Monday, January 2, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 1, 1863

With no news concerning the great subject — exchange of prisoners Very hungry and am not having a good time of it. Take it all around I begin to wish I had stayed at home and was at the Jackson Citizen office pulling the old press. Dream continually nights about something good to eat; seems rather hard such plenty at the North and starving here. Have just seen a big fight among the prisoners; just like so many snarly dogs, cross and peevish. A great deal of fighting going on. Rebels collect around on the outside in crowds to see the Yankees bruise themselves and it is quite sport for them. Have succeeded in getting into thee,tent with Hendryx. One of the mess has been sent over to Richmond Hospital leaving a vacancy which I am to fill. There are nine others, myself making ten. The names are as follows: W. C. Robinson, orderly sergeant, 34th Illinois; W. H. Mustard, hospital steward 100th Pennsylvania; Joe Myers, 34th Illinois; H Freeman, hospital steward 30th Ohio; C G. Strong, 4th Ohio cavalry; Corporal John McCarten, 6th Kentucky; U. Kindred, 1st East Tennessee infantry; E. P. Sanders, 20th Michigan infantry; George Hendryx and myself of the 9th Michigan cavalry. A very good crowd of boys, and all try to make their places as pleasant as possible Gen. Neil Dow to-day came over from Libby Prison on parole of honor to help issue some clothing that has arrived for Belle Isle prisoners from the Sanitary Commission at the North Sergeant Robinson taken outside to help Gen. Dow in issuing clothing and thinks through his influence to get more out for the same purpose. A man froze to death last night where I slept. The body lay until nearly dark before it was removed. My blanket comes in good play, and it made the boys laugh when I told how I got it. We tell stories, dance around, keep as clean as we can without soap and make the best of a very bad situation.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 14-5

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