Next our guards.
As already stated, they were negroes who took particular delight in showing their former masters that ‘the bottom rail was on top.’
On one occasion one of the North Carolina
men, who have a habit, which is shared by our Virginia
country cousins, in whittling every wooden object they come across, was enjoying this sport on the prison gate, when one of the colored soldiers snot him down, nearly blowing his head off. This created some little excitement, but what the result was I never learned.
During the day we had access to the sink built on piles in the bay, but at night the gates were closed, and boxes were placed in the lower part of the camp, to which the men were allowed to go at all hours of the night.
There were hundreds of sick in camp, cases of violent diarrhea, reducing the men to skeletons.
As these men were compelled to frequent these boxes, the negroes would often compel them at the point of the bayonet to march around in double quick time, to carry them on their backs, to kneel and pray for Abe Lincoln
, and forced them to submit to a variety of their brutal jokes, some of which decency would not permit me to mention.