Friday, March 3, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: January 25, 1864

Being in this place brings out a man for just what he is worth. Those whom we expect the most from in the way of braving hardships and dangers, prove to be nobody at all. And very often those whom we expect the least from prove to be heroes every inch of them. Notably one of these is George Hendryx, who is nothing but a good looking, effeminate boy, fit, you would say, to be going to school with a mother to look after him, and for not much else. But instead, he is brave, cheerful, smart, watching every chance to get the best of the Johnny Rebs. His position in the cook-house has given him a chance to feed, I presume, hundreds of men. Near the cook-house is a store-house, and in it are several hogsheads of hams. These hams were sent from the Sanitary Commission at the North for Union prisoners, but they for whom they were intended do not get them, and they are being eaten up by the rebels. Hendryx has managed to get up a board in the cook-house floor, where he can crawl fifteen or twenty feet under the storehouse and up through that floor. By this Yankee trick he has stolen, I presume one hundred hams and gotten them inside where they belong. This is very risky on his part, for should he be discovered it would go very hard with him. He is about as unselfish a fellow as you can well find. This is only one of his plans to outwit the rebels for our benefit. His head is all the time, too, planning some way of escape. Well, we all hope he won't get caught. All shake in our boots for him. Was on guard last night, outside, over the clothing. There is so much clothing stole by the rebels that Bossieux put a guard of two over the boxes through the night, and if any of the Rebs come around to steal we are instructed to wake up the lieutenant, who sleeps near by in a tent. I was on duty last night with Joe Myers, and Hendryx came where we were and unfolded a plan for escape which he has been working up. It is a risky affair, and had best be thought over pretty thorough before put into execution. Robinson has been found out as a lieutenant, and taken over to Richmond to be placed with the officers in Libby Prison. We are sorry that we must lose him.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 27-8

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