June 1st 1864 Wednesday
1st We began our career
Camp Sumter, Andersonville, Ga. We
had a thunder
shower to usher us in but it cleared off before night.
R.L. Tinker & myself took up our quarters with some of our old
shipmates chums. The hut or "Chebang" as our fellows
call it, in which we live is roofed with four blankets &
with logs for walls at the sides. Our "Chebang mates" are
Martin Bannon, Jos.
Conneton, John Foley, Thos. Mc.Carty
N.K. Suydam, Alexander Clark, besides
We are located upon a hill side sloping to the south.
A small brook runs through the center of the lot from
west to east, & another hill side sloping to the
north forms the
other side of the enclosure. The lot contains 18 acres & is fenced
in with a solid stockade of hard pine logs about 10 or 12 feet high
A light railing runs around inside, 20 feet from the
stockade fence. It is called the dead line, & any
one who ventures
into the forbidden space is liable to be shot by the sentries.
Between 19 & 20,000 prisoners are now here, which
comprises about all of
the prisoners held by the Sesesh, except officers who are con–
Macon. The rations here are of corn bread & bacon with
now & then a few beans &
some wood. Five 2nd Mass. Heavy
men, captured at
April 20th occupy an extension of
our "Chebang" built onto the east end thereof. It is roofed
with a couple of blankets & makes the whole length
of our establish–
-ment three blankets or about 20 feet. We saw at
several Blue Jackets who were on duty on board the "Housatonic"
after we were captured & at the time she was sunk.
came here in a train that followed an hour or two behind ours.
After the "Housatonic" was blown up they were transferred to
the tug "Columbine," employed as a tender at
She was attacked while on a foraging trip & being
was set on fire & burned by her crew,
& they were captured.
The Camp is flooded with greenbacks & their prices
-rent" range very high. Butter is $2.00 for a small cup full, say
2/3 of a pint, Beans .35 for a pint, Salt .25 for two desert spoonsful
Flour 1.00 to 1.50 per lb., Dried apples 1.00 per pint, molasses 1.50 per
Brown Soap 3.00 for a bar = to about 1/3 of a Yankee bar. Onions
1.00 each &c &c. Other peculiarities will be noted down from
time to time as they are observed. Thursday
A.M. Thunder Shower P.M. which nearly drowned us out.
Washed out my under clothes & took a thorough bath.
The water here is quite good though a trifle riley. We fall in
for roll call once a day at 6 o'clock A.M.
ant AM. Thunder shower P.M. We partly rebuilt our
"Chebang", in the morning, so that we have not much
to fear from the rain in future. Saturday
with some thunder. The weather is not very hot as
yet -- we have a little breeze every day & the
nights are quite cool
June 11th Sunday 5th Showery with now
& then a streak of sunshine. Monday
6th Pleasant in the
A.M. Shower in the evening. Wrote a letter to my wife but did
not mail it, as I cannot ascertain when the mail is
to leave. Tuesday
7th Showery, with considerable sun
at intervals Stewed beans were issued to some of the messes
yesterday & today.
8th Pleasant &
rather hot. Boiled
rice was served out today. About a thousand prisoners came
in yesterday from
Belle Island, (among whom were
some of our crowd of "blue jackets" who have been at work in the
Richmond hospitals, & the crew of the
U.S.S. Water Witch
captured about a week ago near
Savannah by seven barges.
We had soup for dinner today made of ham, rice &
young cabbages. Quite a number of ovens have been built
lately of red earth or clay. They are about the size of a
medium range oven, set on the top of the ground &
the tops are
turned on twigs. A hot fire hardens the clay by the time
the twigs are burned out. Biscuit three inches in diameter
are baked in these & sell for .50 each Thursday
& sunshine as usual. Friday
10th Showers and Sunshine again.
11th Weather today follows the suit of the
ceding days of the week. We have had more or less
thunder with our showers every day. The rain washes &
purifies our camp, & is quite a benefit to us in
Many of our men are so filthy & careless in their
these showers are quite necessary for the prevention of
the breaking out of a plague. Saturday
12th Pleasant in the morning showers in the
evening which held on all night. Read my bible &
some monthly Journals, from home. Our rations
today consisted of a small bit of ham, a gill of rice,
13th cloudy & rainy,
with the wind N.E.
& quite chilly. Read all day, as it was too stormy
washing day. Raw rice instead of bread again, today.
14th Stormy & chilly
with the wind still N.E.
We had boiled rice for breakfast & stewed beans for
15th Warmer with a heavy close air
clouds. A prisoner who was trying to persuade others to go
out & work at shoemaking was caught & half of his head
shaved, when he begged to be allowed to take an oath that
he would desist & not go out himself either,
& so he
saved his beard from a similar fate. The squad
who shaved him were deprived of their rations today
by way of punishment.
16th Stormy until about
an hour before sunset When the sun came out, for
a rarity. I washed out an undershirt & a pair
of socks & got them nearly dry.
& Mc.Carty went out to work at the
as police &c, today. Hyde
& White also went.
had stewed turnips & rice today
17th Stormy again. Read, & mended my socks.
Had turnips & squash for supper
18th Stormy tho.
we had now & then a streak of sunshine. Stewed
some rice for supper. Saturday
June 25th Sunday
opens the week with a pleasant forenoon & evening,
we had quite a thunder shower at 3 P.M. Read "Contem
-plations of Sacred History", by Joseph Hall, sometime
Norwich", & liked it very much.
Pleasant & quite warm in the forenoon; heavy rain
after two o'clock P.M. We had no roll call yesterday
nor today & it is said that we are to have none
the enlargement of the stockade is completed.
Stewed some rice for supper & had molasses with
21st Pleasant in the morning. Had boiled eggs
for breakfast: also fried rice & hot corn dodger.
Slight shower in the afternoon. Had a cake made of
irish potatoes & onions, boiled, mashed
& then fried
Hewed a lot of firewood off of a large log that forms a
part of the lower side of our "Chebang"
Comfortable & pleasant in the morning tho a little
For a wonder it did not rain in the afternoon. Had
boiled eggs for breakfast & potatoe cake for supper. Joe
bought a sack of flour today & we made some "wheat
& indian" bread for tomorrow.
Had potato cake again for supper & also some nice
squashes, boiled & squeezed. Friday
24th Pleasant, tho
We had fresh beef rations today for yesterday &
Had beef steak for breakfast & rice soup for supper.
Recd. a note from Tinker last evening, & sent an answer
out this morning.
25th Pleasant, but hot, again
26th Pleasant. Began to mess by myself today.
short cake of indian meal & pork fat. Read "Contempla-
tions of sacred history". Monday
27th Pleasant & hot.
Washed out my shirts, drawers, & socks. Made some
beef soup of my ration of fresh beef & then made
28th "Pleasant &
hot," again in the
forenoon, with a smart thunder shower at noon, &
another at night.
29th Pleasant. Last night
a gang of raiders committed some desperate acts in the
robbing & stabbing line &
today there has been quite a
commotion in camp, caused by the arrest of 50 or 60 of the
guilty. We got no rations today in consequence of this trouble.
30th Pleasant. More raiders were arrested
They are to be tired by a jury of our own men. We got our
rations as usual. Raised a little money today on books
& had some nice white beans for supper.