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Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 3.17
roled them not to bear arms till regularly exchanged, to deliver them unconditionally, simply taking a receipt on descriptive rolls of the men thus turned over. In pursuance of this determination, and as soon as the necessary arrangements could be made, a detachment of about 1,500 men, made up from the two prisons, was sent to Jackson, Mississippi, by rail and delivered to their friends. General Dick Taylor at that time commanded the department through which these prisoners were sent to Jackson, and objected to any more being sent that way, on the ground that they would pick up information on the route detrimental to our military interests. The only remaining available outlet was at Saint Augustine, Florida, Sherman having destroyed railway communication with Savannah. Finding that the prisoners could be sent from Andersonville by rail to the Chattahoochie, thence down that river to Florida, near Quincy, and from Quincy by rail to Jacksonville, within a day's march of Saint Augu
artment then did not exceed 8,000 or 9,000--the great majority, about 7,500, being at Andersonville. Before I received Colonel Bondurant's report, General Winder died, when, having no superior in command, I reported directly to the Secretary of War at Richmond. Communication with the War Office was at that period very slow and difficult. Great military operations were in progress. General Sherman was moving through the Carolinas. The Federal cavalry under Kilpatrick with Sherman, and Stoneman co-operating from Tennessee, almost suspended mail facilities between Georgia and Virginia, and the telegraph was almost impracticable, because the line was taxed almost to its capacity in connection with active military operations. After the death of General Winder, I made repeated efforts to establish communication with the Secretary of War, and with Commissioner Ould, and obtain some instructions in regard to the prisons and prisoners under my charge. All these efforts failed, at least
Robert Ould (search for this): chapter 3.17
cessarily incident to a state of war between contending Christian powers. I now proceed to give you a simple historical narrative of facts within my personal knowledge, that I believe have never been published, although at the request of Judge Robert Ould, of this city, who was the Confederate Commissioner for the Exchange of Prisoners, I wrote them out in 1866, and furnished the Ms. to a reporter of the New York Herald. But the statement never appeared in that journal, for the reason assiglmost impracticable, because the line was taxed almost to its capacity in connection with active military operations. After the death of General Winder, I made repeated efforts to establish communication with the Secretary of War, and with Commissioner Ould, and obtain some instructions in regard to the prisons and prisoners under my charge. All these efforts failed, at least I received no reply by wire, mail or messenger to any of my inquiries. A newspaper fell into my hands in which, as an
d the department through which these prisoners were sent to Jackson, and objected to any more being sent that way, on the ground that they would pick up information on the route detrimental to our military interests. The only remaining available outlet was at Saint Augustine, Florida, Sherman having destroyed railway communication with Savannah. Finding that the prisoners could be sent from Andersonville by rail to the Chattahoochie, thence down that river to Florida, near Quincy, and from Quincy by rail to Jacksonville, within a day's march of Saint Augustine, it was resolved to open communication with the Federal commander at the latter place. With that view, somewhere about the middle of March, Captain Rutherford, an intelligent and energetic officer, was sent to Saint Augustine. A few days after his departure for Florida, he telegraphed from Jacksonville, Send on the prisoners. He had, as he subsequently reported, arranged with the Federal authorities to receive them. At once
A. M. Aiken (search for this): chapter 3.17
to detail events in consecutive order, and approximately to assign each to its proper date. A few days after receiving my orders from General Winder, I reached Aiken, and visited Augusta, Georgia, and established an office there in charge of a staff officer, Lieutenant George W. McPhail, for prompt and convenient communication prisons in my department, with instructions to report fully on their condition and management. Whilst Colonel Bondurant was on this service, I was forced to quit Aiken by the approach of Kilpatrick's cavalry, moving on the flank of Sherman's army. A detachment of this cavalry reached Aiken within four hours after I left it. I thAiken within four hours after I left it. I then made Augusta my permanent headquarters, residing, however, a few miles out on the Georgia railroad at Berzelia. Colonel Bondurant promptly discharged the duty assigned to him, and on the state of facts presented in his reports, I resolved to keep up but two prisons, the one at Andersonville and the other at Eufaula. I did this
the food question, and found that no discrimination was made in the issue of rations to guards and prisoners. In quantity, quality and kind the daily supply was exactly the same, man for man. It is true it was very scanty, consisting of a third or half a pound of meat a day, and usually a pint or pint and a half of corn meal, with salt. Occasionally there were small supplies of wheat flour, and sometimes a very few potatoes, but they were rarely to be had. Other vegetables we had none. General Lee's army in Virginia lived but little if any better. The food was sound and wholesome, but meagre in quantity, and not such in kind and variety as Federal soldiers had been accustomed to draw from their abundant commissariat. Our soldiers did very well on hog and hominy, and rarely complained. The Federals thought it horrible to have nothing else, and but a scanty supply of this simple food. Great scoundrelism was detected amongst the prisoners in cheating each other. They were organiz
William T. Sherman (search for this): chapter 3.17
thorities after the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston to General Sherman; but for all essential purposes my memory enables me to detailen by the approach of Kilpatrick's cavalry, moving on the flank of Sherman's army. A detachment of this cavalry reached Aiken within four how and difficult. Great military operations were in progress. General Sherman was moving through the Carolinas. The Federal cavalry under Kilpatrick with Sherman, and Stoneman co-operating from Tennessee, almost suspended mail facilities between Georgia and Virginia, and the telee country roads through the desolated belt of country traversed by Sherman's army, in its march through Georgia, for a distance of over sevene only remaining available outlet was at Saint Augustine, Florida, Sherman having destroyed railway communication with Savannah. Finding thaat Macon, and in a short time the surrender of General Johnston to Sherman, embracing all that section of country, the Confederate prisons ce
Henry Wilson (search for this): chapter 3.17
many declaring their readiness to renounce allegiance to it and take up arms with us. The old routine was resumed at Andersonville, but it was not destined to continue long. Before any further communication reached me from Saint Augustine, General Wilson, with a large body of cavalry, approached Georgia from the West. It was evident that his first objective point was Andersonville. Again conferring with Generals Cobb and Pillow, and finding we were powerless to prevent Wilson's reaching AndWilson's reaching Andersonville, where he would release the prisoners and capture all our officers and troops there,it was decided without hesitation again to send the prisoners to Jacksonville and turn them loose, to make the best of their way to their friends at Saint Augustine. This was accomplished in. a few days, the post at Andersonville was broken up, the Georgia State troops were sent to General Cobb at Macon, and in a short time the surrender of General Johnston to Sherman, embracing all that section of co
Jefferson Davis (search for this): chapter 3.17
and begged me to tell them whether there was any hope of release by an exchange of prisoners. Some time before that President Davis had permitted three of the Andersonville prisoners to go to Washington to try and change the determination of their have reason to believe that every man of them felt himself my friend rather than an enemy. It has been charged that Mr. Davis, as President of the Confederate States, was responsible for the sufferings of prisoners held in the South. During my disagreeable branch of Confederate military service, no communication direct or indirect, was ever received by me from Mr. Davis, and, so far as I remember, the records of the prison contained nothing to implicate him in any way with its management to the causes of complaint on the part of prisoners, and even where these were well founded, I am at a loss to see how Mr. Davis is to be held responsible before the world for their existence, till it is proved that he knew of them and failed to re
Robert E. Lee (search for this): chapter 3.17
, so impaired my physical condition that I was incapable of performing efficiently the arduous duties of my position as a cavalry officer on active service in the mountains of Virginia, and therefore I applied to the Confederate War Office for assignment to some light duty farther south till the milder weather of the ensuing spring would enable me to take my place at the head of the brave and hardy mountaineers of the Valley and western counties of Virginia I had the honor to command. General R. E. Lee kindly urged my application in person, and procured an order directing me to report to Brigadier-General J. H. Winder, then Commissary of Prisoners, whose headquarters were at Columbia, South Carolina. I left my camp in the Shenandoah Valley late in December, 1864, and reached Columbia, I think, on the 6th of January, 1865. General Winder immediately ordered me to the command of all the prisons west of the Savannah river, with leave to establish my temporary headquarters at Aiken, Sou
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