Thursday, December 18, 2008

Prisoners Of War Statements-Civil War.

There is little I can say in the from of a introduction to this page as the statements will speak for themselves. About all I can say is these statements are very, very sad, but you will learn what it was like to be a prisoner of war.

Note. Watch for added information at the end of each statement, as I will add any information that I can find.

Note. This information comes from the Librsry of Congress, House Report No. 45, of the 40th, Congress, entitled, Treatment of Prisoners of War by the Rebel Authorities

Statement of Patrick McShay, Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Was a sergeant in Company A, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania volunteers. I was taken prisoner on the 4th of December, 1864, near Millen, Georgia. Marched on foot to Augusta, Georgia, about fifty miles, in nearly two days. Had one meal of boiled sweet potatoes on the march. No other food. Next day, at 8 a. m., we had a quart of corn meal, unbolted, and a piece of fresh beef, a pound. This lasted me sixty hours. Went by rail, in box cat, to Florence, and was put in stockade prison pen. About twenty acres contained, I think, in it. This was occupied by about seven thousand prisoners. I had no shelter for seven days. Then they let us build shelter of pine tree tops covered with dirt. The prisoners burrowed caves in the ground, and we lived in them like rabbits. They gave us neither blanket nor clothing. On my way to prison, when near Milieu, an Alabama or Mississippi rebel robbed me of my blanket, watch, and $185 in money. Our food in the prison pen was one pint of unbolted corn meal a day, no meat while I was there, and two table spoons full of Carolina stock peas, raw, were given us about three times a week. We cooked the meal and beans in half a canteen, over a fire. They gave us no cooking utensils. We broke the canteen so as to make a kind of cup of it. We had no other rations in that prison. I was there about eleven weeks. I forget the names of the rebel officers in charge of us. Part of the ground in Florence Prison was wet and part dry. Some had to lie in the wet. I was taken from Florence to Wilmington, North Carolina, and thence to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where our squad of prisoners was turned loose in the woods and swamp, and a guard was placed around us. We had no shelter. Our food was about two pounds of salt meet cooked, and about three days’ allowance of hard tack. (1 mean about three days’ United States army allowance.) On this we lived for seven days. I do not think I could have lived one week longer if I had been left at Florence. I was so weak that I couldn’t go to the water, about twenty yards. My parents did not know me ‘when I got home, I was so thin.

Added info. Mustered in June 28, 1861, for 3, years, Promoted to Corporal, January 1, 1864; to Sergeant, February 1, 1865; mustered out with Company, July 18, 1865; Vet. Also note his last name was also spelled: MC Shay, M’Shay, Mc Shea, M’Shea.

H. B. Agnes.

I now reside at Keokuk, Iowa; belonged to Berdan’s sharpshooters; was a private. I enlisted in Jefferson City, Missouri. I was in the service four years and four months. I was captured at Resaca, Georgia, on the 14th of May, 1864. I was wounded by a spherical case shell. I was picked up toward evening, in the woods, by the rebels, mid they carried me in an ambulance, first to Dalton, then by rail to West Point, and then by ambulance to Andersonville. My wounds were not dressed till I got to Andersonville, and then very poorly, with dirty rags. I was put into the stockade, and sectioned off in a battalion, under General Winder. There were some twenty odd thousand men in there then. The rations consisted of corn bread, rice, beans, and stinking meat, twice a week. I have seen boys hung up there by the toes and by the fore-fingers, as a mode of punishment. I also saw men shot for attempting to pick up a crust of bread just over the dead-line. They used to call us “Yankee sons of bitches” and “Lincoln hirelings,” till we got used to it. I saw one man bayoneted while doing some work on the outside for Wirz. He didn’t do it just as lie wanted it, and the guard drove a bayonet into him, so that he died. I was in the hospital then, and could see it from where I lay. Our hospital diet consisted of cold water, rice, soup, and corn bread three times a week. This man who was bayoneted was brought in the hospital where I was, and (lied there. He was a carpenter, and didn’t do his work to suit Wirz. He was from New Hampshire, Hillsboro County. I escaped from Andersonville after I had been there about six months, by tunneling out. Three of us got out at the same time. We started for the woods. The second day I was out I discovered bloodhounds were chasing me. I climbed a tree and they ran by. Then I got down and went to a darkey’s cabin, and got some meat and potatoes, corn bread, and milk, and they also gave me all I could put in my pockets. I started out again, but the next day I was overtaken by two men on horseback, and was taken to Salisbury, North Carolina, and put in the Salisbury jail. There I was treated worse than at Andersonville. The rations were very scanty, not enough to satisfy hunger—a small piece of bacon, half as big as your finger, and a piece of corn bread, about half an inch thick and five inches square. I understood there was plenty of bacon outside, several hundred pounds. The place where I was confined was small, dark, and filthy. I was a prisoner there six weeks, and then I was sent to our lines and exchanged. The corn bread we had was just like a rock. You could throw it at a stone wall and it wouldn’t break.
H. B. AGNES.

William J. Patton, of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Also: James Eckels & Joshua Day.


I was captain of Company K, First Arkansas loyal cavalry. Two men of my company, James Eckels and Joshua Day, were captured by the rebel forces at Prairie Grove, in December, 1862. They were reported to General Hindman, who ordered them shot, on the charge that they were traitors to the State. The order was executed.
WM. J. PATTON.
Little, Rock Arkansas, February 10, 1868.
Added Info: Enl 1 Apr 1865 at Devalls Bluff, AR. Age 24. Assumed command of the company 11 Mar 1865. (Died 7, July, 1907. Buried in National Cemetery, Fayetteville, AR.

H. C. Mc Quiddy.

I was captured May 3, 1863, with Colonel A. P. Streight, near Rome, Georgia; was sent to Libby, Richmond, Virginia; reached Libby on the 16th of May, 1863; left on May 9, 1864. Of my treatment while in Libby, the most that I have to say is that if the pangs of hunger ever ceased to gnaw at my vitals, I had to thank others than the rebels. I can truthfully say that for months my hunger was never satisfied. At Columbia I received the worst treatment that fell to my lot; a small ration of meal, sorghum, and salt was issued, no meat for nearly six months, yet from two to three beeves were hung up daily in their sutler’s shop for sale, and had not our friends furnished us with means from home, I verily believe that we would have starved. I will give you just what they issued to us for three days’ rations: Five pints meal, one of rice, two of sorghum, two table spoonful of salt; this was our full rations for several mouths at Columbia. I made my second escape from Columbia; was recaptured near Augusta, Georgia, and taken to the barracks at Augusta. I had received from home, not long before, a new suit of clothes; I was stripped of everything except shoes and drawers by Lieutenant A. Moore, commanding the barracks, he took from me overcoat, dress-coat, pants, vest, suspenders, shirt, and gloves, knife, and pocket-book, and from others of the party he took articles of clothing, &e.; this occurred in November, 1864. I have said nothing mistreatment of others; several prisoners were fired on in Libby by the guard, withit provocation; one man was killed in Macon, Georgia, without cause, and one or two men killed in Columbia, South Carolina. I have forgotten names and dates, but add my testimony to the facts. I will also state that no shelter was furnished us at Columbia.

H. C. McQUIDDY,
Late Captain Company D, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry.
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE, November 9, 1867.

Charles W. Parker, of Bolton, Massachusetts, late first sergeant Company I, Sixteenth, Connecticut volunteers.

I was captured at Plymouth, North Carolina, and kept a prisoner ten months. Au account of the sufferings experienced and witnessed by me would fill a book. I was in the prisons at Andersouville, Charleston, and Florence. I was occasionally outside of the stockade and at Wirz’s headquarters, and assert that the current accounts of the punishments inflicted and the cruelties practiced are reliable. During the winter of 1864 and 1865 I was in the prison at Florence. It was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Iverson, and his worse than brute subordinate, Lieutenant Barrett, of the Fifth Georgia regiment. The treatment was in many respects far worse than at Andersonville. In the matter of rations, wantonly shooting prisoners, infliction of kicks and blows upon the sick by the officers when inside of the stockade, having been in both prisons, I may safely risk my word in saying they were fir worse than at Andersonville. I was beaten on the head with a club, by order of Lieutenant Barrett, which came near ending my life. We were at one time one hundred days without meat of any kind. I have seen prisoners shot for skiug the guard for a chew of tobacco. A comrade of mine, a mere boy, the son of a widowed mother, was shot because he wan too weak to get to the sink. When emaciated by disease and starvation to such an extent that it seemed impossible for me to recover, I was sent through the lines, to be exchanged.
C. W. PARKER.
BOLTON, MASSACHUSETTS, August 26, 1867.

Myron W Tilson, of South Hanson, Massachusetts, late ensign in the United
States volunteer navy.


I was captured at Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina, with fourteen sailors. I was robbed of all the personal property in my possession; was placed in charge of General White, who consoled me with the thought that it was lucky for us that we were not nil murdered. The men were forced to march, with their hands tied behind I heir backs, to Georgetown, South Carolina, where we received the first food during forty-eight hours. We were sent to Charleston, South Carolina, delivered over to Captain Geyer, and lodged in jail. We were confined thus for three weeks. We were given about three quarts of cracked corn, boiled, and four small bottles of water, per day, for fifteen men. I was sent to Columbia, South Carolina. This post was commanded by Major C. D. Melton, afterward by Colonel Green. Captain Harris, of Fourth Tennessee cavalry, was here confined in irons, as he was for two years, under sentence of death, which, however, was never carried into effect. After remaining in Columbia about three weeks, all the noncommissioned officers and privates were sent first to Belle Isle and afterward to the slaughter pen at Andersonville. under command of the monster Wirz, where, in four months, under the starvation policy, eleven of my fourteen men, captured with me, died. While at Columbia all the privates that were then there, some forty or fifty, ‘were placed in irons for refusing to clean up the filth and dirt made by the confederate conscripts. They were finally compelled to obey the degrading order to escape starvation.

Late Ensign United State. Volunteer Navy.
South Hanson, Massachusetts, September 30, 1867.

George J. Hull, Fairfield, Vermont.
I was a private of First Vermont vo1unteers Was captured at Brandy Station, Virginia. Was a prisoner for fourteen months Was confined in Richmond, Belle Isle, Andersonville, and Florence. It would be impossible for me to give a detailed account of our treatment. I can only give a few items as specimens. At the tobacco warehouse in Richmond I have seen men shot for looking out of the windows. When I was moved to Belle Isle it was cold, wet, and muddy in the winter. Shelter was provided for only a portion of the men. Many perished from the exposure. The dead were taken outside and allowed to remain for several days. I have seen the bodies torn and eaten by the hogs. A dog belonging to a lieutenant in charge of us got into the camp and was speedily killed and part of it cooked and eaten. The man who did it was discovered and forced to eat the remainder of it raw. We were sent to Audersonville in box cars so closely crowded that we could not even lie down. It was a common thing to see from one hundred to two hundred men at a time awaiting burial. It was also common for Wirz to withhold the rations for forty-eight hours, and then try to get the men to take the oath of allegiance to the confederacy.
GEORGE HULL.
Fairfield, Vermont, December 27, 1867.

Charles. E Currie, of Millville, New Jersey.

While a prisoner in the hands of the rebels at Savage’s Station, the rebel officers went through the camp inducing us to trade greenbacks for confederate money to the amount of $3,000. We were sent from Savage’s Station to Libby Prison. Two officers stood at the door and forced us to give up the confederate money. We complained to General Winder, who told us we were not sharp and he could do nothing for us. Thin was in July, 1862.

CHARlES. F. CURRIE,
Late Corporal Fourth New Jersey Volunteers.
MILLVILLE, NEW JERSEY, July 29, 1867.

James W. Humphrey, of Ottawa, Kansas.
I was corporal of Company A, Fourteenth Illinois cavalry; was taken prisoner near Macon, Georgia, July 31, 1864. Alter capture we were robbed of our valuables, and even our good boots takn from us. We were taken to Andersonville after a long, tedious route, suffering much from hunger on the way. When we arrived we were stripped naked and our clothes searched, even to ripping open the seams. While the search was going on I asked a guard for a drink of water. Wirz asked for the damned Yankee who asked for water, and told the guard to bayonet any one of us who spoke i word. I saw a mere boy, who through weakness had fallen across the dead-line, shot through the head. Also saw a crazy man shot for making too much noise. I have often heard men praying for death while lying on the ground rotting with the scurvy. I have seen the officers kick and stamp on men who happened to be lying in their way, unable to get up. Men were placed in the stocks, lying on their backs with their faces to the sun, and kept so for twenty-four hours. We had no shelter over us, and were compelled to lie in the dust or mud, as the weather vas wet or dry. Stars ing, covered with vermin, rotting with scurvy, wasting with diarrhea, almost naked, no change of clothing, no soap to wash the few rags they had. I must leave our condition to imagLnation. It cannot be described. JAMES W. HUMPHREY,
Late Corporal Company I, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry.
Ottawa Kansas, August 5, 1867.

Added info. ILLINOIS CIVIL WAR DETAIL REPORT.

HUMPHREY, JAMES, Rank Private Company I Unit 14 IL US CAV., Residence CHERRY GROVE, CARROLL CO, IL., Age 43, Height 6' 2, Hair BROWN, Eyes GRAY, Complexion DARK, Marital Status N/A, Occupation LABORER, Nativity WYOMING CO, PA., Joined When DEC 31, 1863, Joined Where DIXON, IL., Period 3 YRS., Muster In JAN 11, 1864, Muster In Where DIXON, IL., Muster Out JUL 31, 1865, Muster Out Where PULASKI, TN., AS CORPORAL.

Horace C. Scoville, of Rockford, Illinois.

I was captain of Company K, Ninety-second Illinois. At time of capture was first lieutenant. Was captured at Nickajack Gap, Georgia, April23, 1864. We were taken by a part of Wheeler’s force. Five or six of the captured were shot down after we had been marched about two miles, without any cause whatever. I got a severe blow on the head at the same time. Most of those shot were shot by one Lieutenant Pointer, an aide-do-camp on Wheeler’s staff. The party by which we were captured were commanded by a Colonel King. These facts can be substantiated by everyone of the party then captured, who escaped murder at Andersonville. We were taken to Tunnel Hill, Wheeler’s headquarters, where I was questioned an hour, regarding the movements of our army, &c. I took occasion to tell him how the men with me had been shot, all of which he feigned could not be true.
HORACE C. SCOVILLE,
Late Captain Ninety-second Illinois Volunteers.
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS, October 7, 1867.

Added info: ILLINOIS CIVIL WAR DETAIL REPORT.

SCOVILLE, HORACE C., Rank Captain, Company K., Unit 92 IL US INF., Residence MT MORRIS, OGLE CO, IL., Age 31, Height 5' 6 ¾, Hair LIGHT, Eyes BLUE, Complexion LIGHT, Marital Status SINGLE, Occupation MERCHANT, Nativity HASTINGS, OSWEGO CO, NY., Joined When MAY 12, 1865, Joined Where CONCORD, NC., Period 3 YRS., Muster Out JUN 21, 1865, Muster Out Where CONCORD, NC. Also note when he became a 1st & 2nd. Lieutenant he was 29 years.
Note. He was a Second Lieutenant September 4, 1862, Promoted to First Lieutenant April 18, 1863, became Captain May 12, 1865.

James B. Herriman, of Lawn Ridge, Illinois.

I was a private in the Twenty-second New York cavalry; was captured in Virginia November 12, 1864, and was a prisoner until March 22,1865. I was at Libby and alisbury. The rations were not near large enough to Sustain life at Libby; and men were shot who attempted to look out of the windows. At Salisbury we were ii. an open field, with no shelter for two-thirds of the prisoners. I saw men shot down by the guards on mere pretense of violation of orders. I have seen many of the man with their feet frozen and swelled until they burst open, and a complete mass of matter; these poor fellows walking around in mud four inches deep. The dead were taken out in wagons, on which they would he loaded until anus, legs, and heads would hang over the sides and be scraped by tie wheels. I have seen women standing over the entrance, pointing to the loads of naked dead, and laughing at the big load of dead
Yankees.
JAMES B. HERRIMAN.
LAWN RIDGE, ILL., August 12, 1867.

HERMAN WESTERFELD.

I reside at St. Louis, Missouri; was a private in Company H, Fourth Missouri cavalry, and was captured on the 5th of May, 1864, on Red River, at a place called Snaggy Point, by General Major’s confederate command. They captured us about 12 o’clock, awl took us some ten or twelve miles in the country, and we camped there for the night. We did not get anything to eat there, at least, I did not. They marched us next morning again, and gave us some corn-bread about 12 o’clock. Then they marched us again all the next day, and we did not get anything in the morning or evening to eat. Next day they stopped and gave us some bacon to eat. They kept us traveling on that way until we got to Natchitoches.

There they kept us inside of the court-house. One of our men tried to get out of the door to go to the sink and lie was shot by the guard. He did not try to run out. He died about two hours after he was shot. I don’t know his name. From there they marched us to Grand de Coer, and kept us a couple of days. They put us on the beat and sent us up to Shreveport. They hardly gave us anything to eat; if we did get anything, it was a little corn-meal and bread. Sometimes they would give it to us once a day, and sometimes we would wait a day and a half before we got anything.

After we got into Shreveport they kept us there a (lay and a half, to the best of nay knowledge, and they put us in au old store, a feed-store, it used to be. They had their own prisoners above, and it was such a lousy place you could see them fall down on you from above. From there they marched us to Marshall, Texas. We camped there all night, and then they marched us to Camp Ford, in Texas. That was in the evening. They didn’t give us anything to eat until next day, somewhere in the afternoon. We had no shelter whatever; and next day they gave us some corn meal, a pint or probably a little over, to a man. They gave us no wood though, nor nothing to cook it in. They kept us there about fourteen days without giving us any shelter. After that, they allowed some of us to go out and get some brash to build sheds of. The fourteen days that we staid in there it was raining pretty near every day, and a good many of our boys at that time got sick, from not having our victuals cooked as they ought to be. It was coarse corn-meal, and they got the diarrhea from eating it and lying in the wet; and I have seen men, while I was in there, die for the want of sufficient food. One man, who slept next to me, had the diarrhea so bad from eating this corn meal that he just fell down” and died.

During the time I staid in there I saw one of our anon shot by the guard outside; I don’t know for what cause; and I saw another one who was shot by the guard; I can’t name the regiment he belonged to. He had the diarrhea and was coming toward the sinks we had in one corner of the stockade; the guard outside hallooed at the man as he came along, that he would kill the next Yankee that he saw going by. They treated us so, that if a man didn’t die with the diarrhea, he would have the scurvy. I had it myself, and they wouldn’t give us any vegetables or anything that was sour, to prevent it. There was what they called a hospital outside of the stockade—a log-house built by some of our men—and I have helped to carry men out there myself, but they didn’t give them anything except corn bread, and once in a while, a little wheat bread. I was in there thirteen months. I have seen men taken out and punished for hallooing’ Keno.” They would take them out of the camp and put them on a stump all day in the hot sun without a cap or hat. When the boys went in there they had a little money, and they used to pass away the time by playing keno, until the adjutant would come in and take all their money, and on that account they would call him Keno, and he would punish them by putting them on a stump. I have seen our men taken out and made to mark time a couple of hours for hallooing “Keno.” They took away from our prisoners all the money that they could find while we were in there, that is, the adjutant of the post did.

I was captured on a gunboat, and for that reason they treated us better than the others. A good many of the prisoners there who belonged to the laud forces, they took all their clothes away before they came in. General Majors, after he captured us, told us that he respected the gunboat men; he said he had been in the United States Army himself, and that the troops were nothing but a set of rascals and thieves, but that he would treat the gunboat men better. A good many of the men had nothing but old pants on, the rebels having taken away their pants when they were captured, then given them their old ones. This was at Camp Tyler, in Texas. This camp is about five or six miles from Tyler City. While here, some days we didn’t get our food at all.

Whenever it rained, as there was a creek between the camp and the city, the rain would swell the creek, and the rebels would give as an excuse for not giving us food, that they couldn’t get it across the creek. I recollect on several occasions we didn’t get anything at all during the whole day. Another thing we didn’t get, and that was sufficient wood to cook our victuals. During the winter time we hadn’t enough to keep warm. Once in a while they would let twenty of our men out at a time to chop trees down and carry them in, and they would send a guard along. Then they would allow some of us to go out and cut some brush, after we had staid there a while, to make a shelter.

The treatment we received was very bad. I have seen men brought in there who had marks all around their necks, where they had put ropes around them, and tied them to the horses and dragged them along the ground, on account of their being too sick to walk any more. I have seen men brought in there who had managed to escape from the stockade, but had been recaptured by bloodhounds. I have seen them with their pants all torn to pieces, and some of them had their legs torn pretty badly by the hounds.

I don’t recollect who was in command at Camp Tyler; they called him colonel. They had a good many there, and they didn’t stay but a short time generally. One time I remember a Colonel Brown was in command. I heard some of the guard say that they could give us more food if they wanted to, but they wouldn’t do it; that they were supplying the whole confederacy with beef, and had plenty of provisions, all that they could give us more if they wanted to. I have seen them bringing in things and selling them to our men, such as flour, coffee, and sweet potatoes. We could get most anything we wanted if we had the money, but the adjutant of the post took all the money he could find away from us, and we didn’t dare to show our money when he was around. I know some men came in there and traded confederate money for greenbacks. They said they wouldn’t take greenbacks for things that we could buy, and they would give us five dollars in confederate money for one in greenbacks, and when it came to near the close of the war they would give us ten.

The graveyard was right in sight of the camp, and they would generally bring body’s there, and bury them. Soon after we got there, on account of their giving us corn meal, a good many died. I have seen as many as five or six die in one day. There were about forty-five hundred prisoners when I first went there. Some of them were exchanged after a while, and about the last of the war there were about eighteen hundred, I believe. To the best of my knowledge, some seven or eight hundred must have died. The surgeon never came into the in closure, to my knowledge, and I never heard of any sick-call. If a man got sick, he generally staid there till he got so low he couldn’t walk, and then we would carry him Up to the hospital in our blankets. I hardly ever saw anybody go in the hospital before they were so low that I thought they couldn’t recover. Most of them had scurvy or diarrhea, and they let them stay in the camp so long without giving them any medicine, that they couldn’t recover.

While I was in there I heard one of the guard say, “Whenever we kill one of you Yankees we can get a furlough of so many days,’ but he didn’t state whether he had orders from the officers to shoot us or not. Our officers were camped a little to one side of the men, but we were all in the same in closure, and treated in the same manner. I heard officers who had come in out of the rebel army saying that they would starve us out. I don’t know whether they were connected with the camp, or whether they were officers who were passing, and stopped in to see us. There never was any inspection of the prison by the officers in command of it, to my knowledge, and I should have known of it if there had been.

They would come in several times—the guards—and look around, to see whether we had dug any holes to get out. Once I saw them punish a man by bucking and gagging him. Sometimes they would punish them for loud talking after night; but most of the time they punished them for hallooing “ Keno.” Whenever the boys would see the adjutant of the post outside they would halloo “Keno,” and then he would come in, and if the boys would not tell who had done it, be would take several of them out and make them mark time. Several times I was threatened by the guard that he would shoot me, I don’t know what for; I would be going up and down, and I would see them with their guns across the stockade, and they would say, “Get away, you damned Yankees, or we will kill you sure.”

Fifteen feet from the stockade, they had what they called “dead-hue,” but there was nothing to mark it so you could see it, but they would tell us not to come within fifteen feet of the stockade. One man who slept next to me said he felt so bad on account of not getting anything to eat that he wanted to go across the deadline and be shot, but I persuaded him not to do it. Afterward he was sent to the hospital, and I heard he died there. There was clothing sent to us twice by our men. The last time some of the clothing was missing, and I heard the man in command of the camp say that his boys didn’t take it, but that they took it while it was on the way there, and he said they would send cotton for that to our government, to make up for it.
HERRMANN WESTERFELD.

Francis E. Weed.

I was first sergeant Company B, Thirteenth Connecticut volunteers; was captured at Winchester, Virginia, September 19th, 1864. Our treatment on the roundabout march to Richmond was almost incredible. Some of the men were without shoes; their feet became so swollen or cut up on the rough roads that they had to be forced along at the point of the bayonet. We were put into Libby Prison and every man searched thoroughly for money, &c. If any was found the criminal was shockingly abused for not giving it up when ordered; blankets, hats, shoes, and such things having been taken before. We were sent from Libby to Belle Isle. While there several were killed by the guards. We were sent to Salisbury, North Carolina. Our rations were miserable iii quality and not sufficient in quantity to allay the cravings of hunger. Meat was seldom issued and generally covered with maggots. When we had fresh meat it was cooked with everything that could be eaten, head, eyes, ears, lights, &c. The tripe and other entrails were brought into the stockade without being cleaned, and left for the men to light over like a pack of wolves. For two months we were without sufficient water to drink. There were quite a number killed here by the guards at Belle Isle. One colored prisoner was shot by a guard who said he wanted to kill a “black Yankee;“ this is but one of many instances that might be given. Sometimes they would shoot into the stockade all night, at intervals. On the 25th of November, starved to desperation, we made an unsuccessful attempt to break out of the stockade, which cost us the loss of seventy killed and wounded. They would keep all rations from us for two or three days, then they would try to recruit for the rebel army, offering, as an inducement, full rations, warm clothing, and $100 confederate money. They obtained but few recruits, comparatively most pf the men preferring to leave the stockade in the dead-cart to liberty on such terms.
FRANCIS E. WEED,
Late First Sergeant Company B, Thirteenth Connecticut Volunteers.

Wilson G. H. Moore.

I was a corporal of Company C, Seventh New York artillery. Was taken prisoner May 19. 1864, near Spottsylvania Court House, Virginia. I had four men with me when captured; they all (bed in the rebel prisons. I was a prisoner for six months and ten days. We were marched three (lays without rations, when a quart of meal was issued, but no salt or cooking utensils. At Gordonsville there were some four hundred, captured from different parts of our lines. We were marched to the provost marshal’s, where we were robbed of everything, and then started for Andersonville, where I saw men shot without cause, and have seen escaped prisoners returned terribly torn by bloodhounds used in their recapture. The rations issued to us were not sufficient to stay the cravings of hunger, and of a quality perfectly disgusting. From Andersonville I was sent to Charleston, and from thence to Florence, South Caro1ina where I suffered more than at any other prison, for it had grown quite cold. Many of us were barefooted and bareheaded. Our rations were very irregularly issued, and were often withheld a number of days at a time. I have seen numbers of the men chilled to death at this prison; cruelty and personal abuse the same as at the other prisons I was in.
WILSON G. H. MOORE.
Late Corporal Battery C, Seventh Yew York Artillery.
TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK, November 8, 1867.

Newton W. .Elemendorf.

I was a corporal of Company C, Sixth Pennsylvania reserves. Was taken prisoner August 19, 1864, on the Weldon railroad; was sent to Libby, where they robbed us of our money, &e. One of our men found a cartridge, which he threw out of the window. We were ordered into line, and thirty rebel guards brought in, who were ordered to shoot the first man who moved out of his tracks. We were told that we would be kept there until we died, or the man who threw the cartridge be given up. After about six horn’s the man who threw it told them it was he. The keeper (whose name I have forgotten) had him bucked and gagged until he was nearly dead. We were taken from Libby to Belle Isle, confined in an open space with little or no shelter. While going to the river, on one occasion, for water, the guard fired on us, killed one and wounded three. Were removed from Belle Isle to Salisbury, North Carolina. Saw a Lieutenant Wilson shot by the guard ten feet from the dead-line. I have seen our men fired on by the guard while sitting or standing in little squads. As for provisions, I am unable to give any description of them which would give any idea of our suffering on that score alone.
NEWTON W. ELEMENDORF.
NEW YORK CITY, September 15,1867.

Added info. Newton W. Elrnendorf Corporal, mustered in May 13, 1861, for 3, years, transferred to 191st Regiment P. V., May 31, 1864; Vet.

W. H. Shrirer or Schriver.

I was a private in the Third West Virginia cavalry; wan captured with twenty-nine others, at Winchester, Virginia, 8th of April, 1864. I wan the only one of that number who returned to duty with the regiment; the others had died or were discharged as disabled; We were immediately searched, amid stripped of everything of any value to us; they took coats, boots, hats, &c. We were marched four days at the rate of thirty miles per day, fording creeks, &c., some of our number having nothing but shirt and pants. At night we were turned into some old barn anti a little corn meal given us which we could not cook, for they had taken all cups and other utensils from us. We arrived in Richmond on the 13th of April, 1864, and were put into Castle Pemberton. Our sufferings in those close quarters no one can understand who was out there. Was removed to the hospital under treatment for three months, when I was appointed nurse. The suffering of our men in the hospital was awful. Was taken to Belle Isle, which was in plain sight of Jefferson Davis’s mansion; he could see his work at any time by looking toward the island, where there were thousands of us almost naked, exposed to the hot sun and the storm alike, without shelter; many made idiots and insane by starvation and exposure, rotting with the scurvy, wasting away with starvation, eaten with vermin; the dead often eaten by rats before burial; always hungry, craving food, gnawing bare bones like dogs, abused, insulted and beaten at the will of the brutes in charge of us. Four of my comrades were shot for alleged violations of the prison rules. It is enough to drive one crazy even now to look back over the terrible scenes of suffering witnessed in those prison hells.
W. H. SHRIVER.
MOORESVILLE, WEST VIRGINIA, August 5, 1867.

Added info: Shriver, William H., enrolled at Morgantown, W.Va., age 21, mustered in Sept. 24, 1862, Morgantown, W.Va., mustered out May 21, 1865, Recruit, captured at Winchester, Va., April, 1864; exchanged March. 25, 1865. Mustered out under G.O. #83, A.G.O., 1865, at Washington, D.C., also note he was in Co. A & F.

4 comments:

Stephen said...

Thanks for posting the info on POW life during the War for Southern Independence. On a related note, the following page shows my great-grandfather's POW release. He was a Confederate soldier serving in the Washington Artillery; captured at Petersburg, he spent the remainder of the war in the federal prison at Point Lookout, Maryland.
http://www.confederatecolonel.com/about/about.shtml. The document served as sort of a "universal bus pass" at the time. He could show that and get free transportation. That's how they got the newly-released POWs back to their homes.

Art115 said...

I am researching GGF Patrick McShea (McShay). This report helps fill in some info I recieved from the US pension records. If anyone has a relative that was sick or injured in the Civil War, this source can provide a lot of good information.

Art

Art115 said...

Also, if anyone out there has any connections to the good Sgt Patrick McShea, please let me know. We can share information.

Art

Ten Irish said...

I quoted your statement of Horace Scoville at my blog. http://myrebelroots.blogspot.com/search/label/Prisoners
There are some inconsistencies in it.