Sunday, March 5, 2017

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

More prisoners came to-day and say there is to be no general exchange during the war, and we are to be sent off into Georgia immediately. Stormy and disagreeable weather and everybody down-hearted. Very still among the men, owing to the bad news — hardly a word spoken by anybody. The least bit off anything encouraging would change the stillness into a perfect bedlam. I this morning looked into a tent where there were seventeen men and started back frightened at the view inside. What a tableau for a New York theatre? They were all old prisoners nearly naked, very dirty and poor, some of them sick lying on the cold ground with nothing under or over them, and no fire; had just been talking over the prospect ahead and all looked the very picture of dispair, with their hollow eyes, sunken cheeks and haggard expression. I have before imagined such scenes but never before realized what they were until now. And such is but a fair sample of hundreds of men fully as bad.

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

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