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[489] Cards, monte, roulette, keno, faro, chuck-a-luck, and, in fact, every game of chance known, was freely indulged in. Greenbacks and Confederate money were both legal, and passed at the regular rates of exchange. It is strange that the authorities allowed this, yet they did. Various kinds of currency were in circulation, the principal of which was “hard tack” and tobacco. With a hard tack you could purchase a chew of tobacco, or vice versa. Some men followed this business regularly. Whenever any one wanted a chew of tobacco, he could cry out, “Here's your hard tack for your tobacco.” Immediately some one would answer, “Here's your tobacco,” and this would apply to anything which might be wanted. It was only necessary to cry out the fact, and the article required could generally be obtained. It would have amused any one, not accustomed to it, to have heard this. The Chesapeake bay afforded a fine opportunity for bathing, and we were allowed to enjoy this privilege two evenings in each week. The distance to which we were allowed to go was marked by bouys, but the filthy condition of the bay often precluded many from enjoying this sport. A negro sentry, while watching the men bathing one hot afternoon, fell off the parapet and broke his neck.

The carelessness of the negroes in handling their arms was notorious. One of them, in looking at the prisoners one day while bathing, placed his chin upon the muzzle of his musket, and rested his foot upon the guard. His foot slipped, the gun was discharged, and blew off the front part of his face. They would often endeavor to show their dexterity and skill with the musket before the prisoners, and, on one occasion, one was shot and killed. The summer had now passed away and we were still on this desolate spot. More “Exchange news” became rife, and our spirits became bouyant again, but only to sink again, for only one boat load was taken off. We saw that we were doomed to spend another winter in prison, and with our experience of the previous one we began to make preparation to meet it. We made brick as well as we could, and dried them in the sun, and put our tents in a more comfortable condition. Some were enabled to purchase empty cracker-boxes from the commissary and build themselves little huts. But these were limited in capacity, and rendered somewhat uncomfortable by the restrictions placed upon them. The authorities would occasionally tear them down to see that nothing contraband was in them. Our treatment had not improved; on the contrary, it grew more severe, and the cruelty of the United States officials towards

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