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[146]

Lieutenant Peter Akers, of Lynchburg, Va., was the star of the company, and his ceaseless flow of spirit, his wit, humor, and inexhaustible fund of anecdotes added immensely to the character and enjoyment of the exhibitions, and he did more, probably, to give life, spirit, and success to the laudable enterprise than any man in the prison, and for his noble efforts in this behalf, Pete has and deserves the gratitude of his fellow sufferers.

Notwithstanding the war terminated in April, 1865, the prisoners were held for many months thereafter. The private soldiers and company officers were released in May and June, 1865. The field officers were not released until July 25th. But after the release of the other prisoners, they were paroled by General Schoepf, and given the privilege of the island, and a building outside of the prison pen which had been occupied by the officers of the garrison, was assigned to us as quarters. In addition to the rations furnished us, we were allowed to purchase supplies. We appointed Major McDonald, of North Carolina, commissary. He was allowed to go over the river to New Castle, Del., every day, to purchase supplies. Money and clothing, in abundance, was sent us from Baltimore and New York, and our citizen friends were permitted to land on the island and visit our quarters. We spent our time in fishing, bathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, &c., &c., and we were as pleasantly situated as possible under the circumstances. General Schoepf threw off all restraint and became very sociable, visiting our quarters every day, and often entertaining some of us at his home.

Released on the 25th day of July, I reached my family at Abingdon, Va., on the 2d day of August, 1865.

This narrative, written from memory, more than twenty-seven years after the occurrence of the incidents mentioned, is not intended to revive or keep alive the animosities engendered by the Sections; on the contrary, it is written in the interest of history, and when all the facts connected with the imprisonment of the 600 on Morris Island and at Fort Pulaski are made public, they will constitute, it is believed, the blackest page in the prison history of the United States.

A. Fulkerson. Bristol, Va., April 18, 1892.

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