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Evening roll-call for the Elmira prisoners—1864 This photograph was cherished through half a century by Berry Benson, of the First South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, who escaped from Elmira by digging a tunnel sixty-six feet long under the tents and stockade. It shows the prisoners at evening roll-call for dinner in the winter of 1864. The sergeants in front of the long line of prisoners are calling the roll. There were both Federal and Confederate sergeants. Elmira prison contained from the time of its establishment several thousand Confederate prisoners. The barracks in the foreground had been completed only a few days when this picture was made, and up to that time a large number of prisoners had occupied tents. The leaves are gone from the trees, and it is obvious that the winter frosts have set in. The tents were unheated, and the inmates suffered severely from the cold. The sentry in the foreground is not paying strict attention to the prisoners. The men grouped around the tree are indicated by Mr. Benson as Federal officers. The rate of mortality in this prison was very high.

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