previous next
[37] and he was taken by the rebels from the hands of our men more dead than alive. He never came inside again.

Several of these tunnels caved in upon the men when in them, and numbers were killed; although many got out this way, few escaped to our lines. Wirtz kept a large pack of bloodhounds, which tracked our boys ere they could get far. When caught, they were kept outside in what was called the chain gang. Their wrists would all be chained together, and each dragged a ball and chain; when one went they all went, and all took step together; few survived the treatment long.

Andersonville was composed of two long, sloping hills; at the very foot of these, and in the centre of the camp, was a brook. When we entered, scraggy trees and poisonous vines completely filled the brook, and it could be called nothing but a bog; but in time, as the woods grew scarce, the men dug out these trees, vines, and even the small roots, several feet under ground, and after much work made a canal of it, about twenty feet wide, and in dry time about six inches deep. The brigade of rebels who guarded us were in camp just outside the stockade, on a hill sloping down to this brook. They washed all their clothes and bathed in it, and we were obliged to drink the dirty water; it produced a great deal of sickness and death. The men protested to Wirtz, but in vain; and it was a common remark of the rebels to us that, the more they could kill in this and other ways, the less they would have to feed and fight. Often at roll-call many of the men were so sick and weak that they could not stand, and would sit on the ground, and often have I seen that beast Wirtz walk up and kick them like dogs. Wirtz always wore a belt; in it he carried two large revolvers. Once when I was sick and had eaten nothing for several days, one morning at roll-call, it being very warm, I was unable to stand, and sat in the rank. Wirtz came up near me, and, drawing a revolver from his belt, said: ‘If that Yank don't stand up in the rank, I'll put fire to him.’ The men on each side of me quickly raised me up and held me until Wirtz passed out. As time passed on, the rations grew small. The more prisoners, the worse the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wirtz (6)
Yank (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: