ANNALS OF IOWA
VOL. III, NO. 3 JULY, 1884
IOWA AND ANDERSONVILLE.
[By Hon. B. F. Gue, In Iowa State Register.]
In passing through Georgia I had determined to visit
the once obscure little village that in 1864 suddenly acquired a notoriety that
will live—associated with all that is most horrible in the world's records of
"man's inhumanity to man"—as long as time lasts. Supposing that a
place so notorious as Andersonville could be easily found, I had never looked
for it on the map of Georgia until I started out from Selma, Alabama, to find
it. I then discovered to my surprise that the "reconstructed" Southern
gentlemen feign to know nothing of Andersonville. They utterly ignore its
existence and assure you that its alleged horrors are Republican lies. I
determined to give it such a personal investigation as after the lapse of twenty
years since its occupancy was possible. Andersonville is not to be found on
any map in the South. I procured and carefully searched, not only the
railroad maps, but all others to be found at bookstores, and on none—not even
in the railroad guides—can this place be discovered, although it is a station
on the Central Railroad of Georgia. Some told me it was on the line between
Georgia and South Carolina, in Anderson county; others said there was no such
place. But while staying in Montgomery, Alabama, I met Henry Booth, a former
resident of Ft. Dodge, and during the war a member of the Thirty-Second Iowa
Volunteers. He told me where to find Andersonville. It is a small station sixty
miles south of Macon, in southern Georgia, and its name is now given out as Anderson.
The "ville" has been dropped in order to better disguise the spot that
has become a synonym for more fiendish barbarity, and cold-blooded cowardly
cruelty, than was ever before perpetrated by a people professing civilization
since the days of the thumb-screw, the rack and the faggot. Hidden in a swamp,
half a mile eastward from the station, surrounded by a dense undergrowth of
young pines, blackberry bushes and weeds, lies the twenty-seven acres of ground
whose sandy slopes, twenty years ago, bore on their scorched sides more of human
misery, despair, and death, in its most cruel forms than ever before in the
world's history polluted so small a field of the earth's surface. It was
originally covered with a heavy pine forest.
Early in 1864 when the Union armies under Grant and
Sherman were steadily fighting their way into the heart of the confederacy, the
rebel government ordered the removal of all Union prisoners farther south, and
Southern Georgia seeming to be most remote from the Federal armies, and most
secure from invasion, was chosen as the safest place in which to confine the
Union prisoners. No more desolate, out of the way spot could probably at that
time have been found on a line of railroad than the dense forests in the midst
of swamps that surrounded Andersonville station. Slaves were pressed into the
Confederate service to cut down the trees, hew the logs and erect the stockade
walls. The inside row of palisades was eighteen feet high above the surface, the
timbers of which it was made were firmly planted in a trench five feet deep.
Within this enclosure was
THE DEAD LINE.
seventeen feet inside of the stockade. It was made by driving posts into the
ground projecting about four feet, and upon the top of these were nailed two by
four scantling. Any prisoner stepping or reaching over this line was shot dead
by the guards who were stationed in sentry boxes created thirty yards apart on
the inside palisades. This left less than seventeen acres of ground including a
wide swamp, stretching back on either side of Sweetwater creek, which runs
through the stockade from west to east. On the outside of the main enclosure was
a second wall of palisades one hundred feet distant from the first, or inner
row. Still beyond and outside of this, seventy feet further, was the outer wall
of the stockade, twelve feet in height. These lines were erected for offense and
defense. If at any time the prisoners should attack and carry the first line,
the second and third would be almost as formidable. The outer line was intended
for defense from attacks by the Union army, and would shelter the guards—3,000
in number. On the four angles of the stockade were erected the most formidable
earthwork forts that I have seen anywhere in the South. The height from the
ditches to the summit, almost perpendicular, must be fully eighteen feet. On
these earthworks cannon commanded every part of the stockade, inside and out, so
that an attack from either the prisoners or their rescuers would have met with a
terrible artillery fire. A line of rifle pits was dug outside of the stockade
walls for the use of infantry. The stockade was originally intended to hold
10,000 prisoners, and then enclosed seventeen acres. The creek, with its wide,
swampy margin, and the dead line cut out at least seven acres, leaving
not more than ten upon which men could live. On this ground they were crowded in
until it finally became packed with human beings like a stock yard filled with
When the first five hundred prisoners were
incarcerated inside of the stockade walls in February, 1864, they found some
poles that had been left, and with these and briars, vines, and tufts of pine
leaves, they managed to erect rude huts to shelter themselves from the sun, dew
and rain. But as more unfortunates were added week by week, not a stick was left
for the new arrivals. Early in March the spring rains began. An inmate of the
"For dreary hours that lengthened into
weary days and nights, and these again into never ending weeks, the driving,
drenching floods of rain poured down upon the sodden earth, searching the very
marrow of the 5,000 houseless, unsheltered men against whose chilled bodies it
beat with pitiless monotony, and soaked the sand banks upon which we lay until
they were like huge sponges filled with ice water. An hour of sunshine would be
followed by a day of steady pelting rain drops. The condition of most of the
soldiers who had no shelter was pitiable beyond description. They sat or lay on
the hillsides all day and night and took the pelting of the cold rain with such
gloomy composure as soldiers learn to muster. One can brace up against the cold
winds, but the pelting of an all day and all night chilling rain seems to
penetrate to the very marrow of our bones."
No wood was furnished the famishing prisoners by the
brutal officers, although there were dense forests in every direction around
them, and with it they could have provided fires and huts for shelter. The only
way to obtain any was to bribe the guards with such trinkets as the prisoners
had about them to bring in some sticks on their backs. The lives of the
thousands who perished from disease brought on largely by exposure to rain, cold
and heat, could have been saved if their brutal prison-keepers had simply
permitted the prisoners to go out on parole and bring in wood.
The number of prisoners in March was 4,603, of whom
283 died, chiefly from exposure. During the month of April 576 more died, an
average of nineteen a day. It became a part of the regular routine now to take a
walk around past the gates and count the dead of the night before. The clothes
of the dead were carefully preserved to cover the living, who were nearly naked.
The hands of the dead were crossed upon their breast, and a slip of paper
containing the name, company and regiment pinned to the corpse. The lips and
nostrils of the dead were distorted with pain and hunger. Millions of lice
swarmed over the wasted dirt begrimed bodies. The suffering of the sick from
these ravenous vermin was pitiable beyond expression. The hot sand in May
swarmed with lice that crawled up on the crowded prisoners like troops of ants
swarming upon trees. A hospital (in name) was set apart for the sick in the
northeast corner of the stockade, a few tents were pitched, with pine leaves for
beds. But there was no change of filthy clothing, no nutritious food, no nursing
or suitable remedies for the sick and dying.
Here, without shelter of any kind, the poor sick and
dying boys and men crouched on the hot sand, with a tropical sun beating down on
their blistering heads and bodies, with the mercury often ranging above 110 in
the shade. Here, without dishes of any kind to hold their scant supply of
unbolted corn cake and salted pork, these helpless prisoners were packed day and
night, with no water but that from the creek which had first received into its
death current the filth from a camp of 3,000 Confederate guards stationed higher
up on the south bank, near the town. Disease in its most hideous forms preyed
upon the crowded thousands, and the stench arising from the accumulating filth,
festering in the burning sun, spread pestilence among them on every side. In
their grim despair, those who were able, dug holes in the ground and burrowed in
them like wild beasts. Others, with a few tin cups and pieces of tin plates,
bought off the guards, dug wells in a vain search for pure water. The dirt was
drawn up in old boots, and wells were sunk in this manner to the depth of from
thirty to seventy feet, but little water was found however after this toilsome
work was done.
At this time the official records show that
seventy-six per cent of those carried to the hospital died. By the end of May
there were 18,454 prisoners in the stockade. The 18,451 men were cooped up on
less than thirteen acres of dry ground. The weather grew hotter, and the swamp
that ran through the pen became horrible beyond description. In its slimy ooze,
which was the drainage for a population larger than Cedar Rapids has swarmed
billions of maggots. The stench from this sink of corruption was stifling and
HORRORS UPON HORRORS.
All of the water that the prisoners had to use for
drinking or cooking, (except a little obtained by those who had dug wells) was
taken from this creek that flowed through the low, swampy valley that was the
only drainage of the two camps of guards and prisoners, numbering more than
20,000 persons. In their desperation the famishing prisoners would gather at the
dead line, where it crossed the creek as it entered the stockade on the west
side, and reach up stream to get water before it flowed into the filthy swamp
below. John McElroy, a private of Company L of the 16th Illinois Cavalry, who
has written a history of Andersonville's horrors, as he saw and experienced
them, says of these days: "I hazard nothing in saying, that for weeks and
weeks, at least one man a day was shot here by the murderous guards while
reaching near the dead line for purer water. A gun would crack—looking up we
would see still smoking the muzzle of the musket in the hands of the guard,
while a piercing shriek from the victim, floundering in the creek in the agony
of death, told the story of his fate."
The number of deaths in May had increased to 708.
STARVATION, DISEASE, AND DEATH.
As the summer advanced the heat became intolerable
in this latitude, where no southern man pretends to work, or even expose himself
to the sun during midday. Yet here were cooped up like hogs in a pen, more than
18,000 northern soldiers whose only crime was loyalty to their government, and a
patriotic desire to save it from destruction by armed foes. These men were from
the best families in our country; the fortunes of war had made them the
prisoners of men who claimed to be civilized, but at whose hands helpless
captives were subjected to fiendish, malignant tortures that would have
disgraced cannibals and the most barbarous of the savage tribes of Africa. The
food furnished the prisoners, for each man a day, was a cake of corn bread half
the size of a brick, made of unbolted meal, and part of the time a small slice
of salt pork; once in a while a few beans were dealt out, but no vegetables,
salt, vinegar, or any other kind of green food, except on rare occasions. The
hulls of the meal being coarse and harsh, brought on every species of bowel
complaints, which, with scurvy and hospital gangrene, carried off in less
than seven months 9,479 of the prisoners to their graves, or more men than
were lost by death from all causes by the British army during the Crimean war.
The heartless old fiend Gen. John H. Winder, who was the willing tool of the
Rebel Government in its barbarous policy of disabling by disease and murdering
by starvation its helpless captives, was a renegade from Baltimore, Md., who had
secured the appointment of Commissary-General of Prisoners through the influence
of his friend, Jeff. Davis. His pedigree well fitted him for his malignant,
cruel work. He was the cowardly son of the craven Gen. W. H. Winder, who fled
with his militia from the battlefield at Bladeneburg like whipped curs, and left
defenseless the National Capital to be captured and burned by the British army
in 1814. It was the son of this poltroon, a soured, sniveling, white-haired old
renegade of the Government that educated him, that in August, 1864, boasted that
"he could point to more killed and disabled Yankees at Andersonville, than
General Lee had destroyed with twenty of his best regiments in the field.
For," says he, "look at our 3,081 new graves made in one month over in
the cemetery beyond the stockade. Every one has a dead Yankee soldier in
it." Henri Wirz, a Swiss doctor, was his equally cruel and cowardly
subordinate who had direct charge of the stockade. He had an educated and
refined wife, and three daughters, aged at that time respectively thirteen,
fifteen and eighteen years. They lived in the house now occupied by Dr. Wm. B.
Harrison, in which I am staying, and the room in which I am now writing was
Wirz's office for several mouths. Here, within 160 rods of the most cruel
tortures-- prolonged through ten months—ever inflicted by any human beings
upon their fellow men, this heartless foreigner lived with his wife and
daughters, utterly indifferent to the indescribable horrors daily loading the
air in their hearing with cries, groans and supplications of dying soldiers that
made up a hell on earth more hideous than Milton ever described, or even Dante
Dr. Joseph Jones, a distinguished Confederate
surgeon of Augusta, Georgia, made a visit to the stockade in the month of
August, and in his report gives the following statements:
"In June there were 22,291, in July 29,030, and
in August 32,899 prisoners confined in the stockade. No shade tree was left in
the entire enclosure. But many of the Federal prisoners had ingeniously
constructed huts and caves to shelter themselves from the rain, sun and night
damps. The stench arising from this dense population crowded together here,
performing all the duties of life, was horrible in the extreme. The
accommodations for the sick were so defective, and the condition of the others
so pitiable that from February 24th to September 21st nine thousand four
hundred and seventy-nine died, or nearly one-third of the entire number in
the stockade. There were nearly 5,000 prisoners seriously ill, and the deaths
exceeded one hundred per day. Large numbers were walking about who were not
reported sick, who were suffering from severe and incurable diarrhea and scurvy.
I visited 2,000 sick lying under some long sheds. Only one medical officer was
in attendance—whereas at least twenty should have been employed. From the
crowded condition, bad diet, unbearable filth, dejected appearance of the
prisoners, their systems had became so disordered that the slightest abrasion of
the skin from heat of the sun or even a mosquito bite, they took on rapid and
frightful ulceration and gangrene. The continuous use of salt meats, imperfectly
cured, and their total deprivation of vegetables and fruit, caused the scurvy.
The sick were lying upon the bare floors of open sheds, without even straw to
rest upon. These haggard, dejected, living skeletons, crying for medical aid and
food, and the ghastly corpses with glazed eyeballs, staring up into vacant
space, with flies swarming down their open mouths and over their rags infested
with swarms of lice and maggots, as they lay among the sick and dying—formed a
picture of helpless, hopeless misery, impossible for words to portray. Millions
of flies swarmed over everything and covered the faces of the sick patients, and
crowded down their open mouths, depositing their maggots in the gangrenous
wounds of the living and in the mouths of the dead. These abuses were due to the
total absence of any system or any sanitary regulations. When a patient died, he
was laid in front of his tent if he had one, and often remained there for
But enough of these horrors; I only record them to
show from Confederate authority what the Andersonville martyrs endured.
The young generation grown up since the war, should know what was suffered in
this prison yard by just as tenderly reared young men as they are themselves
today. Of the 42,686 prisoners thrust into this infamous pen, 12,853 were
carried out to their graves within one year. 10,982 died between the 27th
day of February, 1864, and the 20th of October of that year, or in less than
eight months, being at the rate of over 1,372 a month, or more than an average
of 45 per day, or two each hour of the day and night.
Reports were made each day by the Confederate
surgeons in charge, of the appalling suffering and mortality, but the Rebel
government never raised a hand or uttered a word to check the horrid work of
Winder and Wirz. It seemed to approve of this fiendish method of destroying
As I stand here to-day on the south slope of the old
enclosure, where every grain of sand has been ground into the earth by the
agonized tread of martyrs, who twenty years ago were undergoing the slow
tortures inflicted by human fiends, I protest, in the name of the thousands
whose white headstones glisten like snow flakes over in yonder cemetery, against
ever applying the word "chivalry" to the authors of such a load of
crime as must rest for all coming ages on the rebel leaders who were responsible
During any month of that year, in which these
inhuman cruelties were perpetrated, Jeff. Davis, Gen. Lee, or the Confederate
Congress, or the monster Winder, could have stopped these horrid tortures and
lingering deaths. But no word was spoken; no hand of mercy was ever raised by
these self-styled scions of Southern chivalry, and for their direct
responsibility for the crimes that will for all ages make humanity shudder, let
history brand on their seared and heartless souls the damning infamy of
THE HEROIC MARTYRS
who endured these tortures until death came to their relief, and the maimed
and diseased survivors who must carry the scars of their sufferings to their
graves, here displayed a lofty patriotism that has never been surpassed in any
age of the world. All through these terrible sufferings, where death would have
been a relief, Confederate emissaries prowled around the stockade trying to
persuade the thousands of mechanics among the prisoners to accept paroles and go
to work at their trades for the benefit of the Confederacy that was slowly dying
for want of skilled laborers. The machinists among the prisoners alone could
have done far more to sustain its crumbling walls by their skill in its shops,
than a full company of soldiers could have done to overturn it—and yet their
enduring patriotism that never wavered, scorned these tempting offers of release
from worse than Indian torture. A witness to these persistent solicitations says
that the common reply of our loyal sufferers was, "No, sir! We will stay in
here till we rot; and the maggots carry us out through the cracks of your d—d
old stockade before we will raise a finger to help your infernal old
Confederacy." And thus they lived and died, these heroes who are to-day
forgotten by the millions of thrifty Northern people who are absorbed in their
business and pleasures, in happy homes, surrounded by the comforts and luxuries
that the soldiers of the Union army twenty years ago sacrificed, even with their
lives, amid all the horrors of the war and prisons, to preserve for their
countrymen. No more sublime martyrdom was over endured for conscience sake, or
religious freedom, in any age of the world, than that which filled with tortured
victims the 12,853 graves dug in the Georgia sands of the
ANDERS0NVILLE NATIONAL CEMETERY.
Here to-day as I walk among the well kept streets of
this great city of the martyred dead, with a soft breeze from the gulf wafting
the perfume of the wild flowers from beyond the old stockade, tropical birds are
singing in the branches of the trees, and the sighing winds as they come ladened
with the odor of the pines, are the only sounds that break the solitude of this
wild and wired encampment of departed spirits. Here all around me I read the
names of heroes and martyrs on the white marble headstones that will never be
seen by the surviving friends of the dead who sleep beneath them. On an iron
tablet erected by a grateful Government is inscribed these words:
Rest on enbalmed and sainted dead,
Dear as the blood ye gave,
No impious footsteps here shall tread
The herbage off your grave.
The whole number of graves in the cemetery is
13,701, of these 12,779 have names on the headstones, while but 922 are unknown
graves. Of the dead buried here 12,853 were victims of the Andersonville
stockade, while 848 were brought here from adjacent localities and laid in the
National Cemetery. The first victim of Andersonville was Jacob Swarner, of New
York, who died Feb. 27, 1861. His headstone is marked No. 1 and his grave is the
first of the long row which begins in the southeast corner of the cemetery. The
last victim lingered here until Nov. 30, 1865, and his headstone is numbered
12,853 and is the last of the long rows of graves of the stockade martyrs. His
name was John King and he too was from New York.
Here in this
silent city of the dead, on a little white marble slab, is the only record that
tells the soldier's fate.
IOWA'S SHARE OF THE GRAVES.
Knowing that few from their own State would ever
visit this secluded spot I have through the kindness of J. M. Bryant,
Superintendent, procured a complete roll of the Iowa soldiers who perished at
Andersonville, and are here buried in the National Cemetery, that their names
may go out in the Register to the thousands of homes all over our fair
State, and again revive the memory of those who so bravely suffered and nobly
died for us twenty years ago. Serenely they sleep beneath the pines of Georgia.
For twenty years the silence of desolation has brooded over the
where they perished. The Southern Confederacy, Winder, and Wirz have met
their doom in death and lasting infamy that will for all times associate the
atrocious crimes at Andersonville with their memory. Let them rot in the grave
with human slavery, whose barbarous code inspired such fiendish horrors. But on
the scroll of fame let these names be inscribed, who for all coming time will
make an honorable page in the history of
IOWA'S MARTYRED SOLDIERS.
167 Henry M. Collins, sergeant, Company G, 4th Infantry.
257 John Moon, private, Company H, 39th Infantry.
262 William H. Ennes, private, Company B, 4th Infantry.
307 Emanuel Myers, private, Company G, 5th Infantry.
328 Wm. Chenowith, private, Company K, 4th Infantry.
450 James Moon, private, Company H, 39th Infantry.
451 John C. Stout, private, Company A, 5th Infantry.
599 John P. Shuffleton, private, Company H, 5th Infantry.
641 Norman Seeley, private, Company B, 9th Infantry.
750 Leonard Garne, private, Company C, 6th Infantry.
862 Andrew Heller, private, Company D, 5th Infantry.
892 Chas. M. Lambert, corporal, Company H, 39th Infantry.
1192 James McMullen, private, Company C, 4th Infantry.
1293 Christian P. Partsche, private, Company K, 5th Infantry.
1316 James Tormey, private, Company K, 10th Infantry.
1317 Francis M. Miller, private, Company H, 5th Infantry.
1472 Wm. T. McCammon, private, Company A, 4th Infantry.
1484 Jacob Gender, private, Company I, 5th Infantry.
1674 Omar K. Whitman, corporal, Company E, 5th Infantry.
1796 Charles Ryan, private, Company G, 5th Infantry.
1797 Frank Moore, private, Company G, 5th Infantry.
1816 Isaac B. Hurley, private, Company H, 8th Infantry.
1820 John Richardson, private, Company I, 2d Infantry.
1951 Elias Ratliff, private, Company I, 4th Infantry.
1972 Johann Peterson, private, Company E, 26th Infantry.
1981 Wm. Tippery, private, Company K, 6th Infantry.
2027 Asahel P. McAllister, private, Company C, 14th Infantry.
2161 Franklin Wells, sergeant, Company I, 6th Infantry.
2168 Robert J. H. Huffman, private, Company H, 6th Infantry.
2213 Andrew R. Whitenack, corporal, Company K, 9th Infantry.
2703 Thomas M. Davis, private, Company E, 3d Infantry.
2712 Robert T. Smith, corporal, Company H, 10th Infantry.
2845 Jasper A. Stattler, private, Company K, 30th Infantry.
2869 Leroy Palmer, private, Company D, 9th Infantry.
3060 Matthew T. Sparks, private, Company K, 5th Infantry.
3204 Harmon Kolenbranden, private, Company H, 17th Infantry.
3423 John W. McNeil, private, Company I, 4th Infantry.
3560 F. Kesler, private, Company B, 4th Infantry.
3617 John O. Clark, sergeant, Company H, 31st Infantry.
3705 Job M. Field, private, Company K, 5th Cavalry.
3986 Martin Thompson, private, Company G, 5th Infantry.
4178 Samuel Sutton, private, Company H, 5th Cavalry.
4206 John Davis, private, Company D, 15th Infantry.
4221 Alfred C. Barnes, private, Company H, 15th Infantry.
4461 Courtlin Jones, private, Company B, 4th Infantry.
4503 Seth Farnsworth, private, Company H, 3d Cavalry.
4582 Geo. W. Cromwell, private, Company F, 27th Infantry.
4675 Lawrence Demotte, private, Company G, 5th Infantry.
4773 Charles Smith, corporal, Company F, 20th Infantry.
4804 Wm. W. Moore, private, Company A, 15th Infantry.
4916 John A. Wolfe, private, Company C, 2d Cavalry.
5101 Silas Cooper, corporal, Company B. 5th Infantry.
5244 Edward D. Cox, corporal, Company G, 5th Infantry.
5378 Bernard Kennedy, private, Company I, 10th Infantry.
5410 Charles F. Starr, private, Company H, 30th Infantry.
5445 James L. Murray, private, Company I, 17th Infantry.
5461 John Harris, private, Company H, 8th Cavalry.
5561 Moses Allen, private, Company K, 3d Infantry.
5622 Wm. A. Cox, private, Company I, 5th Cavalry.
5836 Christie Granshoff, private, Company I, 26th Infantry.
5878 Rienza Reid, private, Company I, 6th Infantry.
58'12 John Shadle, private, Company C, l6th Infantry.
5999 Ezra Coder, private, Company E, 31st Infantry.
6209 Chas. P. Philpot, private, Company B, 31st Infantry.
5464 Ebenezer King, private, Company C, 2d Cavalry.
6572 David Robinson, private, Company G, 13th Infantry.
6601 Henry Clausen, private, Company E, 26th Infantry.
6687 Chas. D. Teevis, private, Company A, 5th Infantry.
6815 Wm. Merchant, private, Company G, 13th Infantry.
6848 Malcolm J. Collins, private, Company F, 3d Infantry.
6849 Samuel B. Driskell, private, Company F, 26th Infantry.
6878 Isaac V. Maynard, private, Company B, 4th Infantry.
6929 Richard O'Connor, Company l, 26th Iowa Volunteers.
6932 Wm. A. Comar, sergeant, Company A, 26th Infantry.
6934 John Whelan, sergeant, Company D, 26th Infantry.
7715 John W. Freel, private, Company F, 10th Infantry.
7779 John S. Baird, private, Company H, 26th infantry.
7878 John Q. A. Fredericks, private, Company C, l6th Infantry.
7954 Wm. W. Symms, private, Company D, 3d Infantry.
7959 Lewis Lord, private, Company G, 13th Infantry.
8062 Samuel S. Culbertson, corporal, Company H, 5th Infantry.
8101 Chas. E. Wahrath, sergeant, Company K, 5th Infantry.
8106 Jos. B. Hastings, private, Company B, 11th Infantry.
8120 Zach. L. McClure, private, Company C, 16th Infantry.
8131 Simon P. Wolston, sergeant, Company H, 13th Infantry.
8220 James W. Smith, private, Company A, 13th Infantry.
8263 John A. Lanning, private, Company I, 13th Infantry.
8265 Frederick Buckmaster, private, Company K, 15th Infantry.
8352 Benjamin Crow, private, Company E, 4th Infantry.
8380 Geo. W. Trussell, private, Company D, 6th Infantry.
8656 Geo. A. Junk, sergeant, Company C, 8th Cavalry.
8974 L. Ankobus, corporal, Company I, 6th Infantry.
9125 John Sherman, private, Company I, 3d Infantry.
9209 Charles Smith, private, Company D, 5th Infantry.
9221 Obed R. Ward, private, Company E, 3d Infantry.
9229 Hugh Davis, private, Company A, 17th Infantry.
9274 Sheridan S. Martin, private, Company G, 11th Cavalry.
9301 J. Buell, private, Company K, 4th Infantry.
9367 Daniel Smith, private, Company D, 3d Cavalry.
9370 Orlando Putnam, private, Company F, 27th Infantry.
9379 Daniel Airel, corporal, Company F, 2d Infantry.
9414 Marx Henson, private, Company B, 16th Infantry.
9438 Isaac M. Loudenbach, corporal, Company B, 5th Infantry.
9456 Cornelius Boylan, private, Company C, 14th Infantry.
9483 Fernando T. Reeves, private, Company D, 9th Infantry.
9486 Jos. B. Waggoner, private, Company B, 3d Infantry.
9492 Aaron M. Ashford, private, Company C, 11th Infantry.
9509 Geo. W. Overtoul, private, Company H, 5th Infantry.
9585 Jacob Mann, private, Company A, 16th Infantry.
9692 Michael B. Bowles, private, Company D, 11th Infantry.
9727 F. Weisbrod, private, Company A, 31st Infantry.
9820 Ephraim Cobb, private, Company C, 3d Cavalry.
9846 D. Bixler, private, Company B, 5th Cavalry.
10015 Charles Reed, private, Company A, 2d Cavalry.
10017 Alex. Rogers, private, Company G, 4th Infantry.
10048 Neil Toikelson, private, Company H, 26th Infantry.
10110 John Miller, private, Company D, 5th Infantry.
10224 D. R. Loudenbach, private, Company B, 6th Cavalry.
10262 Daniel Himes, private, Company I, 3d Cavalry.
10270 John W. Pitts, corporal, Company I, 16th Infantry.
10297 Aaron Bugh, corporal, Company M, 8th Cavalry.
10351 John M. Volk, corporal, Company E, 5th Infantry.
10360 James L. Ireland, private, Company H, 5th Cavalry.
10360 Isaac Gatherel, private, Company F, 2d Infantry.
10403 B. Parker, private, Company I, 4th Infantry.
10719 Jos. K. P. Billings, private, Company B, 5th Cavalry.
10827 Gen. B. McCoy, corporal, Company G, 6th Infantry.
10845 Philo D. Wilson, private, Company G, 5th Infantry.
10884 Wm. A. Sayre, private, Company E, 6th Infantry.
10901 Philo J. Chapman, private, Company G, 3d Infantry.
10942 J. Woodward, Sutler, 9th Infantry.
10950 John A. Mercer, private, Company I, 4th Cavalry.
11078 J. W. Finer, private, Company B, 3d Cavalry.
11098 Wm. H. Denoga, private, Company M, 6th Cavalry.
11114 Josiah A. Whitten, private, Company H, 6th Cavalry.
11281 John F. Night, sergeant, Company I, 9th Infantry.
11334 George W. Blakely, private, Company B, 3d Infantry.
11414 Titus England, private Company F, 9th Infantry.
11429 Daniel W. Estelle, sergeant, Company L, 2d Cavalry.
11708 Adam Thyne, private, Company B, 3d Infantry.
11745 Elmore Miller, corporal, Company G, 31st Infantry.
11752 Jonathan Luther, corporal, Company B, 9th Infantry.
11784 Wm. A. Alderman, private, Company F, 31st Infantry.
11789 Milton W. Shaw, private, Company H, 5th Infantry.
11896 Wm. Austin, private, Company K, 3d Cavalry.
12059 Geo. P. Littler, private, Company E, 5th Cavalry.
12169 Frederick L. Osborn, private, Company A, 10th Infantry.
12230 Jos. B. Chamberlain, private, Company A, 8th Cavalry.
12264 Elias W. Russell, private, Company G, 4th Infantry.
12287 Albert Raser, private, Company L, 8th Cavalry.
12484 Jere B. Martin, private, Company B, 5th Cavalry.
1256O Jos. H. Griffiths, private, Company C, 5th Cavalry.
1256I Cyrus F. Macy, private, Company C, 8th Cavalry.
12629 Leveret J. Littlejohn, private, Company P, 4th Cavalry.
12659 Wm. W. Derickson, corporal, Company M, 8th Cavalry.
12711 Amos W. Ferguson, private, Company A, 15th Infantry.
12729 Wesley Smice, private, Company E, 16th Infantry.
12747 Chas. J. Eubanks, sergeant, Company H, 17th Infantry.
12864 Nathan Beezley, private, Company I, 4th Cavalry.
12865 Thomas J. Miller, lieutenant, Company D, 3d Cavalry.
12879 James J. Jones, sergeant, Company L, 4th Cavalry.
12888 Alex. King, private, Company H, 17th Infantry.
12899 John T. Kule, private, Company A, 10th Infantry.
12992 Richard C. R. Young, private, Company C, 8th Infantry.
12995 Theo. Shrienor, sergeant, Company K, 6th Infantry.
12997 Robert Lindsey, private, Company E, 14th Infantry.
12998 C. Clevens, private, Company B, 12th Infantry.
13020 Ira E. Peck, private, Company B, 12th Infantry.
13029 James E. Nicholas, private, Company H, 12th Infantry.
13043 J. F. Stoneman, corporal, Company K, 8th Infantry.
13051 David Clark, private, Company F, 12th Infantry.
13054 E. Meany, private, Company I, 14th Infantry.
13068 W. M. White, private, Company B, 12th Infantry.
13075 John E. McKune, private, Company G, 14th Infantry.
13076 Abraham Stevens, sergeant, Company H, 6th Infantry.
13078 Henry Beadel, private, Company C, 12th Infantry.
13080 Daniel Downer, private, Company K, 12th Infantry.
13081 Wm. W. Ferguson, sergeant, Company E, 8th Infantry.
13091 Chas. H. Noyes, private, Company B, 12th (?)
13104 Moses A. Ames, private, Company D, 8th Infantry.
13106 S. B. Foster, sergeant, Company E, 8th Infantry.
13121 Philander Wilson, private, Company K, 12th Infantry.
13122 Chas. King, private, Company B, 12th Infantry.
13125 Mettich Nye, private, Company B, 7th Infantry.
13137 Madison J. Roe, corporal, Company B, 12th Infantry.
13142 Benjamin Nash, corporal, Company K, 12th Infantry.
13163 Jens Hansen, private, Company B, 12th Infantry.
13207 Daniel S. Beers, corporal, Company D, 3d Infantry.
13216 S. P. Hoisington, private, Company B, 7th Infantry.
13247 Burtis M. Gard, private, Company H, 14th Infantry.
13253 Hiram Turner, private, Company I, 14th Infantry.
13254 Chas. W. Sackett, private, Company I, 12th Infantry.
13257 Jacob Whitmire, private, Company I, 14th Infantry.
13258 J. D. Williams, private,—— .
1326I Luther W. Jackson, lieutenant, Company H, 12th Infantry.
13267 Jesse W. Dean, private, Company I, 12th Infantry.
13309 Jacob Cellan, private, Company A, 3d Cavalry.
13325 S. H. Williams, private, Company D, 8th Cavalry.
13338 Wm. H. Barr, private, Company K, 6th Infantry.
13560 Simon F. Eccles, lieutenant, —14th Infantry.
THE STOCKADE AS IT NOW APPEARS.
Twenty years have come and gone since the enactment
of the great tragedy at Andersonville that will forever associate this obscure
little town with horrors indescribable. The driving rains of twenty winters have
beaten upon the sandy slopes of the old enclosure where there was cooped up
within its walls more of human misery than was ever before found upon an equal
area of earth's surface. I have traced out the three stockade walls by the
continuous ridges of decaying palisades that mark the lines they occupied. On
the west side many of the palisades have been cut down and split into rails,
while most of the others have rotted off and lie in decaying masses on the
ground. Here and there a fire-blackened sentinel still stands in the place, as
it was planted in 1864. On the east side the main line of palisades remains in a
fair state of preservation, showing the height and strength of this formidable
The old ditch that surrounded the stockade is still
plainly visible on the south west, and east sides, although in places it is
nearly filled by washing and caving in. On the north and south sides the timbers
of the stockade have been removed in clearing up the ground for cotton planting.
Two negroes, with a mule each, were marking out the ground for the rows of
cotton on the south side of the creek. On the north side many of the old wells
remain in a good state of preservation. I counted over twenty of them ranging in
depth from ten to thirty feet. Young pines, oaks, and blackberry bushes have
grown up thickly all over this side. The mounds and depressions, where caves
were dug by the perishing prisoners, are plainly to be seen all over this sandy
side hill. The massive old gates at the west entrance have fallen down, and the
owner of the land is working the timbers on which they were constructed into
canes to be sold as relics of the old stockade.
Outside of these gates on the road towards
Andersonville are the ruins of Wirz's old bakery, where the unbolted corn meal
and fat bacon were cooked for the prisoners. Leading from the store-house at the
railroad station to the stockade is the old corduroy road along, which the teams
transported the meal and bacon to the bakery. The ground was so swampy that logs
had to be cut and laid side by side for a quarter of a mile to make a road that
would bear up a team and wagon. In looking for relics I found a scantling, two
by four, sticking in an old well, that was once a part of the "dead
line." My guide was Dr. Harrison, who was a surgeon in the Confederate
service stationed here during the most deadly months, to aid in treating the
Federal prisoners in that hospital shed where so many thousands perished. He
pointed out the various places of interest, and gave many items relating to the
prison keeper, Wirz.
On the west side of the stockade near the north gate
NOTED "PROVIDENTIAL SPRING,"
that broke out one August morning when the water in the creek had become so
filthy as to be no longer endurable. The story as told, is that one day there
came a terrific storm of thunder, lightning, wind and rain, which suddenly
raised the water in the creek so high as to sweep down the walls of the stockade
on the west side where the creek enters the enclosure. That when the flood
subsided it was discovered that a spring of clear, pure water had gushed out of
the hillside, near the "dead line," which flowed from that time
forward in such abundance as to supply the entire army of more than 30,000
inmates with pure water. Many of the famishing soldiers looked upon this as a
direct interposition of the Almighty to save them from the horrors of the
polluted creek. That no spring was visible up to that time, all the inmates of
the stockade agree in declaring. That such a spring did burst from the sand of
the hillside, is as clearly established by thousands of grateful witnesses. I,
too, saw its clear crystal waters boil up from the white sand in a stream large
enough to supply the city of Des Moines with drinking water; but not being
disposed to accept the "special Providence" theory without a thorough
investigation, I sought out the oldest resident of the place, M. P. Suber, the
station agent, who has lived here thirty-six years, and asked him to tell me
what he knew of the origin of this spring. He informed me that he had known the
spring for more than thirty years. That when this region was an unbroken forest,
this spring was a favorite resort for deer. That when the stockade was erected
in February, 1861, the workmen in excavating the trench, filled up the spring so
that the water oozed through the sand to the creek below, without rising to the
surface. The flood that swept the stockade walls away during that terrible
August storm, washed the earth from over the spring, and it again burst out
clear and strong as of old. The famishing prisoners, knowing nothing of its
existence heretofore, naturally regarded it as an especial gift for their
THE RESPONSIBLE CRIMINALS.
The Confederate leaders have persistently sought in
later years to excuse their inhuman conduct toward Union prisoners who fell into
their hands, but no explanation put forth has ever, in the slightest degree,
turned the withering condemnation of civilization aside from its universal
expression of horror at such barbarity. The records of Wirz's trial show by Confederate
testimony that there was no possible excuse for crowding 32,000 prisoners
into an open unsheltered pen, containing less than twenty acres of inhabitable
ground. Hundreds of acres of well shaded dry pine woods could just as easily
have been secured anywhere in Southern Georgia. The prisoners could easily have
been provided with plenty of wood for cabins for shelter, as it was standing
then, and is standing now, directly adjoining the old stockade. The prisoners
could have been always supplied with good pure water in abundance which is
readily obtained all around the prison pen. Green corn and potatoes could have
been provided to check the Scurvy and other fatal diseases. Straw and pine
leaves could have been procured for beds for the sick, and warm water for
bathing could have been furnished at all times, and with these simple wants
supplied, nine-tenths of the suffering, sickness and deaths would have been
But nothing was done, absolutely nothing, that a
human barbarian would have done to alleviate the misery of cattle penned up in
such crowded filthy quarters, and it is impossible to resist the conclusion that
fiendish, devilish, inhuman hate and cruelty, coolly planned these wholesale
murders with all of their attendant horrors that are too atrocious to be
WINDER AND WIRZ.
On the 27th of July, 1861, when Sherman's army was
thought to be approaching to release the dying prisoners, Gen. Winder coolly
issued an order to the commander of the artillery on guard, that "when the
Federals approached within seven miles of the stockade, to open on the
prisoners with grape shot." And this gray-headed old fiend was
permitted to die a natural death. He dropped down in a sutler's tent, January
1st, 1865, just as he had bowed his head to ask a blessing over his New Year's
dinner. The Andersonville prisoners say that he had only time to exclaim:
"My faith is in Christ; I expect to be saved. Wirz cut down the Yankee's
rations," and then he expired. But Wirz, the cruel subordinate, was the
only one who was punished for his share in the murders. When the Confederacy
collapsed in April, 1865, Wirz was still living in his old quarters at
Andersonville. Capt. Noyes, of the Fourth Cavalry, was sent to bring him into
Gen. Wilson's camp at Macon. When the squad rode into town they surrounded Dr.
Harrison's house—where I am staying—and mistook the Doctor for Wirz, and
were about to drag him off, when he pointed into the next lot west and told them
''there is the man you are after." Wirz was quickly hustled away from his
family, the Andersonville damning records captured with him, and was started to
Washington. The ex-prisoners who were stationed all along his route made
desperate efforts to kill him as he passed through, but the brutal, cowardly
wretch was fortunately reserved, tried, convicted, and decently hung on the 10th
of November, 1865, and appropriately buried in the old capitol prison grounds
beside Azterodt, one of the assassinators of Abraham Lincoln. His wife and
daughters have disappeared, and I was unable to learn from their friends at
Andersonville where they moved to. Wirz's old house has been burned, but its
massive brick chimney still stands a grim monument of his fiendish exploits.
THE "RAIDERS'" FATE.
In a semi-circle southeast of the flag-staff are the
graves of six desperadoes who were hung by the prisoners in the stockade on the
11th of July, 1864, for robbery and murder of their comrades. They were the
leaders of a gang of bounty jumpers from the slums of Eastern cities who had
enlisted for large bounties or as substitutes for men of wealth who had been
drafted. They were skulkers on the battlefield, and always on the lookout for a
chance to rob their fellow soldiers. In the stockade they led gangs of roughs
called "Raiders" in midnight excursions among the sick and defenseless
prisoners, robbing them of blankets, clothing, money or food, and often murdered
them while asleep for the scanty possessions to be thus obtained. These six men,
viz: Pat Delaney, of Pennsylvania; Chas. Curtis, of Rhode Island; Wm. Collins,
of Pennsylvania; John Sarsfield, of New York; Wm. Rickson, of United States
Navy; and A. Munn, of United States Navy, were tried as leaders of the
"Raiders," convicted, and hung in the stockade, and buried separate
from the other prisoners.
I am indebted to J. M. Bryant, the gentlemanly
Superintendent of the National Cemetery, for the carefully prepared list of all
the Iowa soldiers who perished at Andersonville by starvation, disease and
exposure. It may be relied upon as being absolutely correct, as Mr. Byrant spent
several days in careful examination of his death roll of more than 13,000
victims, copying from it for the readers of the Register the names of all
who belonged to Iowa Regiments. The diagram of Andersonville, its surroundings,
and the stockade, was prepared for me by Dr. Wm. B. Harrison, the surgeon who
was in the Confederate service mentioned heretofore as one of those
administering to the sick prisoners of Andersonville during the period of the
most appalling mortality. He retains the most vivid recollection of
Andersonville as it was during that season of indescribable horrors. He is
familiar with every event of that great tragedy, and his sketch shows the
location and relative positions of the stockade and its ghastly surroundings as
they were in 1864, when Winder and Wirz were killing more Union soldiers daily
than Gen. Lee's army.
The ground upon which the stockade stood should be
purchased by our government and attached to the National Cemetery and forever
preserved with its old wells, its fallen timbers, its earth-works, its creek and
spring, all of which in the coming years will be points of historic interest
that should not be destroyed.
Already the owners of the ground are leveling the
earth-works, filling up the old wells and caves, removing the palisades and
obliterating the land marks that still remain, and unless prompt steps are taken
for their preservation, in a few years the old prison pen will have entirely
disappeared and all traces of its existence removed to make room for the
encroaching cotton fields.
JUSTICE TO THE SURVIVORS.
Before closing this long letter, made up so largely
of a recital of barbarities that are too horrid to dwell upon, I want to give my
voice in the most emphatic language in favor of a long delayed act of
reparation, so far as our government is concerned, to the survivors of the rebel
prison pens. Our people in their security, prosperity, and abundance, seldom
pause in their absorbing pursuit of wealth and pleasures to reflect upon the
price that our private soldiers of twenty years ago paid in privations, wounds,
diseases, and death—to purchase for us this great prosperity. It is doubtful
whether any soldier incarcerated in a rebel prison for even three months (if he
survived its horrors) ever came out without serious and lasting injury to his
health, which will increase as old age comes on. The sufferings and horrors of
these months can never be realized nor adequately described by those who were
not among the victims. The least our government could do to show its gratitude
to the survivors who are rapidly passing away would be to grant a pension of
honor to the men who endured and survived the barbarities that killed one out
of every three of them. Beautiful national cemeteries have been provided for
the 60,000 victims who perished by this fiendish system of destroying Union
soldiers adopted by the Southern Confederacy in its desperation; marble
headstones mark their last resting place all through the South; green grass,
choice shrubbery and shade trees ornament the well kept grounds where solid
walls, iron gates, and loyal superintendents keep careful watch and sacred care
of these silent cities of the heroic dead. But of the other thousands who were
their comrades in peril and suffering and barely escaped the most horrid of
deaths, our people and their government seem to be unmindful. We are voting
millions to aid commerce and navigation, to erect magnificent buildings for
Federal officials; we are creating new offices with liberal salaries, and aiding
various schemes for public improvements, and yet Congress hesitates to enroll on
the pension lists the 10,000 or 12,000 surviving inmates of rebel prison
barbarities. There is neither justice, honor, or common gratitude in this long
continued neglect by our prosperous government to recognize by suitable
testimonial the survivors of the prison pens of the South.
B. F. Gue.
Andersonville, Ga., April 16th, 1884.