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[172] to a large proportion of the prisoners. A one-time prisoner, in a private letter, dated January 16, 1910, says: ‘If I had been able to cook what I had after it was properly bolted, I should not have been so hungry, and the ration would have sufficed. A man can eat heartily and then die from starvation if he does not digest what he eats, and this was just exactly our condition.’ Again he says: ‘I, who drew raw rations for more than one hundred days, ate corn-meal which had just barely been boiled, and which was by no means cooked, or the pea-bean which was not at all softened. . . . I venture the statement that not one-third of the food I ate was digested, or could be digested, and this was true with all those around me.’

The officers at this prison lived in constant dread of an uprising. At a time when there were thirty-two thousand prisoners, the guard amounted to less than twenty-three hundred effectives, all except two hundred and nineteen of whom were raw militia, and generally inefficient. In Georgia, practically all the able-bodied men were in the army, leaving only the aged and the youths at home. In many families no white man was left, and while, on the whole, the negroes were loyal to their white mistresses, it was, of course, known that many of them were torn by conflicting emotions—that of regard for the white people they had known, and that of gratitude toward the Federals who were to set them free. These facts, perhaps, may explain—not excuse—the famous order of General Winder ordering the battery of artillery on duty at Andersonville to open on the stockade when notice had been received that the approaching Federals were within seven miles of Andersonville.

During a large part of 1864, prisoners on neither side were permitted to receive supplies from outside. As the complaints of hardships grew more frequent, the relatives and friends of prisoners demanded that some arrangement be made to supply them. After some preliminary correspondence with Major John E. Mulford, the Federal agent for exchange, Colonel Robert Ould, the Confederate agent, asked General Grant, on

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