Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: January 20, 1864

Rebel officers over to-day inspecting us Yanks. Some of the worst looking Arabs in shape of officers I ever saw. Jimmy Devers comes to our tent every night and sits with us until bed time. Is a jolly chap and keeps us all in good spirits with his sayings. Sergt. Robinson, I learned to-day, instead of being a sergeant is a lieutenant. His whole company being captured, he preferred to go with them and share their trials, than go with the officers. The men are very much attached to him and no wonder, as he is a fine fellow. His home is in Sterling, Whiteside Co., Illinois. Corp. McCartin is, as his name would indicate, an Irishman, and his home is Louisville, Ky. Is a shoemaker by trade. He is also a Mason, and I am going to write down wherein the fact of his being a Mason has brought good into the camp to-day. The boys feeling rather more hungry than usual were rather despondent, when the corporal gets up and says: “Boys, I'll go and get something to eat.” Went out of the tent and in twenty minutes came back with three or four pounds of bacon and two loaves of corn bread. We were surprised and asked how he had performed the miracle. Told us then that he was a Mason, as also was the lieutenant in charge, from whom the food came. We decided then and there that the first opportunity that presented itself we would join the Masons. Can see the rebels drilling across the river.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 26

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