One day we had a rich treat.
The adjutant of an Ohio regiment wrote a song called “Sherman
's march to the sea,” Major Isitt
and Lieutenant Rockwell
arranged the music, and one night the glee club sang it from the steps of the hospital.
The boys went wild over it, and even the rebels could not fail to appreciate it. We also organized the I. O. of M. E. (Independent Order of Mush Eaters), and met in house No. 9.
It was not a charitable organization, as we had no charity for any one.
Our meetings were opened by the prisoners forming a circle, one man in the centre with a stick.
He must do something for the entertainment of the brothers, then give the stick to another, who must do the same, and so on, until all had done their part.
We brought out some fine talent, and were the liveliest crowd in prison.
Often we would go out and catch some fellow, who was despondent and nearly dead with the blues, bring him before the Grand Mogul
and try him for some offence by court-martial.
While he would get mad, kick and swear, it revived him, gave us lots of fun, and as we elected him a Mush Eater, it gave him a chance to enjoy the meetings.
I remember one lieutenant of an Illinois regiment who had dug a hole in the ground and declared that he would not come out, but would die there.
One night he came out, was tried and sentenced to be marched around the camp.
The sentence was duly executed, the comb band playing the “Rogue's march.”
He began to improve after that, attended the meetings regularly, and, I believe, was elected to the office of Deputy High Grand M. E. We undertook to capture a captain of a Tennessee regiment, called “Puddinghead Hayes
,” but, as he could whip any two of us, we let him alone.