or the desperate to whom the life was no longer endurable and who desired their end.
This pen, with all its misery, its despair and mingled hope endured for months, has been thus described:—
‘It would seem as if the concentrated madness of earth and hell had found its final lodgment in the breasts of those who inaugurated the rebellion and controlled the policy of the Confederate government, and that the prison of Andersonville had been selected for the most terrible human sacrifice which the world had ever seen.
Into its narrow walls were crowded thirty-five thousand enlisted men, many of them the bravest and best, the most devoted and heroic of the grand armies which carried the flag of their country to final victory.
For long and weary months here they suffered, maddened, were murdered, and died.
Here they lingered unsheltered from the burning rays of a tropical sun by day, and drenching and deadly dews by night, in every stage of mental and physical disease, hungered, emaciated, starving, maddened, festering with unhealed wounds; gnawed by the ravages of scurvy and gangrene, with swollen limbs and distorted visage; covered with vermin which they had no power to extirpate; exposed to the flooding rains, which drove them drowning from the miserable holes in which, like swine, they burrowed; parched with thirst, and mad with hunger; racked with pain or prostrated with the weakness of dissolution; with naked limbs and matted hair; filthy with smoke and mud, soiled with the very excrement from which their weakness would not permit them to es cape; eaten by the gnawing worms which their own wounds had engendered; with no bed but the earth, no covering save the cloud or sky. And these men, these heroes, born in the image of God, thus crouching and writhing in their terrible torture, a loathsome, horrible sight, the mutilated victims of a cool and calculating barbarity, stand forth in history as a monument of the surpassing horrors of Andersonville, as it shall be seen and read in all future time, realizing in the studied torments of their prison-house the ideal of Dante's Inferno and Milton's Hell.’
Warren Lee Goss
2d Mass. Heavy Artillery, gave evidence regarding the colored prisoners to the committee, saying,—
Scarcely any of them but were victims of atrocious amputations performed by rebel surgeons.
It was said that none of the prisoners were captured except the wounded.
Those in the prison were mostly New England men. Some of them had been captured . . . at the battle of Olustee, Florida.
I observed in the negro prisoners a commendable trait of cleanliness.
Indeed, I may safely say their clothes were, on an average,