Sunday, February 20, 2011

James M. Ridge, Andersonville Prison.

James M Ridge.

Birth: May 6, 1833.
Death: Sep. 20, 1895.
Burial: Center Ridge Cemetery, Sullivan, Sullivan County, Indiana

James M. Ridge, is of Sullivan, Sullivan county Indiana. He enlisted as a private in the 57th., Indiana Volunteers, company F. On or about November 30, 1864, at the battle at Franklin Tennessee, he was taken prisoner along with fourteen others from company f., and about sixty other men from the 57th., regiment. They were taken from Franklin to Columbia and held till the battle of Nashville was over. They were marched south and reach Corinth, on December 24, 1864. Then they were marches Corinth to Okolona Mississippi, then on to Georgia then to Andersonville.

During the march they moved into Alabama then back to Mississippi. Many of the men died on the march they died of disease, exhaustion and starvation. The treatment by the rebels was cruel and inhuman. Those who were unable to march were forced to at the point of the bayonet, and those who fall behind were kick and beaten and struck with guns. Some men were so weak that their comrades helped them along. Some were so weak that they fell to the ground and were unable to get back up, and died on the spot. One of these men was Allen Deckand, a private of company F., died near Okolona, Mississippi. The weather was rainy and wet there was no shelter.

The rebels took their boots and shoes that were serviceable, and were stripped of their outside clothing, leaving them barely with drawers, shirts and worn-out pants. All the men’s money was taken and left them with no means of purchasing necessaries. Other that died on the march were; Jeff. Kelly, Charles Weir, G. Wade and Adam Watson, all were of the 57th., regiment company F., also many other men of the 57th. And men from other regiments died Mr. Ridge felt it was from disease and starvation and the cruel treatment. They were given little meat, occasionally, they would receive three ounces of poor, tough beef. Their usual ration was half a pint of corn per day, there were times they went days with out anything. One time they were received one ear of corn for four days of subsistence. On the march they were compelled to eat twigs from the bushes from sassafras bushes and green briars.

On one occasion in Mississippi they were marched through a turnip patch, and the valuable turnips were gathered and taken off. Some of the men going through the patch grabbed at the refuse turnips left behind. A colonel of a Mississippi regiment who’s name thought to be “Straight?”, ordered the guards to shoot any man picking up any turnips, but the guards didn’t obey the order to shoot. The officers in command of their guard were no higher then captains, except the Colonel, who was with them only a short time, which the men were thankful. The bad treatment continued throughout the entire march to Andersonville.

On their arrival at Andersonville, there was little abatement of cruel treatment. Men were shoot at different time while approaching near the dead-lines. The horrors of Andersonville have been so frequently described the Mr. Ridge felt no need to go on. Of the sixty men of the 57th., that were captured only sixteen made it back home.  Those that died on the march were never buried or accounted for, James M. Ridge still has not recovered from his sufferings while a prisoner.

1. James M. Ridge private, 57th., Indiana infantry company F., Enlisted 1864/11/11, at Terre Haute, Indiana, age 31, discharged 1865/06/07.

2. Jefferson Kelly or Kelley, private, 57th., Indiana infantry company F., Enlisted 1864/11/11, at Terre Haute, Indiana, age 33, discharged 1864/11/11. Remarks; Missing after the Battle of Franklin, TN. November 30, 1864. Sub. for James C. Hicklin

3. Charles Weir, 57th., Indiana infantry company F. ?
No record was found on him.

4. Gabriel Wade, ., private, Indiana 57th infantry company F. Enlisted 1864/10/04, at Terre Haute, Indiana, age 35, discharged 1865/10/10.

5. Adam Watson, private, 57th., Indiana infantry company F.?
There were no Adam or Adams Watson in the 57th, there was a Albert Watson, but no record could be found on either men.

6. Allen Deckand 57th., Indiana infantry company F.
No record could be found. Maybe a miss spelling.

Note. Those of you who would like to read the real statement can take this link, there will be a enlargeing box.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this story. I've been researching information on my G.G. Grandfather. He served with the 57th Indiana Infantry, was captured at the Battle of Franklin, and died at Andersonville. It's a grim story, but helps to explain why he didn't survive the war.
G. Branson