Saturday, March 4, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: January 26, 1864

Ninety-two squads of prisoners confined on less than six acres of ground — one hundred in a squad, making nine thousand and two hundred altogether. The lice are getting the upper hand of us. The ground is literally covered with them. Bean soup to-day and is made from the following recipe, (don't know from what cook book, some new edition): Beans are very wormy and musty. Hard work finding a bean without from one to three bugs in it. They are put into a large caldron kettle of river water and boiled for a couple of hours. No seasoning, not even salt put into them. It is then taken out and brought inside. Six pails full for each squad — about a pint per man, and not over a pint of beans in each bucket. The water is hardly colored and I could see clear through to the bottom and count every bean in the pail. The men drink it because it is warm. There in not enough strength or substance in it to do any good. We sometimes have very good bean soup when they have meat to boil with it.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 28

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