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[177] ward across two others to the stairs which I must descend. Arrived at the head of the stairs, I paused and looked with dread down the narrow, steep steps. I was so unaccustomed to my crutches that I felt sure I would lose my balance, and fall headforemost, if I tried to use them. So, tightening the cloth swing, and drawing the knee of my left (wounded) leg nearer my breast, and taking my crutches in each hand, I sat down, and began the laborious and painful descent. I would put my right foot down on a step, then raising my body with my arms and hands, would lower my hips to the next step above my foot, dragging my crutches after me, and, keeping my wounded leg elevated to prevent the painful rush of blood to my foot, I slowly made my way down the stairs. Frequently I would meet and be overtaken by nurses and convalescents, who would ask, “Why don't you have your meals carried to you?” and add, upon my explaining, “It is a d-d shame to make a cripple go down these steps.” After nearly half an hour I reached the lower floor, and soon found myself surrounded by a crowd of sick and wounded men, all impatient for the door of the mess-room to open. There were many weary, emaciated men and boys among them, and none looked as if they had enjoyed a “square meal” in weeks. Each strove to be nearest the door, that he might enter first. At last the door was opened, and all rushed eagerly in, the strong pushing the weak, and quickly took their seats, seized the food placed before them, and lost no time in devouring it. I was shown a seat at the end of the officers' table. Some cabbage, and two slices of loaf bread, three-quarters of an inch in thickness, were in a tin plate in front of me. Near by was a tin cup of soup, or “pot liquor,” as our negroes call it. In a very few minutes, I might say seconds, all the tables were cleared of their contents, and the men had left the room. Though not satisfied, I felt infinitely better after I had eaten all placed before me. All of it tasted well, too, and I felt like imitating Oliver Twist, and begging for “more.” I was not at all fastidious about it, and had no dyspepsia. No Southerner in a Yankee prison ever had that well known disease, so peculiar to over-fed Americans. A Yankee prison can beat any mineral springs for curing dyspepsia. They put you on “low diet.” Before ascending the long and dreaded flights of stairs, I sat down on a bench in front of the building, and very soon Dr. Knowles came and stood near me. He remarked that I “had taken my exercise finely, and would enjoy my meals more.” In reply to his attempt


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