Thursday, May 11, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: April 6, 1864

John Smith is here and numerous of his family. So many go by nick-names, that seldom any go by their real names. Its “Minnesota,” “Big Charlie,” “Little Jim,” '”Marine Jack,” “Indiana Feller,” “Mopey,” “ Skinny,” “Smarty,” &c, Hendryx is known by the latter name, Sanders is called “Dad,” Rowe is called the “Michigan Sergeant,” Lewis is called plain “Doc.” while I am called, for some unknown reason, “Bugler.” I have heard it said that I looked just like a Dutch bugler, and perhaps that is the reason of my cognomen. Probably thirty die per day. The slightest news about exchange is told from one to the other, and gains every time repeated, until finally its grand good news and sure exchange immediately. The weak ones feed upon these reports and struggle along from day to day. One hour they are all hope and expectation and the next hour as bad the other way. The worst looking scallawags perched upon the stockade as guards, from boys just large enough to handle a gun, to old men who ought to have been dead years ago for the good of their country. Some prisoners nearly naked, the majority in rags and daily becoming more destitute. My clothes are good and kept clean, health fair although very poor in flesh Man killed at the dead line.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 46-7

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