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Chapter 12: experiences in rebel prisons,--Libby, Macon.

We were hurried to the rear, the rebels relieving us of our hats, belts and other personal property as we went. Captain Hume had been a prisoner before and thought he understood the rules of civilized warfare. A rebel officer demanded my belt. Captain Hume said, “Don't give it to him, Jack. Private property is to be respected, and all he has a right to claim is your sword.” But the rebel was not so far advanced as this in his study of the articles of war, and turning on Hume, with his revolver and a volley of oaths, made him give up his belt. I gave him mine without more argument. Sergt. J. E. Hodgkins of Company K had received a nice little ounce hat from home. A big rebel standing near the battery on the hill saw it and, like a hawk after its prey, sailed for it, snatching it from his head and throwing him his old one, which would weigh five pounds.

This treatment was a surprise to us. Few regiments in the Army of the Potomac had captured more prisoners than the 19th, yet I never saw private property of any kind taken from a rebel or heard an ungentlemanly word spoken; on the contrary, had often seen the boys share their rations with them and in every way make them comfortable.

When well beyond the lines we were halted and took account of stock. We found that we numbered sixteen hundred men and sixty-seven commissioned officers.

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