Friday, January 20, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 13, 1863

Nothing of any importance to note down. The officers come over from Richmond every day or two, and make a showing of issuing clothing The work goes on slowly, and it would seem that if clothing was ever needed and ought to be issued, it is now; yet the officers seem to want to nurse the job and make it last as long as possible. Many cruelties are practiced, principally by the rebel sergeants. The lieutenant does not countenance much cruelty, still he is very quick tempered, and when provoked is apt to do some very severe things. The Yankees are a hard crowd to manage; will steal anything, no matter what, regardless of consequences. Still I don't know as it is any wonder, cooped up as they are in such a place, and called upon to endure such privations. The death rate gradually increases from day to day. A little Cincinnati soldier died to-day. Was captured same time as myself, and we had messed together a number of times before I became identified with the “Astor House Mess.” Was in very poor health when captured, but could never quite find out what ailed him. I have many talks with the rebels, and am quite a priveleged character. By so doing am able to do much for the boys inside, and there are good boys in there, whom I would do as much for as myself.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 18

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