From the National Tribune, 9/9/1882



I am a ___ advocate of your paper, and am doing all I can to get up a club for it.

I read with great interest the "Southern Prison Life" sketches. I was a prisoner myself for fifteen months, being confined at Belle Isle, Libby, Andersonville, and Savannah, Ga. In no case has the writer overstepped the bounds of truth. I was captured in a cavalry charge at Liberty Mills, Va., on September 22, 1863; was taken to Richmond and kept on Belle Isle till about June 1, 1864. Many froze to death during the winter; others were tortured in the most barbarous manner. I have seen men put astride a wooden horse such as masons use, say five feet high, with their feet tied to stakes in the ground, and there left for an hour or more on a cold winter morning. Often their feet would freeze and burst open.

A lieutenant's dog was once enticed over the bank and taken into an old tent, where it was killed and eaten raw. Your humble servant had a piece of it. For this act of hungry men the camp was kept out of rations all day. The prison was guarded by the famous Home Guard, composed of boys and old men Our rations consisted of corn-bread, a piece about two and a half inches square to each man. Sometimes they would give us a piece of raw bacon; sometimes, in lieu of that, we would get boiled beef, but in very small pieces. Bean soup was their favorite food for us. The beans, or stock peas, as they called them, were such as the cattle would not eat. In June we were shipped to Andersonville, Ga., and of the prison you are getting a very good description. [remainder of narrative, regarding Andersonville, was not transcribed.]

2nd New York Cavalry

Go to top