Friday, August 4, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: June 15, 1864

I am sick; just able to drag around. My teeth are loose, mouth sores, with gums grown down in some places lower than the teeth and bloody, legs swollen up with dropsy and on the road to the trenches. Where there is so much to write about, I can hardly write anything. It's the same old story and must necessarily be repetition. Raiders now do just as they please, kill, plunder and steal in broad day light, with no one to molest them. Have been trying to organize a police force, but cannot do it. Raiders are the stronger party. Ground covered with maggots. Lice by the fourteen hundred thousand million infest Andersonville. A favorite game among the boys is to play at odd or even, by putting their hand inside some part of their clothing, pull out what they can conveniently get hold of and say “odd or even?” and then count up to see who beats. Think this is an original game here, never saw it at the North. Some of the men claim to have pet lice which they have trained. Am gradually growing worse. Nothing but the good care I have taken of myself has saved me thus far. I hope to last some time yet, and in the mean time relief may come. My diary about written through. It may end about the same time I do, which would be a fit ending.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 67

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