SIX MONTHS OF
CAMP CHASE, OHIO,
W. H. Duff.
ORPHAN HELPER PRINT.
Lake Charles, La.
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1907.
By W. H. DUFF,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress Washington, D. C.
(All Rights Reserved.)
To The Heroes
THE LOST CAUSE
War of 1861-65
This Little Book
True history (and there should be no other) is of Life, of things and passing events in this world, from the beginning to the end: Past Present and Future; known and unknown to mankind. Some are brought to light and some buried in oblivion. Each page of this little book, is true history of the past, and tells something of the Lost Cause 1861-1865, and in part tells of the treatment of Confederate prisoners of war in confinement, and of the great odds the Confederates had to contend against. Also a list of Confederate dead from each of the Southern States, which is a sad page in the history of Camp Chase, Ohio.
Our lives in this world is a part of the true history of this world, and the lives that we live is a part of true history of the place or country where we live, let it be good or evil. The truth will be known and how much better and more pleasant for a good report to be made in civil and individual life. So it can be said in military life, and a soldiers life is a part of the true history of his country and the great conflicts that he took part in Truth is stranger than fiction and more interesting. The truth should be told at all times, but it often happens that the trials, sufferings and hardships of a soldiers life is overdrawn, when the truth makes it sad enough. And I have only tried to give the reader the truth as I saw or heard and understood it. The part that I took in the war of 1861-'65 is only an average of what the Confederatethe true American Soldier of the Sunny South (at that time) passed through.
There are some who passed through and saw more of hard service and trials than I did. Then there were others that did not undergo what I did, and I hope that what I have written will be read with interest and appreciated, as I have tried to give to them the truth. The horror and terror of prison life is one; being deprived of freedom and liberty, let that prison life be what it is, it may be of war or criminal or by quarantine or detention in some way; and you may have all the necessaries of life bestowed upon you by friends; but being deprived of liberty and freedom is a terror and a horror to anyone. It, at times works so hard on mind and body that the ones confined are not at themselves and is often missapplied for mistreatment. And to a large extent both North and South have stepped over the line of fairness, and have done great injustice in regard to treatment of prisoners of war, while it was bad enough to a large extent mistreatment has been enlarged upon; each trying to paint as black and hidious pictures as possibletrying to outstrip the other. Let us be fair and honest with each other and have the truth, and may the white winged dove of peace hover over our beloved country for all time.
W. H. DUFF
INTRODUCTION or TESTIMONY.
EXTENSION (FRANKLIN PARISH) LA.
To whom it may concern:
This is to certify that I, the undersigned, was Orderly (1st) Sergeant and that W. H. Duff was a Private and that we were both volunteers and members of Company I, 25th. Louisiana vol. C. S. A. and afterwards to Company B. 16th. and 25th La. Regts. Consolidated Army of Tenn. And the said Duff, though a mere boy at the time, was loved and respected by all the officers and men; on the march, in camp, in prison or on the battlefield, said Duff did his full duty as a true soldier in every respect and for the confidence the officers and men had in him he was often detailed on special duty, which at times was laborious, unpleasant and dangerous. And at the termination of hostilities, Duff and myself were honorable paroled prisoners of war, and as I am the only surviving Officer of Company I, 25th. La. vol. C. S. A. I now on the 30th. day of September 1905 take this method and opportunity as well as pleasure, in giving this, my testimony of the said W. H. Duff, my old companion in arms, as to his record as a true Confederate Soldier and that he was honorable and never shirked duty in camp or in battle or wherever duty placed him.
(Signed) J. C. HUMBLE.
Only Surviving Officer of Company I
TO THE LOST CAUSE.
Some day when all lifes lessons have been learned,
If we could push aside those bars of
And when by patient toil we reach the end.
The above poem was handed us by a commercial traveler at Shreveport, La., September 12, 1906.
TERRORS AND HORRORS OF PRISON LIFE, OR SIX MONTHS AT CAMP CHASE, OHIO,
In the great family quarrell or struggle between the States, known as the Civil War of 1861-1865, I cast my lot with the Confederatesthe true American soldier of that day and time. With a company of volunteers, composed of sturdy farmers from the parishes of Caldwell, Franklin and Catahoula, state of Louisiana, on or about the sixth day of April, 1862, I left my home and loved ones to take part in the great struggle. Our company officers were: D. Hugh Keenan, Captain; James Tatum, First Lieutenant; Thomas Watson, Second Lieutenant; George Bohanan, Third Lieutenant; J. C. Humble, First Seargent. Our Company was Company I, 25th La., Volunteers, with Fisk, Colonel; Lewis, Lieutenant-Colonel; Sacharie, Major.
Going direct to Corinth, Mississippi, and without any army disciplin whatever, we entered active service by going to the front on the skirmish line on the ninth day of May. Just one month after leaving home we fought the battle of Farmington and defeated the enemy. At Corinth many of our company died. After the evacuation of that place, we had a few weeks rest at Tupelo, Mississippi, then went by cars to Atlanta, via Mobile and Montgomery, to join Braggs army. With Bragg we went to Chattanooga, Tenneesee, where we went into camp near Raccoon mountain. After a rest of a few days we took up our line of march for the great Kentucky Campaign. This was the middle of August and on the fifth of September we entered the state of Kentucky. On the seventeenth, at Mumfordsville, we captured a union fort of 4,500 men. In age (18) I was a young man; in size and stature I was a mere child, and as the army moved on; being sick and unable to keep up, I fell behind, became a stragler and was captured by the enemies cavalry. I was now a prisoner of war, and with the Union army going towards Louisville, Kentucky. After going a few miles we were halted at a farmhouse by the wayside and paroled. Besides myself there were some five or six others, among whom were two of the same company to which I belonged: Ford and Dougherty by name.
Prisoners Parole of Honor.
Hardin County, Kentucky.
To whom it may concern:
That I, Wm. H. Duff, of Company I 25th La., Volunteers, C. S. A., being a paroled prisoner of war do solemnly swear or affirm that I will not take up arms against the United States of America or give any aid or comfort to her enemies until I am regularly exchanged by the proper authorities.
So help me God.
(Signed) W. H. DUFF
Sworn and subscribed to before me this, the 23rd day of September. A. D. 1862.
S. P. Love, Lieutenant
Approved, September 23rd 1862.
Major General, U. S. A.
N. B. Give this man rations and transportation as far as you can.
S. P, Love.
Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. A.
There was a Federal Major who assisted in writing the paroles, who gave me a half dollar saying: "Take this little fellow, it is all I have." At the same time the kind lady of the house laid her hand on my shoulder and said: "Little boy please let me see your parole. I showed it to her. After reading it she said: "You are from Louisianafar from home. You are too young and small to be in the army." She told me to be good and handed me a Sunday school book telling me to keep and read it; kissing me at the same time. Colonel Love told us to keep and honor our paroles, and that we were now free and could go. Would I ever meet him again?
Ford, Dougherty and myself agreed to stay together, and turned our steps homeward. We had eaten our last morsel the day before and after nightfall the day we were paroled we stopped at a house to try to get some food. We walked up to the gate in front of the house. A "yank" was sitting on his horse, two others were sitting on the rail fence, one on each side of the gate, while the man of the house was standing inside with his hands on the gate. We called out "Good evening gentlemen, we are paroled Confederate soldiers and are hungry and want something to eat." The man of the house said he had nothing to give us, and turned and went into the house. The remaining "yanks" asked where we were from. Telling them Louisiana, one of them said: "It is a dshame that a man so far from home and a prisoner of war, should be denied something to eat." He then rode off but soon came back and called to me, saying: "Here, Johnny, take this it is all I can get for you," and he handed me a shoulder of meat, saying that he could not get any hardtack. Then pointing down the road the way we were going he said: "Do you see that faint fire light? Well, there you will find a spring of water and three of our men are camped there. Go there and stay all night." Thanking this kind, big-hearted "yank", and bidding him farewell, we went to the spring and found three "yanks there without food. We divided our meat with them and stayed all night by a large rail fire which the "yanks" had made, Early next morning we started on our way, and met the Union army on its way to Louisville. Ford and Dougherty were on the west while I was on the east side of the road, with the Union Army between us. I saw that my companions had left the road and were going with a citizen toward a farm house. Then I crossed the road and sat down on a rock to await their return. A union officer noticed me and halted his horse, and asked me what I was doing there. I told him I was sitting on the rock to hold it down. He called to a file of soldiers in the ranks, and told them to take charge of me, and then speaking in severe tones, he demanded to know who and what I was. I told him that that was easy to do; that I was a paroled Confederate soldier. He then asked to see my parole. I told him my companion by the name of Ford had it in his pocket-book and that he, Ford, had gone to the farm-house which I pointed out. He then told the guards to guard me closely while he went to see if I told the truth. He rode hurriedly to the house and came back and said: "Guards, he is all right and you may go to your regiment". Then looking sternly at me, he said: "Young man let me give you a piece of good advice. You are youngI asked you a civil question, you answered me harshly and with contempt. Always speak kindly to every one especially when they wish you well. Now as to your parole; upon it depends much. You go at once with me and get it and keep it and do not part with it. You do not know how soon you may need it. You may meet with some one who will not have mercy." I thanked him and went and got my parole and kept it with me until I was exchanged.
Continuing on our journey we soon met the Union cavalry, and they began yelling and calling us names. One young fellow called to me, "Hello! Johnny, how are you?" I replied, "First rate, Bill, old boy; how are you and the folks at home?" There went up a yell from his comrades, saying, "Bill, the little "Johnny" has got you. Dry up and keep your mouth shut". It appears that I had called him by his right name for he said: "Dont that beat H".
Ford and myself were so feeble that Douherty left us. We two, agreeing not to seperate trudged on together. After passing through Bowling Green, Kentucky, we left the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike and went southwest. Late Saturday evening, September 27, 1862, when nine miles from Bowling Green, sick weary and footsore, we came to a stone house and were invited by the family to stop and remain over night with them. We readily accepted the invitation and were welcomed by the entire family. A widow lady, Mrs. Smith, who owned the place, lived there with her two grown sons; Ruben and Jonathan, and two grown daughters; Eliza and Nannie; also some younger sons and a daughter four years old. The father of Mrs. Smith, was also present. His name was Potts, and he was ninety-five years old. This aged gentleman was one of the pioneers of that part of Kentucky. With his own hands he had shaped the stones and built the house; and the date, 1822, was cut by him on a large stone high up in front of the house.
Sunday morning Ford had a very high fever. A Mrs. Christian and her son Matt, near by neighbors to Mrs. Smith agreed to take Ford and care for him, and the Smiths agreed to care for me, until we were well. Sick and destitute among strangers, we were taken in and our wants administered to for sixteen days. Then bidding those good people farewell, we started on our homeward journey. I often think of those kind friends and of my old Kentucky home that gave me shelter in days past and gone.
The picture of this home was sent me by Mr. Jonathan Smith, one of the sons of that home.
After a long and weary journey, we arrived safe in old Louisiana, about the first of December. Our stay was short for I was soon notified that I had been regularly exchanged, and was ordered back to my command. Separating from Ford on our arrival home, I have not seen him since. My term as a prisoner of war had come to an end. I started back to my command to take up arms for the Sunny South. I found my command at Tullahoma, Tennesee. The battles of Perryville, Kentucky, and Murfreesboro, Tenneesee, had been fought and there had been changes made the 16 and 25th Louisiana regiments had been consolidated and I now belonged to Company B, 16th and 25th Louisiana regiments consolidated, Dan Adams Brigade, Breckenridges division, army of Tennessee.
I was at the siege of Jackson Miss., battles of Chicamauga and Missionary Ridge, was then in Gibson, La. Brigade Stewarts Div. Army of Tennessee. Our Louisiana Brigade was stationed on Rock Face Ridge and defended the gap in battles of Resacca and New Hope Church, in fact at all points of note during that memorable 100 days campaign from Dalton to Atlanta.
In battles of Atlanta on the nights of July 20, 21-22nd moved to the left on 28th, fought the battle of Ezra Church first of Aug. took position below Utah Creek. Co. B. 16th and 25th La. was commanded by Captain Chas. Lewis Co. B. was detailed to go on duty on the skirmish lines at some unfinished redoubts, this was before the day of Aug. 5th '64. Capt. Lewis and Lieut. Col. R. H. Lindsey of 16th and 25th La. went to redoubts with us and placed us in position at different redoubts three and four men to a redoubt.
Our Company about thirty in number covered a front of 100 yards in our front the undergrowth had been cut down for entanglement to the enemy, Lindsey and Lewis told us to hurry and finish redoubts as every reason to believe that point would be heavily attacked that morning and if it was, never to give up that line, but if the enemy did take that redoubt to make them pay dearly for it, and for us only to give up redoubts when we were overpowered and then as prisoners of war go to Camp Chase Ohio or to some other northern prison saying as they left us "Lieut. P. would have charge of the Company while at redoubts."
On our left were men from the 16th La. There was a large gap between us, on our right were men from another command a large gap where the line on our left changed to a sharp angle, Lieutenant P., Sergeants Jno. McDonough and J. C. Humble, Private Phillips and myself were in some redoubt on the extreme left of the Company. It appears that the enemy under cover of darkness sometime during the night had crept under the brush close to the redoubts before our Company had gone on duty about 9 or 10 a. m., Phillips had taken our canteens and gone after water, saying as he left: "Lieutenant, if the Yanks should make an attack use my gun," the Lieutenant promised he would do so. About this time we discovered a yankee officer standing quartering to front of our redoubt with his arms folded across his breast, he was to all appearance calmly looking at our position but a shot from Humbles rifle laid him low, for he was a dead man, at the same moment we heard in our front the clear notes of a bugle sounding a charge, and with a yell, the enemy in heavy force two heavy lines of skirmishes and three lines of battle charging in our immediate front (Company B.) and at that time and place was one of the hardest fought battles on the skirmish line.
During the entire campaign Lieut. P. fired one shot with Phillips gun and then said, "boys this is too hot a place, I am going and you had better do the same, get away while you can." The Lieutenant was a brave man but he left us still fighting against odds and doing our duty.
Though at long range the men on our left, while they were not attacked did all they could to relieve us, for they opened a heavy enfilading fire into the enemies flank. How long the battle lasted or how many shots I had fired I do not know. While I was capping my gun to shoot again J. C. Humble caught my gun and called to me as he did so, "Duff lay down your gun and surrender look behind you." on looking back not 10 paces were about a dozen of the enemies with their guns leveled us telling us to surrender. This we did. Our Captors cursed us and called us names. Sons ofand told us to lie flat on the ground. Humble cursed them back telling them they were a set of durn cowards and not gentlemen that he did not take that from any man and for them to lay down their guns and that we would whip the whole bunch of them.
They begged pardon said we were brave and fought like hell. We were then taken back to their rear. Again I was a prisoner of war, this time obeying orders and doing my duty. About all of our company (B) 28 in all were taken prisoners.
With a heavy guard as we were passing back to the enemies rear a dandy looking yank came riding to meet us and calling out to our guard he said, damn them, you have got some of them, where did you get them"? One of our guards replied back to him. "We got them at the front fighting like men and doing their duty. Dam you, where you ought to be." We thanked our guards for their remarks in our behalf.
Further back we were halted where their reserve was I asked what troop it was, and was told it was the 11th Ky. Inf. I asked if Lieut. Col. Love was with them, and was told that Col. Love was in command of the regiment. They wanted to know what I knew about him. I asked to see him, then there went up a yell of, "Oh Col. Love here is a Johnnie Reb that wants to see you." Soon Col. Love came and asked what was wanted. I recognized him at once and asked him if he was the Col. Love that was paroling officer in Kentucky when Bragg made his campaign through that state, he said he was. I told him that he had paroled me with others near Red Mills in Hardin county. He said that he had paroled many but that he did not recollect names or faces and extending his hand he gave me a hearty hand-shake saying, "young man I hope you have honored your parole like a man" I told him I had, well said he "you have fought your last battle and fired your last gun in the war and I fear that you will not fare well" I asked why, he told me that there would be no more exchange of prisoners, that the United States government would not sanction it and that I would go to prison and be confined until the close of the war.
Col. Love suddenly stopped talking and saluting as he did so a horseman that rode up saying, "Well Doctor we captured those redoubts all the same, "Yes Colonel, replied the Doctor we captured them but they cost us dear fifty ambulances full of dead and wounded, and we captured only a handful of prisoners, they were protected by strong redoubts, and fought like devils and put in their work well, besides we cannot hold that point.
Col. Love gave a low whistle and exclaimed, "you dont say so Doctor that is awful."
Our guard had us to fall into line and took us farther back to the rear where there was no troop. Soon they drew their ration and divided with us, they were real clever men.
It has been my good fortune now after many years to see Genl Shermans report of the 5th day of August 1864 and as it is the same affair that I have written about I will here give you the Generals report on same.
He (Sherman) says General Reillys brigade of General Coxs division General Schofield army on the 5th of August tried to break through the enemys line about a mile below Utah Creek but failed to carry the position losing about 400 men who were caught in the entanglements and abattis.
About the time that we had stopped at the last mentioned place a few more of our company who were on extreme right and had been captured were brought to where we were. They told us that as soon as the attack was made the support on their right had, after firing one volley retreated and that the enemy having taken these redoubts without any opposition, the enemy then passed down the rear of our company while we were engaged in our front.
Our first guards were very good and kind to us and guarded us through the night when they were relieved and we were marched to the rail road bridge across the Chattahoochee river there we were turned over to some new troop who were guarding the bridge, these men had not been in service and just arrived and were a hard rough set and were hard and unkind to us.
We were put out in an old open field with a heavy guard around us and we were not allowed to get out in groups, but had to talk out so we could be heard, no whispering was allowed, as soon as it was dark we were made to lie down and were told not to rise for anything not even for a drink of water, or we would be shot, and that if we wanted anything to call the guard and tell him our want.
During the night some, unthoughtedly would raise and the guard would call out. "Lie down, dyou, or I will shoot."
To us it certainly was a disagreeable night and it was disagreeable when day light came.
During the day more prisoners were brought to the place where we were. Late in the evening we crossed the bridge afoot and put aboard box cars and started northward, we knew not where we were going.
After much delay we stopped at Nashville Tenn. and we were put in the penitentiary yards for two days and nights, this was the first time we were given any thing to eat since our capture only what our first guards divided between us and what we got at Nashville was a very small piece of hard corn bread and a piece of boiled beef.
At Louisville, Ky. it was even worse for while we got about the same, most of us had our pocket-knives taken from us and we could not rest day or night for the insects that were in the old box houses where we were put.
Leaving Louisville late in the evening we crossed on the ferry boat and took cars, the next morning which was Sunday as we rolled into Cincinnati the church bells were ringing. Stopping to take cars were a large crowd to see Johnnie Reb. Some of them were in sympathy for us, one elbowed his way to where Humble was and gave him a bottle of whiskey. Humble secretly took a dram and gave the bottle back. It was here that we first learned that we were bound for Camp Chase, Ohio, the terrible Federal prison of the north.
On the same day (Sunday) about 4 or 5 p. m. the cars stopped 4 or 5 miles of Columbus, we got out of the cars and were told to fall into line. Some of us asked the guards if they were going to shoot us or if they were going to turn us loose in the woods like rabbits. The guards replied that we would soon find out what was going to be done with us.
We were marched through some woods and came to a turn pike and across it and in full view was Camp Chas.
We asked the guards if that was the Bull Pen where they were putting all stray cattle. They replied that was the place where we would be at home for awhile at least until the was ended, a few moments later we were halted at the prison gates which were open ready for us.
We were counted off, our names called and the officer who had had charge of us the whole trip had a receipt given him by the prison authorities and his responsibilities ceased.
Then began a systematic search of the prisoners and if any of us should be fortunate enough to have any gold or silver money or green backs watches, rings or knives they were all taken from us if they were found.
Humble, one of our Company had been taken prisoner once before at Murfreesboro, Tenn., and had served a time in prison at Camp Douglass I think, and he posted us on what would be done and secreeting our knives the best we could many of us managed to keep them. But afterwards the knives were returned to those who had theirs taken from them and as each one was searched we were passed on into the prison. Our company all kept together and passed in one after the other. There were two brothers by the name of Tomlinson each of them had two twenty dollar gold pieces and the first night after they had been captured they cut a slit on the inside sole of their shoes and hid their money and carried it into prison. But unfortunately for these two brothers they got separated, one was put in prison 2 the other in prison 3. All of our Company were put in prison 2 after being captured on the 5th day of August, 1864.
We had the gates of prison 2 Camp Chase, Ohio closed on us and we were Confederate prisoners of war in confinement:
As I look back over the past and think of the days of 186165 the time that tried the courage and nerve of men, I am glad, yes I am proud that I as a Confederate soldier and prisoner of war was confined at Camp Chase.
Why it was looked upon by both North and South as being at that time the hardest on Confederate prisoners of all the federal prisons, and that I went in obedience to orders, doing my duty, hold the redoubt till the last if I was taken to prison, and above and over all it must to have been Gods will for He rules.
Camp Chase is some three or four miles west of Columbus, Ohio and when our Company arrived there it appeared that there had been some change in the prison. It seemed that prisons 1, 2 and 3 had been before that, all by themselves and separated from the others but were all placed under one high wall with two partitions across thus making prisons 1, 2 and 3, around on the outside and near the top of the wall was a parapet or walk way for the guards and also there was a parapet for the guards on the partition wall, each of these last two parapets were on the inside of prison 2 and along the parapets were lamps which burned all night and threw a dim glare over the entire prison.
The walls were some 12 or 14 feet high and built of heavy lumber doubled and let in ground some two feet and heavily braced on the outside. Around the prison was a very large enclosure, walled in like the prisons.
The prison was about in the center of this large enclosure which was done as a defence and protection against any raid that may be made by the Confederate cavalry to liberate the prisoners.
The illustration will help the reader to understand more clearly about Camp Chase and its prisons. I will not undertake to tell about Camp Chase before I went there August 14, 1864 and after I left there February 12 1865 and only tell to the best of my memory what took place in prison 2 where our Company was.
This prison was about one acre large the grounds were level, there were no shelters of any kind only a few tents which were occupied by prisoners already there before we came.
These prisoners two weeks before our arrival had tried to escape in the day time by rushing out of the gate when it was opened for garbage cart but was recaptured, one of them having his arm broken by a shot from guards, his arm was amputated. We at first drew about full army ration but this lasted only a few days when our allowance was cut down to one third ration or about enough for one scant meal which we divided into two parts, one portion we ate at about 9 p. m. the other portion at about 4 p. m. Our only cooking utensils were tin cup and plates.
After forty-three years I can only call to memory a few names of those who were captured and belonged to the same Company B. 16th & 25th La. Regts. consolidated that I belonged to and among them were. J. C. Humble, First Sergeant Thomas J. Stephens, Sergeant John McDonough, Sergeant Robert Lively Frank Maurice, Thomas Caperton, Charles Harper, Ed Scopina W. J. Ludlow, Wm. Sapp, Joseph Bona, Clark, W. H. Duff, Wm. Kilgore of the same regimen and from Claiborne Parish, La. The redoubt on the extreme right of out company was defended by Clark Lively and Caperton, Caperton said that the three had laid their guns and accourterments aside and were strengthing their redoubt and were taken by surprise at the time of the attack and as they got their guns three of the enemies were on redoubt, three guns were fired and the three enemies fell dead. Overpowered the three defenders of redoubt surrendered.
Clark being shot after he had given up and put down his gun, he was the only one of our Company that was wounded. We were in strong redoubts and protected by head logs. Clark was not taken to Camp Chase, the rest of us were safely taken there and as I have already said were put in prison.
Lieut. Sankey was Provost Marshall of Camp Chase, a sergeant by the name of Jake called the roll, he was a real good fellow. I think that a Col. Richardson was in command at the time we were there. Letters for the prisoners were delivered from the top of the parapet to prisoners by either Lieut. Sankey or Sergeant Jack, the steps from the outside reached the top of the wall between prison 2 and 3.
There was a dead line about ten feet from the wall, when we would approach this line the guard would call out "Fall back, danger line." If any of the prisoners should be fortunate enough to have money sent them from friends this money was not allowed the person it was for but it was deposited with the sutler who receipted for it and then the sutler would give prisoners check instead of the money but never over the amount of five dollars and take a receipt for the amount given, these were in amounts from five to fifty cents, and read about like this, Good for 25 cents at the sutlers store for prisoners only at Camp Chase, Ohio.
The sutlers store was on the outside and against the prison wall with a hold about one foot square and breast high from ground. The store was open from 9 a. m. to 4 p. m. and many useful things were sold to prisoners but at very high prices.
The authorities called for volunteers to work, promising full rations for same. A great many of us, among them our entire Company went to work and were well fed our work was strengthening the walls of the prisons and enclosures and digging ditches to drain the ground of the entire camp. This work went on for about a week when they wanted us to take the oath of allegiance and remain in prison, still work and get full rations. This I am proud to say our entire Company flatly refused and told them it was an out rage and an insult to an honorable and true Confederate soldier. But I am sorry to say that there were some that did take the oath, these the rest of the prisoners would not associate with, and would call them week kneed or razor backs.
Cool weather began to set in, and more prisoners arriving, the authorities began to build more barracks to shelter us in winter. When the first few were built our Company occupied barrack 3 but after more were finished our Company moved into barrack 12 and remained in it until we left prison. These barracks were two feet above the ground no planks were allowed on the ground making it impossible to make an effort to tunnel out as the same would be detected at once. The ground between the barracks was worked so that the water would run into the main ditch that led to the large drain of the prison. The ground was at all times well drained. We were well supplied with good wood, plenty of soap and an abundance of water, there were two wells in prison 2, barrack 12 being built over the one that supplied water for cooking and drinking.
There were about eighty bunks to each barrack each bunk for two men, the bunks were on each side with passage way in the center three tiers high there were two large box stoves to each barrack.
The ground plat of prison 2 is a fair illustration and gives a good idea and helps the reader to understand how everything was.
The large drain across the prison with a large tank was used to flush and wash off all refuse and the prison was at all times kept clean. When the barrack were being built the prisoners would take scraps of lumber and with their knives cut it up into shavings and these shavings we put on the hard part of our bunks to make our beds easy and for a short while we slept well but it was soon found out by the authorities and we were made to take the shavings out in the street and burn them.
The daily papers of Columbus came to our relief and raised a howl saying that it was a shame that helpless prisoners should be treated worse than dogs that any one would give a dog straw to lie on but that the prisoners at Camp Chase were made to burn shavings that they had labored for so hard to make their beds easy and that the north could howl about the Andersonville prison but they should stop and look at Camp Chase. Public sympathy was aroused and soon wagon loads of wheat traw was brought in for us, after that we were furnished with fresh straw often.
Our greatest suffering was hunger while we had as our daily allowance scarcely one third rations we were often without anything to eat for three days at a time and this was done as a punishment to all of us and for some pretended offence some time for retaliation as they would say for the way the federal prisoners at Andersonville were treated then for another excuse they would claim that while tools were being used to clean up the prison grounds that a pick or shovel had been stolen and then we would be made to do without anything to eat for three days and during these days they would be probing the ground to see if there were any tunnels. Two other different times we were without anything to eat for three days. This was done on account of two prisoners making their escape each at different times. One of them made his escape through the drain where it passed under the prison wall. The federal who had charge of flooding the drain had failed to fasten the flood gate, this prisoner had noticed it and made good his escape. The other prisoner had a friend and confident to assist him and by trading among the prisoners he had gotten a large blue over coat and blue pants both of the regular federal uniform, he also got a federal hat as many of the prisoners had some part of federal uniform. He soon fitted himself out and from some of the prisoners he also got a citizens suits and one extremely cold and bitter night he carried out his plan and made good his escape.
When it was very cold at nine oclock at night, most of the guards were taken off of duty and only one third on, which gave the guards a much longer beat to walk and the one on the parapet between prisons 2 and 3 with his back to the wind would throw the cape of his coat over his head and when he would get to where the steps went down from the top of the wall this guard would go down the steps a little piece to be out of the wind. The man to make his escape, he and his friend got under barrack 10 and when the guard passed on his beat and was going down the steps the two men hurried to a brace that came down from the parapet to about seven feet of the ground, the friend stooped down and the other getting on his shoulder was raised up until he caught the brace then standing upright on the mans shoulder he reached the parapet and followed the guard who hearing footsteps hurried up the steps and there he met the escaping prisoner. The guard thinking he was an officer of the guard saluted and was saluted in return.
The Confederate passed on down the steps, the friend sometime afterward told how it was all done and saying that his friend the Confederate who escaped said that he would go near the guard at the big gate at the turnpike lie in wait until the relief guard came which was every half hour on nights that were real cold and then he would be near enough to hear the countersign given and by that means would get out a free man which proved a success for it seems that he wore the Federal clothes most of the night for they were found some distance from Camp Chase where he had discarded them. The friend getting letters from him afterward.
There was a little French-man who belonged to the 13th La. Regt. soon after he was confined in prison he wrote to the French Minister at Washington claiming he was a French subject and not a citizen of the United States and while he was on a visit to some friends who were in the Confederate army at Atlanta was taken a prisoner and that he asked to be liberated and be allowed to return to New Orleans and his plea was respected and he was liberated and furnished transportation to New Orleans where he wrote from, soon afterwards. As to wood, at first when the cold weather set in we thought that like our food it would be scarce, so we used it very sparingly hiding it under the lower bunks until we had a good supply on hand. One day Sergeant Jake was inspecting the barrack and saw where we had hidden the wood, he wanted to know what it meant, we frankly told him why we did it. With a sad voice he said, "men do not be uneasy about the wood, you may suffer from hunger but you shall not suffer from cold, I want you to keep the stoves hot day and night, take my word as a gentleman, I will see that you have plenty of wood, but you must burn what you have. Never fear when you have done away with what you have, there will be plenty more for you."
Sergeant Jake kept his word, the stoves were hot day and night as our bedding was scarce, but by Jakes kindness we did not suffer from cold and as we now had such a poor way to cook that the authorities had a kitchen built on the end of each barrack and appointed a cook for each mess, there were 12 messes, 15 men or more as agreed to the mess. These cooks to a large extent robbed us of our rations we made a complaint and was allowed to choose a cook from our own mess which proved to be honest, this cook would call the mess when meals were ready and let us all see that all was divided equally, when one would turn his back to the plates and another of us would call out "whos plate is this?" The one with his back to us would call" number so and so will take that plate" we were at meal times known by numbers. Sometimes it was either beef salt or fresh and at other times salt pork beans and bread.
When the weather would permit there could be seen all kinds of games going on, Chuck a Luck, Ke No. 21, 3 Card Monte, and different kinds of card games. The prisoners would try all kinds of exercises jumping, running, wrestling, boxing, etc.
For wrong doings there were different modes of punishment. One of the men had a pair of pants stolen from him and he made a complaint, a search was made the pants were found and the guilty man punished. There were two barrels at the end of the street next to prison 1, these barrels were placed about two feet apart, the guilty man had to stand on these for two hours each day for a week, he also had a barrel over his head and every five minutes he had to call out as loud as he could "Here is the man who stole the breeches, a guard on the parapet just above him would call out at times" Dyou times up, yell out among the prisoners". Beside Confederate soldiers there were citizens of different States and others that had no particular home. One of the latter was an Englishman I have forgotten his name though he was known by all as John Bull, he had been arrested in Cincinnatti, Ohio as a suspicious character having explosive and combustible matter with him and he refused to tell who or what he was or what was his occupation, only his name and that he was an Englishman but he would not ask the aid of England and he was sent to Camp Chase. He was liked by all the prisoners.
There was a head man to look after each barrack and in making detail to have the barrack swept this John Bull had been detailed to help to sweep his barrack which was No. 8, and said that no dYankee could make him do anything.
Then came the severe punishment of different kinds and I will mention only two of them. The first was to wear a ten pound ball and a long chain locked to each of his ankles for a week at a time. But the most severe one almost caused the man his life but he still remained firm. This punishment took place on a very cold and bitter day. John Bull with both ball and chains still on his ankles was placed on the two barrels mentioned and then with a strong cord his two thumbs were tied together and he was drawn up by this cord until the toes of his shoes just touched the barrels and he was tied to the parapet overhead, he remained in this position for two hours in a cold and bitter wind and when he was cut down he could not walk. Two of our men picked up the balls and chains as they were frozen and put them on their shoulders and carried them while others carried the poor man to his barrack. The prisoners murmured and complained at this treatment, and Bulls punishment was lighter from that time on. I was told two months afterwards that Bull had never given in.
Some prisoners made money (in checks) by making things and selling them to the Yanks. A pair of fine boots was made and sold for $25.00, a beautiful sailing vessel, was sold for $25.00, a fiddle was made and sold for $25.00, all material being bought at the sutlers store. Rings etc brought good prices. I made some money (in checks) by selling tobacco, I not using it made good profit on it. I also with a beef rib put sides to a pocket-knife as the wood sides had come off, Robert Lively my comrade and bed-fellow gave me fifty cents for it saying he wanted to take it home as a relic of Camp Chase. The prison had become crowded now and had about 3,000 prisoners in it, there was much sickness and many deaths and as the men would say, there was such a demand for coffins that there was a supply kept on hand and stored away under barrack No. 19 and when a man died his comrades would get a coffin and put him in it and then notify the authorities about him and a dump cart would be sent and the dead would be taken away. Sometimes it happened that the coffins were too short the foot piece would be knocked out and the mans feet would be exposed.
About the last of September small-pox broke out in a severe form, many were taken out to the pest-house while many remained. Of the many who died of this dreaded disease were some of our Company. Robert A. Lively died Oct. 14th. Sergeant T. J. Stephens Nov. 24th. W. James Ludlow Dec. 10th. Ed Scopina Dec. 26th.
There may have been others but these I can only recollect.
Robert Lively was my old messmate and bed-fellow, I was bunking with him and slept with him and nursed him while he was sick until he was taken to the pest-house. Humble and myself assisted him out into the pest-wagon he bade us good-bye saying that he never expected to see us again.
Some ten days later a federal called at barrack 12 and called for Humble and myself, we went to him and he told us that he was a nurse at the pest-house and that he had nursed Lively until he had died that morning. He also told us that Lively had gotten well of small-pox and died of diptheria.
While he was talking he undone a cloth and asked which was Duff, I told him that I was he, he handed me the knife that I had let Lively have saying as he did so, "Lively told me that you had rehandled this and that you hated to part with it but that you had let him have it and asked me to give it back to you and for you to remember him. Then handing to Humble Livelys pocket-book and a comb he said, "this Lively told me to give to you, there is a lock of his hair in it and for you if you live to get home take these and give to his wife and to tell her that he died a Confederate soldier and a prisoner of war, thinking of her.
Some one in prison stole the knife from me but Humble was true to the trust that was placed in him and did as Lively requested.
Now comes the sad part of that war, there was a young Confederate prisoner of war in barrack 12 his name was McKnight and he joined the Confederate army in Alabama. He was liked by all of us and had worked with us, when a call for volunteers was made and a federal heard his name called.
The federal told him that he knew a man by the name of McKnight and that he commanded a Company of some State Troops, and lived not far from Columbus Young McKnight told the federal that Captain McKnight was his father and that he, the son had gone south before the war had begun, loved the south and had made it his home and that he had taken up arms in defence of his southern home.
It was reported to the father and he came to see his son and tried to get him to return. While he was glad to see his father he refused to return. When Lively was taken to the pest-house I had no bed-fellow, Young McKnight said as he had no one to sleep with him he would gladly bunk with me. I told him that he knew that Lively had the small-pox and that I thought best for no one to sleep with me but he said that he had no fear of small-pox and still insisted, so I agreed, and a few days later he was taken to the pest-house with small-pox. Three days later it was reported to us that young McKnight was dead. How true I do not know but I never saw him again but some thought that he had gotten well and returned home, others had it that only his remains were taken home for burial.
The winter of 1864 was a severe one at Camp Chase. We had stinted ourselves in rations for several weeks so we could have a large Christmas dinner and when that day came we had all saved enough to have as much as we could eat, but we all regretted what we had done for it did not agree with us and prison 2 had more than its share of sick men.
During the entire time of our imprisonment what little we did hear from the contending armies was at all times discouraging to us. The year 1865 came with no changes for the better or the worse. Sunday morning February 5th 1865 while most of us were in our barrack we were startled and surprised about 9. a. m. to hear the clear ringing voice of Lieut. Sankey "Attention prisoners" this he repeated two or three times and then what was musical to our ears, Lieut. Sankey called out, "parole exchange of prisoners has been agreed upon between the United States and the Confederate States". Loud cheers went up from the prisoners.
Lieutenant Sankey and several other federals were standing on the parapet that was on the wall between prisons 2 and 3, the parapet being on the side of prison 2. The Lieut. motioned his hand and asked us all to be silent as he had good news for us and that he wanted all to listen and pay attention to what was said and in a clear voice the Lieutenant began," General Robert E. Lee as commander in chief of the Confederate army and General U. S. Grant as commander in chief of the United States have come to an agreement as to a parole exchange of prisoners which has been approved of by their respective governments and that agreement is: That as there is a great complaint made by both North and South of the mistreatment of prisoners that it was best to exchange prisoners on parole and let them return home and remain and not bear arms until they were duly exchanged when notice would be given and all could then report to their respective commands for duty and all those who were paroled and had no homes could report to their parole camps where they could be taken care of and commencing at an early date to be agreed upon that from each prison North and South that 500 men would be paroled once a week and be returned to the nearest point of exchange or as many as transportation could be furnished to remove them. All this has been brought about by the efforts and labor of General Lee. And in closing his remarks Lieut. Sankey said "Now men I do not wish to be misunderstood, after you are out of prison and return South that you are not to take up arms that you are still prisoners of war under parole and we hope that a speedy termination of hostilities will bring the war to a close. Now you can return to barrack," Cheer went up for Lee and Grant.
Returning to our barracks we talked of nothing but the good news we had just heard and we began to talk and plan for the future. Every evening when the weather would permit we would walk for hours around the prison so that when we returned South in walking home we would not be fatigued.
While we are waiting for the day to come when we are to leave Camp Chase I will here call the readers attention to some facts I had omitted. As I have said that there were three prisons under one wall but was divided by partitions. Prison 1 was the smallest and was for commissioned officers, then came prison 2 larger than prison 1, then prison 3 larger than prisons 1 and 2 combined. In all there were between ten and twelve thousand prisoners and in these different prisons there were friends or relations separated from one another and were not allowed to see or communicate with each other, but by writing a note or letter and wrapping it and tying it around a small stick after night when the guard was at a reasonable distance we would approach near the wall and throw our letter over into the prison where our friend was. It would be found next day by some prisoner who would hunt up and give it to the one it was for and next day we would find a reply that came by the night mail as the men would say. We were well aware that many letters that came for the prisoners and many that were sent out by them were kept or destroyed and never reached those that they were intended for.
As time passed and not hearing any more of the parole exchange we became gloomy and looked upon it as a hoax and that it was done as a punishment, but time rolls on and waits for no one.
One week later Sunday morning February 12th 1865 about 9 a. m. Lieut. Sankey appeared on the same parapet and called out, "Fall in line men" and a grand rush was made. All being quiet Sankey told us that the parole exchange went into effect that day and that Camp Chase was the first to send out 500 and for the present only the Non Commissioned Officers and privates would be paroled, the commissioned officers later, and that only certain States would be called first then others until 500 prisoners were called. In calling names Sankey said that all that wanted to go say "Go" and any that wanted to stay to say "Stay", but those that said stay Sankey told them that they would still remain in prison as they were until the rest had been exchanged, when those that staid would be allowed to take the oath but not allowed to go South of the Ohio River and that as our names were called that those that wanted to go to answer and go at once and get ready to leave at 3. p. m. and in calling names some in prison two and some in three would answer.
One in prison two said stay, a fellow prisoner hissed him and told him he should be ashamed of himself.
Sankey asked the mans name who made the remarks and the number of his barrack. The man told him.
Sankey told him that he would be one of the last to leave Camp Chase. Charles Harper one of our Company had gotten mad at some of us and when his name was called he said "Stay." Our entire Company were among the first to be called and we were sure a proud set of men.
Charles Harper had been a brave and good soldier and in many hard fought battles, but in a bad humor had done what he afterwards regretted for when the time came for us to leave and as we bade him farewell he could not speak and the large tears rolled down his cheeks.
Again answering to our names and passing out of prison 2 next to prison 3 about 5 p. m. Sunday February 12, 1865. Our company who had been prisoners of war at Camp Chase, O., with glad hearts with the first 500 left with a guard for Columbus. The sun was shining bright. There was frozen snow that covered the country. Passing out of the big gate into the turnpike under a double quick, reaching Columbus some three or four miles distant about dark when there was a train of box cares ready for us which was heated up by army stoves. All aboard we were soon on our long journey to Richmond Virginia.
After some three or four days on the road we arrived at Baltimore Maryland, we left the cars and marched through the city to the wharf at Chesapeake Bay. At this place there was a large crowd of ladies and men who heard that we were coming and they had brought large baskets of provisions for us and began td administer to our wants, but their kindness was soon stooped for the guards soon drove them away and would not let these good people give us any thing or even talk to us.
All aboard of a ship we were soon on our way across the waters of the Chesapeake. On going aboard of this vessel there were several boxes of salt water soap which was open and as we passed we helped ourselves, Humble and myself getting about twelve bars each.
It was a cold passage over the bay, entering James river we were soon steaming its current and with some federal troops to accompany us we were on to Richmond.
At a large bend in the river several miles below Richmond the boat landed and we were ashore. There was a large brick house here and it was used as a Commissary and the guard there on duty began to be mean us and talk about Andersonville saying that the federal prisoners there had to wait until night to eat the soup that was given them. On being asked why they had to wait, he said on account of the dead flies and maggots that were in the soup. He was told by some of us that that was no draw back and we had gotten used to that kind of dish and thought it good thickening. He said no more.
Across the bend we were marched to where there was a Confederate boat under flag of truce waiting for us. The roll was called, the federal took a receipt for the 500 men and we were soon in Richmond.
On leaving Camp Chase we were told that our paroles would be given to us by Confederates at Richmond, this was done being signed by General Ewell. We were still prisoners of war but not in confinement. It was on or about the 23 of February 1865 that we left Richmond by rail homeward bound. On the way between Richmond and Charlotte, N. C., we met a train of flat cars with 500 federal prisoners from Andersonville they were on parole exchange the same as we were. I have often thought of that meeting of paroled prisoners from each side and how friendly they were. These federal prisoners were like ourselves old soldiers and tried what had fallen to their lot. As the two trains were drawn up along side of each other there came a yell from each side, "Hello boys we are so glad to see you and to know that you are out of that hell hole of a prison." was the exclamation from each side. The Confederates jumped down and were soon shaking hands with the Federals and appeared as glad to see them as if they were long lost friends each asking the other how he fared in prison, of course neither spoke hard of the other and tried to make the best of it though the Federals said that the Federals were more able to take care of their prisoners than the South was and that they honestly believed that while it was hard at Andersonville that the Confederates done by them the best they could and that they were sorry that the Federals had used it to retaliate and that it was wrong.
There was a train of flat cars close by loaded with casks of sugar Johnnie Reb showed his hand and soon our haversacks were full and then we went for the federals and filled theirs for them. They were proud and they yelled and thanked us saying that old soldiers knew how to treat each other if they were on opposite sides. Pleasantly chatting together of ups and downs of soldier life lasted quite a while but the call of all aboard and the two trains separated and with a farewell, and "be good to yourself" some to their Northern and some to their Southern homes.
At Charlotte we had to leave cars and hoof it, as the boys would say, by way of Spartenburg, S. C., Washington on to Atlanta, Georgia again on cars to Montgomery, Ala., by boat to Selma by rail to Jackson, Miss., then Hazlehurst again afoot. At last weary and footsore about the first of April we arrived home and were still paroled prisoners of war when hostilities ceased.
The return home of the Confederate soldiers, the heroes of the lost cause was a sad one, as the case of Humble and myself, when Humble left home for the army he left a wife and three children, two negroes, a man and a woman.
Humbles only brother went with him to the war and was killed at the battle of Perryville, Ky. I was the only one who was with Humble when he returned home there was no one but two negroes to greet him. It was a sad return, his wife, his bosom friend had just died two short weeks before; she had gone to meet two of the children who had gone before.
Laura the one living was with relatives several miles away. On my part one of my brothers had been killed in Nov. 1864 by a prowling set known as "New Issue" that is some who never were in the army and had never been in service. My brother was standing in the door way of his home beside his sister and sister-in-law, the ladies having their babies in their arms. A picture of the sad return of the confederate soldier.
We should never be too hasty in rendering a decision but we should be calm and mild in our views and opinions and hear from both sides of the contestants.
As a prisoner of war twice. I have already given my part of what I know from actual experience I will now let the reader hear from higher authorities on both sides and we will first give what Jefferson Davis in his book "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government" Volume 2, page 598, article 3. "The laying waste of the fields of the south the tearing up of railroads and the destruction of the means of transportation brought great suffering on the Southern people and soldiers which of course prisoners of war also shared. Medicines for the sick were exhausted and could not be procured. The Confederate Commissioner (McOuld) had proposed already as early as 1863 that all prisoners on each side should be attended by a proper number of surgeons who under rules to be established should be permitted to take charge of their health and comfort.
It was also proposed that these surgeons should act as commissaries with power to receive and distribute such contributions of money, food, clothing and medicine as might be forwarded for the relief of the prisoners.
It was further proposed that these surgeons should be selected by their own government and that they should have full liberty at any and all time through the agents of exchange to make report not only of their own acts but of any matter relating to the welfare of the prisoners.
"To this communication no reply of any kind was made article 5 and yet McOuld had in the summer of 1864 proposed to purchase medicine from the United States authorities to be used exclusively for the relief of the Union soldiers. It was moreover proposed by McOuld that the United States surgeons should be allowed to go within the Confederate lines and dispense of these medicines themselves. Incredible as it may appear it is nevertheless strictly true that no reply was received to this offer article 6. The Northern people were made to believe that their prisoners were willfully starved and mistreated in Southern prisons. Those who had charge of Northern prison camps believing this was often cruel in their treatment to Southern prisoners.
Mr. Davis also refers to the United States Secretary of war (E. M. Stanton) a bitter enemy of the South in his report made on July 19, 1866, says that all federal soldiers confined in Southern prisons 22,576 died.
While of all Confederate soldiers confined in Northern prisons 26,216 died Surgeon General Barnes of the United States Army says that the number of Confederate prisoners in their hands from first to last was 220,000 and that the number of Union prisoners in the hands of the Confederates were from first to last 270,000.
These figures speak for themselves showing 3,670 more of the Confederate who died in Northern prisons than federal who died in Southern prisons. What was the cause? Although there were 50,000 more Federal prisoners than Confederates.
Sherman in his great march from Georgia to the sea had the power and the grand opportunity to relieve the federal prisoners at Andersonville and administer to their wants, but he was not the "Good Samariton" to do such acts of kindness toward the Confederates but passed by on the other side and did not wished to be encumbered by taking care of the fellow comrades who were now needing his assistance. But Sherman at that time thought that war was Hell and that Hell needed a leader and that he would try and fill that position.
It will be seen that federals had three grand opportunities to relieve the suffering of the federals in Southern prisons. One was by exchange one was kind offers the other was power. They failed to take any advantage of the ways and means of the opportunities that were open to them.
Mistreatment of the prisoners both North and South who did it and whose fault it was let the reader be his own judge.
For my part I do not think that the South on her part at any time of the war was able to furnish ammunition of war, shelter, food or raiment for its soldiers who were fighting its battle while, on the other hand, the North was fully prepared to furnish millions and draw on millions more.
Clipping from New Orleans Picayune of June 22nd 1904 which says. Mr. Cassanove J. Lee of Washington a recognized authority on Civil War Statistics has prepared an interesting table showing the enormous numerical superiority of the Northern army over that of the South during the Civil war, Mr. Lees figures show that the total enlistment in the Northern army was 2,778,304 against 600,000 in the Confederate army.
The foreigners and the negroes in the Northern army aggregated 680,917, 80,917 more than the total strength of the Confederate army. There were 316,424 men of Southern birth in the northern army. Mr. Lees figures are as follows;
Northern Army: White from the North 1,272,333, Whites from the South 316,424, Negroes, 186,017, Indians, 3,530. Total 2,778,304.
Southern Army 600,000, North numerical Superiority; 2,178,304, In the Northern Army there were Germans, 176,800, Irish, 144,200, British Americans; 53,500, English; 45,000 others nationalities 74,900, negroes, 186,017, Indians, 3,530.
Federal Soldiers of 1861-65 2,778,304; loss by death, prisoners, disabled etc. 1,777,488. Aggregate of Federal army at close of war May 1, 1862 1,000,816, Federal prisoners in Confederate prisons 270,000, Federal prisoners who died in Confederate prisons 22,570 Federal prisoners who returned from Confederate prisons 177,439.
Confederate soldiers of war 1861-65. 600,000, loss by prisoners, disabled etc. 486,567 aggregate of Confederate army at close of war, 113,433 Confederate prisoners in federal prisons, 210,000, Confederate prisoners who died in federal prisons, 26,436. Confederates who returned from Federal prison 183,564. More Confederates who died in prison than Federals 3,866 Mr. Lees report shows that in the Civil war there were 916,424 men enlisted from the south, a little over one-third in the Northern army and a little less than two-thirds in the Southern army. A sad story a house divided against itself, friends and neighbors, fathers sons and brothers fighting against each other.
Mr. Lees report also shows what the south had to contend with, for the savage, the Red man of the forest the negro and you may say all nations of the earth were pitted against her. Has there ever been its equal in the history of the world?
To a kind and generous public;- In thinking back to the war of 1861-65 my thoughts would find me trying to call to memory what had become of so many of my old comrades and companions in arms who had never returned to their homes many no doubt died on the battlefield while others died in prison or elsewhere. All may have filled an unknown grave and their loved ones at home had never known what had become of them, only knowing that they had never returned. With this in view I wrote to the highest authority at Washington (General Ainsworth) military Secretary if I could be furnished with a list of Louisiana Confederates who died in Northern prisons in hopes that I might be able to find some names of those that had disappeared and no account had been given of them. Following is the Generals reply:
War Department Military Secretarys Office.
Washington D. C., Jan. th, 1906.
Respectfully returned to Mr. W. H. Duff,
401 Pine St. Monroe, La.
"The War Department has never compiled a list of the Confederate prisoners of war from Louisiana or any other state held in Northern prison during the Civil War. It is proper to remark that pursuant to an act of Congress the Department has entered upon the work of preparing a computed roster of the officers and men of the Union and Confederate armies. When the roster shall have been completed any one desiring to do so can make for himself a computation of the names of the Confederate soldiers from any state who are recorded as having been prisoners of war."
F. C. AINSWORTH, Military Secretary.
I then applied to adjutant Generals of different states where there were Northern prisons where Confederate soldiers were kept but without success all regretted that they had no record of prisoners that were confined in their respective States and all referring me back to General Ainsworth of War Department. Maryland furnished three names J. W. Osburn Co. A. 14th, La. E. T, Thompson Co. G. 8th. La. W. A. Burman, Co. G. 8th. La; buried in London Park Cemetery Baltimore, Maryland. With the State of Ohio I was more successful by the adjutant Generals office I was courteously furnished with a list which I had printed. The Monroe (La.) Daily Star which commented on same in the following manner:
Recently Mr. W. H. Duff of this city who was a gallant Confederate soldier and who takes great interest in matters pertaining to the Lost Cause wrote to the Adjutant General of Ohio for a list of Confederate soldiers buried in the Federal prison cemeteries of Ohio.
His request was courteously complied with by Assistant Adjutant General Worthington Kantzman. The particular interest felt by Mr. Duff in the Louisiana dead buried in Ohio results in the fact that he was a prisoner of war in Camp Chase, Ohio as were many of the command to which he belonged, Company B. 16&25 La Regiments Consolidated. Captain Charles Lewis of Shreveport commanded the army. Most of the Company were captured on the 8th of August 1864 in the redoubts before Atlanta Georgia and were sent to Camp Chase Ohio where many died and were buried. Their names may be found by consulting the list. Mr. Duff explains that where names are listed as belonging to the 16th La. the record should be 16th and 20th La. Regts. Consolidated which will be readily understood by all veterans. Robert Lively one of the members of the 16th and 25th La. Regiment who yielded his life at Camp Chase is the grandfather of Evan and Ivo Lively, two promising young men of this city, the former being employed at Allens Pharmacy and the latter in the Ouachita National Bank. In his letter of reply accompanying the list Adjutant General Kantzman says Mr. W. H. Duff, Monroe, La. Dear Sir: replying to your letter of the 20th instant we here with enclose a list of names of Confederate soldiers buried within the limits of the State of Ohio so far at least as a record is found in the office. A Plat of each of the Cemeteries is a part of the record of the office that it is beleived is sufficiently accurate to enable any one to locate the grave of each person buried therein. There are very few markers on the graves.
A hugh boulder lies on the ground at Camp Chase Cemetery (which is the nearest cemetery in the city) upon this boulder is chiseled the following: 2260 Confederate soldiers are buried here. During the year of 1902 an arch was erected over the boulder, on top of the arch is the bronze stature of a soldier. The Cemetery is enclosed with a substantial stone wall about four or five feet high. We will furnish you with any information at any time that is possible to find.
Very Truly Yours,
WORTHINGTON KANTZMAN, Asst. Adgt. Gen.
Now kind reader as you look over the list of names of these heroes who sleep in prison Cemeteries of the North and as the eye falls on the name of some loved one ora comrade who had been with you in days long past, kindly and with respect as well as love for those who have kept a record of their names also those noble ones who have cared for and strewn flowers on their graves and have erected a monument to their memory that this was done by those who had fought against us and now look and think that those who sleep near this monument were true Americans and fighting for what they thought was right which is most dear to every true patriot.
DUTY TO MAN.
ECCLEST 12TH CHAPTER 13TH AND 14TH VERSES.
"Let us have the conclusion of the whole matter Fear God and keep His commandment for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil."
Before us we have the best advice that can be given to man and in plain and few words what our whole duty is.
In doing our whole duty to God we do our whole duty to all mankind. When we do man an injustice we at the same time do an injustice toward God. With this before me is my duty. First I return thanks to my Heavenly Father for all of His loving kindness and tender mercies that he has bestowed grace upon me though life and for keeping me from all harm during the dark and bloody days of 1861-65 and that He assisted me to drive away all evil thought in what I have written.
Second: I now ask my Heavenly Father for a continuance of His loving kindness and tender mercy and this choicest Blessing through life and, that he will approve of what I have done and let His Blessings go with and rest upon this little book and that all evil thoughts may be kept away from the mind of the reader for it all must have been the hand work of God of those sad days that have past it must have been Gods will.
Dear Old Comrades, We are Passing Away.
ECCLEST, 12TH CHAPTER 5TH AND 6TH VERSES.
"Because man goeth to his long home and the mourners go about the streets. Then shall the dust return to the earth, as it was and the Spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
The time is swiftly rolling on,
Through heat and cold, we often went:
A fighting the battles of the Sunny South,
But those sad days that have gone and past,
W. H. DUFF.
DESCRIPTIONS OF PHOTOGRAPHS.
Rocky Face Gap.
Winter of 1863 and 64 General A. P. Stewarts Division was in camp some three miles from Dalton Georgia and near Mill Creek or Rocky Face Gap During the year 1864 there were two deserters (Georgians of Stewarts Division) shot. The cross marks in the picture shows about the place where they were executed. David Ford one of our old Company had been detailed and belonged to the provost guard and it was this provost guard that was detailed to execute the men, which was sad to all of us that witnessed it.
At the opening of the campaign in May 1864 Stewarts Division consisting of Claytons, Bakers, Stovalls and Gibsons Brigades went into position North and South on Rocky Face Mountain and Ridge and held the Gap. Gibsons, La. Brigade was in position on the advanced ridge south of the rail road and the gap.
Austins Battalion of La. sharp shooters held the extreme point of Ridge next to gap then came the 16th and 25th La. Regiments Consolidated, then the 19th La. also the 13th and 20th La. and 4th La. Battalion still to the left.
The picture of Rocky Face shows where Stewarts Division was, both north and south of rail-road, May 7th. The night of the 12th when the Division brought up the rear of the army as it was retired toward Resacca.
The Battle of New Hope Church.
Company B of 16th and 25th La. Regiment was ordered to report and got with Austins Battalion (La.) sharp shooters drive back the enemy's skirmishers and locate where the enemy was in force. This was done and brought out the enemy in large force. Our skirmishers falling back followed by the enemy to where our Division (Stewarts) was in position. This was about 5 p. m. May 25th 1864. The battle lasted about two and a half hours and at its close during a hard thunder shower the enemy Hookers Corps of three division was defeated with heavy loss by three brigades Bakers, Claytons and Stovalls of Stewarts Division. The other brigade (Gibsons La.) being in reserve.
Early next morning May 26th, Gibsons Brigade advanced and went into line at the temporary log breast works and under a galling fire from both sharp shooters and artillery from the enemy and remained in position until next morning May 27th. The cross marks on the lines of breast works shown in picture are about where they left Company B of the 16th and 25th La. Regts. was during the 24 hours they were at the works.
New Hope Baptist Church.
Mr. W. J. Baker Clerk Superior Court Paulding County, Ga., writes me that he is familiar with the history of New Hope Church and that he visited the church and battlefield a few days after the battle.
The Church house that was there then has been destroyed and another nearly like the old one has been built on the exact spot where the old one stood and that the photo that was sent me is a true and correct picture of the church and battle ground and that the dark line in picture was made by him showing the center or top of old breast works as the old embankment could be seen in picture.
The Church (Baptist) is some four or five miles from Dallas, Paulding county Georgia.
Fifth Co. Washington Artillery, Slocombs La. Battery.
Ten a. m. Sunday Sept. 20th, 1863 Adams La. Brigade Breckenridge Division at this point turned the federals left under Thomas and penetrated far in the rear of enemy and Kelley Field which was the first turn of the tide against the federal Army which proved in the end their entire defeat and a complete victory for the Confederate.
The gap Austins Battalion of La. Sharp Shooters held the extreme point of Ridge next to gap, then came the 16th & 25th La. Regts. Consolidated then the 19th La. also the 13th & 20th La. and 4th La. Battalion still to left. The picture of Rocky Face Shows where Stewarts division was both north and south of R. R. from May 7th to night of the 12th, when the division brought up the rear of the army as it retired toward Resaca.
List of Confederate Soldiers Buried
at Camp Chase, Ohio.,
List of Louisiana Dead, Buried at Johnsons Island, Near Sandusky.
List of Louisiana Dead, Buried at Camp Denison.