Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: February 24, 1864

Pemerton Building, Richmond, Va. — We are confined on the third floor of the building, which is a large tobacco warehouse. Was removed from the island yesterday. Was a warm day and it was a long walk. Came across the “long bridge,” and it is a long bridge. Was not sorry to bid adieu to Belle Isle. Were searched last night but our mess has lost nothing, owing to the following process we have of fooling them: One of the four manages to be in the front part of the crowd and is searched first, and is then put on the floor underneath and we let our traps down through a crack in the floor to him, and when our turn comes we have nothing about us worth taking away. The men so ravenous when the rations were brought in, that the boxes of bread and tubs of poor meat were raided upon before dividing, and consequently some had nothing to eat at all, while others had plenty. Our mess did not get a mouthful and have had nothing to eat since yesterday afternoon, and it is now nearly dark. The lice are very thick. You can see them all over the floors, walls, &C., in fact everything literally covered with them; they seem much larger than the stock on Belle Isle and a different species. We talk of escape night and day — and are nearly crazy on the subject. No more news about exchange. Papers state that Richmond is threatened, and that Kilpatrick's cavalry is making a raid on the place for the purpose of releasing us and burning the town. Unusual bustle among them.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 34

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