Unfortunately we have no statement of their capture or imprisonment from any of the Olustee
men who fell into the enemy's hands, and the accounts of them given must perforce be gleaned from other sources.
Those of them who survived up to that date were taken, according to the testimony of Thomas Walsh
, 74th N. Y. Infantry, given before the Congressional committee, to Andersonville
; for he says: ‘On the 14th March, 1864, a number of colored soldiers with their officers arrived; the officers remained some days at the stockade.’
was an intelligent and careful witness, who refreshed his recollection by reference to a Testament, in which, while imprisoned, he made entries of the principal events, as well as important statistics of deaths, etc., while paroled for duty in the office of the chief surgeon
Andersonville Stockade was an inclosed space of land cleared in the surrounding pine forest, at a point on the Southwestern Railroad, sixty-five miles south of Macon, Georgia
Outside were two lines of defence and protection against an uprising.
The enclosure was in the form of a parallelogram, and as enlarged in July, 1864, gave a space of twenty-three and a half acres. Across this space, about one third of the distance from the south end, ran a sluggish stream, bordered on each side by a low swamp of about six acres. This swamp was the receptacle of the filth, offal, and waste of the prisoners, as well as of the cook-houses and camps outside of the stockade, and became a festering sink of corruption alive with maggots and vermin; from it arose malignant vapors deadly to human life.
This stream, running through such a noisome sink-hole, and itself polluted by the filth of the guards who washed and bathed in it, and which like a sewer carried on its slowly moving surface a mantle of grease and sour refuse from the cook-houses, was the only source of water supply for the prisoners except from a few shallow wells and springs.
Inside the stockade some twenty feet, was the dead-line, beyond which death came instantly to the ignorant prisoners newly incarcerated, the demented as he staggered about, the thirsty who but reached beyond it to secure a cup of somewhat less vitiated water,