Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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

We have issued to us once each day about a pint of beans, or more properly peas, (full of bugs), and three-quarters of a pint of meal, and nearly every day a piece of bacon the size of your two fingers, probably about three or four ounces. This is very good rations taken in comparison to what I have received before the pine which we use in cooking is pitch pine, and a black smoke arises from it; consequently we are black as negroes. Prison gradually filling from day to day, and situation rather more unhealthy. Occasionally a squad comes in who have been lately captured, and they tell of our battles, sometimes victorious and sometimes otherwise. Sometimes we are hopeful and sometimes the reverse. Take all the exercise we can, drink no water, and try to get along. It is a sad sight to see the men die so fast. New prisoners die the quickest and are buried in the near vicinity, we are told in trenches without coffins. Sometimes we have visitors of citizens and women who come to look at us. There is sympathy in some of their faces and in some a lack of it. A dead line composed of slats of boards runs around on the inside of the wall, about twelve or fourteen feet from the wall, and we are not allowed to go near it on pain of being shot by the guard.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 44

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