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[315] ordered to “front,” and a close search of our persons and baggage was instituted. Every pocket was emptied, and watches, jewelry, knives, greenbacks and Confederate money were taken possession of. My canteen--one I had captured in the Valley — was confiscated. I suppose the authorities feared I would use it as a buoy to aid me in swimming across the bay some dark night. After the rigid search, we were ushered into the officers' barracks yard, where, crowding near the gate, along the plank walk, and at the windows and doors of the nearest “divisions” (as the rooms of the barracks were designated), we were greeted by hundreds of fellow prisoners, all eager to catch a glimpse of the new arrivals. As the gate swung open and we entered, suddenly the shout “Fresh fish” was raised, and the different “divisions” were speedily emptied of their inmates, who rushed eagerly toward us, inquiring “where we were from,” “the latest news from Dixie,” etc. The scene was an animated, but painfully sad one. Many old comrades in arms met me cordially, and invited me to their quarters. I ate dinner with Captain Hewlett, and located in “division 22.” It was greatly crowded, and at night I slept on the cold plank floor, over some cracks, through which the bleak wind whistled ceaselessly throughout the long, dreary, wintry night.

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