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VOL. III, NO. 3 JULY, 1884


[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


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 cattle.

     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 pen says:

      "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 deadly.


     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.


     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 pictured.

     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 hours."

     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 Union soldiers.

     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 for Andersonville.

     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 Andersonville horrors.


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


     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.


     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


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.


     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 wooden wall.

     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 is the


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 benefit.


     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 prevented.

     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 recorded.


     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.


     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.


     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.

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