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[194] each. On a table under the chart was a large book, in which were enrolled alphabetically the names of the dead corresponding with the chart, and the name, company, regiment, and date of death. Mr. Abbott being busy, Mr. Ker said he would point out the graves, which was only a short distance. In going through the cemetery I pictured in my mind the graves grown over with briars, weeds and thistles. Imagine my surprise on beholding such a nice green, grassy spot. Not a weed to be seen! With only a narrow path dividing, sleep the boys who wore the blue, and the only difference in the graves were the marble slabs of the blue, where our wooden head boards had all rotted away. I thought Mr. Abbott gave special care to our graves, knowing there were no hands to care for them. As I stood by the graves of our fallen heroes, memory went back to the mothers of those boys, who have nearly all passed over the river. I thought of their widows, daughters and sisters, now the Daughters of the Confederacy, and I thought how futile would be your efforts to mark in marble the names of our dead. It can only be done by the general government.

Old prison site.

I went from the cemetery over to the old prison site, near the Chemung river. Your city had so encroached upon it I could not have identified it, but for the northeast and southwest stones, erected by Baldwin Post, in 1900. I reached Elmira prison August 2, 1864, and left July 8, 1865. I had charge of Ward 36, which contained some 300 prisoners. Where my ward stood now stands the city pumping station, and the camp fronting on the street is filled with residences. Near where the old cook-house was is now a large nursery, and in front of the ice-houses is where the tents stood that contained the small-pox patients. I had the varioloid, and the doctor said I must go to the hospital. I thought first of the horrors over there, and next of the loss of my nice suit of jeans. After some six days sojourn there, with two of my bunkmates who died with confluent small-pox, I received orders to go take a bath. Away went my suit, and I was clad in the blue, with long frock coat. While I was admiring my uniform the sergeant took out his knife and commenced cutting off my skirt. “Hold on,” said I, “don't disfigure my uniform.” He replied: “Do you reckon I am going to leave you in this condition? You would walk out as one of our guards.”

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Charles Abbott (4)
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