Monday, January 23, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 20, 1863

James River frozen nearly over, and rebels say it has not been so cold for years as at the present time. There are hundreds with frozen feet, ears, hands &c, and laying all over the prison; and the suffering is terrible. Hendryx and myself are intent on some plan for escape. The lieutenant has spies who are on the watch. The authorities know all about any conspiracy almost as soon as it is known among ourselves. Last night just after dark two or three Yankees agreed to give the guard $10 if he would let them set over the bank, to which he promised; and as soon as they sot nearly over fired and immediately gave the alarm. One of them received a shot in one of his legs and the others scrambled back over the bank; the three minus their $10 bill and a sound leg. They cannot be trusted at all and will promise anything for greenbacks. Sergt Bullock of our regiment is here and very sick with fever; cannot possibly live many weeks in such a place as this Col. Sanderson still issuing clothing, but very unfair, and the men who need it most get none at all. All the outsiders received a suit throughout to-day, myself among the rest. Got a letter from home, everybody is well. They say keep up good heart and we will be exchanged before many weeks.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 19-20

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