lew ihoiwundu thought iheiuselves au.'ti- 
eit-nl to nnniliilato the opposing host, and the lonj: catalogue of 
death, di-«A>t»'r, and dij»appoinlmcnt been heen, wl»o but would hnvc 
pUrtod back, upj>allcd at the terrible Mght ? 

WIjo, in the prospect, wou'.d have thought he could pasa through 
the fiery ordeal, certainly without being cru.shed, never to rise again? 
Standing then upon the hill-top and looking out with prophetic riaion 
upon <»ccnc8 of carnage that were to drench the virgin foil with blood ; 
with keen sensibility of hearing, listeiving to the wailing and lamenta- 
tion thai waa to be known through the land,— who would not have 
prayed with an agonized heart to be spared from beholding the time 
ill fearful reality » SulI: a picture spread b^tore uh in the summer of 
'61, a.>< the sure enibodinicut of what wa-s to come, would have filled 
every beholder with dismay, and sent the exclamation to every lip — 
Can it be |K)ssiblc? 

But j»uch in not Divmc appointment Slowly lie reveals to men 
what they arc to do and tc sufTer, and with the rcveUtion mercifuIlT 
pvea utrengih to meet it When He calls to great wicrifices, lie 
givca the needful preparation, whether it be to individual or nations. 
When He U&a b great work to perform, He provides the necc-yiarr 
material.H, whethet it be m men or means, that the work may Ik* wrll 
rccompltshed Amnl, then, all the apparent tumult and dt>eord, t!io 
tnal.H an«i porrows, tlie feani and .nacnfices of these troublou.^ time.*, 
there ia reason why the children of men hhould comfort their hearta 
and even rejoice, becau-^e He who mlA upor tlie throne of the uni- 
rerwi knows full well the beat mclhod<of action, the wisest dixciplino 
foi the timea, and is nurcly pledged to make Right triumphant in tho 
end. Peac* mab the watchword at the )>eginiiiiig of His reign, and 
It ahall b« the crowning glory of the Mme at the la.^t. Then let tho 
tearful and anxious lnar a voice from heaven saving unto them — 

" ViMtniM thf Aan,— (hf ark it mln* ' 

Lol them tUo bear the words, — Sacnjica art H<v<r lost. 



APPENDIX 



TKIAL AND EXECUTION OF ^IRZ. 

THE DEMON OF ANDERSONVILLE.* 

In looking back to the commencement of our 
civil strife, we find Major Anderson, the prominent 
hero, before the minds of men. A new era was 
about to be inaugurated for the American people, 
and he stood forth a grand actor in the scene. 
Within the threatened walls of Sumter he remained, 
sublimely great in courage, holding with tenacious 
grasp the dear emblem of a nation's life, until inex- 
orable necessity compelled him to change his posi- 
tion, and remove to more favorable points of action. 
Patriotic mankind acknowledged his claims to their 
gratitude, and when the pen of the historian was 
called into requisition to record deeds of honor and 
valor, he was not forgotten. It would seem that 
the place with which was linked the name of such 
a man wonld be a bright spot in our land ; but, 
it is to be doubted, if there be a name in America's 
present history, which has a pov/er to stir to its 
deepest depths the fountains of indignation and 
grief, more effectually than that of Andersonville. 
As it stands, it is suggestive of every thing that is 
inhuman, infamous, and wicked. With it are asso- 
ciated the most revolting things it were possible to 
conceive. Imagination, in her wildest flights, could 
scarce paint such a picture of cruelty and injustice 
as has become manifest there by fearful reality. 
Countless dead lie there, silent witnesses to the dark 
and malicious shading, and how many of the living 

* We give the principal facts only, as no one would wish to read 
the mass of evidence in this trial. 



400 APPENDIX. 

would f;iin <lraw a curtain, that would forever shut 
Iroin their t^ii^ht the dri'adt'ul scenes thcv Iiavc wit- 
ne^seii there. >»t>tl»iiiLr, liowcver, can wipe it away. 
On it we are compelled to look, and, lookinu, to dis- 
cover the depravity of human nature which can 
move to such deeds. A Binirle man may make a 
place notorious tor all time. They may l>ocome so 
identitii'd, that the mention of the one will readily 
and of necessity suggest the otiicr. So is it in the 
case before us. Henceforth Wirz and Andersonville 
will he inseparable, lie who rehearses the talc of 
j»rison life at the lone and wretched (leorgia station 
will also tell the story of the inhuman Commandant. 

The place is situatetl about sixty miles below 
^facon, on the South-western rail-road, is a small 
station, and received its name from the snperin- 
tcn<lent of the road, who was a jiersonal friend of 
the trallant ^fajor, and thus sought to perpetuate his 
mcnn>ry. Tho circumstance of his having just 
assumed command at Fort Sumter gave a somewhat 
unusual ])ointednes6 to it, more, ])erhaj)8, than any 
external feature of the ])lacc might have warranted 
at the time. The county which embraced the station 
was of tlie same name as the fort, over which tho 
fatln-r of tlie place }>residcd, giving, it may be, addi- 
tional fiignilicance. At the beginning of the war, it 
consisted only of a few dwi'lling-houses, a single 
church, and a ]>o8t-<)ffine. The reason why, or tlio 
time when, it was selected as a nrison-sito for North- 
ern soldiers is not very well Known. The m(\an3 
of access thereto was doubtless one consideration, 
and wjjocan forbear the coiiclusion that a revengeful 
foe exulted iu the idea that a wiih-ly <litfering dim Uo 
would ciTtainly tell u])'»n the captured one* they 
intended to secure i 

Wa^hin^on's birthday, 1*^<U, tho first prisonera^^l 
entered ; the nucleus of' a great army of martyn*, ^ 
who were destineti to yield up their lives to the fury 1 
and malice of a persecuting^ mol). For months yro 



appe:7dix 401 

vious, ca strong forco of nogro laborers had been em- 
ployed to prepare a place for them. At first, it 
seemed to have been no part of the plan to crowd the 
sixteen inclosed acres so densely. Ten thousand, the 
limit prescribed, would seem far too many to congre- 
gate together, in such a way as they must, but when 
the number was augmented to more than three times 
that number, what horror is excited. We are pre- 
pared by it for the boastful declaration of the brutal 
Winder, when asked to erect sheds and leave some 
trees for the comfort of the imprisoned ones : " Ko ! 
I am going to build the pen so as to destroy more 
Yankees than can be destroyed at the front." Kei- 
ther are we surprised to hear the hard-hearted 
captain exclaiming, that, as an officer in such a 
position, he was " doing more for the Confederacy 
than any general in the field." Here and there, 
through the pine-trees, the grim walls of this fearful 
stockade might be seen by the passenger passing 
over the road, a third of a mile distant. This, with 
the cemetery, was on the east side of the road, that 
running nearly due south. A half mile only inter- 
vened between the living and the dead. A large, 
cleared field on elevated ground became one vast 
sepulcher, and "thousands of white head-boards" 
told their brief story, not enough, in myriad in- 
stances, for the most careful lingerer to distinguish 
from whence he came who slept beneath. Had 
one been inclined to turn aside for the purpose of 
obtaining a glimpse into the interior of the miser- 
able prison so-called, be would have beheld a sight 
from which he must have recoiled with terror, al- 
though familiar with every form of ordinary suffer- 
ing. Unutterable misery reigned, with almost 
nothing to alleviate it. Vliy is it? Who is re- 
sponsible for it ? would be the involuntary questions 
of every one gazing upon the sad spectacle, and an 
intense desire to mitigate the evil would arise, were 
not every principle of humanity and justice dead 

17 



402 APPENDLX. 

througli sympathy witli the wickeil conspiratore, 
who gloried in this consefiucnce of their ilelibcrato 
action. 

One who became accessor^-, in great measure, to 
this fiendish scheme, was llenry Wirz, Military 
Commandant of the prison — a man of fiery and nn- 
goveniable temper; i)rofane, cruel, and ]ieartk»ss to 
the last degree; one who in no wise liasitated to un- 
fold and fnrtlier the murderous pl«»ts of superior an«l 
designing otlicers. Were it poscjihle to otler anv 
thing in extenuation of the atrocious conduct whidi 
lie exhibited to the Union ju-isoners, it could only be 
that he was not a native, but simply an adopteii 
citizen of the country. This, however, could be but 
a poor apology for the utter absence of all those 
prmciples of virtue and compassion which are the 
prime glory of maidiood in anv land. lie has 
t»btained universal execration. I lis name stands on 
history but to awaken unmitigated contempt in 
every loval and true heart. For those who would 
inquire mto his early history, as well as his subso- 
nucnt life, we subjoin a brief sketch of his career, 
lie was boni in Noveml)er, 1S23, at the town *A' 
Zurich, Switzerland, and early manifested a predi- 
lection for the medical profe.sion, a ] (reference, how- 
ever, which was in no wise encouraged by his parents, 
who had other j)lans for him, and in juirsuance of 
them placed him in a commercial house in his native 
town. Dissatisfied with his position, he turned his 
attention tf) American shores, and lande<l at New 
York, in l.S4l>, where he again attempted t-o gratify 
his j>rofessi()ii!il aml»itiou. Failure w;is written n|H)n 
this als<>, iunl he repaired to the manufacturing town 
of Lawrence, Ma^iSiichusetts, wiiere ho obtaine<l em- 
ployment as a weaver in one of tho mills of tho 
place. 

Wiiilo thus engage*! ho made tho acquaintance of 
a gentleman who Ijad the 8Uj>ervision (if a Water 
Cure establijihmcnt in Northampton, of tho same 



APPENDIX. 403 

State. Associating Iiimself witli him, lie applied lii3 
attention to the " healing art," as practiced in that 
institution of hydropathy ; but he was still restless, 
and we find him again in the distant State of Ken- 
tucky finishing his medical education in a drug store 
at Louisville. From thence he went to Mississippi, 
and continued on a plantation in the practice of liis 
profession until the time of the rebellion. In the 
early days of secession, when the foes of the land 
were meditating treason, he allied himself with them, 
and was enthusiastic in his denunciations of tlie 
United States Government, and loud in his threats 
against the firm loyalty of tlie North. 

So bitter and determined was his opposition, he 
scarcely gained the sympathy of the professed ene- 
mies of the Administration by whom he w^as sur- 
rounded. When the time of actual hostility com- 
menced, he thought a title to a commission as 
surgeon in the rebel army well earned, but those in 
authority thought otherwise, and refused to grant it. 
His cruel and impetuous nature thirsted for partici- 
pation in the unhallowed work, and that he might 
have a share of it in some way, he volunteered his 
services to the Confederate cause as a common 
soldier. The leaders of this host, having once 
given themselves to the work of destruction, were 
not slow to discover those who displayed a fitness for 
the execution of their wicked purposes, nor at all 
scrupulous in their appropriation. Toward the close 
of 1861, or the opening of 1862, they gave the com- 
mand of Libby prison to Wirz, who had been hold- 
ing the rank of sergeant-major for a time, and the 
first expression of feeling we hear from the brave 
boys of the Union army, who had the misfortune to 
be placed under his power, was in the unenviable 
but characteristic distinction they were compelled to 
give him — the "' infernal Dutch sergeant P Severe 
and terrible were the cruelties he practiced upon 
them there. The more severe they became, the 



40-i APPENDIX. 

more he excited the ndiniration of rt'bcl master?, 
aiul at length, as a reward for the unwonted harhar- 
itv, thoy p»ve him a connni-sion as second lieutenant, 
lender this new arrani:<incnt, he was sent to the 
l'n»nt to tiirnre in Mc( Icllan's operations before 
Uichniond. At tlic battle of Fair Oaks he waa 
struck by a frairinent of shell and wounderl in the 
arm. This was in the summer of 1S(I2. Tins ol>- 
taine<l for liini a furloupli, duriufj which he repaired 
to his native Swiss home, lie limbered a!)road for 
more than a twelvemonth, and if it were true, as ho 
atU'rward audaciou-ly asserte<l, that he was force<l 
into the rebel service, and could not extri(\'ite himself 
from it, it wouM be su])])osed he would not recross 
the ocean during the sca-on of strife. But in the 
spring of 18r4, we tind him again upon our shorc»s, 
and that too, by express invitation from Genend 
Winder, iriven ''with the full knowledge aiul sanc- 
tion of tlie rebel autli<»rities," for the j)urj>ose ot 
securing his willing cooperation in the most dread- 
fid of erinu's that man could perpetrate. S(»eniingly 
the i)lan of the rebel chii'f had been deliberately 
formed to torture and murder the Northern prisoners, 
to eomi)ensate, it might be, in some measure the 
want ot success in the field. Fully ac(piainted with 
the proclivities of the Swiss lieutenant, hv was the 
chosen character for his w«»rk. The prospect suited 
him well, lie hastened at the first call to the rebel 
head«piarters — was crowned with captain's hoiu>r, 
an<l sent at once to the ob.scure village in the very ^ 
center of (b-orgia, where he commencetl those serica { 
of crimes which cost him his lite. The system he \ 
adopted there in the ])rison began and ende<l in 
heartlcs-i cruelty. It was a wj)rk of cleath, and his 
callous nature trl^ried in it, as may l>o seen by the 
remark In; m id-- when he saw scores and hundre<ls 
of the i>oor, starved beings, who had been in his 
power, hurried to untinu'ly graves — ** Thus we givo 
thcni the land thoy conic to light for." 



APPENDIX. 405 

Wlieii tlic tide of rebellion was fast ebbing away 
and Johnston had surrendered to Sherman, as if 
conscious of nearing an unsafe position, he sought a 
guard under wliose protection he might steal out of 
the country. lie professed to feel himself secure as 
a rebel officer by the peculiar terms of surrender, 
but in spite of all such professions he was arrested, 
conveyed to Wasliington, and coniined in the Old 
Capitol prison. The eyes of the people had been 
upon him.. Justice had slumbered only from neces- 
sity. It waited for the appropriate period to mete 
out just retribution. In due time a military court 
was convened, and he was brought to answer for his 
manifold deeds of injustice. Upon that thin, spare 
figure, live feet ten inches in lieight, the eyes of an 
indignant people were turned. His complexion was 
dark ; his hair, beard, and mustache black, mixed 
with gray, while his general appearance gave one 
i\\Q\diQ3i oi'^ shahhy gentility y It was on Monday, 
tlie 21st of August, 1865, that he was brought into 
the court room, guarded on each side by a soldier. 
Major-General Wallace was President, and Colonel 
Chipman Judge Advocate, Judge Hughes appearing 
as counsel for defendant. The Judge Advocate 
proceeded to read the charges and specifications, the 
first of which was couched in the following signifi- 
cant words : — " Maliciously, willfully, and traitor- 
ously, and in aid of the then-existing armed rebellion 
against the United States of America, on or before 
the 1st day of March, a. d. 1864, and on divers other 
days between that day and the 10th day of April, 
1865, combining, confederating, and conspiring, 
together with Kobert E. Lee, James A. Seddon, 
John H. Winder, Lucius D. Northrop, Kichard B. 
Winder, Joseph White, W. S. Winder, R. Pt. Ste- 
venson, Moore, and others unknown, to injure 

the health and destroy the lives of soldiers in the 
military service of the 'United States, then held, and 
being prisoners of war within the lines of the so- 



400 APPE>rDix. 

called ConfiHlorate States, and in the military pris- 
ons tliereot*, to the end that the annies of the 
United State:? niiirht he weakened and impaired, in 
violation of the laws and cnstoms of war.'' 

The seeond was '* Mnrder, in vi.ihitiun of the laws 
and customs o\' war." Under these two ehar^c^a 
were fourteen <lilVerent spccjlicatinns, invulvin;^ al- 
most every variety of cruelty, and showinff him 
enframed in the most delil)erate acts of murder, hy dis- 
char^xiniX ]»istols, muskets, and revolvers upon detense- 
Icss j»ris()ners, also eausin«x the death of otiiers by pun- 
ishments which he intlictcd, bucIi as torturinir them 
*' in stocks," suhjcctini; them to the *' chain-pini;,'* 
turning up(»n tliem fcnx-iuus hounds, juid personally 
heating and hruisinf^ some until tlicir wounds were 
mortal. In ad«lition, was the fearful mortality caused 
hy starvation and exposure. 

"What answer have v<>u to maker' was the 
question asked of the prisuncr, as tlie jud^e con- 
cluded his reading. '^jNot «:uihy," wjis tlie iinal re- 
sponse. 

Tiie time immediately fnllowini; tliis action was 
taken up in discussinfc certain metlimls of j)rocedure, 
and reconciling some differences existing between 
the opjH)sing counsel. This done, the case was 
resumed, and a letter adduced in evidence, written 
l»v the accused. May Ttli, 1s<J:», to Maj«»r-(ieneral 
AVilson, iiMjtlnrinu ]>r(>tection and assistance f»»r him- 
self and family, and coiisifhring himself in no wise 
suhject to hlanie, and in no meju-iure responsihlu f»>r 
those things which had heen hiid \i])on him, and 
therefore worthy of friendly inter|>osition on the 
part of the <»!]icer of the United States army whom 
lie ad<lrc»vs«d. *' Still,'' he says, ** I now Iniar the 
odium, and men who were pns4Uirrs here seem dis- 
]M>He<l to wrc.ik their vengeance upon me, for what 
they have suffered, who wa^ only the me«lium, t>r, I 
may U'tter hay, the A«'/, in the hands of my sujk)- 
riofft." 



APPEIMDIX. 407 

Tliat lie was a willing tool^ the testimony of com- 
petent witnesses fully establishes. 

Dr, Bates, a Georgia physician, who had been 
induced to take the oath of allegiance to the Con- 
federacy at the point of the bayonet, and had been 
a contract surgeon, in daily intercourse with those 
confined at Andersonville, and consequently familiar 
with the prison regimen prescribed by the com- 
mandant, testified to the misery and wretchedness 
induced thereby in words that make one turn away 
in horror. Upon fii-st entering the hospital, he 
says : — " I saw a number of men, and was shocked ; 
many of them were lying partially naked, dirty, and 
lousy, in the sand ; others were crowded together in 
small tents, the latter unserviceable at the best. I 
felt disposed to do my duty, and aid the sufi*erers all 
I could, but knowing it was against the orders to 
take any thing to the men, I was obliged to slip 
whatever I took to them very slyly into my pockets. 
They frequently asked me for a teaspoonful of salt, 
or for orders of siftings of meal, that they might 
make a little bread. Again, they have gathered 
about me, and asked for a hone. I found persons," 
lie continues, '' lying dead among the living some- 
times, and, thinking they merely slept, I have been 
to wake them up, and found they were taking their 
everlasting sleep. This was in the hospital, but I 
judge it was about the same in the stockade." 

Dr. Barrows, of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts 
Kegiment, testified to the fact that several hundreds 
were lying upon the ground, almost without cloth- 
ing, sick and sore through neglect, exposure, and 
want of food, when he first went there, in the spring. 
If any poor fellow, becoming desperate, made an 
attempt to escape, Wirz would declare that every 
such Yankee should have starvation for his doom. 
*' The prisonei-s were punished frequently in the 
stocks or chain-gang. The stocks consisted of a 
fi-amework six feet high, with boards shut together, 



408 ArrENJ»i\. 

\rith room At a luuirs neck; i.u u tlms f;ieton(Hl 
(•«»ul(l some of tliciu stand ii])on their tiH't, while 
i.thi'i-s iiuTi'lv t«>iuliiMl the Lrroiiiul with tlieir toe.-*. 
'1 he chaiii-pm^ wjis H>metiine:> comiMK-icd ot'six men 
and sonietimes riLditeen ; they were hamlciiJled, and 
chains piu-^'^cil around their necks antl hies, and tt> 
those chains a thirt v-two jMHind ]»all was tastened ; the 
^'ang wouhl he held to^^ether one Mr two wtvks, the 
men meantime l)eing exposed to tlic sun and rain, 
wliicli liad the ellcct to weaken and rcvluce them." 
lie liad no doubt that S(»nie had <lie<l in consequence. 
He had also known c»f a man who had btHMi mangled 
l>y the doirs, hut recovered, and of another wlio liad 
died in c«*nsequenci' <»f wounds received in this man- 
ner. Jle had seen Wirz knock a man down and 
btamp upon him for the veriest tritle. The cniel 
and tyrannical captain was in eonnnand when the 
witness entered, and when he left ; and he remem- 
bered liim to liavc used the exprcs-ion in cimversa- 
tion with him, which has been quoted Indbre, that 
be w.'is "of more service to the Confc<k'rate (ft»vern- 
nient than any ])Oor rebels in front.'' He had 
known rations to be cut oif from the entire nund>er 
of thirty thousand i»ris(»ners for an entire day, ()wing 
to the alleged offenses of a few ()thci*s. 

The witness gave it as his hone^t c«.nviction, tliat 
*'it" there liad l>een projtcr ftHnl, clothing, <juarters, 
and other necessary supplies, tVoin seventy-five to 
eight v per cent, of the deaths might have been pre- 
venter 1/' 

Numerous witnesses followe<l these, wliosc testi- 
mony amounted to the same thing, each one havin*? 
known, tlirough personal experience or ol>servation, 
liow fearful a thing it was to fall into the hands of 
tlie mercile-s foe; each one revt'aling a new phaM.\ 
or j/iving new facts of tlu! demon's cruelty. During 
t' ' )r..^rn»sH of the trial, Wirz became somewhat 
r .iiitc.us conecrninL' its iiro.-eeution, nnd under the 
intluencc of the ftHsling, he wroto to the editor of 



APPETiDIX. 400 

the JVew Yorlc Kews^ from the Old Capitol Prison, 
rehearsing' the story of his life, and imploring aid. 
As it is c'haracteristicof theman, and serves to show 
In's estimate of himself at this juncture, we subjoin 
it for the benetit of the curious. 

LETTEK FKOM WIKZ. 

Old Capitol Prison, ) 

"Washington City, D. C, Auj. 27, 1865. ) 

To THE Editor of the New York News : — 

Altliongli a perfect stranc^er to you, I take, in my nnfor 
tunate and lielpless condition, the liberty to address you this 
letter, knowing tliat, as a friend to the downtrodden South, 
you can not but liave some sympathy for a man who, as lie 
believes, is innocently about to be sacrificed — a sympathy 
which I hope will prompt you to interest yourself in his be- 
half. 

I am a native of Switzerland, and, having been for years 
before the war a resident of Louisiana, could not do other- 
wise than take up arms to defend the State and country of my 
adoption when it was invaded. I joined the Confederate 
army in 1861, and served faithfully the cause I considered to 
be a rightful one. In 1862, the United States troops destroyed 
my home, and my wife and three children had to seek shelter 
among friends. I lost all I possessed, but a few negroes, who 
still remained faithful. In 1864, I was ordered to report to 
the officer of the military prison at Andersonville, Georgia. 
By this oflBcer I was put in command of the prison, and re- 
mained in that position from April, 1864, until 1865. When 
the South ceased the struggle, I was still in Andersonville with 
my family, believing myself fully protected by the terms of 
the agreement between Generals Sherman and Johnston, and 
never dreaming that I, a poor captain and subaltern officer, 
would be made to answer with my life for what is now alleged 
to have been done at Andersonville. I was, in violation of a 
safe-conduct, which was given me by a stafiJ" officer of General 
"Wilson, arrested in Macon, Georgia; was kept there in con- 
finement for two weeks, and then sent on to Washington, and 
am now, by order of the President of the United States, 
brought before a Court to be tried under the most atrocious 
charges. I have no friends here. I am helpless ; and, unless 
I can get help, will have to lose the last thing which I possess 
in this world — my good name and my life. My conscience is 
clear. I have never dealt cruelly with a prisoner under my 
charge. If they suffered for want of shelter, food, clothing, 



410 ArrrxDTX'. 

nn«l nooojyiancs, I couM not help it-havinp no control over 
tlieso tliin?H — tliintr?* which tho('«»nftHler:ite(ioverninent C(»uld 
jrive t»nly in very limitc^l (Hinntily, even to onr own men, m 
everybotly knuw.s wln» will ho just and in)|).Mrtial. My lepnl 
ndvisiTs (Mcvsr;*. Srliade nnd Haker), }*ftii»j» my lielplc**- 
nc;ijs havo undi-rtaken to -conduct my defense. They are 
h<»th doin? it fr<»m jrrncrosity and compassion, knowinj? 
full well that I have not the means to romimorate them 
for tlieir tnniMc Ihit I can not t-xpect them to furnish the 
nieunH which it absolutely re«|uires in the coniliu-ting of a 
cause of such iinpoit.ince. Copies of depositions have to be 
made, moss<*n;:ers have to be sent here and there t<» pet up 
testimony; and 1m)W can tliis be done without money? 1 
liave none to pive; and, no dotibt, my case will be lost — my 
life sacrificed— ft>r the wa»it of the money to defray the ex- 
penses of such a trial. Hut my counsel believe, from the evi- 
dence already in their jtovsission, tliat if the necessary means 
can be obtaine<l. my aeiiuittal junst l»e the result. On this 
condition, I take the liberty to appeal to you to assist me; 
nnd let me not be the virtim of injustice. Your influence is 
Huch that it will not re«pjire very preat elb»rts to collect tiio 
necessary means for a vigorous < .nrryitj': on of the defense. I 
am. my^eIf, without ch»lhes, without any means to alleviate tlie 
)iardshi|»s <»f a dose conlinonieiit. My luidth is bad, and the 
pris<m fare is not cahulated to benefit a sick, <»r at least a 
8utVerinp man. Still, these thing's I have borne witlnn;t mur- 
mnrinp, and hope, with t!ie help of (Jod, to bear yet for a 
while lonper. 

Hojiinp that this petition will receive a favorable reception 
on your part, and a.««surinp y<»u npain that nothinp but the 
direst necessity could irnluce me to a<ldress you, I remain, sir, 
with the greatest respect, vour <d»edient servant, 

II. Wiiir., 
Late Capt. and A. A. ('.., C. S. A. 

A witiicfts wiifi on the gtand ftt one time, who de- 
clared that ''on ()n(» occasion "NViiz came into the 
Ht4K*kade, when u crippled man, wiilkiM;^ nn cnitehe**, 
npprouched him and a.^^ked to tjo (»nt.'^i<le. The re- 
(jiiest wu-"* refilled, and the cripple paid he wotdd 
rather \>c hhot than remain there. Soon af>er, Wirz 
wa** lieurd halh>*»inj; to the nentinel, and telling the 
man lie would U^ hhot if he did not p» hack. The 
jKKjr man, known a.H * ('hickamanga,MieHitatinf^ f«>r 
a moment, waa nhot, and at the same time the other 



I 



APPENDIX. " 411 

men tlireatened with tlie same fate if they did not 
go awav. Prisoners were often kept in the sun all 
day, and not allowed to procure any water. He had 
seen twenty-five or thirty men shot over the dead 
line, and others fired into who were not over it." 

When we consider that a thirty days' furlough 
was granted to the sentinel who should shoot a Yan- 
kee, we wonder not so much that they did it upon 
slight pretexts ; but that they should have been 
allowed to do it, that they should have been reward- 
ed for doing it, and thus made to feel that it was a 
praiseworthy act, this excites both wonder and dis- 
gust. There is abundant evidence that the inhuman 
Captain did encourage and reward each act of this 
kind. Their recollection must have haunted him 
continually, if left to himself ; but the mass of testi- 
mony, steadily culminating in deepest guilt, would 
naturally intensify his feeling ; and we are not sur- 
prised, therefore, at the following appeal to CoL 
Chipman, near the close of the second week of the 
trial : — 

" You will, I hope, excuse my liberty to address 
you these lines, but not knowing to whom to appeal, 
1 refer the matter to you. I am now a prisoner 
since the 7th of May, 1865. I have been deprived 
of all the chances to receive the consolations of reli- 
gion even necessary to anybody, and truly more so 
to a man charged with crimes so heinous, so terrible, 
that the mere thought of them makes me shudder. 

" Although I know mj'self full well that I am 
wi'ongfully accused, that an all-seeing, all-knowing 
God knows my innocence, still I need some encour- 
agement from others not to sink under the heavy 
burden which is placed upon me. Under these cir- 
cumstances, I respectfullv ask that permission be 
granted to Rev. Fathers Whelan and Hamilton to 
visit me, and administer such spiritual comforts as 
my unfortunate position requires. They are both 
men of integrity, and will not profit by the occasion 



412 APPENDIX. 

to sec or do any tiling hut wliat i^v'w duties as minis- 
ters of tbo Gospel will pennit. llopinpj that this, 
my humble requo.-t, may he tavorahly received, and 
the j>ermission he ^'ranted, 1 remain, Colonel, most 
respectfully, your uhL'tlicnt servant, II. Wiiiz.*' 

These irentlomen were Kuman Catholics, and had 
often souirht and obtained permission to enter the 
hosj)ital while the prisoner was in command at An- 
ders* mville. 

The ])eculiar request suggests the idea of a mind 
heavily burdened, and in some way desirous of abso- 
lution. Indeed, the manifestation of it became ob- 
vious, in the depression itf his mental and j>hysieal 
cnertries to such an extent as almost to unlit him for 
attendance at Court, much less to give reliable and 
straightforward inl'.>nnation to tliose who sought it 
of him. A respite was mentioned, but, as most wero 
desirous of reaching the tinal issue, it was overruled, 
and the trial proceeded. 

" Feli.x de la I5aum, of the 79th New York, testi- 
fied among other things, of Captain "NVirz firing two 
shots at two men who were drawing water; he saw 
one of them in a dying condition. The act wjis ac- 
comj)anied with the exclamation — 'that's the wav I 
L'et rid of you,' supplementing it with a fearful oatli." 
lie entered the prison weighing one hundred and 
fifty-eight pounds — a strong man, and left it a mere 
skeleton, weighing oidy ninety.'' Another story was 
told by one detailed to ])erfnrm clerical duty in the 
office of the C:u)tain, while at j)ris»»n. *' An onier 
was issue<l by Wirz for the guards to tire upon any 
one who ppoke to them, and a verbal order was given 
to the rebel sergeants that, in cas# Union j)risoner8 
should fail to rei>ort any of the missing men, thev 
should ]>e placed in the st«K!ks, or bucked, or gagge<l. 
The rations to the; j)risonerrt were just half in quan- 
tity to each man as those is-utMl to the rebel tn»ops. 
At one time, Wirz incre.Lsed the ration of meal and 
pcaa to a pound and a quarter a day, and theu put 



APPENDIX. 413 

them back to tlio old standard, remarking tliat *as 
the Yankees were getting saucy, he would bring 
them to their milk.' " 

Through live weeks, this current of testimony con- 
tinued the same, revealing one persistent purpose to 
send men to the land of silence as fast as possible, 
that thereby the hope of the rebellion might become 
stronger, and wicked leaders obtain the power for 
which they were seeking. One phase of the matter, 
yet unnoticed, and one fully substantiated, was the 
use of poisonous vaccine matter. Tliis was a pro- 
lific source of misery, and evidently was designed to 
be. We could never think of any one so utterly lost 
to all feelings of humanity as to tolerate this, were it 
not j^receded and followed by things equally dread- 
ful. 

In the face of all this testimony, in the presence 
of these witnesses, we should hardly suppose the 
prisoner could open his lips to say any thing in ex- 
tenuation of his conduct, and yet we find him bold 
to plead in his own behalf at the close. In order to 
show the spirit of the plea, we give brief extracts. 
*' He appears," he says, " to put on record his answer 
to the charges on which he is arraigned, and to pro- 
tect and vindicate his innocence. He was there to 
answer for all his official and personal acts at Ander- 
sonville, and, if he could, convince the Court that 
they had been void of offense before God and man. 
He trusted that he would not be held responsible for 
the official or personal misdeeds of others. He 
would be judged by his own acts ; and if they had 
been such as to warrant his conviction on any of the 
charges, let him be visited with punishment com- 
mensurate with his offense. He did not ask for 
mercy, but he demanded justice. In analyzing the 
evidence, he would endeavor to be simple and con- 
cise, and, above all things, frank and truthfulP 
He then reviews the charges and specifications, and 
goes on to confute them. He denies all knowledge 



414 APPENDIX, 

^v]latevor of nny conspiracy, or of bcincj IcasTiied to- 
^etlier with tliose muntioiu'cl in the tirst diar^e, as 
*' willtully and nialirinu>ly'' rausinpr the deatli of 
Northern prisoneni. lie al^o deehired liiniself in no 
way concerned in the location and arranLrcnient of 
things at the j)rison, in fact, denied almost everv 
thinir tliat had heen laid to hi-* charge, and conclud- 
ed with the serious words: — *' The statement which 
I now close will j)r()bal)ly survive me and you alike ; 
it will stand as a complete answer to all the mass of 
misreprcsi-ntation heaj)cd against me. Mav God so 
direct and enliirhten you in your deliberations, that 
your character for impartiality and justice may Ix) 
]>rotected, my character defended, and the few days 
of my natural life spared to my helpless family/' 
AVhen he had linished, the Court adjourned a few 
days, in anticij):ition of the final ar'^ument of Colonel 
("hipmaii for the (Tuvernment. It was now the 
2<ith of October. On the 'Jlth,the able and graphic 
arirument of the Colonel was given as follows: — 

TUB ARGUMENT YOU THE rROSECUTIOX. 

Tho Court rcoMcmbK (I on the 24th, wlien Colonel Chipmnn do- 
livere*! llio folh^wrinpj ahlo and pmphic nr^^imcnt: — 

lIcHpoko as folhnvs: — In a Held so hn)ad, presontinff so many 
ijwuos, and involving? ko many pcTHoiiH. it hi»d lH*en a quoHtion of 
f«<rious tliouKhl with him l>o\v to present tho arguini'iil in thi>« civ«\ 
hin dcMire U-int; •^'D'J to ffivo to the Court a p<'rf*piruuu8 nnd faithful 
ntialvHis of tlio t4>Hlimony, " nothing oxtcDimting, and sotting down 
ij.mu'ht in tfinl''-««." 

Wi* s ho had thought it l>o«t to nolii'o : F.rst — Such 

l'v':il have Ixrcn made to tlio Commission as n judicial 

t- .1.- . I.: : — „^ jn„y \^ dtH'ined worthy of 

I. •' cxmo ha-H Uvn triod. 

-iM of tho tosiimony with ro- 
prird u> iho nKix'MHii.ilitjrrt of iho piirlifH, for tho pur|M»HO of asoor- 
tttiuinjf. an noarlv m" Ii-i-'-np' onn |M>rtrny Ihcm, the h'»rn>ni of An* 
diriMJiivillf. that in-d to appn'<'btc fully Uio foarfUl 

n-Hpofirnhdily of by tho cvidoiuv. 

'■' ' ' ' - inpirary in this connoc- 

. ttfl pur(Mi<ii<ii, and Ibo 

lo show tho guUt of ibo pnsonor at tlio bar 
«.... -.id. 






APPENDIX. 415 

Colonel Chipmnn first argued the jurisdiction of tho Court, quoting: 
numerous autiioritics to show that the President liad t'.ie constitu- 
tional right to convene mihtary commissions to try civilians for cer- 
tain offenses incident to and growing out of a state of war. In 
answering some objections which had been made, he said witnesses 
had been summoned for the defense, and their expenses, while in 
attendance at the Court and coming from and returning to their 
homes, had been paid. Every subpoena wliich had been asked for 
had been given, with the excoi)tion of a few rebel functionaries, for 
reasons already given. Of one hundred and six witnesses sum- 
moned, sixty-eiglit reported, and forty-two others, many of tliem 
soldiers and sufferers at Andersonville, were discharged by tho 
defense, and never put upon the stand. 

Mr. Baker hero interposed, saying he would not allow of exagger- 
ation. 

The Court remarked that the record would settle that. 
Colonel Chipman said that was the record, and added, besides 
" ..* what he had stated, that great expense had been incurred by fur- 
f' ^ -nishing counsel a complete copy of the record from day to day. 
, •, ^luch indulgence had been extended to the defendant, which, con- 
■ *' trasted with his cruel treatment of our soldiers, must make him 
; :' more fully feel his guilt. 

*'-.' '•■ -Colonel Chipman proceeded at length to notice the evidence with 

. -• ■Ji-egard to the prison at Andersonville, to show, by the credibility of 

g some witnesses, the horrible condition of that place and the suffer- 

\ ings inflicted. 

; \ . He then proceeded, as he said, to unfold the extent of the con- 

• V' spiracy, the purposes of the conspirators, and the cruel and devilish 
• '-means resorted to for the purpose of accomplishing their ends. He 

f i "said he entered upon this branch of the argument with regret and 

• 4 vreluCtance. He confessed, to a greater or less extent, our nation- 
\ I iility and the good name we bear are involved in the issue ; but ho 

^ 'did not fear to present to the world, on this account, this great con- 
! ;^piracy of treason, the confederation of traitors, though it shock 

• . -the moral sentiment of the universe ; for however much we may 
V deplore the fact that at its head and front were Americans once 
'^ prominent in the councils of the nation, they have forfeited all 

- .j", rights ; they have ceased, in any way, to represent the true spirit 
^ .of Americanism. 

i \ They are outlaws, criminal^, and can not by their crimes taint our 
> fair escutcheon. It is the work of treason, the legitimate result of 
■^ that sum of all villainies — slavery, which, by very many proofs 
•; during the past four years, has shown itself capable of tliis last one 
t developed. When we remember that the men here charged, and 
■'. those inculpated, but not named in the indictment, are some of 
them men who were at the head of the late rebellion from its be- 
■ ginning to its close, and as such chiefs sanctioned the brutal conduct 
of their soldiers as early as the first battle of Bull Run; who per- 
petrated unheard-of cruelties at Libby and Belle Isle : who encour- 
aged the most atrocious propositions in their Congress ; who sanc- 
: tioned a guerrilla mode of warfare ; who instituted a system of 



41G APrKXDix*. 

sU^ivmhoat hnnilncr ••>nd firing of riiios: whn rm{il>\vo<l a ^urgoorj it 
tlu'ir »<TviiV to sI'.mI into <.iir capital city iiifi«<t. <1 doiliinj;: who 
approvoi the cri.ninil iriMimMit of iho capinre.l p.irrlsons <.f Fort 
Pillow. Fort Wa.<«!»ingt<>n. nntl tls^-wliero ; who wito puilty of the 
b.isesl treachery in .-i-ndinff paroled prisonors into the lieid : who 
planted torpedoes in llio paths of our Holdicrs; who pni«l their 
omisHaries for loa l;n;f shell in tho sliapo of coal, and intermixing 
thoni in the fuel of our slramcrs ; who ordered nn ;• ' .1(0 

liriiip uj>on our transjKirts and vessels and railrond t - 1- 

less of whom they cont:»ined ; who «»rp»ni/.ed and ran . . ;; .. .-.;.•- 
cossful termination n most tlial>oli«Ml cx)nspiraey to aM^Msinate tho 
Presiilont of the Tnitod States. Wlien wo remtinlKr the/«e lliin^!* 
of Ihe.ne men, may wo not, without hesitunry, lK?lievo thin ca^e to . 
be part of theoonspiraoy hero charged? Let us hoc, said t'olonel 
Chipman. what the ivi.Ienoes are of common design to murder, by 
Btarvati»»n. these hapless, helpless victims. 

^\r3(. Wlioare tho oflicers, high and low, civil nnd military, whom 
tho evidence implicates in the great crime? As he should show by 
the evidence, there aro associated in this conspiracy, ns directly im- 
plic:ited, nnd as p«'r|»etrators, the prisoner at tho bar, Hrigatlier- 
General Jolm II. "VViu'ler, Surgt^on Isaiah II. White, Surgeon It. II. 
8tt ven.«5on. Dr. Kerr. Captain H. li. Wimler. Captain \V. S. Winder, 
Capt.iio Il*»>il, .lam.-s II. Duncan. W. W. Turner, and Il«'n. ILirria. 
Uciu'ite from the scene. b;it no le-?s resj>onsil»le than those nametl : 
nay, with a greater weight of guilt resting upon th»m, the leader of 
tho relxdlicni. his war minister, his surgeon-general, his commi.ssary ' 
and quarterma.'?ter-gi*neral, his conmiissioner of exchange, and all ' 
otliera sufTjciontly high in authority to have prevented these atroci- 
ties, and to whom tlio knowlo<lg(« of them was brought » 

J'hiff among tho conspirators antl the actual jH-rpelrators in lh<y , 
crime, the immediate t'K)l. first and last, of the rel>el government, \ 
tvv shall Hco was (lon'^ral Winder. It wa.*; pro|H>r, llicrefore, to j 
itnow who he wa.s, and the precise relations he lx)re to the govern* - 
ment whicli ho rcpresontod. It was a^eortaino I, from many aouroeSf 
that he had, for a long time prior to tho organi/^ition of tho An* 
(Icrsonvill.- priH<»n, bc<'n at tho head of the military prisons in and 
around K.chmoud, hoMin'^ also the jw.sition of provost •marsluil 

r '■ ■ • ■ --:■■:{ center of C - ' " • " '• ■> ,.,. 

I" as prov ■ r ; 

' ■ , ■ •• ^\as HO p' : r ' !>'. 

oven in '1 • X, and that ho was constantly Hust;iined and \ 

«npiKirte<l .it DuviM and bin coulidential ailvis<*r aiul pn>* 

mior, Mr. U Uji-.u.u. 

It WiiM thouifht wine br tho rebel authorittoa to ortraniso the An- 
* . I .. 1 1-, j,^j,tt,.|. was pla«v<l ill ■' ' '- f 

it^l fmm tho War I' 'r 

, .:, . . -n (|Uiito<l at len-'t . t r •! 

Wm'hr n 1 iind of the priii«Mi, and V 

nion«, Kt". : and turn*, ronoorninjf IIm- -f 

Uto I ij'Uia W. H Wintlor wtying. wh, u ho w.i.H l.»ying 

out I :•«, "I'm going Ui build a fwu here thit will kUi 



APPETTDIX. 417 

more Tankccs than can bo destroyed m the front." Colonel 

Chipman proceeded to show how this plan had been emphaticallj car- 
ried out, quoting from the evidence for that purpose. It was not credi- 
ble that snch an immense prison as that at Andersonville, used as a 
receptacle for prisoners from all parts of the South, was unknown 
to the Richmond Government, and that the whole management of 
the subsistence of the prisoners, their comfort, their safety, every 
thing, was left in the hands of this heretofore obscure man, now on 
trial But it was said that during these straitened times the pris- 
oner and the other officers charged were doing all in their ix)wer to 
alleviate the sufleriugs so well known at Richmond and Anderson- 
ville. Without now stopping to inquire what could have been done, 
and what was shown, by a cloud of witnesses, to have been in their 
power, Colonel Chipman noticed what was done in furtherance of the 
conspiracy, insisting that Captain W. S. Winder remained true to 
his purpose, as he declared, and in more ways than one demonstra- 
ted hov/ true was his purpose " to build a pen that would kill more 

Yankees than could be destroyed in the front." The prisoner 

at the bar, despite all his pretended protests at the time, despite the 
individual and widely-separated instances of humanity which have 
been paraded here, remained as he truly said in his letter to Major- 
General Wilson, which was the first item of evidence introduced 
in this trial, " the tool in the hands of his superiors." 

He had introduced himself to the prisoners by stopping their ra- 
tions the first day he was on duty. He had instituted between that 
time and the time of General Winder's arrival a system of the most 
unheard-of cruel and inhuman punishment. He had made his name 
a terror among the prisoners, and his society a reproach to his com- 
rades upon whom he inflicted it. He had established the dead-line 
and all its accompanying horrors. He had given to prisoners a fore- 
shadowing of the stocks, of the balls and chains, and the chain-gatfg 
of starvation, as a punishment, and all that black catalogue of cruelty 
and suffering, unknown even to a Draconian code. He had declared 
to several of the prisoners engaged in the burial of the dead, " This 
is the way I give the Yankees the land they come to fight for." 

He had scores of times told the prisoners, when maltreating thera,^ 
that he intended to starve them to death. He had boasted that he\ 
was doing more for the Confederacy than any general in the field. ; 
He liad paraded the chain-gang for tlie amusement of his wife and 
daughters. He had, with dra\^Ti pistol to a prisoner who daied to 

complain of the rations, said, " you ; I'll give you bullets for 

bread." Are you not, Colonel Chipman asked, prepared, then, to 
believe that, at the time of General Winder's arrival, the prisoner 
was in the execution of the common design, vnth a knowledge of its 
object, and acting in harmony with its chief instrument. General 
Winder ? This is Andersonville in part. 

The sufferings of our prisoners in part, and something of the evi- 
dence of the conspiracy begun and continued up to the time of Gen- 
eral Winder's arrival, would enable the Court to see whether the 
law governing this question, after the recital of the facts which fol- 
lowed, do not direct them to find a verdict of guilty. The way to 



4 1 8 APPEXDIX. 

kill Ynnkcos wa.^ well understood by General Wintlcr when he said 
to Mr. Spencor, when a protest wan made afrainflt crowUin^ the pen, 

nnmely. for his own jwrl, ho would as Iiif the Yankees wuuld 

die thfre as anywlicre else ; that, ujou tlio whole, ho did not 
know but what it was much bettor fur them, and which ho 
afl<Tward discliwed In O^lonol C'handkr in tho remark, " It 
is bettor to leave them in their present condition, until their 
numlxT has l>ocn i^unicieutly rcducxxl by doath to make tlio 
pro:«ent arrunfrementd suditv Air their accummo<lation.*' It was 
the way well miderstood by the rtl^ol govenjment when, in iho 
ttK^th of the protests of liumane olVu-era. and in the face of tho 
ofDcial reports of the mortality of that place, tliey continued to for- 
ward prisoners, train load nflcr train load, to an aJrea<iy over- 
crowded prison. It was the way dirtatcil to the n^i-nt of Uiat 
jroverninent, KolxTt Onld. and revealed by him in his letter to 
Winder, where ho declares, spoakinif of exchanfffs, *' The arrnnpo- 
meuLs I have made work largely in our favor — j^et rid of a set of 
miserable wretclies, and relieve some of tho lK.>8t material I ever 
Baw." Adding, " This, of course, is between ourselves." It 
was the way undcrstoo(l jK^rfortly by General Howell Tobb, 
when, in a siKvch at Andorsonvilli% he pointed with terribl«.» hiu'- 
iiificxince to the praveyanl, remarkinp. "Tiiat is the way I would 
take caro of them." It was very well understoo<i by the prisoner 
ut the bar. who is shown to havo uttered sentiments similar to tliat 
cxpn'R.«<cd by W. S. Winder on more than a hundretl occasion.s. It 
wa.-4 tho way, tho only way indicated by the chief of tho rel>ol gov- 
cniment and his S<'eretary of War. elso why did he. with this 
friplitfu! jiielure before him. deliU'rately fold General Winder's 
l^.t,..r ,,,.;...-;,, J, it. noted fiL-d. J. S. S. 

< Pinan at lenplh i»ro<-oc(led to show that tho evidence 

fur; -ted the Hieiimon*l Ciovernmont with these atrocities. 

luHieud of iieneral Windir having his commission taken fhim him, 
and tried for a violation of the lav.-s of war. for cruelty, inhumanity, 
and murder ; insload of l»einjr held up by that government as a 
warning to otheri", yivinp a color of justice to their cjiuso, he wan 
promote^l, rewarded, and piven a connnantl of wider scope and (freater 
pr>wer, but sUll in a |x»ition to carry out the puriK>ses of this 
government toward priwniprs of war. 

Histiiry is full of examples similar in character, wliere a povorn- 
nH»nt. "ockin'/ t<» cirrr out its ends, has «ele<i'Mj ns to<.|.« men likf» 
W , hful inth.' ) 

ol vernroent 

■u •' ■-. f':- r 

m: 

m> 

•t« li \\ mder. or by any 

of ' •.•h'>r'r. to »l!(!>viate, 

in 

1 . .< in- 
strument I'l wa ri , If \\ .k < I •" • JC' "> 1 to iM- t:i<" K< (jx r <i| ;i pi ii« iii Ofld 

Wilhbotd from starvinf^ men ll.etr nc.-tnly ration* ; but be could send 



APPET^^DIX. 419 

them out of liis siglit, away from the prison in plain view of his own 
residenco, into the dense forests of Georgia, and tliere forget them. 
If Jefferson Davis be ever brought to trial lor his man}^ crimes, and 
may Heaven spare the Temple of Justice if he be not, it will not do 
for him to upbraid and accuse his military tools, "Winder and Wirz, 
as King John did Hubert for the death of Prince Arthur. They will 
turn upon him and say, " PTere is your hand and seal for all i did, 
and in the v/inking of authority did we understand a law." 

Colonel Chipman next proceeded to examine into the cruelties prac- 
ticed upon the prisoners, in order more certainly to connect Captain 
Wirz with the conspiracy, and to enable him more understandingly 
to examine the second charge, namely, that of murder in violation of 
the laws and custom of war. Eacli day's record bore witness to an 
rccumulation of horrible details which there could be no necessity 
for now repeating, and to give all of which would require almost the 
entire proceedings to be clui)licated, but he might, perhaps, to some 
purpose, present briefi}^ the proofs of each phase of cruelty alleged, 
which he did. 

These included the stocks, the stoppage of rations, and the dead- 
line. It would be remembered that during the whole course of this 
trial no instances had been shown where a soldier confined in the 
Andersonville stockade was shot at the dead-line while making any 
attempt to escape, while the cases were numerous where prisoners 
wholly unoffending were thus shot. 

The law governing in cases of this kind is as well defined as the 
law upon any other point, and it will be seen upon an examination 
that nothing would justify a soldier on duty in sliooting a prisoner 
under tliis charge, unless the prisoner was attempting to escape, or 
the guard had reasonable cause to believe that that was his purpose. 
Fjvery act of shooting which resulted in death, under the orders given 
in this instance, was murder on the part cf the officer giving tho 
order, and of the soldier who executed it. 

After tracing the cruelties inflicted. Colonel Chipman asked — 
Can not we safely stop here, and ask that the prisoner at the bar 
be recorded as one of the conspirators ? I know it is urged that 
during all this time he was acting imder General "Winder's orders : 
and for the purpose of argument, I will concede that he was so act- 
ing. A superior oflScer can not order a subordinate to do an illegal 
act; and if a subordinate obey such an order, and disastrous conse- 
quences result, both the superior and subordinate must answer for 
it. General "Winder could no more command the prisoner to violate 
the laws of war than could the prisoner do so without orders. 

The conclusion is plain that, where such orders exist, both aro 
guilty, and, d fortiori, where a prisoner at the bar acted upon his 
own motion, he was guilty. You can not conclude that the prisoner 
was not one of the conspirators because he is not shown to have 
been present, and to have acted in concert with all the conspirators. 
If he was one of the conspiracy to do an illegal act, it matters not 
whether he knew all his co-conspirators, or participated in all that 
they did. It is not necessary to prove any direct concert of action 
or even meeting of the conspirators. A concert may be proved by 



420 APPENDIX. 

rvIil.Miro f.f 1 (-,,n ■•■" r>.r> of il,,^ n.f^ t,C !'..• nr-ionor With th06C of 

{Mtiot of litno, an i 

I. These rules of 

l.tA j ..li of li.c i>j..M>uor. for in every ro« 

Pin f .1 ci»rrt'spon(loiico in p-iint of time, 

•■'•,• 'A, 

I.. ... . .. ....era 

(I ih ., ami wore mlaptod lo I'llci-l the wimt' obj.ct. 

("oi i..n llicn prfKV(»K'tl t) ii<»i;«v ll»o j:uiU <»f Surpt^ns 

■\VljiU' uuU Sicviii.-^oii, ill llifir iil-lrcatiiu'iit t.f tlic sick, and in inoc- 
ul.iting thoin with ^toi.Htinoii.M vocviiio m.tticr, Wirz HUiiidin)! by witli 
|)i~.tol ill haUil to lia-.O ihi.'* doijo ; :ill sl»o\vinjf tliy wickod intent, not 
<>:il\ ill tlii><. but ill s.arviii;^ men lo du.itli in :i rt-^'um uf plenty, 
lli.s conohisim on thin branch «»f the subject is as fDlloW!*: — Tlii.H is 
the ro 'ord of liislory ax**'«"*l the charnel hoiis;; of An-lersonvillo. 
L't th • month;* of thoso who would defend these utr»K'iiie.«i by re- 
crimination, charging; the United St;i*es (lovenunent with like cruel- 
ticH, forever hereafter bo closet! — Fort iKd-iwaro and Johnflon'8 
I-ihud with tlieir two ikt ceuL of dead; Andorsonvillo with eighty- 
three |)er cent 

Look ii|>on that picture anl llion upon thi^t. and tell me there waa i 
n • design to 8lay 1 Ix t no miiul, Imj it warjied never .so miieh by 
treason aii'l treai'onable sympathies, dotibt this record. >\ir if 
'* damned custom have not bra/.ed it^ soul that it bo proof and bul- 
wark against sense." it mast believe; it can not deny these things. 
May it ple:uie the <.'ourt, I have done with the urK'ument iiuder 
cliargo lirst. I leave it with you to answer by your venliet wlulher 
thi.s charge of con-ipiracy, Holcinnly and seriously pr«-forr vj, c.uj bo 
frittered away and dispoSL-d of without a siiigK' explan:tt<.ryMine in 
defciiHO. I place l>e!ore you, gi-ntliimn, on the one hniid. the pr»»- 
testatioDS of this a'.*eused. who speaks f»>r himself and U'\* ix>-con- 
•pirators ; on the other, the testimony of Ur. Bittes, where he (K^ 
dared, as yuii rcme.niber, with faltering tone and feidings overpow- 
ered : 

.. I r 1 . . ir g^c,. Ijj R.^yin;r that soventyllvo per cent, of thoso 
who !;ave bf.-ii savo.i. had those uiilbrtutiatf men hcvn 

projK. r." 1 kavo it with you to say whether the pris- 

oner at the har cui .;e piil himself and his iissoei.ites in <'rimo by tie- 
daring the cliar^'e lure laid to be, as he told you. a myth, a phan- 
tasy of the brain, a wdU cliimera, tut UQSubstiatial as ttiu bajiuloM 
fabric of a vision. 

The Court ndjonmcd till the next day, boforo Colonel Cldpnun 
nnd conclude*! hn masterly clTort. 

WAHiiiNnTOV, Ov'tolior 21. 
.T!j.!yf Adri-writ-" njipman prrwr l.v? to n-ad bin arguufnt in lh'> 
' , violation of the laws <r 

. ler four h««a*l*. 
/■ rf( -ii,<< \ '>ug from mutilation by 

boundj. 



'/ 



J 



APPENDIX. 421 

Second — Those resulting from confluoment iu the stocks and chain- 
gano:. 

Third — The case of killing of prisoners by the guard', pursuant 
to the direct orders of tlio accused at the time. And, 

Fourth — Tlie cases of killing by the prisoner's own hand. 

He briefly figured the responsibility of the accused, and that 
ever}' death was a murder for which he was accountable. The use 
of the means, and tlie means themselves, being a gross violation of 
the laws and customs of war. 

Colonel Chipman quotes from the evidence to show the cruelties 
inflicted which had a fatal result. In every case where it was asked 
to hold the prisoner responsible, the testimony would be found posi- 
tive, direct, and clear, and therefore the commission were not asked 
to find him guilty on vague and indefinite evidence. 

The deaths rosultin.g from the use of the stocks and the chain- 
gang, or an indiscriminate punishment for the hearty and the sick, 
the strong and the feeble, and the deatlis consequent upon the pur- 
suit of captured prisoners with furious hounds, were but the natural 
and probable consequences of the act of the prisoner in maintaining 
and carrying out the barbarous system of discipline. 

What more natural and probable than that a prisoner, maddened 
by disease and starvation, should, when confined in the chain-gang, 
or the stocks, die from, such confinement ? What more natural and 
probable than that the ferocious dog, when pursuing an escaping 
prisoner, should tear and mortally mutilate such prisoners, particu- 
larly if he was in the debilitated condition which was characteristic 
of most of the prisoners at Andersonville ? and when death results 
under such circumstances, and from the adoption of such methods 
of treatment, then an intention to kill on the part of him who 
adopt^ them is a necessary and rightful presumption of the case, 
just as an intended murder is conclusively inferred from the delib- 
erate use of a deadly weapon. 

Again, it has been laid down that the crime of murder is consum- 
mated whenever any one willfully endangers the life of another by 
any act or omission likelj'^ to kill, and which does kill. Ic has also 
been declared by high lawful authority it is not essential that the 
hands of the party should immediately occasion the death. It is 
sufficient if he be proved to have used any mechanical means likely 
to occasion death, and which do ultimately occasion it; as if a man 
lay poison for another, with the intent that he should take it by mis- 
take for medicine, or expose him against his wiU in the severity of 
the weather, by means of which he dies. 

Colonel Chipman quoted from other authorities, saying, from theso 
principles it follows that when we show the prisoner's responsibility 
for this use of the chain-gang and the stocks, and for the employ- 
ment of the hounds, we show that every death resulting from these 
was a murder for which he was to be held responsible. 

Colonel Chipman proceeded at length to show that the prisoner at 
the bar encouraged those under him to murder. That picture of his 
brutahty in the case of the killiog of Chickamauga was painted by 
his own hands, and gave a loose rein to the debased passions. 



422 Arri:Nnix. 



Tho Colonel conlcnicd himself with a brief .i:.r;l. .<«i.n of tho otli-r 
• ' ■ ' ' ■ !' Wirr in 1 ' ' o 

'ivo nl t!. 1. 

. ^ : . - .'"en Jn^la: vi'^- 

hbonito nujnkrs were oiminiltiHl l>y i'aptain Wir/.'s own hanlt*. 

TJc JudK'C A<JvocnU», in concln.xitm. siiel if wo hi«l tnivekMl 
thr. u;li tho lii.story of these lonjr, weary nionlli.s of tMrtiirv», Htarvin?, 
; n I di'ath, and bceomo familiar with each day's n-U «»f ihnoe who 
]';i-s <1 away, tho mind could not (."outemplatc thi« last thougli briefer 
r • •<•: <'I" t!ie '!• :id withotit fcN-linirs of tho utnio.el horror. 

M.rt il ::! HI !ms never been called on to an.MWir l»eforo n lofpl Iri- 
l";- 1 t'> a I it;il'»;^tio of critne like thi.H, One j^huddern at tho fact, 
;;; (I iImi >st ■! > liits the aj^ we live in. I wotdd not harrow up your 
minis hy d\v«.lliM;» further ujxtn thi.s awftd record. Tho ohli^ition 
you l»ave Uikcn constitutes you ilie foIo judge of both law and fact, 

I pray you aihninistor tlie one ami dt-cide tho other, metinp out 
to those involved in this crime of the univcrw all justice, without 
fear, favor, or |>artiality, and without regard to p<x<iiion, high or low, 
of thoeo proved guiltj. 



In view of all that had l)eon presented, tlic dealh- 
KMitem-c wa.s incvitalile. On ino.st of the specifica- 
tions lie was prc^nounced '' <^nihy,'' and accnrdin<xly 
he wivs condemned to deatli upon the ^all<»\\s, thu 
Bentencc to he executed on Kriday, the lUth of No- 
vember, 18G5, between the hours of six au<l twelve 
in the momini^, by the otHcer eomniandinir tho 
department of Washin;^ton. 

He received tin; intelligence of the doom which 
awaited him with aj)parently stoical indilfcrence, 
remarking very c(M)11v : *' Well, I suppose it must 
be done." Pjissin;^ tlien to the door of Iiis cell, ho 
called in loucl tones to a ])rison companion on tho 
opj>08ite side of the way : "' 1 am to be hun«;on Fri- 
day." Afl his infnrniant Icll him, he exclaimed: 
" After I am dead, I will come back and haunt all 
ofvou." 

lie allowed no vision of his cruelty to j>o>sess him 
during? the hu-^t ni<^ht he wa.s to s|»end on eartli, but 
Bh'pt soundly, awaking early only at the call «»f tluwm 
whoWMuld once more direct him to the end 8»»s|»ee<l- 
ily Hpproiu'hin^. Not a Byllablo of regret, not au 
e.xj'retMioi^ of ]K3nitoueo was heard even then. At 







EXECUTION OF CAPTAIN WIRZ. 



i 



APPENDIX. 423 

fifteen minutes past ten on tlie fatal morninp;, the 
preparations were all complete. Tire prisoner 
emerged from his cell, Avalking between the two 
spiritual fathers, who were to do their last for him 
now. A battalion of soldiers, arranged in a hollow 
square, were about him, and a Inmdred civilian spec- 
tators, besides crowds were collected on the roofs 
of surrounding houses, to witness what seemed the 
just punishment of a wicked and heartless mur- 
derer. 

The gallows was made of heavy timber, its height 
being twenty-two feet. " Tlie platform was twelve 
feet from the ground, and twelve feet square. In 
the centre of this platform, and elevated but one 
foot above it, was the fatal drop," and under it a 
chair. The criminal walked lightly up the steps, 
walked directly to it, and seated himself in such 
manner as to have a view of the surrounding scene. 
lie whose ofiice it was to act placed himself in a 
position directly before liim, reading in loud, clear 
tones the result of the trial — the irrevocable decision 
and final sentence. The condemned man listened 
while this was being done, now and then shaking 
his head or smiling, while not the slightest exhibi- 
tion of sorrow or remorse was manifest for the base 
deeds he had committed. ^' I have nothing to say to 
the public," was his reply to the last question asked 
him, as to whether he had more to say on earth. 
The parting words of the priests were tiien whisper- 
ed in his ear, the cap drawn over his face, the rope 
fastened about his neck, his body secured with cords, 
and, at the appointed signal, the trap fell ; and while 
it was met by a shout from the attending multitude, 
the spirit of the condemned one was passing to the 
retribution of another world, to meet justice before 
an impartial tribunal and an unerring Judge. 

Mankind pronounced his life a fearful record. 
God only can truly estimate it. 



AGENTS. 

AGin>rrs 'vvant^kd 

j\» wo f-h.'ill H«>11 tliiiH \v<^rlc )ty travelins ncconts ox- 
tlu^-ivfly. wo cull to our tiicl all wlio iir« willinc to 
aM»^i»t UH ill eiroiilatina tliiH volumo throtjish tlio 
l«Mi;ith and broatllli ol'tho land. Kvery man, woinnn 
an<l (^liild fshonld i^cinise tlicse pngen, nnd lot tho 
tiutliM nax-raled tako llrm hold of their minds and 
Minlt lU'o]) into tlieir hearts. 

Old mcMi, youna men, boldicrs, and ladioH!— if yon 
will <inly sprc'ad the Hicts oh this etiljjoct thi'otiuh 
the entire Xcirtli, it will raiMoahilonnof indiijnation, 
the power of whicli will bo felt throuRh the ontiro 
t-^outh, ftx)in the hanku of the Potomac and Ohio to 
th<> isliores of the Gulf of INIexico. 

W'o suppose i>eoi>le will complain of the price of 
this work as of every thin^; else. Foxir years a::o 
Sl.^'" woulil have boon a fair price. We liaveathlod 
only -lO per cent. Taper l»as ntlvance<l 120 i>er 
cent., '*>inder8' cloth 'lOO i>er cent., )>iniler8* board 
190 per cent., cildins lOO percent. The stock in ^r> 
l>t^r cent, of the cost of making a boolt. On top of nil 
this we have to i>ay a heavy governme»nt tax. U ho 
IxMik should sell at S'-^.CjO. We have lo.'-t 8".00< ) m 
tlie VK>ok business tho past four or (ivo yenr«. b.»- 
widoH o\ir time, and tho use of SlO.OOO to SlG.OOO 
on capital; y«»t wo havo not mado 8300 bad dobts. 
^Vo havo Hold l>ook» less than cost. ThiH is I ho 
tixmblo. 

A^fuUi will npply or ft<lclrT*iw n« follows:— Now Knplnml, Now 
York cojii of llu'l-ii.n Kivi r. Now Jvncy, PcniiMylvuiiui, Ix-lnware, 
MurrUud, K>at aiiU West Virgitiui, 

L STKBBINS, Uar{fi>rd, CL 
New York wwl of lludnon Rirer. 

H. K. r.OODWIN, Syrnntu, K. Y. 
CNiio, IndianA, Mic-hif^n, and Kotiturkv. 

C W. STKIUUNS, C^lumlm\ Ohio. 
lUillOUl, WliCotwin, nn'l Slalr^ \V(«l of Mi niviipfii Uivor. 

\ 1>!1'1'I1{. !'S WiKiuiUm St . t'Ki.ajn, III. 

L. 8TEBBINS, Hartford, Conn., Publiiher. 



% 



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MAR 1 S 15*^5