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[488] officers would frequently purchase articles from the prisoners, but they could not pay them in money. They would give pass-books to the sutler, upon which you were credited to the amount agreed upon. As you could not purchase eatables from the sutler, this mode of trading did not suit the prisoners; and here the “Detailers” from the camp were of great value to us. They would take out rings, chains, &c., and dispose of them for greenbacks to the runners on the boats plying between Point Lookout and Washington and Baltimore. These runners were great speculators in these little trinkets, which were readily bought by the citizens of the two cities, who sympathized with the South. There was quite a manufactory of wooden-ware, such as tubs, buckets, piggins and pails, carried on in the camp. These were made of cracker-boxes. The Yankees often wondered at the ingenuity and fertility of the prisoners, for they did not imagine that there was much of it among a parcel of Southern soldiers. Many a prisoner learned to read and write, for we had a fine school here, under the immediate control of a South Carolinian. About six hundred scholars attended, and books were furnished liberally by the Christian Commission and ladies in Baltimore. Of course, in order to get through with so many, different hours were set apart for different recitations. There were ten or twelve teachers, whose names cannot be remembered now. All the primary branches were taught, as well as those of an advanced character. An old dilapidated cook-house was set apart as a school-room during the week, and as a place of worship on Sundays. The Sunday-school was large and flourishing. We had divine worship nearly every Sunday, conducted either by the prisoners, or by some preachers from Baltimore. The music at the Sunday-school was always a subject of comment and praise, and it was really of a fine quality, for there were some fine teachers of vocal music attached to the school, and they had large classes. The prayer meetings in different parts of the camp was quite a feature also. There was a large class engaged in the study of phonography, and many of them, no doubt, made good reporters, as they were quite proficient at the time they left. While these good features were very prominent, there were also many bad ones. Gambling houses were very numerous, and the beach during the day presented a strange appearance, as the gambling booths were arranged in perfect order and were always crowded. They were generally decorated by a small, fancy-colored streamer flying from the top, and under them games of every kind were always in progress.

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