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Browsing named entities in Sergeant Oats, Prison Life in Dixie: giving a short history of the inhuman and barbarous treatment of our soldiers by rebel authorities. You can also browse the collection for Sherman or search for Sherman in all documents.

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Chapter 1: the raid. Sherman in front of Atlanta. the raid. sleepy guards. pontoon boats. rebel camp Surrenders. in the enemy's land. Palmetto in Ashes. a running fight While Sherman's army lay in front of Atlanta, he determined to send his cavalry on a raid to the enemy's rear, to destroy their railroad communication. So, on July 27th, 1864, General Stoneman moved eastward to pass around the flank of the rebel army, and General Ed. McCook, at the same time, started to Sherman's army lay in front of Atlanta, he determined to send his cavalry on a raid to the enemy's rear, to destroy their railroad communication. So, on July 27th, 1864, General Stoneman moved eastward to pass around the flank of the rebel army, and General Ed. McCook, at the same time, started to pass around the left. McCook's command numbered about 2,000 men, well mounted and equipped, of which the writer was one. We all knew the nature of the mission on which we were sent, and felt that it was difficult. For it is not easy for two thousand men to go behind a hostile army of sixty thousand, and do any damage, andget back. Early on that bright, hot July morning, the bugle called us into line — an inspection was made, and all lame horses or sick men ordered back to camp. W
or five hundred of our comrades already in. Our greetings were not joyous, the usual form being, What? You, too! I was in hopes you had escaped. They kept adding to our numbers till night, and by that time a majority of the command that left Sherman's lines four days before was in the hands of the enemy. And what added to the bitterness of our capture was that we felt that it was due to the incompetence of our leader. They kept us at Newman that night and the next day while they mended the railroad at Palmetto. As soon as they could get a train through they moved us to East Point, a junction only six miles from Atlanta. Here we lay one night and day, in hearing of Sherman's guns. From there we were taken to Andersonville, arriving there about noon, August 26. Andersonville is a small town on the Macon & S. W. R. R. At that time it did not contain over a dozen houses, and most of these were poor shanties. There were only two or three respectable residences. There wa
filled with blues and despondency. But if he read an Atlanta paper, that told of a victory in Sherman's department, the Western soldier, in tones of perfect contempt for the whole Confederacy: answas that the Eastern army had been whipped so often that they had learned to expect it; while in Sherman's army, to fight and to whip were synonymous. Once in a while we got a fragment of news frooops had been full of feverish excitement. That long ago we had read in the Atlanta paper that Sherman had raised the siege, and had fallen back across the Chattahoochee. Every day we begged for more news. The Quartermaster told us that their picket's had been advanced to the river, and Sherman was certainly gone. Scouts had been across, and reported no large body of troops this side of the Kenesaw mountains, and Sherman was doubtless in full retreat on Chattanooga. What could it mean? The rebels evidently believed it, and were rejoicing; we didn't-we wouldn't. Still, we were excited;
ner in which they spoke of the prowess of their armies, and the skill of their generals, soon aroused my combativeness and put me at my ease. Their greatest boast was the skill of General Hood. He had flanked the flanker; he had gone around Sherman; had got between him and his best general (Thomas), and could now strike either way. Sherman's only chance of escape would be to break up his army into small divisions and go out through East Tennessee. To one who remembers the campaign of 1864Sherman's only chance of escape would be to break up his army into small divisions and go out through East Tennessee. To one who remembers the campaign of 1864, in which Thomas fell back before Hood till he got everything ready, and then utterly crushed the life out of his army, this boasting has its moral. Of course Tom and I entered into the discussion-much of it was addressed to us. They charged many hard things against the U. S. Government. Some of them we denied, some we could defend, and some we couldn't. They said we could never whip them in the world. We said the United States would govern the country or make a wilderness of it, a
t to die in that way-then. A new guard, one man, was detailed to take us on to Geneva. He drove us before him down the road. We were very tired and weak. We begged him to let us rest; but he was in a hurry. Finally, a man in a spring-wagon overtook us, and the guard had him haul us. He was a kind man, and the first Southerner we had found who thought there was any possibility of Hood having made a mistake in his campaign. He freely admitted that he did not see the wisdom of leaving Sherman in Atlanta with sixty thousand men, and not even a decent skirmish line between him and the heart of Georgia. They were fools if they thought he would stay where they wanted him to, till Hood got ready to come back and whip him! Ah! how Tom and I enjoyed this chat. It was more delicious than nectar. It would beat sorghum juice! Geneva is a town on the Macon & Columbus railroad. Our friend with the buggy took us to the depot, and as he left, gave us two dollars (Confed.) a pie
Chapter 17: life on the railroad. Life on the rail road. the blues. great excitement. Sherman loose in Georgia. swamps. a country Residence. poor white Trash. a citizen The next day we rolled along over what seemed to be a great, monotonous plain, as wide and as flat as the broad prairies of Northeastern Ilock and negroes. The passenger trains were crowded, till every platform was full of men. All seemed excited and uneasy. We begged a daily paper, and found that Sherman was loose in Georgia. Then we got excited. That explained our removal from Camp Lawton. We asked every one that passed, Where's Sherman? He was then in thever to be forgotten. It was played and sung in every conquered city of the South. Every prison heard its melody. We were full of hope. We thought that when Sherman got through to the coast he would send his cavalry and release us. The night before, we were sad and cast down because of the vast swamps that lay between us and
d built huts and fires. There is no apology for not letting us do so. Hundreds chilled to death for want of them. They were mur-dered-brutally, in cold blood! Once in a while we would have a clear day, and we would dry our clothes and blankets, take down our tents, and let the sun dry the sand on which we slept, pull off our clothes and kill the vermin on themand feel comparatively comfortable and happy. About the first of January a few prisoners were brought in, who told us that Sherman had reached the sea, at Savannah, and had turned northward into Carolina. So the last lingering hope that he would rescue us died within us. A few days later a squad of prisoners came in from the western division of the army, and brought the news of the battle of Nashville, and told us how Pap Thomas had utterly crushed Hood's army. Among these prisoners, was one called Old beard --a nomme de querre-of my own regiment. He brought us much news from our comrades who escaped when we were ca
such sheds. True. And yet they were a blessing to a number of wretched prisoners who were almost naked, and had there been more of them, and had they been built in the fall, they would have saved many lives. Thus the winter wore away. March came; and looking over the stockade toward the forest, we could see the burst buds and tender leaves, telling of springtime and a new year. We heard no news from the war, in which we were so intensely interested. What was Grant doing? Where was Sherman? What had become of Thomas since his victory at Nashville? These questions were often asked-but as they were never answered, to ask them only intensified our sadness. But the great question — the one that took precedence over all others, was: Why don't our Government exchange prisoners and get us out? It was a hard strain on our patriotism to feel that we were neglected by our own Government. For we believed then, as we learned certainly afterward, that we could have been exchan
uld take us to Jacksonville — which was in possession of the Yanks. This is the substance of his speech, although he embellished it with much boasting and many oaths. The whole speech was a lie. He was included in Johnson's surrender to Sherman, and was then under orders to go to Tallehasse to turn over his arms to the United States authorities. This we learned after we got out. After this speech the guard opened ranks, and we marched out. Good-bye, Johnnies! Good-bye, Yanks! --w were probably three hundred of us together, forming the head of our column. While we were resting we asked the officer of the guard for news, and he told us that Richmond had fallen,--that Lee had surrendered,--that Johnson had surrendered to Sherman,--that the Confederacy had gone to staves, and that Lincoln was dead! It is no use trying to describe the effect of this news on men in our condition. My readers would not understand it-language is too feeble. We did not need rest after