Saturday, March 25, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: February 27, 1864

Organizing the militia; hauling artillery past the prison Have a good view of all that is going on. Bought a compass from one of the guards for seven dollars, greenbacks; worth half a dollar at home. It is already rumored among the men that we have a compass, a map of Virginia, a preparation to put on our feet to prevent dogs from tracking us, and we are looked up to as if we were sons of Irish lords in disguise, and are quite noted personages. Cold last night, and we suffer much in not having blankets enough, to keep us warm. The walls are cold and damp, making it disagreeable, and the stench nearly makes us sick. It is impossible for a person to imagine prison life until he has seen and realized it. No news of importance. Time passes much more drearily than when on Belle Isle. Were all searched again to-day but still keep my diary, although expecting to lose it every day; would be quite a loss, as the longer I write and remain a prisoner the more attached am I to my record of passing events. A man shot for putting his head out of the window. Men all say it served him right, for he had no business to thus expose himself against strict orders to the contrary. We are nearly opposite and not more than twenty rods from Libby Prison, which is a large tobacco warehouse Can see plenty of union officers, which it is a treat to look at. Hendryx had a fight with the raiders — got licked. He ain't so pretty as he was before, but knows more. I am very wise about such matters, consequently retain my beauty.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 36

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