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John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 12: experiences in rebel prisons,--Libby, Macon. (search)
last day as I did the first. Oh, I have heard lots of you fellows talk, but Dick Turner soon fixes them, was his reply. This was the first promise of starvation. lothing. We hardly knew what was to come next but had not long to wait, for Dick Turner, who had charge, ordered part of us to fall in. Lieutenant Chubbuck had keptf the prison. We were ordered to stand in line, unbutton our clothing, and, as Turner passed down, were made to open our mouths that he might see if we had any green and had just time to put ten between the soles of my shoe. The rest I gave to Turner. After he had picked a squad he ordered them to the front of the room, away frbout as blue a collection of humanity as was ever assembled. In a short time Turner came in to look us over. I asked him if it was not about time for dinner, as ned up she turned that side to us and some one said, Boys, see the old flag. Major Turner rode back and said, Break the head of the next man who says old flag, so we
Waitt, Ernest Linden, History of the Nineteenth regiment, Massachusetts volunteer infantry , 1861-1865, Chapter 40: prison experiences. (search)
and other names, until Libby Prison was reached. Here the haversacks, canteens and almost everything else, were taken away and the enlisted men were put in an old warehouse across the street from the prison,—over 200 being confined in one room. At night a ration of corn bread was issued to them, the first ration which the men had received since they were captured, two days before. Shortly after noon, the officers were ordered into the prison and got their first taste of Libby and of Dick Turner, its warden, who at once entered upon a search of their clothing for greenbacks, etc. On the second day after their arrival in Libby Prison, some negroes came in to swab the floor and among them was the former servant of Col. Devereux,—Johnnie—who had been left at White House Landing, ill with fever, when the army had started on its retreat down the Peninsula in the spring and was supposed to have died. He recognized several of the officers and did what little he could, without exposi<
this. At about eight the next morning we were taken, two hundred or so at a time, up two flights of stairs, to the rooms which were to be our jails; and there Dick Turner robbed us again. There was not much to reward his industry,—we had been too thoroughly searched by the Petersburg thieves for that,—and when he had stolen everied it as long as he could, and ended by drawing a pistol and commanding silence. After the sweepers had gone, the next excitement was the entrance of pompous Major Turner, Dick's brother, by whose orders we were formed in two ranks up and down the room while he counted us. What he would have done if he had found his birds short took up the line of march to Castle Thunder, and there took oath not to serve against the Confederate States (so called) until exchanged. This formality over, Major Turner asked if there was any one there who could write; hundreds at once stepped out. Two of us, Jas. S. Bailey and the present writer, were chosen, and we wrote all
The Daily Dispatch: March 31, 1864., [Electronic resource], A Yankee Opinion of the treatment of their prisoners by the Confederates. (search)
ers and letter-writers, tend to bring us into ridicule, and interfere materially in the humane efforts sometimes made to mitigate the real evils of the case. Maj. Thos. P. Turner, the commandant of the Libby, was a cadet of West Point for two years preceding the war. He is a very young man, but has the confidence of the Confederate authorities; a strict soldier and a severe disciplinarian, but not entirely unmindful of those virtues by which an enviable reputation is to be attained. Dick Turner, however, the Inspector of the Prison, (who, by the way, is not a relative of the Major,) is of an entirely different mould, yet has some streaks of humanity in his composition; which brighten upon acquaintance. His unexpected kindness to the footsore and weary prisoners he recaptured after their attempt to escape with the famous "one hundred and ten" last month, is very gratefully remembered. Col. Sanderson discredits the statement made by some negroes that a thousand pounds of pow