Friday, May 12, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: April 7, 1864

Capt. Wirtz prowls around the stockade with a rebel escort of guards, looking for tunnels. Is very suspicious of amateur wells which some have dug for water. It is useless to speak to him about our condition, as he will give us no satisfaction whatever. Says it is good enough for us ------ yankees. I am deputized by half a dozen or so to speak to him as to the probabilities of a change, and whether we may not reasonably expect to be exchanged without passing the summer here. In his position he must know something in relation to our future. At the first favorable moment shall approach his highness. Prison is all the time being made stronger, more guards coming and artillery looking at us rather unpleasantly from many directions. Think it impossible for any to get away here, so far from our lines. The men too are not able to withstand the hardships attendant upon an escape, still fully one-half of all here are constantly on the alert for chances to get away. Foremost in all schemes for freedom is Hendryx, and we are engaging in a new tunnel enterprise. The yankee is a curious animal, never quiet until dead. There are some here who pray and try to preach. Very many too who have heretofore been religiously inclined, throw off all restraint and are about the worst. Tried and found wanting it seems to me. Those who find the least fault, make the best of things as they come and grin and bear it, get along the best. Weather getting warmer, water warmer and nastier, food worse and less in quantities, and more prisoners coming nearly every day.

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

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