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 Savannah (Georgia, United States) or search for Savannah (Georgia, United States) in all documents.

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l the sack along by one string, he keeping the end of the other to pull it back. A third man would take the dirt away in another sack, pants-leg or blouse-sleeve, and scatter it where it would not be noticed. A man could hardly get his breath in the tunnel; and owing to the sandy nature of the ground, there was always danger of caving in. It was hard to keep it secret, for there were men in the pen mean enough to tell the rebels of any such attempt. There was a fellow (he died at Savannah) who wore a large T on his forehead. He informed on a tunnel company when they were nearly through, and they made the T with a hot railroad spike. After that, when a sneak reported on his fellow-prisoners, the rebs took him out of the pen, and we saw him no more. If all these dangers and difficulties were surmounted, and the tunnel was opened, the rebs would find the hole the next day, and start the bloodhounds from it. Oh, those hounds! How we dreaded them! Let the beast's once
tight board fence on three sides of it; on the fourth ran the Ocmulgee river. The guards walked around inside of the fence, and along the river bank. Tom conceived the idea of slipping past the guard on the bank, getting down to the water, and quietly swimming and floating with the current out of town. We tried to do it, but the guard was too vigilant, and we had to give it up after narrowly escaping being shot. The next morning we were again put on the flat cars, and started toward Savannah. Riding on those open flat cars gave us a good chance to see the country, and we made close observations, even counting the streams we crossed. The country was very flat, large swamps were abundant — it looked as if fully half the land was swampy. We saw but few clearings or other indications of an inhabited country. We did not think we could get through such a country by night, but it looked as though there would not be much danger in daylight. About three o'clock we came to Mille
for wherever there was a weak or sick man in the squad, he was unceremoniously crowded out by a stronger man of another hundred. No man said, by your leave. It was a grand illustration of the survival of the fittest. Selfishness ruled supreme. Groans, curses and blows mingled, as men struggled to keep in place, or crowded to find one by displacing some one else. Since Oats has turned preacher, and is trying to walk in the path of peace, I think I had better not tell in what part of the column he went out. We were loaded on trains, and run down to Millen Junction, where we remained closely guarded until after midnight. We tried to find out from the guard our destination, but they either did not know or would not tell. After a weary delay they pulled out on the Savannah road, and ran at unusual speed — for a freight train-or thirty or forty miles, when they stopped and went into a sidetrack at a station, in the midst of a dreary, swampy flat, where we remained until daylight
parks. And the monotony of the forest was broken by the frequent sight of live oak, palmetto and other Southern trees, till, late in the afternoon, we ran into Savannah. Savannah has been called a beautiful city. I don't know much about it, but what I saw did not impress me favorably. One thing I do know — I could find betSavannah has been called a beautiful city. I don't know much about it, but what I saw did not impress me favorably. One thing I do know — I could find better hotel accommodations even in Chicago, than were furnished me by the C. S. Government. We were corralled on some vacant lots, in the southern part of the city-almost out of town. Some of the boys escaped the guard and went into town, but they were caught and brought back the next day. They then loaded us on the cars — that had been kept ready for us all this time-and crossed the Ogeechee, a river that empties into the Atlantic a short distance south of Savannah. This river meanders with sluggish current through vast marshes almost anywhere six or eight miles wide, and its broad, flat bottoms make the best rice-producing lands in Georgia. Imme<
nd wounded prisoners was ordered to take place immediately, and that two thousand were to be taken from our pen. This news threw us into a fever of excitement; and when, two days later they began to take out the number, the law of self-preservation brought out the worst elements of human nature. Sick men, whose lives depended on their getting out, were cheated out of their chance, and some of the stoutest and heartiest men there feigned sickness and wounds and got away. They were taken to Savannah, where a part of them were exchanged about the middle of December. The remainder were sent back in a few days. One evening, just at dark about a thousand of us broke guard, and took to the woods. We thought to try to find the Atlantic coast, but we were soon caught and brought back. The enterprise failed so completely that it is scarcely worth the mention. I was one of those who tried it. All the comfort we had was the satisfaction of making the Johnnies rattle around lively to ove
s 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 captured, and gave us a history of
was turned around and hitched to the other end of our train, and by eight o'clock we were steaming away down the same road we came up the night before. What did they mean-taking us back to Andersonville? About two or three o'clock P. M. we passed Andersonville, and from the cars we took our last look at that pen of woe. They took us to Albany — to Thomasville, over the same route that we came in December. Where are we going? The rebs told us that they were taking us around that way to Savannah, to exchange us-but, as usual, they lied. They took us eastward from Thomasville to a junction, the name of which I have forgotten. There we took another road, and ran southward till we struck the Jacksonville & Tallehasse railroad, thence eastward again till we reached Lake City, Florida. In sight of the railroad, about four miles east of Lake City, on an island-or more properly, a peninsula — in a vast cypress swamp, we were corralled for the last time. Our prison was a palmet