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 in money allowed them as compensation. Thus, additional barracks were constructed in some Northern prisons largely by prison labor, and the ditch through which fresh water was led into the stagnant pond at Elmira, was dug by the prisoners. The Confederacy attempted to establish shoe and harness shops at Andersonville, Millen, and perhaps other places, to utilize the skill of the mechanics in prison and the hides of the slaughtered cattle which were going to waste. Assignments to the burial squad at all these Southern prisons were eagerly sought, and men also were glad to be detailed to the wood-squad, which brought in fuel, thinking themselves well repaid by the opportunity of getting outside the stockades for a few hours daily. Then, too, there was always a chance of escape if the guard were careless. Life in all prisons was very much the same. The inmates rose in the morning and made their toilets, but during the winter, at least, necessity forced them to sleep in their clothes, often in their shoes, and this task was not onerous. The water supply was seldom abundant, and in the winter often frozen. Therefore ablutions were not extensive and were often neglected. The officer in charge sometimes found it necessary to hold inspections and require a certain standard of cleanliness. Breakfast came, usually not a lengthy meal. Then a squad generally policed the camp. The only occupation of the others was to wait for dinner, which came sometime in the afternoon. A frugal man reserved a piece of his bread for supper; the reckless one ate all his allowance at dinner and then waited for breakfast. Seldom were more than two meals served in a prison. While sutlers were allowed in the prison the gormand might buy some potatoes or some of the other vegetables offered, and then prepare for a feast. But most of the prisoners were confined to the ordinary prison ration. Private soldiers were always expected to wash their own clothes, and often officers were compelled to do the same. The sight of a bearded major or colonel
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