Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: April 9, 1864

See here Mr. Confederacy, this is going a little too far. You have no business to kill us off at this rate. About thirty or forty die daily. They have rigged up an excuse for a hospital on the outside, where the sick are taken. Admit none though who can walk or help themselves in any way some of our men are detailed to help as nurses, but in a majority of cases those who go out on parole of honor are cut-throats and robbers, who abuse a sick prisoner. Still, there are exceptions to this rule. We hear stories of Capt. Wirtz's cruelty in punishing the men, but I hardly credit all the stories. More prisoners to-day. Some captured near Petersburg. Dont know anything about exchange. Scurvy and dropsy taking hold of the men. Many are blind as soon as it becomes night, and it is called moon blind. Caused, I suppose, by sleeping with the moon shining in the face. Talked with Michael Hoare, an old school fellow of mine. Mike was captured while we were in Pemerton Building, and was one of Dahlgreen's men Was taken right in the suburbs of Richmond. Has told me all the news of their failure on account of Kilpatrick failing to make a junction at some point. Mike is a great tall, slim fellow, and a good one. Said he heard my name called out in Richmond as having a box of eatables from the North. He also saw a man named Shaw claim the box with a written order from me, Shaw was one of our mess on Belle Isle. He was sent to Richmond while sick, from the island, knew of my expecting the box, and forged an order to get it. Well, that was rough, still I probably wouldn't have got it any way. Better him than some rebel. Mike gave me a lot of black pepper which we put into our soup, which is a luxury. He has no end of talk at his tongue's end, and it is good to hear. Recounts how once when I was about eight or ten years old and he some older, I threw a base ball club and hit him on the shins. Then ran and he couldn't catch me. It was when we were both going to school to A. A. Henderson, in Jackson, Mich. Think I remember the incident, and am strongly under the impression that he, caught me It is thus that old friends meet after many years. John McGuire is also here, another Jackson man. He has a family at home and is worried. Says he used to frequently see my brother George at Hilton Head, before being captured.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 48-9

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