By James T. Wells, Sergeant Company A, Second South Carolina Infantry.
[The following narrative is written by a gentleman of unimpeachable character, and will be read with interest.
We propose to add from time to time a few chapters to our discussion of “the prison question.” ]
At the battle of Gettysburg
, July 2, 1863, I was severely wounded, and, with many others, was unfortunate enough to be captured by the enemy.
We remained at the field hospital until about the middle of September, when myself and several others were transferred to the Newton Univesity Hospital
, and afterwards to Fort McHenry
While at the hospital we fared very well, as we were all supplied with everything we needed by the kind and noble ladies of Baltimore
God will surely bless them for their kindness to the Confederate
prisoners with whom they came in contact.
Our treatment was not so good after we left the hospital; however, at the Fort
we did not have much to complain of, as we were thrown into a heterogenous mass of Federal and Confederate prisoners — prisoners of war, oath-takers, pick-pockets and cut-throats.
We certainty had some scruples about being placed among criminals, but we were all treated alike and fared ditto.
Our principal pastime at this delightful retreat consisted in scrambling for our soup and beans — said pastime being diversified by blows on the head and shins from a hickory stick in the hands of a huge Yankee sergeant.
The blows were only received by those who were unruly in the “lines,” and tried to push others out of the way. Our quarters were in an old brick house, situated on the bank of the river, inside of the Fort
It was divided as follows: Front room, first floor--Provost-Marshal
's office; second room, first floor — dark hole; third room, first floor--Yankee prisoners of all descriptions.
Second floor, front room — prisoners of State; second and rear room--Confederate prisoners.
We had the liberty of the yard and to go where we pleased, provided the Yankee
prisoners would permit us (and they were masters of the situation, owing to their superior numbers). In the dark hole, on the first floor, were confined some of the most villianous cut-throats it has ever been my misfortune to meet.
They were convicted of different crimes and had different