A counter move.
The Confederates were told at the time, this was a counter move on the military chess-board, by the Federal Government, for alleged ill-treatment of Andersonville prisoners, said to be confined in the lower portion of Charleston, to prevent that part of it from being destroyed by the heavy seige guns in Gregg and Wagner, that were firing on Charleston night and day, having a powerful auxiliary in the Swamp Angel, the nearest gun to Charleston. At the expiration of forty-five days, the prisoners placed under fire, were removed and put on board a steamer and sent to Fort Pulaski. Here the retaliation was continued, causing many deaths. The fort being somewhat crowded, a portion of the prisoners were sent to Hilton Head. Here as elsewhere, there was great suffering. Being immediately on the coast, the atmosphere was very damp and cold; rats and cats were killed in great numbers, and consumed by the starving Confederates. In war, a real soldier gives hard blows and expects the same in return; but it looks a little inhospitable to see one's adversary, with his knapsack full, and with no inclination to divide rations. A soldier can eat almost anything when he gets in a real tight place. The historian says that in the memorable retreat from Moscow, the King of Naples, when driven by hunger, enjoyed cat and horse flesh, so it was with the suffering Confederates sent to Morris Island. They did not hesitate to devour everything that came within their reach—cats, dogs, rats, etc. I cannot at this late day recall all the incidents connected with this distressing and protracted imprisonment, but I will mention one. The writer had on his person a finger ring and a $50 Confederate note. The two were sold for $10 and put in sutler stores, which were purchased at most exhorbitant prices. Sergeant Lennox, who belonged to the 54th Massachusetts regiment, which guarded the Confederates, and whose home was in Boston, was very kind to the writer. With this money Lennox bought bread, molasses and many other things. This he had to do in a most surreptitious manner, for it was a violation of orders, and had it been known, Lennox would have been severely punished. The 54th regiment was composed wholly of colored men, with the exception of the officers. The writer thinks that it was commanded by Colonel Hallowell, of Philadelphia. Immediately after the war the writer knew a number who had gone through this trying ordeal, as follows: Captain Jones R. Christian  and Jesse Child, of Richmond, and Captain Henry St. George Coalter and Captain Darracott, of Hanover county. These have responded to the last roll-call, and those who now survive are Lieutenant S. Horace Hawes, Captain DePriest, and the writer, of Richmond, and Captain Barnes, of Chase City, Captain W. C. Nunn, West Point, Va.Following are the Virginia members of the ‘Six Hundred:’