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[133]

Every one who failed to draw a lucky number, wanted to exchange places with some one whose name had been called to go, and many exchanges were made, some giving money, some watches and other articles for the privilege of going. In one case as much as $250 was paid for the privilege, and in some instances exchanges were made from motives and humanity. The officers purchasing these supposed privileges, assumed and answered to the names of their vendors when the final roll was called on leaving the prison, and while quite a number of these exchanges were made, none of them were detected by the Federal officers in charge.

I was one of the 600 selected, and felt very happy at the thought of an early exchange, and refused positively to barter my chance or to exchange with any one.

Poor, deluded fellows, little did they dream of the troubles and hardships in store for them.

About the middle of August, probably the 16th day, notice was given to prepare for the voyage. Everything in the prison was bustle and confusion, but preparation was easily made, as the officers had but little clothing other than that on their person. Everything being in readiness, the 600 passed out of the gate of the prison pen and were formed in two ranks on the outside. Ranks were opened, and what luggage the officers had and their clothing were thoroughly searched as a measure of precaution to prevent the carrying aboard the vessel contrabrand articles. The inspection being complete, we were marched to the wharf, where we found the steamer, Crescent City, ready for our reception and entertainment, such as it was. When the head of the column passed the gang-way, to our utter astonishment, the guards directed us to pass down a ladder leading from the hatchway into the hold of the vessel, instead of allowing us to go on deck, as we reasonably expected they would. This hold, or hole, was below the water-line, without light, and very imperfectly ventilated from above. Lines of shelves about two feet wide, projecting from the walls of the vessel, from the bottom to the floor above, and running around the entire space allotted to us, one above the other, at a distance hardly sufficient to allow a man lying down to turn over, served as our berths or bunks, which were occupied by the officers lying head to foot. No seats were furnished, and the space, other than that taken up by the bunks, hardly afforded comfortable standing room for the 600. We were guarded by onehun-dred-day, ‘100 day,’ soldiers, who had never seen service at the front, and who were devoid of the fellow feeling that characterizes


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