Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pennsylvania Soldiers At Andersonville Prison.

One doesn’t think much about freedom till he no longer has it, freedom means a lot of different thing to different people, the right to go were you want and do what you want. But when that freedom is about to be taken away then one will fight for it no matter what the cost, for freedom has a high price, not just in material things but life it self. The men here give up there freedom so others may have it. After the war many men give statements on what it was like to have their freedom taken away.

Note. As there are many statements I will only give a short paragraph of their statement. Those who would like a full statement may have it upon request, my address can be found in my profile.

James M. Emery, Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania.

I was a private in Company A, Third heavy artillery, Pennsylvania volunteers. Was taken prisoner at Smithfield, Virginia, February 1, 1864. During my imprisonment, which was from February 1, 1864, to June 23, 1865, I experienced most everything man can experience in this world in the shape of afflictions and misery, and not suffer death, and yet death might have been a blessing had it come at the beginning of my imprisonment.
Note. This statement is about 3 pages.

Albert B. White, of Washington, District of Columbia.

I was adjutant of the Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry; was captured at Sulphur Springs, Virginia, October, 1863, and was released on parole March 1, 1865. Was confined at Libby, Macon, Savannah, Charleston, and Columbia. At Libby we suffered much from close confinement in an unhealthy atmosphere. There were about one hundred and seventh-five officers in each room, the size of an ordinary warehouse, ceilings eight feet high. From the want of food—the ration, as near as I can remember, consisted of half a pound of the meanest kind of corn bread, and a little beef.
Note. This statement is about one and a half pages.

Harry R. Breneman, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I was sergeant of Company B, Fourteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, at the time of my capture at Rocky Gap, Virginia, August 27, 1863. There were fifty-one of the brigade to which I was attached captured at the same time. We were taken to Libby Prison, at Richmond, Virginia, where we were searched by the attaches of the prison, under orders of Major Turner. Our blankets, haversacks, and canteens were taken first; then our clothing was searched for money and valuables, which, when found, were invariably taken away and handed to an officer standing by. After being searched we were sent to Belle Isle, where we were drawn up in line and counted; subjected to every kind of abuse by the sergeant, Hyatt, whom all will remember who were ever confined on Belle Isle for his brutality.
Note. This statement is between 3 and 4 pages.

John Craig, of Newcastle, Pennsylvania.
Late Captain First Virginia infantry.
Full Statement.

I was captured, with eight other officers and one hundred and sixty enlisted men, on the 11th of September, 1863, at Moorefield, West Virginia; were taken to Staunton, and closely packed in cars lately used for cattle and hogs; in this condition shipped to Richmond, the officers being sent to Libby, and the enlisted men to Belle Isle. I once got permission to visit Belle Isle with Colonel Sanderson, to distribute clothing sent by the Sanitary Commission from the North. It was a fearful place. Scurvy, disease, and starvation were doing their work. Of thirty-seven men of my company captured, thirteen died on Belle Isle. The officers in Libby were reduced to the least possible amount of food that would keep us alive. Many among them (Captain George White among the number) were confined in cells under ground for weeks, with no cause assigned. At Macon, I saw a captain of the United States Army bucked and gagged for hours because he demanded the return of his watch, which he had in trusted to a rebel officer to sell for him. I saw an officer shot by the guard, who claimed that he was too near the (lead-line. At Columbia, I saw Lieutenant Turbine murdered by the guard. I stood within twenty feet of him when he was shot. Our ration consisted of a pint of corn meal, two tablespoonfuls of rice or beans, and sorghum molasses of poor quality. Many suffered and died of diarrhea and other diseases induced by low diet and exposure. I was exchanged March 1, 1865.

Joseph Cook, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.
Full Statement.

I was sergeant of Company A, Eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry; was captured June 10, 1864, at Old Church, Virginia; was taken to Libby; remained ten days; thence to Andcrsonville, via Danville. I saw two men shot down, who were too weak to move as fast as ordered. We were crowded into close cars ; several died on the way two in the car I was in. On our arrival we were drawn up in line, and kept standing six hours in the sun, not allowed even to sit on the ground. We were two days on the road with nothing to eat, and the guard refused to let the negroes bring anything to us. I was sergeant of a detachment for three days in August; we had no food because some of the men had dug a tunnel. The tunnel as exposed by one of the prisoners, the men placed a letter “T” on his forehead, which he will carry to his grave.

Newton W. .Elemendorf, of New York City.
Full statement.

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, &c. 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 hours 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 frequently seen our men fired on by the guard while sitting or standing in little squads. As for provisions, I nun unable to give any description of them which would give any idea of our suffering on that score alone.

Patrick Mc Shay, 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 potato on the march. No other food.
Note. This statement is a little over one page.

Aaron P. Dickey, of Benford’s Store, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

I was a sergeant of Company C, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania volunteer infantry; was taken prisoner October 19, 1864, at Cedar Creek; was searched, and everything taken from me, even clothing taken and exchanged for worn-out rebel rags; was then taken to Richmond and lodged in Pemberton Prison, where, with many others, was kept for ten (lays; taken from there to Salisbury, North Carolina.
Note. This statement is a little over one page.

Thomas Miller, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

I was captured at Moorefield, West Virginia. We were told by the guards that we might keep our blankets. We carried them seventy miles, which brought us to Staunton, where they took the blankets from us and searched us thoroughly, taking everything of any value from us.
Note. This statement is about one page.

Anus Yeakel, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I was taken prisoner near Petersburg, Virginia, and sent to Libby Prison, at Richmond, Virginia, where we were stripped naked and searched, and all money and valuables taken from us.
Note. This statement is about half a page.

C. G. Jackson, Berwick, Pennsylvania.
Late Captain Company H, Eighty-fourth Regiment Penn8ylvania Volunteers.

I was a prisoner about eleven months. Was wounded and left on the field at the battle of the Wilderness, Virginia, May 6, 1864. On May 7 a rebel surgeon refused to let rebels (privates) place me in a tent, although the sun was scorching hot. The tent was large and there was but one man in it. The surgeon, with threats of punishment to the soldiers for “caring for a damned Yankee ion of a b—h,” and with fearful oaths and curses upon me, declared that it had become the settled policy of his governing to let as many Yankees die and go to hell as possible.
Note. This statement is about two pages.

Edward S. Perkins, Asylum Post Office, Pennsylvania.
Full statement.

I was hospital steward, Forty-third United States colored infantry. Was captured by the rebels October 27, 1864. Was a prisoner four months. During that time I frequently saw the fiend,” Dick Turner, kick prisoners out of his way who were unable, to move. My own sufferings, during that winter were intense, with no blanket. have seen men starved to death in Libby Prison. One very cold night two were frozen to death in the apartment I was in. I suffered much from the scurvy caused by unwholesome food.

D. H. Belcher, of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.

I was a private in Company G, Forty-sixth Pennsylvania volunteers. Was captured September 30, 1864, at Poplar Grove Springs, hear Petersburg. I was taken to Petersburg, where there were seventeen hundred who had been captured that day. In the morning we were called up and our names taken. Then the robbing commenced. Money, knives, tobacco, blankets, hats, boots, &c., were taken. We were then placed in an old building in perfect range of our siege guns, the rebels boasting that they intended to give us a taste of our own shot and shell. We were loaded into box-cars and started for Richmond. The car I was in took fire. We called to the rebel guard and told him. He replied, “You Yankee sons of b—s may burn and be damned before I stop the train.”
Note. This statement is about two pages.

Frederick A. Smith, of Somerset, Pennsylvania.

I was a sergeant of Company C, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania volunteers. Was taken prisoner May 15, 1864, at New Market, Virginia. Was a prisoner a little over nine months at Andersonville and Florence. nearly one-half of the ground inside the stockade at Andersonville was swamp. Many of us were forced to camp within twenty-five feet of the edge of it, where the sinks were.
Note. This statement is about one page.

Thomas J. Brown, Crab Tree Post Office, Pennsylvania.

I was a private in the One hundred and fifty-fifth Pennsylvania volunteers; was captured on the picket line at Hatcher’s Run, Va., October 27, 1864. We were searched and robbed of nearly everything of value were taken to Petersburg and confined in an old tobacco warehouse.
Note. This statement is about one page.

John J. Spangler, of Benford’s Store, Pennsylvania.

I was a private in Company B, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania volunteers; was taken prisoner in front of Lynchburg, Virginia, 17th of June, 1863. I was wounded. When taken to the hospital, my treatment by the rebel doctors was cruel and abusive. The ration was a small piece of corn bread. From Lynchburg was taken to Andersonville.
Note. This statement is about one page.

Conrad B. Evans, of Erie, Pennsylvania.
Full statement.

I was a private in Company A, One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania volunteers; was captured at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, on the 20th of July, 1864; was confined at Andersonville, Georgia two months. The possibility of living long could not be very great to those who entered this den; yet the moment a man became despondent his fate was sealed. Two hundred were dying daily at the time I was admitted. The most disgusting spectacles were to be seen on all hands; men dead and dying, with maggots crawling into their ears, eyes, noses, and mouths. Men groaning with pain and ninny wandering around like idiots. Even now I sicken at the thoughts. The guards were quick to destroy life on the slightest pretext; often shooting those who unwittingly approached the dead-line; and often those who, driven to desperation, crossed the dead-line purposely to be shot. The guards boasted of getting furloughs for shooting Yankees.

H. C. Clark, of Meadville, Pennsylvania.

I was a corporal of Company F, Eighty-third Pennsylvania volunteers; I was a prisoner at Audersonville, Florence, and Salisbury. It would be quite impossible for me to describe our condition in those prisons.
Note. This statement about a half page.

James W. Weida, of Longswamp, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Captain Company K, One hundred and fifty-first Pennsylvania Vols.

On the 1st of July, 1863, I was seriously wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; I went into the hospital there about 11 o’clock am.; about one hour afterwards our troops were forced to fall back, when the rebels, under Early’s command, took possession of the Seminary hospital, in which we were, four hundred, more or less, wounded Union soldiers, and were guarded as prisoners of war from 12 o’clock noon, July 1st, to 7 o’clock a. m. July 4th, 1863; during which time I did not receive any refreshments, not even a drink of water, from rebel hands; and I did not see any of my wounded comrades receive any refreshments from rebel hands, nor the least shadow of civilized benevolence.
Note. This statement about two pages.

Jacob Z. Over, of Bedford, Pennsylvania.

I was a sergeant of Company A, One hundred and eighty-fourth Pennsylvania volunteers. I was taken in front of Petersburg, Virginia, June 22, 1864; was a prisoner over ten months. When first taken a part of our clothing was taken from us, but when we got to Richmond we were put into Castle Thunder and stripped naked, and all our money taken from us. Knapsacks, clothing, canteens, haversacks, knives, and in fact everything we had that was of use to us while in camp or prison was taken from us. We were then put on Belle Island for a few days and were not given enough in two days to feed a well man one half day. From there we were taken to Lynchburg, Virginia, in common box cars.
Note. This page is about one and a half pages.

M. L. Clark, of Mansfield, Pennsylvania.
Captain One hundred and fir8t Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers.

I was a prisoner of war from April 20, 1864, until March 1, 1865. I was confined at Macon, Georgia, about three months; Savannah, Georgia, six weeks; three weeks in the Charleston jail-yard and workhouse, under fire of Union guns, and the remainder of the time at Columbia, South Carolina. The rations while at Macon, Georgia, consisted of the following articles, issued once in five days, viz: seven pints of coarse corn meal, one half-pint sorghum, one-seventh pound of rancid, maggoty bacon, two tablespoonfuls of beans or rice, and two tablespoonfuls salt.
Note. This statement is a little over one page.

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