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Title: Prison Life in Andersonville - With Special Reference to the Opening of Providence Spring
Author: Maile, John L.
Language: English
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"PRISON LIFE IN ANDERSONVILLE"



  This volume,
  Number 48

  of the Author's Autograph
  Edition, limited to five hundred
  copies, is presented to


  In grateful appreciation
  for cordial support and financial
  patronage of the work.



  "Prison Life in Andersonville"

  With Special Reference to the
  Opening of Providence Spring


  _by_
  John L. Maile


  A Veteran of Company F, Eighth Regiment Michigan
  Volunteer Infantry and afterward assigned as
  Lieutenant in the Twenty-eighth U. S. C. T., and
  for a time an unwilling guest in the Confederate
  Military prisons at Lynchburg and Danville, Va.,
  Andersonville, Ga., Florence, S. C., and Salisbury,
  N. C.


  "One flag, one land, one heart, one hand,
  One Nation evermore."
                        --O. W. Holmes.


  GRAFTON PUBLISHING COMPANY
  WEST COAST MAGAZINE
  LOS ANGELES.



  COPYRIGHT 1912
  BY JOHN L. MAILE

  LOS ANGELES, CAL.
  U. S. A.

  All Rights Reserved


  PRESS OF WEST COAST MAGAZINE
  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA



Commendation


That the following narrative of Southern prison life should be written so
many years after the occurrence of the events described is explained by
the fact that the author has been urged by many friends to put on record
his descriptions that have interested many people in the East, in the
Interior and in the West.

To Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the Woman's Relief Corps,
allied organizations, and readers generally, I am glad to commend this
book as giving a more particular account of the opening of Providence
Spring than has before appeared.

Appreciation of the strenuous days of the great Civil War will be revived,
and the memories of Veterans, not a few will be refreshed by this
interesting story.

  H. M. Triuble.
    Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.

  Princeton, Illinois,
    March 2, 1912.



[Illustration]


Four years of war life.

In five Confederate prisons.


[Illustration: The Author in 1860.

The Year Before Enlistment.]



DEDICATION


  Dedicated to the Woman's Relief Corps, whose tender,
  thoughtful care has preserved the
  sacred memorials of the war, and
  to the memory of my

  COMRADES

  in arms
  who have answered
  the final
  call; to the age-worn
  remnant who still linger
  behind, and to the younger
  patriots of the present generation,
  to whom it is given, in the happier
  days of peace, to fight for their country
  the bloodless battles of righteousness and truth.



TABLE _of_ CONTENTS


  CHAPTER.                                        PAGE.

     I. The Writer's Credentials                     19

    II. View of a Confederate Prison                 27

   III. The Prison Commisariat                       35

    IV. A Dearth of Water                            53

     V. A Cry to Heaven                              61

    VI. Unsealing of the Spring                      65

   VII. Was It a Miracle?                            72

  VIII. Deliverance                                  85

    IX. An Incident by the Way                       93

     X. A Sequel                                    103


  APPENDIX.                                       PAGE.

    A. Contributory Testimony                       116

    B. Responsibility for Prison Treatment          119

    C. Woman's Relief Corps Memorial                123

    D. A Memorial Day Meditation                    135
       Rev. H. H. Proctor, D. D. of Atlanta.

    E. Permanent Honors for Confederate Heroes      141



ILLUSTRATIONS


The Author: As Prospective Soldier. As Present Writer.

Plan of the Prison Pen.

View of Interior and Foreground.

A Dream.

The Broken Stockade.

The Spring and Women of the Relief Corps.

Adventure in Wilmington Hospital.

The Beloved Teacher.

The Michigan Monument in Andersonville.

The Andersonville Cemetery.



A Personal Foreword


The establishment and perpetuity of our Union have been secured by the
sacrifices of war. The Declaration of Independence preceded seven weary
years of conflict, whose culminating sufferings were experienced in the
British prison ships and in the winter camp at Valley Forge. In this
contest the patriotic soldiers of the north and of the south made common
cause, and what they did and what they suffered indicates a measure of the
enduring worth of our national life. The story of revolutionary days finds
an enlarged counterpart in the sufferings of the civil war.

A phase of the great struggle is recalled in the following narrative of
events, which belongs to a rapidly receding past. Soon no survivor will be
left to tell the tale; hence the desirability of putting it into permanent
form before it fades altogether from recollection. To some the story of
the breaking out of Providence Spring may seem to have been given undue
prominence in this record; but it is around that event that these
reminiscences gather, and the circumstances attending were so indelibly
stamped upon the memory of the writer that they call for expression.
Probably he was the youngest of the group of Andersonville prisoners who
participated in the concert of prayer that preceded the unsealing of the
fountain, and on that account he may be the only survivor.

In the course of the narrative unpleasant things have been referred to in
the interests of truth, but nothing has been set down in malice. The Great
Healer has closed up many wounds of hearts as well as of bodies, and the
grass has grown green over the graves of buried controversies. The boys in
gray and the boys in blue now fraternize around common campfires and under
a common flag. But while the writer has none save the kindliest feelings
toward his brothers of the lost cause, he cannot help rejoicing that
alike in the clash of arms, and in the more peaceful conflict of ideas
which has followed, the principles for which he and others bled and
suffered have gained the victory and are among the things which never
perish from the earth.



    "We are coming, Father Abraham--three hundred thousand more,
    From Mississippi's winding stream and from New England's shore.
    We leave our plows and workshops, our wives and children dear,
    With hearts too full for utterance, with but a silent tear;
    We dare not look behind us, but steadfastly before--
    We are coming, Father Abraham--three hundred thousand more.

    "If you look across the hilltops that meet the northern sky,
    Long lines of moving dust your vision may descry;
    And now the wind, an instant, tears the cloudy veil aside,
    And floats aloft our spangled flag in glory and in pride;
    And bayonets in the sunlight gleam, and bands brave music pour--
    We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.

    "If you look up all our valleys, where growing harvests shine,
    You may see our sturdy farmer boys fast forming into line;
    And children, from their mothers' knees, are pulling at the weeds,
    And learning how to reap and sow, against their country's needs;
    A farewell group stands weeping at every cottage door--
    We are coming, Father Abraham--three hundred thousand more."



CHAPTER I.

THE WRITER'S CREDENTIALS.


The writer of the following narrative feels justified in calling attention
to his military record in order that he may be furnished with a warrant
for inviting the attention of readers to the matters herein described.
Broadly speaking, his record is that he saw nearly four years of active
service, including ten months of confinement in Confederate prisons and
three months in hospitals and parole camps.

Given more in detail it would be as follows: He enlisted at the age of
seventeen, on September 2, 1861, at Hastings in the Eighth Regiment
Michigan Volunteer Infantry; Company F of which N. H. Walbridge was
Captain; Traverse Phillips, First Lieutenant; Jacob Maus, Second
Lieutenant, and John D. Sumner, Orderly Sergeant.

The Eighth was known as the famous "wandering" regiment of
Michigan--ex-Governor Col. William M. Fenton, Commander.

His regiment was mustered in at Grand Rapids and journeyed via Detroit,
Cleveland and Pittsburg to Washington, going into camp on Meridian Hill
overlooking the capitol. On October 19th, with his regiment, he embarked
from Annapolis on the steamship Vanderbilt, taking part in the Dupont
Expedition to the South Carolina coast and occupancy of Beaufort and the
Sea Islands.

He was in engagements on Coosaw river, and at the bombardment of Fort
Paluski off Savannah. While his regiment was in the campaign of James
Island, near Charleston, he was in the Signal Corps service on the
Beaufort river. In April the regiment sailed to Virginia; he was at the
second Bull-Run in July, and with the Maryland campaign of South Mountain,
Antietam; the succeeding Fredericksburg fighting and thence via Kentucky
to Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi.

In the autumn of '63 he marched via Cumberland Gap to East Tennessee and
took part in conflicts at Blue Springs, Lenoir Station, Campbell's
Station, the siege of Knoxville, and defense of Fort Saunders. After
re-enlistment with his comrades in January he marched over the mountains
nearly two hundred miles in ten days through deep snow to the railroad at
Crab Orchard, Kentucky. This severe ordeal was followed by a brief respite
of a thirty days' furlough from Cincinnati to Michigan.

In April, 1864, the regiment rejoined the Ninth Army Corps at Annapolis,
and on May 3rd he was, after examination in Washington, confirmed for a
commission as Lieutenant. On the 4th, he overtook his regiment camping
near the Rappahannock river; on the evening of the 5th the vicinity of the
Rapidan river was reached in full view of the smoke of Sedgwick's
artillery opening the great battle of the Wilderness. On the afternoon of
the 6th, his regiment was ordered into action when he with a thousand
others from the division was taken prisoner and marched to Lee's
headquarters, where he saw the famous general, whom he remembers as
sitting with great dignity of bearing upon his horse, calmly viewing the
situation. And it was reported that he kindly remarked to a group of
prisoners that they must make the best of their predicament. On the 9th
the examination papers came for the new Lieutenant, but he was now the
guest of the Confederacy and could not be excused.

A comrade sent to his home the disquieting message, "missing in action and
probably killed," but happily from Orange Courthouse by the great kindness
of a Virginia Lieutenant a telegram was forwarded by flag of truce to his
parents stating that he still survived. The memorial services announced
for the following week were postponed and are yet to take place.

Introductory experiences as a prisoner of war included many hours of
fasting, followed by a most exhaustive march of twenty-eight miles to
Orange Courthouse under close cavalry guard; thence by rail to
Gordonsville, where the place of detention was a pen frequently used for
the rounding up of cattle. At this point the prisoners were usually
relieved of any superfluous clothing and outfit.

Fortunately the writer had discovered in the crowd five members of his
regiment. He and they drew together as companions in misfortune, and
formed a group in which each one was to have a share and share alike of
all they possessed; and they entered into a solemn pledge to care for one
another in sickness.

Very early in the morning of our night at Gordonville we were aroused by
the sharp command, "Wake up there, wake up there, you Yanks. Fall into two
ranks. Quick there," given by a Confederate sergeant. The occasion was the
arrival of a trainload of beef cattle for the Confederate army, and the
master of transportation saw an opportunity to load the prisoners into
the freight cars just made vacant and which were to return to Lynchburg
immediately.

To be thus unceremoniously aroused from sleep and hustled into filthy cars
made us very indignant, but "There is a divinity that shapes our ends;
rough-hew them how we will," and in the confusion of moving in the
twilight, and the absence of inspection we got off scot free from the
usual ceremony of being stripped of superabundant clothes and
accouterments. Thus our group of six were each left in possession of a
blanket, a section of shelter tent, a haversack, a tin cup and plate, a
knife, a fork, a spoon, and such scanty clothing as we had on. The extras
we possessed were a frying pan, a file, and several pocket knives, two or
three towels, a small mirror, and a thin piece of mottled soap. The latter
was used exclusively for a Sunday morning wash of hands and face until it
melted away.

This unusual amount of equipment was kept as inconspicuous as possible and
was safely carried through the prisons at Lynchburg and Danville, where
we awaited transportation to an unknown destination, which proved to be
the military inferno of Andersonville, in southwestern Georgia, to reach
which we rode more than seven hundred miles from the battlefield packed
fifty and sixty in a freight car, with twenty or thirty of our number on
the top.

The locomotives, which burned pitch pine, emitted clouds of acrid smoke
that, mingled with dust arising from the roadbed, enveloped the train in a
gloomy, suffocating pall. Mile after mile the worn, rattling freight cars
and wheezing engine crept along the right-of-way, which, as a narrow lane,
threaded the interminable pitch-pine forests that admitted no stirring
breeze.

On Sunday morning we arrived in the beautiful city of Augusta, Georgia.
Our train was sidetracked on a principal thoroughfare whose borders were
embowered in luxuriant foliage which screened attractive homes, whence the
church bells were calling the summer-dressed occupants. On the sidewalk
opposite from the train groups of the people loitered to gaze upon the
grimy, famished prisoners who swarmed upon the tops of the freight cars
and formed a sweltering crowd within.

Several ladies deferred their church-going, re-entered their houses,
emerged with baskets filled with sandwiches, crossed the street to the
side of the train and, overcoming the objections of the guards, handed out
the precious food to the grateful men, who responded with their most
courteous thanks.

This little piece of genuine chivalry was the one bright spot in the
torturing journey, and was matched by the sensibilities of some Southern
ladies, who later viewing the interior of Andersonville from the stockade
platform, turned away their faces weeping.



[Illustration: Ground Plan of Andersonville Stockade.

Description: Fig. 1, Keeper's House; 2, "P. Spring"; 3, Nat'l Monument; 4,
Purchased Property; 5, Stockade; 6, Outer Stockade; 7, Deadline; 8, Forts
and Batteries; 9, Main Fort; 10, [1]Gallows; 11, Magazine; 12, Capt.
Wirtz' Headquarters; 13, To Cemetery; 14, Wells and Tunnels; 15, Dead
House; 16, Guard Camp; 17, Road to Station; 18, Creek; 19, North Gate; 20,
South Gate; 21, Flag Pole.]

[Illustration: THE ANDERSONVILLE PRISON PEN

This view looks westward. Providence Spring was located just below the
north gate, close to the stockade X.]



CHAPTER II.

AN INSIDE VIEW OF A CONFEDERATE PRISON.


At the time of our incarceration in Andersonville, the crisis of the war
of the rebellion was reached. General Grant was fighting the great battles
of the Wilderness in Virginia; the investment of Petersburg was about to
begin, and General Lee was resisting the impact of the Federal forces with
unsurpassed skill and heroism. General Sherman was also hastening his
preparations to penetrate the vitals of the Confederacy by his famous
"March to the Sea."

Skirmishes by the contending forces were of daily occurrence, and
frequently battles were fought that now loom large in history. To bury the
dead was not difficult; but the care of the wounded was a grave concern to
both armies. An affair of still greater magnitude was the gathering up of
the captured officers and soldiers, the transporting of them hundreds of
miles, and the placing of them in prisons for safe keeping.

The Confederate authorities adopted a simple and logical plan. Foodstuffs
for their armies could not be gathered in war-swept Virginia, nor to any
great extent from the border States. In Georgia and Alabama, in parts of
the Carolinas, Mississippi and Louisiana faithful slave labor produced an
abundant supply of rice, corn and bacon, sweet potatoes and beans.

To transport these bulky materials to the armies of Lee, Hood and Johnson
required every locomotive and freight car that could be mustered on
Southern railroads. Hence the northward-bound trains were heavily laden.
Those going southward were empty, and were available to carry away the
thousands of Union prisoners. At several points in the South Atlantic and
Gulf States, stockade prisons were set up, notably that in Southwestern
Georgia, named after an adjacent hamlet, "Andersonville."

This celebrated place of confinement for Federal prisoners below the rank
of commissioned officer was located about sixty-two miles from Macon. It
consisted of a stockade made of pine logs twenty-five feet long, set
upright in a trench five feet deep, inclosing some sixteen acres,
afterwards enlarged to twenty-six acres.

This inclosure was oblong in form, with its longest dimension in a general
north and south direction, and had two gates in its western side, near the
north and south ends respectively. It was commanded by several stands of
artillery, comprising sixteen guns, located at a distance on rising
ground. From four directions the guns could sweep the prison interior with
grapeshot or shells.

A line of poles was planted along the lengthwise center of the pen. We
were informed that if the men gathered in unusual crowds between the range
of the poles and the north and south gates, the cannon would open upon us.

A report was circulated among us to the effect that General Sherman had
started an expedition to release us; and we were informed that if his
troops approached within seven miles of the stockade the prisoners would
be mowed down by grapeshot. The fact is that one of his generals proposed
a sortie that never was made. "About July 20, 1864, General Stoneman was
authorized at his own desire to march (with cavalry) on Macon and
Andersonville in an effort to rescue the National prisoners of war in the
military prisons there."

Outside and against the stockade platforms for guards were placed two or
three rods apart, and were so constructed that the sentinel climbed a
ladder and stood waist high above the top of the wall and under a board
roof, which sheltered him from the sun and rain.

Each of the guards faced the vast mass of prisoners and was ordered to
closely watch the dead line before and below him half way to his comrade
on his right and left.

The "dead line" formed a complete circuit parallel to the inside of the
stockade and about twenty feet therefrom. It consisted of a narrow strip
of board nailed to a row of stakes, which were about four feet high.
"Shoot any prisoner who touches the "dead line" was the standing order to
the guards. Several companies from Georgia regiments were detailed for the
duty, and their muskets were loaded with "buck and ball" (_i. e._, a large
bullet and two buckshot). The day guard at the stockade consisted of one
hundred and eighty-six men; the day reserve of eighty-six men. The night
reserve consisted of one hundred and ten men; the outlay pickets of
thirty-eight men.

A sick prisoner inadvertently placing his hand on the dead line for
support, or one who was "moon blind" running against it, or anyone
touching it with suicidal intent, would be instantly shot at, the
scattering balls usually striking others than the one aimed at.

The intervening space between the wall and the dead line was overgrown
with weeds, and was occasionally tested by workmen with long drills to
ascertain the existence of tunnels. In attempting to escape by this means
the prisoners endeavored to emerge at night some distance from the
stockade and take to the woods. To frustrate such attempts, which would
inevitably be discovered at roll-call the following morning, man-tracking
hounds were led by mounted men on a wide circuit around the prison, with
the well-nigh universal result that the trail was struck and the fugitive
taken.

Later a stockade was erected parallel to the first, and some ten or twelve
rods beyond. Tunnels could not be carried so far with the means available.
They were dug with knives and the dirt was taken out in haversacks or bags
drawn in and out by a cord. The work of digging was usually carried on at
night. During the day a sick man lay over the tunnel's mouth in a tent or
under a blanket. That the roll-call sergeant might not discover the fresh
earth, it was sifted early in the morning from the pocket and down the
trouser leg of a comrade, who walked unconcernedly about. The little
grains of earth which he dropped were soon trodden under foot.

To increase the difficulty of tunnel escape, slaves and teams were
employed to build piles of pitch-pine along the cleared space beyond the
outer stockade. At night, when these were lighted, a line of fires was
made which illuminated a wide area. From these fires arose columns of
dense smoke, which in the sultry air of a midsummer night hung like a pall
over the silent city of disease and starvation. Yet the city was not
wholly quiet, for undertones of thousands of voices that murmured during
the day at night died away into the low moans of the sick and the
expiring, or rose into the overtones of the outcry of distressful dreams.
In the edge of the gloom beyond the fires, patrols paced to and fro until
the dawn. Every evening the watch-call sounded, "Post number one, nine
o'clock and all is well." This cry was repeated by each sentinel until it
had traveled around the stockade back to the place of starting. "Nine and
a half o'clock and all is well," was next spoken, and likewise repeated.
Thus every half hour from dark to daylight the time was called off, and
this grim challenge greeted our ears every night until the survivors bade
the Confederacy good-bye. Not that our captors benevolently wished to
increase the sense of the shortness of the time until our release, but to
be assured that the guards were keeping awake.



CHAPTER III.

THE PRISON COMMISSARIAT.


The least that can be said of the prison sustenance is that it was
exceedingly slim. But while the _per diem_ rations dealt out to an
Andersonville prisoner were too small for proper maintenance, and much of
the time inferior in quality, yet the thirty-two thousand to thirty-five
thousand men who had to be fed were as a rule promptly served.

To secure this result effective organization was necessary. It was
accomplished as follows: Groups of two hundred and seventy men were named
detachments and duly numbered. Every detachment was divided into the
first, second and third nineties, each of which was in charge of one of
our own sergeants. The nineties, in turn, were divided into the first,
second and third thirties, which also were in charge of a sergeant or
corporal.

At ten o'clock every forenoon a drum call was beaten from the platform at
the south gate. At this signal the prisoners fell into line by
detachments, forming as best they could in the narrow paths that separated
the small tents, blanket shanties or dug-outs. At the same moment a
company of Confederate sergeants entered the two gates for the purpose of
counting and recording the number of the prisoners. To each of these
officers a certain number of detachments were assigned. The men,
unsheltered from the fierce sun-heat, had perforce to remain standing
during the entire count. If a number less than that of yesterday was in
evidence, the Federal sergeant had to account for the deficit. Sometimes a
number of men were too ill to stand up, so the line was held the longer
while the Confederate official viewed the sick where they lay.

The bodies of those who had died since the count of the previous day were
early in the morning carried to the south street and laid in a row until
the ration wagon could haul them to the burying trench. On a card attached
to the wrist of the deceased was written by the detachment sergeant, his
name, regiment and date of death. These names were taken by the
enumerator, who verified the record as the bodies were carried through the
gate. Such was the scarcity of clothing that garments of any value were
taken by comrades from the dead before interment.

In the early summer prisoners were occasionally detailed under guard to
carry the dead some distance from the gate. On the return they were
allowed to gather up chips which had accumulated from the hewing of
stockade timbers. The quantity a man, weakened by hunger and disease,
could bring in would sell for five dollars, U. S. currency. Competition to
get out on one of these details became so intense that the privilege was
discontinued.

At four o'clock in the afternoon rations of corn bread and bacon were
issued on the basis of the morning count of those who are able to stand
up. Two army wagons drawn by mules entered the north and south gates
simultaneously. They were piled high with bread, thin loaves of corn bread
or Johnny cake, made of coarse meal and water by our men who had been
paroled for that work.

A blanket was spread upon the ground and the quantity for a detachment was
placed thereon in three piles; one for every ninety, according to the
number of men able to eat. In like manner the sergeants of nineties
sub-divided the piles to the thirties.

The writer had charge of a division of thirty and distributed as follows:
His blanket was spread in front of his shelter tent and on it he spread
the bread in as many pieces as there were men counted in the morning.

Each man had his number and was intently watching the comparative size of
the portions. "Sergeant," cries one, pointing to a cube of bread, "That
piece is smaller than the one next to it." A crumb is taken from the one
and placed upon the other. The relative size of any piece may be
challenged by any member of the thirty, for his life is involved.

The equalization is finally completed to the satisfaction of all. The
sergeant then takes up a piece in his hand and says, "Whose is this?" A
designated comrade looking the other way calls a number. The owner steps
up and takes his portion. This process is repeated until all are served.
Some four or five pounds of bacon are then cut on a board into small
pieces and issued in like manner.

The cube of bread and morsel of meat constitute the ration for twenty-four
hours. One-half may be eaten at once; the remainder should be put in the
haversack for breakfast. If any one yields to his insatiable hunger and
eats the whole for supper he has to fast until the following evening and
must then deny himself and put away the portion for the next morning's
breakfast. Experiment proved that strength was better sustained by taking
the scanty ration of food in two portions than by eating the whole at
once.

When the number of prisoners exceeded fifteen thousand, the facilities of
the cook-house were inadequate. Therefore raw rations were issued
alternately every two weeks to each side of the prison. In this form the
amount _per capita_ daily was a scant pint of corn meal and a scrap of
uncooked bacon.

Occasionally boiled rice and cow beans were substituted for the meal, but
these were very difficult to issue in accurate portions. Sometimes a
quantity of this glutenous food was carried in a sleeve of a shirt or in
the trouser's leg tied at the end.

The supply of fuel for cooking was wholly inadequate. Often the ration of
wood was ironically called a "toothpick." It would be split into small
short splinters and two men would sometimes combine their portions. Water
in a quart tin cup setting on small blocks of clay could be brought to a
boil before the wood under it was consumed. Into this water meal was
stirred and, if the blaze could be yet further economized, partially
cooked mush was the outcome. The sick could not, however, do this work for
themselves. Many ate meal uncooked, but the experiment soon ended life.

It may be observed that many of the Andersonville prisoners were well
supplied with money. The Federal armies were reclothed and paid off in the
spring of 1864. The new recruits and re-enlisted veterans, in many
instances, had with them bounty money when captured. Greenbacks could be
pressed into the sole of a shoe, or placed inside a brass button. In
various ways money was concealed about the person.

The authorities at Andersonville allowed supplies to be sold to the
prisoners for Federal money. Numerous small restaurants flourished in the
stockade. From small clay ovens they supplied fresh bread and baked meats.
Irish and sweet potatoes, string beans, peas, tomatoes, melons, sweet
corn, and other garden products were abundantly offered for sale. New
arrivals were amazed to find these resources in the midst of utter
destitution and starvation.

As this sketch is of the nature of personal experiences, the writer might
tell how, in his case, the question of increasing the food supply was
solved. A ration of fresh beef received by his thirty consisted of a shank
bone on which a small amount of lean meat remained. This latter was cut
into portions about the size of a little finger. These were easily issued,
but what shall be done with the bone which towered on the meat board above
the diminutive strips of beef? No tools were available by which it could
be broken up. One and another cried out, "I don't want the bone for a
ration." "Count it out for me." "I can't gnaw a bone." The writer knew
that a wealth of nutriment was contained in the rich marrow and oil-filled
joints, and in view of the unanimous rejection of the bone, said, "Well,
boys, if none of you want it, I will take it as my portion." "Agreed,"
shouted the crowd, adding expressions like these, "Come, hurry up and
call off that meat; I'm hungry." The strips were speedily issued, and, for
the most part, eaten at once.

The fortunate possessor of what was a large soup bone borrowed from a
comrade a kitchen knife with permission to cut on the back of the same
teeth, which were made with a file procured from a tent-mate. The steel of
the blade was exceedingly hard and by the time the teeth were finished the
file was worn nearly smooth. However, this fact insured that the teeth
would hold their edge. The bone was quickly cut in two and the marrow dug
out with a splinter. What remained was melted out with boiling water and a
marrow soup was prepared for six hungry patriots. Next, the joints were
sawed into slices and the rich oil extracted therefrom with hot water.
Thus for two meals a generous addition was made to our impoverished menu.

Soon after, while splitting wood by driving the knife into the end of a
stick, the blade was snapped off about one and one-half inches from the
handle. This disaster brought consternation, for the owner valued his
knife at five dollars. However, a settlement was effected by which the
user retained the broken parts and the worn-out file. The blade was set
into a split stick to be used as a saw, as circumstances might require.

The broken end of the shank was scraped on a brick to form a beveled edge
like a chisel. Later on, the fact was demonstrated that these tools were a
providential preparation. The face of the writer became diseased with the
much prevailing scurvy. A swollen cheek, inflamed and bleeding gums with
loosening teeth, indicated the fact that a hard fight for life must be put
up. How shall it be done? About this time a stockade was built on three
sides of an enclosure attached to the north end of the prison, thus making
more room for the thousands of additional prisoners who were constantly
arriving from many battle fields. The intervening wall was taken up and
most of the timber sold to the prisoners. From one who had purchased a
log, the writer obtained the wood sufficient to make three water pails;
working on a two-thirds share.

This material was delivered to the writer in split strips about three
inches thick and four feet long. With the knife-blade saw these sticks of
hard pine were slowly and laboriously cut into lengths for staves which
were split on a curve by driving together several sharp-pointed wedges
into a circular grain of the wood. Thus each stave was an arc of the
circumference of the tree. A day's ration was traded for a board three
inches wide and thirty inches long. A mortise was cut through this to
receive the knife-chisel, which was held in place with a forked wedge
after the manner of a carpenter's plane.

This was the jointer on which the edges of the staves were smoothed and
its upper end was placed on the knee of the writer, who sat tailor fashion
on the ground, and the lower end was placed in a hole in the earth. The
pieces for the bottom of the pail were split flat across the circular
grain of the tree, and the edges were also smoothed on the jointer. For
the want of truss hoops, the problem of setting up the staves seemed
insurmountable. A sleepless night was passed in thinking the matter
through. At four o'clock in the morning the inspiration came, and the
solution was: Dig a hole in the ground the form and slope of the
prospective pail. This was speedily done, and the staves were successfully
set half their length in this mold, and the last one driven home brought
the whole into shape. Two knapsack straps were passed around the top of
the pail and held it together. It was then carefully drawn out of the hole
and hoops made of split saplings were put in place, and the handle of like
material was made. Precious food was bartered for these split stems, and
the resultant fasting added to prevailing starvation nearly cost the
writer his life.

Pieces for the bottom were jointed, placed on the ground and on them the
pail was set. A pencil was run round on this bottom and the end of each
piece was cut with saw and chisel wherever the curved mark indicated.

Days of incessant labor with chisel and a borrowed jackknife sufficed to
produce from hard pitch pine the staves for the sides and bottom of a
water pail of the ordinary size.

When at last the pail was completed so imperfect were the joints that meal
could be sifted through. Derisive laughter greeted the apparent failure of
a pail to hold water, through the joints of which the light freely shone.
However, the maker depended on the dry wood of the staves swelling tight
if only the hoops proved strong enough to stand the immense pressure.
Happily, this resulted and in triumph the first made pail was handed over
to the owner of the log in payment for the wood from which three pails
could be made.

The second pail was more speedily made and sold for $1.50 with which the
proprietor bought vegetables which eaten raw cured the scurvy in his face.

During the following winter which was passed in the Confederate prison at
Florence, South Carolina, the shoes worn by the most of our group, owing
to defective machine stitching, peeled from the toe to the heel, causing
almost constantly damp feet, to the serious detriment of health.

Again the writer was obliged to make a fight for life. Recalling the
process of making his chisel, he scraped, on a brick, the shank of his
worn-out file into a point like a pegging awl. A gum tree knot served as a
handle. A two-inch nut from a car bolt was screwed to a handle for a shoe
hammer. A piece of soft pine was whittled into a last. With the knife-saw
maple chips were cut into right lengths for shoe pegs which were shaped
one by one. With this equipment the loosened soles were tightly pegged to
the uppers. The shoes thus made water tight contributed no little to our
chances of survival.

The writer afterwards mended shoes for one of the wood-chopping party who
secured, of field negroes, sweet potatoes which he brought with the
working squad into the prison at evening, and with them paid for the
mending. These were cooked by the writer and retailed to the prisoners
with large profit in U. S. fractional currency.

Confederate money was secretly purchased forty dollars for one, and with
this supplies could be lawfully bought of the prison sutler. Bread per
small loaf, flour per pound, and a fair-sized cabbage could be bought each
for ten dollars. We drove a flourishing trade in hot cabbage soup with men
who possessed any money; especially to those who, without shelter,
literally piled themselves together for mutual warmth during the piercing
cold and rain of a southern winter night.

The soup was made in the following manner: A cabbage consisted of a stalk
with a tuft of leaves on the upper end and a bunch of roots on the lower
end. The whole was washed clean and chopped up fine with the knife-chisel.
The sliced leaves, stem and roots were boiled in eight quarts of water
until made as tender as heat could do it. Into the green colored liquid
was stirred some flour thickening; the whole was salted and a minced red
pepper was added for pungency, while a whole pepper floated on the surface
as an advertisement.

For a soup dipper a piece of pail hoop was riveted to the side of a
condensed milk can, the two rivets being cut from a copper cent with the
chisel driven with the shoe hammer. For soup plates a canteen was melted
apart and the two halves formed each a plate. On [2]Market Square, down by
the swamp, four slender stakes were driven and thereon was placed a pine
shake, which formed the soup counter. The soup kettle was covered with a
piece of woolen shirt, which kept in the heat. Very early each morning we
opened up for business and a line of shivering men in rags and nearly
perished from exposure formed as the soup brigade. The price per plate
was a five-cent shinplaster of U. S. fractional currency. The poor fellow
who had no money must needs go without. As new prisoners ceased to arrive
the money supply was soon gathered up and the prison sutler went away and
trade was brought to an end.

[Illustration: A DREAM]

Our last plate of soup was sold to a Maine soldier who paid for it his
last five cents. He was nearly naked and incessantly shivered from the
cold. The writer found him the following morning, after a night of rain,
to which he was exposed, with his knees drawn up to his chin in the
instinctive effort to bring the surfaces of his body together for warmth.
With difficulty his frame was straightened out for burial.

The profit of this business for several weeks gave to our group of six one
fairly good meal each day and made possible the survival of those of our
number who finally emerged from this awful prison life.



CHAPTER IV.

A DEARTH OF WATER.


If the food supply of Andersonville was bad, the water supply was worse.
To understand the situation and to see how little was done to overcome the
difficulties involved, and to make the most of the existing facilities for
the relief of the suffering, one has to consider the formation of this
prison encampment.

The surface of the interior consisted of two hillsides, sloping
respectively north and south towards the center which was occupied by a
swamp of nearly four acres. This was traversed by a sluggish creek which
was some five feet wide and six inches deep, and made its way along the
foot of the south slope. Up the stream were located the headquarters of
Capt. Wirtz, the camps of the Confederate artillery and infantry and the
cook-house for the prisoners. The drainage of these localities entered
the creek which flowed into the prison through spaces between the stockade
timbers, and polluted the water which was the chief supply of the prison,
and which, at midnight, in its clearest condition, was the color of amber.
The intervening space at the foot of the north hill was a wide morass, and
when overflowed by rains became a vast cesspool on which boundless swarms
of flies settled down and laid their eggs; which were speedily hatched by
the fervent heat of the nearly tropical sun, and became a horrible
undulating mass. On a change of wind the odor could be detected miles
away; indeed it was reported that the people of Macon petitioned General
Howell Cobb, the military governor of Georgia, for a removal of the prison
located sixty miles away, lest an awful pestilence sweep over their
country!

The turkey buzzards, birds of ill omen, would come up against the wind,
alight on the bare limbs of the tall pines overlooking the prison, and
circle over the grizzled city as if waiting to descend for a carrion
feast.

When we entered the prison on May 23rd, our detachment of two hundred and
seventy men was scheduled fifty-five, indicating the presence of fourteen
thousand eight hundred and fifty prisoners. The number steadily rose until
a reported thirty-five thousand were present at one time. As the arrivals
increased by hundreds and thousands, the daily mortality was counted by
scores and hundreds, and many of the sick were without shelter from the
heat of the pitiless sun.

As the killed and wounded are scattered over the fields of the sanguinary
battle, so our dying sick lay around on every hand. In the early summer,
Capt. Wirtz issued to the prisoners picks and shovels, with which to dig
wells for increased water supply. From some of these wells the men started
tunnels through which to escape. Discovering this, the commander withdrew
the tools, and ordered the wells to be filled up. Permission to keep one
of them open was purchased by a group of prisoners. It was sunk to a
necessary depth, covered with a platform and trap door, and supplied about
one thousand men.

Aside from this well, for the favored few, the only water supply was from
about twelve feet of the length of the creek which reached between the
dead-line and the bridge connecting the two divisions of the prison. A
terrible water famine set in, with the result that many of the ailing ones
became insane from thirst.

In these unsanitary surroundings there is a well authenticated case of a
man who was severely afflicted with scurvy. As he lay in the place of
filth and stench, without medical attention until gangrene of the lower
limbs set in, he realized that to save his life he must lose his feet. No
one of his comrades had the nerve to perform the necessary operation, so
he obtained an old knife and disjointed his pedal extremities.

    "In November, 1863, an order was issued for the establishment of a
    prison in Georgia, the granary of the eastern part of the
    Confederacy, and for this purpose a tract of land was selected near
    the town of Andersonville. A stockade 15 feet high, inclosing 16-1/2
    acres, was built, and this, in June, 1864, was enlarged to 26-1/2
    acres, but 3-1/4 acres near the center were too marshy to be used. A
    small stream ran through the inclosure, which, it was thought, would
    furnish water sufficient for drinking and for bathing. The trees
    within the stockade were cut down and no shelter was provided for the
    expected inmates, who began to arrive in February, 1864, before the
    rude prison was completed according to the design, and before an
    adequate supply of bacon for their use had been received. Prisoners
    continued to come until, on the 5th of May, there were about 12,000,
    which number went on increasing until in August it exceeded 32,000.
    Their condition was one of extreme wretchedness. Those who came first
    erected rude shelters from the debris of the stockade; later arrivals
    burrowed in the ground or protected themselves with any blankets or
    pieces of cloth of which they had not been deprived according to the
    practice of robbing men who were taken prisoners which prevailed on
    both sides. Through an unfortunate location of the baking and cooking
    houses on the creek above the stockade the water became polluted
    before it reached the prisoners, so that to obtain pure water they
    must dig wells. =After a severe storm a spring broke out within the
    inclosure, and this became one of the main reliances for drinking
    water.= The sinks were constructed over the lower part of the stream,
    but the current was not swift enough to carry away the ordure, and
    when the stream was swollen by rain and overflowed, the foecal matter
    was deposited over a wide area, producing a horrible stench. This was
    the famous prison of Andersonville."--From Rhodes' History of the
    United States, Vol. V, pp. 483-515.

    "The history of Andersonville prison pen has shocked the world with
    its tales of horror, of woe, and of death, before unheard of and
    unknown to civilization. No pen can describe, no artist can paint, no
    imagination comprehend their fearful and unutterable sufferings.

    "Into the narrow confines of this prison were herded more than
    thirty-five thousand enlisted men, whose only fault was they 'wore the
    Union blue,' many of them the bravest and best, the most devoted and
    heroic of those grand armies that carried the flag of the Union to
    final victory. For long and weary months they suffered and died for
    that flag. Here they suffered =unsheltered= from the burning rays of a
    southern sun, or were drenched by the rain and deadly dews of the
    night. All this while they were in every stage of physical
    disease--hungered, emaciated, starving.

    "Is it a wonder that during the month of August, 1864, one man died in
    every eleven minutes, night and day, or that, for six months,
    beginning April, 1864, one died every twenty-two and one-half minutes
    night and day? This should forever silence the assertion that men
    would be taken prisoners rather than risk their lives on the firing
    line. The lack of water was the cause of much disease and suffering.
    Under the most favorable circumstances the water supply was
    insufficient for one-quarter of the number of men confined there. All
    the water obtainable was from a sluggish creek that ran through the
    grounds; and, in addition to this, there were thirty-six hundred men
    acting as guards camped on the bank of this stream before it reached
    the prison pen, and the water became so foul no words can describe
    it."--From "A Sketch of Andersonville," by Mrs. Lizabeth A. Turner,
    Chairman Andersonville Prison Board. Journal of the Twenty-fifth
    National Convention of the Woman's Relief Corps, page 169.



    "More things are wrought by prayer
      Than this world dreams of."
                          --Tennyson.



CHAPTER V.

A CRY TO HEAVEN.


The bitter cry which arose from the suffering camp was changed on the lips
of a few to an appeal to heaven. Where else could men look in their dire
extremity? One evening early in August the sound of the old long metre
doxology was heard from the voices of a group of men gathered around the
solitary pine stump in the enclosure, which was situated at the end of the
north street of the prison where space was left for the ration wagon to
turn around. On this stump was seated an emaciated cavalry sergeant, Mr.
Shepard, of Columbus, Ohio, formerly an honored preacher of the gospel. In
days past he had frequently been called upon to offer prayer over the
remains of some deceased comrade, and now he led in the old and well-known
hymn to call like-minded souls together.

Some twenty-five unkempt, starving men gathered around him and joined in
the familiar strain. What memories of family worship and old-time services
in the meeting-house those words called up. Said Brother Shepard in
substance: "I have today read in the book of Numbers of Moses striking the
rock from which water gushed out for the ample supply of man and beast. I
tell you God must strike a rock in Andersonville or we shall all die of
thirst. And if there is no rock here, He can smite the ground and bring
forth water to supply our desperate needs. Of this I am sure; let us ask
Him to do this."

Pointing to an uncombed, unwashed, ragged comrade standing close by, he
said, "Will the brother from Chicago pray?" He then successively called on
other acquaintances, distinguishing them by their different localities at
home. All the prayers were poured out in the one desire for water.

For perhaps an hour the meeting continued and closed with the doxology.
The words of the leader were, "Boys, when you awake during the night
offer to God a little prayer for water. Do the same many times tomorrow,
and let us meet here in the evening to pray again for water."

If memory be not at fault, these individual and collective petitions were
steadfastly offered from Monday evening to Thursday evening.

For a month previous we had noticed that a number of the stockade timbers
near the north gate had been loosened by the percolating of the copious
rain and that they were sagging considerably and had settled out of line.
We wondered why they had been allowed to remain so long in this unsafe
condition. Was it a coincidence that after prayer began to be offered the
quartermaster of the prison notified Capt. Wirtz that stockade timbers
were out of line and should be set right? He was ordered to take a gang of
slaves and make the necessary repairs. About fifteen stalwart negroes were
marched through the main gate and turned into the twenty-foot space
between the dead-line and the wall. With pike poles the closely adjoining
posts were heaved into position and the earth was closely tamped.

Then the workers faced about and commenced digging a trench up the hill
nearly as wide as the space between the dead-line and the stockade. A part
of the gang swung their picks into the red clay which was shoveled against
the timbers. Another set followed with heavy rammers and pounded the whole
into a smooth, sloping surface which was tamped closely to the base of the
wooden wall, making a perfect watershed, and thus preventing the further
loosening of the earth at the base of the stockade. By Thursday evening
the broad trench with rounded bottom was completed from the swamp up the
dead line space to the north gate.



    THE WOMANS RELIEF CORPS

    "Today beneath our Nation's flag,
      The old red, white and blue,
    A band of noble women work
      With a purpose just and true;
    To aid and succor those who fought
      To save our honored land,
    For home and freedom, God and right,
      Those earnest women stand."


[Illustration: PROVIDENCE SPRING AND WOMEN OF THE RELIEF CORPS]



CHAPTER VI.

UNSEALING OF THE SPRING.


On Friday morning an ominous stillness pervaded nature. By the middle of
the forenoon a dense, dark cloud was noticed in the southwest quarter of
the horizon, slowly creeping upward. It rose above the treetops majestic
and awful in appearance. A troop of small, scurrying, angry-looking clouds
seemed to form an advancing line to the vast mass of storm cloud. The
onward movement quickened, and soon the front of the mountain of
approaching cloud assumed a gray appearance, caused by the mighty downpour
of water which more nearly than anything else seemed a continuous
cloudburst.

Crashes of thunder broke over our heads and flashes of lightning swished
around us as if the air was filled with short circuits. The awful moving
wall came towards us rapidly and we understood what was happening.

As the mighty deluge swept through the clearing west of the prison, we
bowed our heads in preparation of submersion in the advancing waterspout.
When it came upon us the sensation was as if a million buckets of water
were being poured upon us at once. The air was so filled with the roaring,
hissing flood that we could not look up, but bent forward to protect our
faces, covering our nostrils with our hands to preserve a little breathing
space.

Instantly rivulets of water poured down over our bodies as if a hose were
discharging its stream on our shoulders, and the surface of the filthy
ground was soon covered with a rush of muddy water. The swamp space as
quickly filled with great swirling eddies. The upper stockade served as a
dam across the creek, which in a few minutes became swollen into the
dimensions of a river. Driftwood bore down upon the stockade, causing it
to give way with a mighty crash. The heavy timbers were whirled across
the prison as if they were mere straws, and by the force of their impact
carried away the rear stockade. From the batteries solid shot was fired
over our heads to warn us that if we attempted to escape through the
opening in the wall we would be swept by the cannon. The roar of the guns
chimed harmoniously with the thundering of the storm. In the awful
suspense of such overwhelming conditions the progress of time could not be
measured. The downpour may have continued twenty minutes, perhaps half an
hour, or possibly longer. So great was its fury that we felt it must soon
end or it would end us. Fortunately, it ceased as suddenly as it came.
Looking up, we saw the great water wall retreating. The sun burst forth
with unwonted vigor and shone with brilliant effect upon the receding
rain. A dense fog arose from the drying garments of thirty-five thousand
human bodies and from the exhalations of surrounding surfaces. As the
heavy mist cleared away, the drenched and forlorn prisoners tried to be
merry. They viewed with complacency the breach in the walls of the
infamous pen and wished that every timber had been leveled to the earth.

A witty comrade on the south hill of the prison, thinking to convey
desired information to the north side, shouted at the top of his voice,
"Water! Water!" Men on the north side, as by a common impulse, answered
back, and the two great companies in turn shouted the magic word, much as
the opposite hosts on Ebal and Gerazim alternately responded, "Amen."

Immediately after this antiphonal outburst a voice was heard from the
north gate, ringing out in clear tones the thrilling words, "A spring! A
spring! A spring has broken out!" "Where, where?" was the eager inquiry
which arose at once from many lips. The writer tried to press his way
towards the north gate, but the crowd was so dense that no progress could
be made. The excitement of the moment was indescribable. During a lull
some one sang out, "You fellows over by the north gate, tell us, has a
spring broken out?" "Yes," was the reply, an emphatic "Yes." Then was
further shouted the explanation, "Where the trench was dug the flood has
torn up the earth and a spring has gushed out."

As soon as opportunity afforded we pressed our way to the spot, and there,
just below the north gate, in the center of the space between the stockade
and the dead-line, at the point where the earth had been most deeply
excavated, the sloping surfaces had gathered the waters of the flood. The
bottom of the trench was torn up some twenty inches, uncovering the vent
of a spring of purest crystal water, which shot up into the air in a
column and, falling in a fanlike spray, went babbling down the grade into
the noxious brook. Looking across the dead-line, we beheld with wondering
eyes and grateful hearts the fountain spring.

But our relief was not yet realized; the question which now concerned us
was how to bring its cooling waters within reach of our lips. In the
afternoon and evening of that eventful Friday we prayed that God would so
turn the heart of Capt. Wirtz that he would allow the precious water to be
conveyed within our lines. We waited in suspense for the answer, and on
Saturday morning, to our delight, we saw the quartermaster again enter the
gate with a gang of slaves, bringing fence boards, hammers, nails, axes
and stakes. A double row of the latter was driven, so that the direction
crossed the dead-line at a slight angle down the hill. A strip was nailed
across each pair of stakes, and in the aperture rested a trough made of
two fence boards nailed together. At the lower end of this chute in an
excavation was set a sugar hogshead, around which clay was tamped so as to
aid in making it watertight. When all was ready the upper end of the chute
was thrust under the falling column of water, which swiftly ran down and
filled to overflowing the large barrel. From this the men by crowds dipped
freely of the refreshing, life-giving water.

Laughter, songs and thanksgiving abounded. Thus was wrought before our
eyes a gracious work of Providence which to many of us was quite as
wonderful and quite as manifestly the work of the All-Father as was the
smitten rock in the Palestine desert from which the thirst of the fainting
hosts of Israel was slacked in their desert wanderings.

[Illustration: Stockade bursted by a flood which opened the wonderful
"Providence Spring"]



CHAPTER VII.

WAS IT A MIRACLE?


A profound conviction has been cherished by many that the unsealing of
Providence Spring was as marked an interposition of the hand of the
Almighty as that recorded in the Book of Numbers where it is said, "And
Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice; and water
came forth abundantly and the congregation drank." Num. 20:11.

Are they wrong in this conviction? The unwontedness of the incident admits
of no dispute. In such a sober work as Rhodes History of the United
States, we have the statement, "After a severe storm a spring broke out
within the enclosure (Andersonville stockade) and this became one of the
main reliances for drinking water." Vol. V., p. 492.

An eye witness records: "About the first of August showers fell that beat
anything I ever saw. There was one good result, for where the stockade was
washed away on the north side, it opened a spring of pure water, enough to
supply nearly the whole of the prison." (The narrative of Amos E. Stearns,
Co. A, 25th Regiment, Mass. Published by Franklin Pierce, 1887.)

While comparatively few of the prisoners knew of the days of prayer that
preceded the storm, every one recognized that something out of the
ordinary course of events had happened; and that a new spirit pervaded the
camp. Before this, no one would give a dying man a drink, for water was
scarce, and the scurvy in the recipient's mouth might contaminate the cup
for its owner. And indeed, not many had the strength to wait upon others.
But now the dull, sombre, despairing mood was changed. The little stream
of pure water, contrasted with the former slough that supplied us,
murmured sweetly down through the night, and during the day it
over-brimmed thousands of cups that eager hands reached forth.

In after days many of these men were gathered at Camp Chase, Ohio, and
there detained until improved health rendered them presentable for return
home.

We recall that when in the chapel of that place a Capt. Allen conducted
evening religious services, hundreds of testimonies were given to the
effect that the breaking out of the spring at Andersonville was a distinct
answer to prayer and a convincing fact of the reality of help coming from
above. Many of the speakers declared that their Christian faith began from
that occurrence.

Questions such as the following naturally arise: Was Providence Spring a
miracle? Would the saving relief have been withheld if prayer had not been
offered?

The situation is not more difficult of analysis than is that described in
the story of Queen Esther where is exhibited the interplay of natural and
supernatural elements in human activity and Divine over-ruling. The
northern section of the Andersonville inclosure was mainly a bank of clay,
as evidenced by the many wells which were partially sunk, but filled, by
order of Capt. Wirtz, because tunnels therefrom were dug for escape. The
vein of water which issued in Providence Spring doubtless flowed from time
immemorial, and being unable to work upward through a too great overpress
of clay, had found a lower seam through which it seeped into the depths of
the swamp below. This implied fact was learned as follows: As the prison
administration was unable to cook meal and bacon for the increasing
thousands of men, these articles were issued raw for two weeks alternately
to the north and south sides of the enclosure.

A distressingly small lot of wood must suffice a detachment of two hundred
and seventy men for three days. Often the individual portion would not
make a fire that would scald, much less cook, the scant portion of
cornmeal, which was sometimes coarse and unbolted. It was said that more
than ten thousand cases of bloody dysentery prevailed at one time;
aggravated by irritation to stomach and intestines from the practically
uncooked food. The awful unsanitary conditions which prevailed can be
described, but respect for the sensibilities of the reader forbids.
Suffice it to say that the need for fuel was urgent, that a number of the
stronger captives would lay aside their tattered remnants of clothing,
wade into the slimy muck of the swamp, and, sinking to their armpits,
would pull up fragments of wood that had long been submerged. This was
mostly pitch pine and when broken up would quickly burn. The work of
exhuming fuel under such repulsive conditions was chiefly done at night.

It was noticed that in the morning the partially remaining foot-prints and
depression, from which the stick had been drawn, were filled with clear
water. This fact was a mystery until after the spring was opened; then the
conclusion was reached that the spring water followed a deep seam in the
clay and oozed into the swamp some distance below the surface and rose up
through the openings made by the wood-diggers.

Therefore Providence Spring was not especially created to order. Like
Topsy, it had "allus" been. The providential aspects of the case may be
thus stated; the spring existed, but was unknown. It was located under the
space between the dead-line and the stockade, through which digging for a
well was not permitted; it therefore remained undiscovered. The
out-of-plumb position of the stockade timbers had existed for a long time,
but was not noticed by the officials until the time when prayer began to
be offered for water. As the petitions of Esther and Mordecai, unknown to
the King, in a manner unseen affected his action, so by analogy, the
prayer of Sergeant Shepard and his colleagues influenced the state of mind
of the quartermaster and of Commandant Wirtz and they were moved to the
repairing of the stockade which had long been neglected.

This decision led to the forming of a broad trench by digging away the
ground to afford the needed watershed from the base of the stockade.

Thus a channel was formed which gathered the storm-water with force
sufficient to tear away the ground over the spring and release the
life-giving fountain. The slaves removed quite a depth of the earth
directly over the unknown reservoir; thus the deepest part of the trench
was brought so near the spring that the rush of the storm-flow could do
the rest.

The spring water was uncovered and its pressure was sufficient to throw it
into the air. However, as it was located on the forbidden margin, any
prisoner reaching under or over the dead-line for a draught of the water
would be instantly shot by the sentinel posted overhead on the wall.

Hence, after the spring was opened an object of much desire, and suitable
as a subject of prayer, was that the hardness of Capt. Wirtz would be
relaxed to the extent of allowing the prisoners to have access to the
water. This result was accomplished and the relief was complete.

A recent writer commenting on the development of Providence Spring refers
to the marble fountain erected by the Ex-Prisoners of War Association
inside the granite pavilion built over the spring by the Woman's Relief
Corps, remarks, "The waters flow strong and sweet with a never-ceasing
stream into the marble basin. It is said to be the best water in all
Georgia; that which gushes forth from the side of the little hill in
Andersonville." Confirmatory to this statement is the following incident:

In 1896, when the writer lectured in Warsaw, N. Y., on "Reminiscences of
Battle-fields and Prisons," a prominent war veteran of the town, who had
been a member of the staff of General Grant, showed him a bottle of water
from Providence Spring which nine years before had been hermetically
sealed by the Rev. G. Stanley Lathrop of Atlanta. So pure was the content
that no sediment existed.

The further comment is: "The scientific fact of Providence Spring is that
in the August electrical storm the rocks (clay) which held back this
spring were cracked or broken open by a lightning bolt and the waters
gushed forth. No one ever believed that it was a sort of Moses
intervention for the prisoners, but it was undoubtedly looked upon in that
light by the poor, thirsty, half-starved prisoners."

To which we reply that if we believe in prayer as an instrumentality by
which human and divine forces cooperate to a beneficent end, and the
result takes place, why should we question the efficacy of intercession?

The fact that a number of believing men in the prison were engaged for
some days in protracted prayer for relief from water-famine was not
ostentatiously announced at the time, and was little noticed by the crowd.
Thus has it ever been with the origin of great spiritual movements.

The relief came and a new spirit of hope and gladness, such as prevailing
prayer engenders, swept through the multitude.

The scientific fact of a mightly rain storm being the visible agency of
completing the opening of Providence Spring fitly coordinates with the
moral force of prayer, as in numberless instances such convergence occurs
in history. Nevertheless, this explanation will probably be accepted or
challenged according to the personal experience of the reader in matters
of Christian faith.

In the case of the smitten rock of the Palestine desert water doubtless
existed in an abundant, although unknown supply. The Almighty, by the
agency of Moses, brought it forth for the satisfying of a great multitude.

The prophet was commanded to speak to the rock and it would give forth
water. The response could be from none other than the Creator of all
mountains and flowing streams. And although Moses went beyond the Divine
command, and struck with a rod instead of speaking with his voice, yet the
Divine goodness was not withheld, "and the water came abundantly." So at
Andersonville the sufficient, though unknown, supply was close at hand.
Human voices pleading for relief were answered by Him who spoke by the
wind, the lightning and the flood.

It is said that the spiritual desires of our hearts are the reflection of
what God is waiting to do for us through our own co-operation. Surely
then, the prayers of the Andersonville prisoners for water were incited by
Him who saw their dire necessity, and who waited only for human hands to
aid in the release of the fountain of water which his Omnipotence had
created.

During the subsequent years the writer has given the foregoing account in
lectures and conversations to his comrades of the Grand Army of the
Republic and to many others. Gentlemen of scientific and Christian
attainments have said that this explanation of the phenomenon of
Providence Spring is the most satisfactory of any that they have heard.

The event here chronicled is commemorated by the erection on the spot of a
granite pavilion which is appropriately named "Providence Spring." The
inscriptions are as follows:

    This Fountain Erected by
    THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF UNION
    EX-PRISONERS OF WAR
    In Memory of the 52,345 Comrades
    who were confined here as prisoners of
    war, and of
    the 13,900 comrades buried in the
    adjoining National Cemetery.
    Dedicated Memorial Day,
    May Thirteenth, Nineteen Hundred
    and One.

    James Atwell, National Commander.
    S. M. Long, Adjt. Gen'l.
    J. D. Walker, Cham. Ex. Committee.

A reverse tablet bears the words:

    This Pavilion Was Erected by the
    WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS
    Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the
    Republic
    In grateful memory of the men who
    suffered and died in the
    Confederate Prison at Andersonville,
    Georgia,
    From February, 1864, to April, 1865.

    "The prisoner's cry of thirst rang up to heaven;
    God heard, and with his thunder cleft the earth
    And poured his sweetest waters gushing here."

    "Erected 1901."



CHAPTER VIII.

DELIVERANCE.


[3]At a point on the Cape Fear river, about ten miles from Wilmington, N.
C., a trainload of old Andersonville prisoners who had been confined also
at Florence, S. C., and Salisbury, N. C., were delivered to General Terry.
They had just been paroled at Goldsboro, and were received by him about
the middle of March, 1865. His headquarters was at a point on the Cape
Fear river and recently taken from the enemy. It was now held by the Third
New Hampshire, Sixteenth New York heavy artillery, and by a division of
colored troops.

The freight cars halted in a pine forest about a mile from this position,
which commanded a pontoon bridge. A squad of cavalry received the
ex-prisoners, unfurling the Stars and Stripes in greeting. Many of the
boys in blue wept, when they saw our plight. The released men tried to
hurrah, but were too weak to raise much of a shout. Three ambulances were
loaded with as many of the sick as could be taken on the first trip.

At the farther end of the pontoon bridge the road led through a deep cut
in the bank up to the open space of the camp where guns pointed over the
river towards the forest through which the freight train had come from
Goldsboro with the paroled men. Spanning this cut was an arch constructed
of evergreen boughs and faced with the white cloth square of shelter
tent, upon which was spelled in letters made of evergreen sprigs, "THE
SIXTEENTH NEW YORK WELCOMES YOU HOME."

The march of a mile from the railroad to the pontoon bridge greatly
exhausted the paroled prisoners. At first the excitement of once more
gazing upon the flag they loved, and being received by the advanced
squadron, stimulated them to walk with some show of vigor.

But soon their eyes shone with the unwonted brightness of fatigue in
contrast with their pinched and grimy faces. Many sank by the wayside, to
be picked up by the ambulance when the same could return for them.

The stronger ones worked up into the head of the column which crossed the
pontoon bridge and the advance files of men undertook to walk up through
the cut in the bank at the bridge end. But their feet sank in the sand and
they were too weak to go further.

Meanwhile a company of colored soldiers were drawn up through the cut in
two ranks facing. Between these lines and under the arch our ambulance
passed; the horses tugging with might and main up the steep grade and
through the deep sand. The white officers and the black soldiers stood at
"Present Arms." The eyes of the soldiers opened and their teeth gleamed
with an aspect of astonishment, as they for the first time beheld seasoned
graduates from a course of experiences in war-prisons. The living wrecks
in the ambulances were still more pale and ghastly than were the stronger
ones following slowly on foot, and as the latter emerged from the woods on
to the floating bridge, the onlooking crowd of our men off duty began to
be stirred with a great excitement.

As the ambulances lined up before headquarters, General Terry approached.
With him were the brigade surgeon and a representative of the United
States Christian Commission. The General looked upon us with tear-dimmed
eyes; and turning to the surgeon gave his pocket flask, saying, "Doctor,
for God's sake, help these poor fellows."

This ambulance stopped on the crest of the hill, when the Christian
Commission man stepped to its side and said to the writer, "My boy, you
will get out here." Seeing I was too weak to rise from the seat, he said,
"Just lie across my shoulder." This I did and he carried me into a near-by
country church building which sheltered the sick until they could be
conveyed by boat to Wilmington.

Meanwhile the straggling column of paroled prisoners had crossed the
bridge. An officer undertook to form them into ranks so as to march in
form under the arch and between the lines which stood at "Present arms."
Their feet sank in the soft sand of the cut, and after taking a few steps
they were utterly exhausted. The officer in charge thus addressed the two
lines: "Shoulder arms!" "Order arms!" "Stack arms!" "Break ranks and carry
these men up the hill!" With a mighty cheer the athletic colored soldiers
sprang forward and each picked up an emaciated, wilted prisoner, carried
him up the hill, and tenderly placed him on the ground. In due time, the
sick were taken by boat to the Wright House Hospital, Wilmington, and the
stronger ones were placed in a camp waiting transportation by steamer to
the north.

In the winter of 1875-76, the partially regained health of the writer
collapsed, and he was advised to consult his former regimental surgeon,
Dr. Wells B. Fox. The Doctor said, "You may live a good while, and you may
not. Prepare to leave your family in as good shape as possible. If you
have unsettled accounts fix them up."

Pursuant to this advice, and needing the benefit of a climate warmer than
a Michigan winter, he went to Washington to close up some army matters.
Here he was received very kindly by Surgeon General Barnes, and by him
ordered to have a thorough examination by experts of the medical
department. The diagnosis was more favorable than was deemed possible, and
its correctness has been verified by the subsequent years.

On the journey from Cheboygan to Washington, a stop was made at
Greenville. With his host, a call was made on the Rev. James L. Patton,
pastor of the Congregational Church of that place. As the evening passed,
conversation turned to army happenings. After reciting some experiences in
the service of the United States Christian Commission, with an aroused
manner, Dr. Patton said, "I must tell you of an occasion that I shall
never forget. I was in the Christian Commission service outside
Wilmington, North Carolina, near the close of the war, with General Terry,
when he received the first installment of old Andersonville prisoners as
they were sent into our lines. Terry was all broken up over their
condition." "Could the prisoners walk?" asked the writer. "Yes," he
replied; "some of them could, but many had to be brought in on
ambulances." He was asked, "Where did you put those who were sick?" "We
laid them on the floor of a little church that was close by," Dr. Patton
replied. Extending his hand the writer said, "Dr. Patton, thank you."
"Why, why," he replied hesitatingly, "you need not thank me for the
story; it is true and you are welcome to it." "Yes," was the response, "I
have no doubt the story is true. I do not thank you for it, but for
helping me out of the ambulance at that time." Need it be said that these
two men found themselves comrades, indeed?



CHAPTER IX.

AN INCIDENT BY THE WAY.


A steamboat on the northeast branch of the Cape Fear river carried our
paroled men from the station held by General Terry to the city of
Wilmington.

One of the principal mansions was owned by a Dr. Wright who had fled with
his family on the approach of the Union troops. His fine residence was
converted into a hospital for the arrivals who were sick.

During the ride from Goldsboro on top of a freight car, the writer was
taken ill and was barely able to walk the steamer plank at the point of
transfer. After resting in the little country church he was taken to the
Wright House Hospital and assigned a straw bed on the floor of a room in
the third story. Soldier nurses proceeded to take off his infested prison
rags and to give him a sponge rub. He fainted under the process and had a
run of fever during which he was delirious.

When the point of death was apparently reached his vitality took a turn
for the better and he rapidly improved.

On the floor of his room were twelve narrow straw beds having a succession
of occupants who, with a few exceptions, were soon transferred to their
final resting places.

Many of the ex-prisoners having died from the effects of the too early use
of solid food, the physicians became extremely cautious and limited the
sick to small quantities of the most simple preparations.

During the writer's convalescence, his ravenous hunger was unsatisfied by
the slender allowance. It happened that his bed ended up to a window, and
his favorite occupation was to sit on his pillow and watch the proceedings
in the yard below. Here was a servant's cottage occupied by two colored
women who evidently had excused themselves from flight with their master.
The older one moved about with quiet dignity and doubtless had been the
"mamma" of the family. With evident pleasure she watched the new life and
movement around her, and held in restraint her young and vivacious
companion.

In the yard soldier cooks prepared in large kettles great quantities of
beef soup, which was ladled into pails, carried to the kitchen and served
to the patients throughout the building.

A young artilleryman from Olean, New York, lay on a straw pallet alongside
that of the writer. The one was called "Olean" and the other "Michigan."
From his post of observation at the window the latter, one morning,
watched the handling of the soup below with an interest that could not be
concealed. "Say, Michigan, what are you looking at?" inquired Olean. "I am
looking at them pouring out the soup," was the reply, "and say, Olean, I
wish I could have a good smell of it."

"_Smell_ of the soup," said Olean contemptuously; "if I was a wishing I'd
wish I _had_ some and not just a smell." Upon this sagacious remark, a
number of the occupants of the other beds passed the wink or laugh with a
feeble, hacking sound; their pinched faces brightening with a sense of
mirth.

The practical wisdom of the suggestion was not lost upon "Michigan," who
said, "If I was a little stronger I would take my cup, go down the stairs
and into the yard and I would say, 'Boys, I'm awfully hungry; please give
me some soup.'" Ah-ah-ah, laughed "Olean." "Say, Michigan, I'll bet you
five cents you can't walk the length of your bed and touch the door knob."
Upon this challenge, the other patients from their pillows exchanged
glances, several braced up on the elbow and discussed the possibility of
one of their number leaving his room without permission to forage for
refreshments. The concensus of opinion was that he could not succeed.

"Who are you talking to?" vigorously responded "Michigan." "You think I
can't do it; I'll show you what I can do." Grasping the projecting window
moulding he helped himself to his feet, carefully balancing his trembling
steps along the narrow space between the beds on the floor, and
triumphantly grasping the knob of the door exclaimed, "There now, Olean;
I've done it; I've done it. Where is your five cents?" "Oh, I haven't any
five cents," replied Olean, "but say, Michigan, you would look mighty fine
going down those stairs, wouldn't you?"

Thereupon the observing comrades laughed in great glee; in weakness, like
little children, a very trifling incident amused them; they nodded their
heads at each other and exchanged approving glances.

Our regulation costume was a gray army shirt, drawers of like material,
and a pair of socks. Thus appareled "Michigan" opened the door into the
hall, peered over the railing down the two flights of stairs and, seeing
the coast clear, worked along to the newel post and carefully lowered
himself one or two steps.

Thinking discretion might be the better part of valor, he tested his
strength for the return by trying to retrace the steps down which he had
come. He was quite unable to lift himself on the rising, so must needs
continue down the two flights, resting his weight on the rail. Dizzy and
breathless he stood by the stair post on the main floor. At this juncture
the hospital steward suddenly entered and was amazed to find a very weak
patient in a state of migration. "What are you doing here?" he hurriedly
and angrily asked. "What room do you belong to and who said you might
leave it?" "Oh, I'm just taking a little exercise," was the reply. The
steward rang for an attendant, and with an oath said, "No more of this; I
will order a man to help you to your room and there you stay."

But no helper appeared, so our hero summoned all his determination and
walked through the hall to the back porch. Here a stack of plain coffins
greeted his view; and he fancied that one of them belonged to him. Going
down the veranda steps he held to the rail and coming into the full rays
of the sun turned faint and for a few minutes was helpless. Again, he
summoned all the powers of his will and started down the gravel walk
towards the servant's cottage.

Reaching the porch of the same, he sank exhausted on the steps with head
resting against the corner post. Just then the old "mamma" came out of her
room and caught sight of the wasted form and pale face of the would-be
soup hunter. Gazing pityingly upon his emaciation, and speaking to her
assistant, she exclaimed, "Dinah, Dinah, come yeah, come yeah; look at dat
ar' po' white chile; he bleached so white as linen!"

Then addressing him, she said, "Wah yo' come from? Wah yo' come from?"
"Oh, auntie," he gasped, "I came out of the hospital to get some soup and
I can't get any further. Auntie, give me something to eat; I'm awfully
hungry!" "Dinah, Dinah," she said. "Go to the cupboard and git a big slice
ob de co'n pone; jes slip it undah you aprun and bring it yeah to me."
Passing the generous slice under her own apron, the old mammy stood by the
veranda post, looking the meanwhile intently at a distant object as if
oblivious to all near concerns.

Thus she partially screened the invalid from observation, and reaching the
portion down to his hand, tenderly said, "Dar now, honey, yo eat dat
bread." No second invitation to indulge his famished appetite was needed.
The slice of "co'n pone" speedily disappeared. Strange to say, no
inconvenience resulted. The food aroused the dormant vitality and the
young fellow eagerly exclaimed, "Auntie, Auntie, that was so good. Give me
some more." "No, honey," she said decisively, "de doctah see me do dis
yah, I done go, suah." Then the invalid began to cry hysterically. The
sympathy of the kind old heart was still further aroused and, spreading
her great hand on his head, she said softly, "Po chile, po chile, he want
ta see he muddah."

"Mother, Mother!" How that word stirred his heart and aroused his memory
so weakened by suffering. Physical vigor from the dark hand upon his head
was surcharged with vitality that probably stimulated the depleted
personality.

Again the young man asked, "Aunty, aunty, give me some more," and again
came the reply, "No, honey, de doctah see me do dis, he send me off for
suah." Meanwhile "Olean" was pressing his face against the third-story
window to see how "Michigan" was prospering in his quest for soup.

A soldier nurse approached the cottage and "aunty," who seemed to be on
good terms with all, interceded for her guest. "Dis ya chile done cum down
fo a wok; he done tiad out, yo' help him back, won't yo', massa?" And he
did.

[Illustration: "Dinah, Dinah, look at dat ar po' white chile; he bleached
so white as linen."]



CHAPTER X.

A SEQUEL.


At the age of thirteen, the writer attended a series of religious meetings
and became profoundly convicted of his obligation to accept Jesus Christ
as his personal Savior. Lack of moral courage held him back from an open
confession. He compromised by secretly pledging to become a Christian
after he had entered upon his chosen profession of law. Thereupon his
convictions ceased and the matter was forgotten.

Now, in his illness in Andersonville prison, answer to prayer, as
evidenced in the instance of Providence Spring, turned his attention to
his own moral necessities. Well might this introspection occur; for, in
this month of August, 1864, his prospects of surviving the surrounding
conditions were swiftly diminishing. Blood poisoning, in the form of
scurvy, had settled in his face. He tottered from weakness. His long days
and weary nights were spent on his blanket, spread on the ground, just
within the little shelter tent that was wedged in among others. When eyes
were closed to awful sights, the ears must listen to dreadful sounds. As
vitality was ebbing away, and the things of time and sense were
withdrawing, the realities of eternity seemed to come to the front. Truly
it was time to "prepare to meet thy God." This must be done at once. The
reading of the little pocket testament began anew, and the thought was
awakened to pray for self; when suddenly there came to mind the forgotten
covenant of seven years ago, "I will be a Christian _after_ I become a
lawyer."

The obvious conclusion was, "Taken on your own terms, as you cannot be a
lawyer, you cannot be a Christian." Total physical and mental weakness
could not cope with this mental suggestion. The reflections that followed
led to feelings of utter despair. Thus he soliloquized, "In the day of my
strength I said 'No' to God; now, in the hour of my weakness, he will not
hear me. He knows that from fear and not from sincerity I now seek to
pray. Hypocritical prayer will but add insult to injury. I must not pray."
These confused reasonings were largely due to an anemic brain and mental
temptation. The weakened mind accepted a lie in place of the invigorating
truth that "now is the day of salvation." Eternity seemed to open its
portals to a realm of darkness into which the soul was being forced by the
stress of its own past decision, while high over these gates enthroned in
light appeared the radiant form of the Son of God. While this Personage
seemed unspeakably lovely and "chief among ten thousand," the soliloquizer
said, "He has been denied, he is lost to me." These cogitations filled the
waking and sleeping hours of several nights. With a sense of woe
unutterable the decision of doom was accepted. The sensations of a lost
soul seemed to be real. Words are entirely inadequate to express the sense
of eternal, irremediable loss by which the heart was oppressed. This
exhaustive strain could not long continue. The evening of a day of
unusually oppressive heat presaged the end. Vividly the thought stood
before the mind, "This is my last night on earth." To the comrade who was
blanket-mate the home address was given and a whispered good-bye. This was
the fully accepted close of life.

Sinking into an unrestful slumber, the small hours of the morning arrived,
and a forgotten incident of the long ago was revived in a dream. The scene
in vision occurred on a beautiful Sunday morning of spring, eleven years
before. The location was a village on the old Ridge road in Niagara
county, New York. The region was, and is, noted for its orchards of
deciduous fruits. On this date the blossoms were out in full. Banks of
pink and white embosomed the homesteads that lined the historic highway;
sweet odors filled the air, and bevies of bees with droning song were
industriously gathering the abundant nectar. Nothing could surpass the
beauty of that quiet Lord's Day morning as the family, consisting of
father, mother, older sister and younger brother, with the lad, wended its
way to the brick church of the village. They habitually passed, on the
outskirts of the same, the stone house of Col. N----, whose daughter's
husband was absent in the West.

The good lady taught in the Sunday school a class of boys who were from
seven to ten years of age, and although they were possessed of
irrepressible juvenile energy, and occasionally, to her distress, seemed
to be irreverent; yet they regarded her with sincere respect and gave
willing obedience.

On the Saturday night, preceding this Sunday morning, a great burden of
solicitude for the safety of her husband was suddenly pressed in upon her
mind. To her imagination he seemed to be in extreme peril; perhaps he was
unattended; he might be alone and facing a speedy and fatal termination.
Possessing a strong faith in God, and believing his readiness to hear and
answer prayer, at midnight she aroused from her bed and engaged in an
irrepressible travail of soul for the far-away loved one. For several
hours the burden of intercession continued. With the coming of the Sunday
morning dawn, the light which made all nature bright and beautiful was
suddenly duplicated in her heart. All at once the burden lifted.
Instantaneously her being was filled with the sweet assurance that all was
well with her husband; that whatever was his danger he was being saved
therefrom. A tender gratitude possessed her heart. A sense of union with
the mighty Jehovah suffused her being with a consciousness of strength and
resource. Like Deborah of old a song of triumph arose in her soul.

As the time of going to church approached, the above mentioned family came
along, and, as was their custom, the teacher and her son, who was about
the age of the writer, joined them on the way to the sanctuary. As the
others were conversing by the way, the two boys ran on ahead and the one,
having observed on the face of his teacher the marks of suffering, said to
his chum, "Newton, what is the matter with your mamma?"

"O, Johnny," was the reply; "My mamma has been feeling awful bad about my
papa. I guess she thinks he is going to die, for in the night I heard her
talking and talking to God about saving him and making him well. Say,
Johnny, if God don't do what mamma asks I won't have any papa, will I?"

With their hands joined in a common sympathy, and with mutual tears, the
two lads sorrowed for a brief moment. But what parental anxiety could hold
their abounding life from immediate sympathy with nature smiling all
around? By the time the church was reached and cheery salutations had been
exchanged with arriving classmates, all impressions of grief were
forgotten.

The teacher, in a mood of chastened gladness and confidence, listened to
the sermon which the venerable pastor extended to an unusual length. This
delay absorbed the brief period of time usually given to an intermission,
during which the intermediates might straighten out the kinks which
seemed to form in their lithe limbs while perched on cushioned seats so
high that their feet dangled short of the carpet.

The good superintendent, whose gracious face and form are remembered as
but of yesterday, called the school to order immediately after the
benediction was pronounced. "We are late," he said, "and cannot have
intermission today; classes take their places at once."

These irrepressible youngsters combined the movement of filing into the
pew with motions not included in the regular order. One punched another.
The lad who had recently shared the mental distress of his mother now
inserted a bent pin under the descending form of his companion; resulting
in a response that did not improve the discipline of the occasion. The
boisterous impulse seized the entire class to the annoyance and
discomfiture of the teacher, who was seated at their front in the
adjoining pew. Several reproving glances directed towards the young
insurgents quieted them during the opening exercises.

After the vigil of prayer during much of the preceding night and the
answer of peace that had been given, we can readily understand the state
of mind which now possessed the teacher. The transient, sportive disorder
of the little boys was but a harmless ripple on the surface of her
thought. Her soul was in a continued attitude of prayer. Her victory in
intercession made easy a renewal of request at the throne of grace. Not
only her mother-heart but her Christian love yearned over the lads that
were committed to her care. Not the surface question of behavior, but the
issue of their conversion to Jesus Christ took possession of her mind. She
thought to herself, "Why not now? Why not now?" Attracting the attention
of the lads by tapping on the pew-top with her ivory-mounted fan, with
countenance expressing unwonted strength, she said, "My boys, I want you
to now be perfectly quiet, and to bow your heads and close your eyes
while I pray for you."

The spirit of quiet firmness which accompanied these words, the
outreaching of her soul as in the interceding exercise of the previous
night, profoundly impressed the lads. Instantly and willingly, they took
the attitude of reverence; motionless they listened to the tender voice
that pleaded in words like these: "O Lord, my heavenly Father, I ask Thee
to help my little boys to give their hearts to Thee. Wilt Thou not, by the
sacrifice of thy dear Son, cleanse their hearts from sin. Wilt Thou give
to them a new heart, a clean heart? Bestow upon them freely of Thy Holy
Spirit, and help them to live always for Thee. Amen."

Although eleven years had passed away, and the immature experiences of
boyhood had been replaced by the opening realities of manhood, the events
above described formed the subject-matter of the dream on that memorable
night in Andersonville. The panorama of what was largely forgotten
unfolded before the mind in what was supposed to be the sleep of
approaching death. These renewed impressions were so vivid that at the
instant of awaking the reality seemed to be with the old-time home; the
dream was the being in the prison pen.

But a few moments of consciousness were required for the recognition of
the actual circumstances of the present time and place.

But, within, all was changed. In the place of despair an inspiring hope
was in the ascendant. The forms and voices of loved ones had been seen and
heard. The intercession of the teacher for her little boys had restored
the right to pray. While yet in much physical weakness the day was mostly
passed in silent prayer.

During the second night a lessened impression of the dream was repeated.
By the second morning all the processes of thought were restored to the
normal condition. The mind and will were able to adopt the irreversible
determination to henceforth implicitly trust in the living God and to
live the life of faith and prayer. And up to the present hour that
determination has sought to be unfalteringly kept.

[Illustration: The Beloved Teacher in After Years.]



"The mystic chord of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot
grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will
yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will
be, by better angels of our nature."--Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address,
March 4, 1861.



APPENDIX A.

CONTRIBUTORY TESTIMONY.


Many narratives of experiences in the military prisons maintained by the
government of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War have
been written by Union officers and soldiers confined therein. With minor
differences of statement arising from personal diversities these
testimonies as a whole establish the fact of unprecedented suffering and
mortality.

Since the close of the Civil War our government has unstintedly employed
ability and money in compiling and publishing an exhaustive exhibit of the
Union and Confederate records. These statistics and memoranda afford to
the later historian abundant and reliable data, and upon his calm verdict
we may rely for the substantial truth.

    The holding of prisoners during our civil war was a matter of large
    concern. The number of Union soldiers captured was 211,411; paroled
    on the field, 16,669; died in captivity, 30,218. These last figures
    are defective. Of twelve Confederate prisons the "death registers" of
    five are only partial and thousands of the emaciated men passed away
    soon after release.

    The number of Confederate soldiers captured was 462,635; paroled on
    the field 257,769; died in captivity 25,976. The percentage of deaths
    among the imprisoned Confederates, it will be seen, was far less than
    among the Union prisoners.

    The number of enlistments in the Union army was 2,898,304; in the
    Confederate army from 1,239,000 to 1,400,000. The estimated cost of
    war to the North was $5,000,000,000, and to the South $3,000,000,000.

(The above figures are taken from a "History of the United States," by
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D., Litt.D., who quotes from General F. C.
Ainsworth, Chief of the Record and Pension Office.)



"We raise our father's banner that it may bring back better blessings than
those of old; ... that it may say to the sword, 'Return to thy sheath,'
and to the plow and sickle, 'Go forth.' That it may heal all jealousies,
unite all policies, inspire a new national life, com-pact our strength,
ennoble our national ambitions, and make this people great and strong, not
for aggression and quarrelsomeness, but for the peace of the world, giving
to us the glorious prerogative of leading all nations to juster laws, to
more humane policies, to sincerer friendship, to rational, instituted
civil liberty, and to universal Christian brotherhood."--Address of H. W.
Beecher at Fort Sumpter flag raising, April 15, 1865.



APPENDIX B.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR PRISON TREATMENT.


It is difficult, even after the lapse of years not a few, to consider
dispassionately the treatment accorded by the Confederacy to her
prisoners. War had fanned to a flame the fire of sectional animosity, and
a spirit of retaliation was awakened. It is true the South was
comparatively a poor country, and the hand of war had stripped her bare.
The mighty armies of both sides carried on their vast operations on
southern soil; the one as an army of defense, the other as an army of
invasion.

In the movements of strategy and battle, many combatants were taken
prisoners; these were sent to the rear for safe keeping and maintenance.
With practically unlimited resources this additional burden was scarcely
felt at the North.

At the South, the case was different. The extended territory occupied by
the armies was practically unproductive for the people. It was, therefore,
inevitable that the prisoners of war share the general limitation. As
their numbers increased, it was necessary that they be conveyed to
localities beyond the reach of rescue. Their increasing hosts could not
wait upon the size of the stockades built for their confinement, and the
limited forces that could be spared for their safe keeping must in some
way hold them closely in hand.

Moreover, unfriendly prejudices were increasing by the very fact of
invasion, and as the North was held responsible for the war, the prisoners
were the object of bitter hatred. In numerous minor particulars, such as
ample supply of water, of shelter and of food and fuel, the obligations of
the southern military authorities were criminally negligent; yet many of
the features of the prison circumstances were probably unavoidable.

The situation in the South is summed up in the following extract from "A
History of the American People," by Woodrow Wilson, Ph.D., Litt.D., Vol.
IV, pp. 306, 307:

    "One of the most distressing evidences of the straits to which the
    South had been brought was seen in the state of the prisons in which
    she was forced to keep the thousands of prisoners who fell into the
    hands of her armies.

    "More than two hundred thousand, first and last, were taken, and only
    some sixteen thousand of these were paroled upon the field....

    "Not until the war seemed turning toward its end could an exchange of
    prisoners be arranged. The Federal authorities knew their superiority
    in fighting population and did not care to lose by returning fighting
    men to the South. If her soldiers died in Southern prisons, they were
    dying for their country there, General Grant said, as truly as if they
    lost their lives in battle.

    "In the south men could not be spared from the field to guard the
    prisons; there were not guards enough; there was not food enough; and
    many thousands were crowded together under a handful of men.

    "Proper sanitary precautions were, in the circumstances, impossible.
    The armies themselves lacked food and went without every comfort, and
    the prisoners could fare no better--inevitably fared worse, because
    they were penned within a narrow space and lacked the free air of the
    camp. A subtle demoralization touched the government of the
    Confederacy itself as the war went its desperate course, and those who
    kept the prisons felt that demoralization with the rest."

One recollection has burned itself into memory. At Andersonville there was
a standing offer of immediate release to any prisoner of average strength
who would take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and engage in
non-combatant service. Officers who entered the prison with these
proposals were shunned by our men. I recall a recently naturalized Federal
prisoner who thus enlisted. When he re-entered the prison in Confederate
uniform as a recruiting officer, his reception was such that he fled to
the gate for his life; shouting to the guard to protect him. For flag and
country our boys could uncomplainingly die a lingering death, but they
could not turn traitor.



APPENDIX C.

WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS MEMORIAL.


Among the heroisms of the great Civil War none surpassed the
self-sacrificing devotion manifested by the women of the North and of the
South. The latter are represented by an organization known as "The
Daughters of the Confederacy," within whose associations are kept alive
ardent memories of heroic days.

The former have wrought enduring deeds of patriotism and of mercy, chiefly
in co-operation with the Grand Army of the Republic. The work of the
Woman's Relief Corps in securing and improving the Andersonville prison
grounds constitutes an imperishable memorial to their patriotic devotion.

To the energy and executive ability of Mrs. Lizabeth A. Turner, Chairman
of the Andersonville Prison Board, is due in large measure the complete
success attending the movement to gain possession of and to beautify the
site and surroundings of the historic Andersonville prison.

The following letter written two years before the decease of Mrs. Turner
explains in her own vigorous expressions how these great results were
secured:

"Woman's Headquarters Relief Corps, (Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the
Republic.) 46 Camp Street, New Britain, Conn., October 14, 1905."

"Rev. John L. Maile.

Dear Comrade: Some fifteen years ago the Department of Georgia, G. A. R.,
considered the idea of buying the Andersonville prison pen and holding it
in memory of the men who there died for the preservation of the Union.

The committee bought all the land the owners would release and hoped to
raise through the Northern posts and their friends a permanent fund for
the care of the grounds.

The plan proved a failure. The G. A. R. in the South is very poor. Its
members are mostly colored men who are able to make little more than
their living.

On the property was a mortgage of about $750, which was paid by the
Woman's Relief Corps, but money for the care of the place was lacking. The
grounds were then offered to the United States Government on the condition
of providing perpetual care. As Andersonville is not a battlefield, the
authorities declined the proposition.

On two occasions a like proposal was made to the National G. A. R.
Encampment, but these veterans decided that the time is not far distant
when they can care only for themselves.

With better success the responsibility was tendered to the Woman's Relief
Corps, which felt that if there is a place on God's earth that should be
held sacred, it is that prison pen. The officials accepted the obligation,
trusting to woman's patriotism for support and care, and they have not
trusted in vain.

The adage that "God helps those who help themselves" has been true in our
case. When we accepted the sacred trust and looked the ground over, I
found a large corner of the original pen and three forts we did not own.
We bought the extra grounds and the forts, paying for them several hundred
dollars more than they were worth. We ventured for all or nothing--and
_all_ it was.

This occurred in 1895, and in that year I was elected President of the W.
R. C. At the convention we raised by personal contributions $700 as a
beginning.

During several years each member was asked to give from three to five
cents; some responding, others refusing. Now all bills are paid from the
general fund of the National organization.

We own eighty-eight and one-half acres of land, including the seven forts;
all the earthworks and rifle pits; also the wells dug by the men in trying
to reach water. These are in as perfect condition as when the war closed.

Not a well has caved in or a fort changed in shape. That hard, red clay
seems as unyielding as stone.

The grounds are inclosed with a high wire fence and suitable gates. Roads
are laid out and bridges built over the creek. Bermuda grass roots planted
on the north side will make an even lawn.

Grass seed for a sward will not germinate in that soil. We have built over
Providence Spring a stone pavilion, also a nine-room house, well
furnished, and after the northern home pattern.

We also have a barn, a henyard, a good mule and all kinds of work tools
for such a place.

We engage an old veteran and his wife as caretakers. From a pole 116 feet
high floats in the air every day the flag those heroes died to save. At
our last convention we voted to build a windmill the coming winter.

Last fall we set out 300 roses and this autumn will add 200 more. We have
also set out 150 four-year-old pecan trees that are from 10 to 15 feet
high. They do finely in that soil and when from ten to twelve years old
will bear a paying crop. A freeze does not affect them and they are
marketable without decaying.

Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Michigan have put up beautiful
monuments in the prison pen. Wisconsin will have hers ready to dedicate on
next Memorial Day.

Pennsylvania, Iowa and Maine have placed monuments in the cemetery. All
this has been done through the work of the W. R. C.

While I believe the prison pen is the _only_ place for the monuments, I am
thankful to have any State remember their Andersonville men wherever they
think best.

"Death Before Dishonor" is the motto on all the monuments within the
prison grounds.

Last year we had markers put down on all the places of special interest;
also on the stockade and dead lines. Trees have grown up _through_ the
forts forty feet high and are more than two feet through.

The W. R. C. has started a fund for the perpetual care of the Prison Pen
Park. We began last year and have already $3,000 in the fund. The yearly
income is to be added to the principal, and none to be used until the
proceeds are sufficient to support the place.

We are to set aside annually _not less_ than $1,000 for the increase of
the fund, besides caring for current expenses.

You will, I am sure, be much interested in the situation. I have been
Chairman of the Board from the beginning and hope to live long enough to
see sufficient money set aside to care for the place _forever_.

    Yours in F. C. and L.,
      LIZABETH A. TURNER,

    Chairman Andersonville Prison Board of Control."

Mrs. Turner served as President of the Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to
the Grand Army of the Republic, and was appointed by her compeers as Life
Chairman of the Andersonville Prison Board. Her death occurred at
Andersonville on April 27, 1907.

A monument suitable to her memory, erected by the Woman's Relief Corps,
adorns the prison grounds for which she spared not her life to preserve
and beautify.

From the Annual Address of Mrs. Fanny E. Minot, President of the Woman's
National Relief Corps, at the Twenty-third Annual Convention, 1905:

"In March it was my privilege, in company with Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Winans
and Mrs. Kate E. Jones, to visit Prison Park at Andersonville. As I walked
through the grounds and read and pondered on the suffering there endured,
it seemed, indeed, a hallowed spot. Just beyond is the National Cemetery,
in whose broad trenches are interred more soldiers in one group than upon
any battlefield on the face of the globe. A whole army perished rather
than deny the country which gave them birth! The bravery of the men at
Thermopylae has been the theme of song and story; but they fought in the
shadows of their soul-inspiring mountains, while these men, removed from
the activities of war, the flash of arms, the long array of men eager for
the contest, dragged out a miserable existence till death came to their
relief. If ever men were loyal, true and brave, whose names should be
inscribed on honor's roll, it was these."

    "Who tasted death at every breath
    And bravely met their martyrdom."

"How fitting that the magic touch of woman should consecrate this prison
pen and make it a prison park! Only patient, persistent effort has made
the change possible; for the soil is unresponsive, and tangled vines and
underbrush had run riot for many years. But on this visit we found the
grounds suitably enclosed, the Bermuda grass taking root, the moats and
creek cleared of the vines and the conopy erected over that wonderful
Providence Spring. The house erected for the caretaker much exceeded my
expectations for comfort and convenience. Honeysuckles and roses clambered
over the porch, and the rose garden, planned by Mrs. Turner, gave promise
of beauty and fragrance where formerly had been barrenness and foul odors.
On these grounds Ohio has raised a beautiful granite shaft, Massachusetts
has placed a substantial monument near by, Rhode Island has honored her
dead in bronze and stone, and last Memorial Day the Governor of Michigan
came with friends to dedicate with appropriate ceremonies a monument to
the brave sons of that State. Wisconsin has selected a site near the spot
where some of her men encamped; and other States are planning to erect
monuments, but wish first to be assured that the park will have permanent
care."


    PLANTING THE FLAG AT ANDERSONVILLE.

    BY MRS. ANNIE WITTENMYER.

    We lift up the banner of freedom today,
    And let the world know that due honor we pay
    To liberty's martyrs, who starved for the right,
    And crown them with heroes who fell in the fight.

    Their chalice of woe was filled up to the brim;
    They drank to the dregs with high courage and vim,
    Nor faltered, nor wavered, but loyal and true,
    Stood firm by their colors, the red, white and blue.

    The earth was their pillow, their covering the sky;
    And thousands lay down on the bare ground to die;
    No artist can paint, no pen tell the story
    Of all they endured for love of "Old Glory."


    The Lord, in compassion, took note of their grief,
    And came, in His majesty, to their relief;
    He rode on the wind, where swift lightnings played,
    And hallowed the ground where the prisoners laid.

    They panted with thirst, ere the Presence passed by,
    But flashes of glory lit up the dark sky;
    A thunderbolt fell, with omnipotent ring,
    And opened the fountain of Providence Spring.

    And peace came at last. Ah! for thousands too late;
    We mourn, as a people, their pitiful fate,
    And hold the ground sacred, our care and our pride,
    And plant the flag over the place where they died.

    But the Nation is saved! They died not in vain;
    Our people are all reunited again.
    From ocean to ocean--the lakes to the sea--
    One country, one people, one flag of the free!



APPENDIX D.

A MEMORIAL DAY MEDITATION.


By Rev. H. H. Proctor, D.D., of Atlanta, Ga., in The Congregationalist of
May 2, 1905.

"The thirtieth of May is sacred to the nation. With its return the heart
of the country instinctively turns to those eighty-three national
cemeteries, mostly on Southern soil, where in 194,492 known and 151,710
unknown graves lie 346,202 men who fell fighting for the flag. And in all
the land, fittingly enough, there are no spots more beautiful than these.
For their care and improvement the national government spends $100,000 a
year.

The cemetery at Andersonville, Ga., gains additional interest in view of
the famous prison connected with it. Of these I wish to speak. No one can
spend a day there, as I did lately, without drinking deep of the patriotic
spirit. The very ground on which you stand seems holy, when you think how
brave men suffered and died there. The very air seems charged with their
spirit still.

Some disappointment is felt when over one hundred miles south of Atlanta
you get off at a little station, with a few straggling houses here and
there. But in the distance, a mile away, the national flag waving
invitingly bids reassurance. At length you stand at the entrance of the
cemetery, entering through the strong iron gates of the thick ivy-covered
brick wall, 12,782 known and 923 unknown men are buried within.

Many things at once interest you. Walks lead to every part of the grounds.
Trees, shrubbery and flowers enhance the natural beauty of the place.
Feathered songers of the South chant daily requiems. Each grave is marked
by a white marble headstone, on which is generally carved the number,
rank, name and state of the dead soldier. Here and there we read the sad
inscription, "Unknown." The white stones contrasting with the fine
greensward under the soft Southern sky make an impressive scene. This is
especially true in that part of the grounds where stands the splendid
monument of New Jersey, as shown by the accompanying illustration.

In a convenient place there is located an octagonal rostrum, where every
Memorial Day gathers a large concourse of people to pay homage to the
sacred dead. After the exercises the most impressive act of all follows.
Each grave, officers or private, white or black, known or unknown, is
decorated with a miniature flag. And what a transformation! Instead of the
monotonous rows of bare white stone a field of flags, by the magic of
loving remembrance, appears!

But as impressive as is this cemetery, more impressive still to me was the
prison. It is only a few rods away. Its notoriety is universal. Blaine, in
his memorable speech in Congress, immortalized its more than Siberian
horrors.

Some of the posts of the old stockade fence, survivors of that dread
prison will be interested to know, still stand. There, within a space of
thirteen acres, 52,345 men, the very flower of the Republic, were kept in
a pen. For thirteen months they were exposed in that rude stockade to the
heat in summer and the cold in winter, to blistering sun and chilling
blasts. From cruelty and exposure, hunger and thirst, disease and dirt,
they died like sheep. Every fourth man died!

The story of "Providence Spring" is universally familiar. It proves that
God is yet with men as of old. The water supply for these thousands in
that small space consisted of but one little brook which of course soon
became unspeakably foul. In their thirst they cried unto God for water. He
who hears the cry of the raven could not be dumb to the prayer of the
suffering soldier. It was night. Soon the sky was overcast with clouds,
the lightnings flashed, the thunders rolled, and a great rain came that
night. Next morning a fountain of living water sparkled in God's sunshine
near where the devout soldier had knelt in prayer the night before.

In recognition of God's providential gift they christened it "Providence
Spring." Today a pavilion of stone, erected by the Woman's National Relief
Corps, commemorates the spot. Two significant utterances are carved on
marble tablets in the pavilion. On one we read these words: "The
prisoner's cry of thirst rang up to heaven. God heard and with his
thunders cleft the earth, and poured forth his sweetest waters gushing
here." Over the fountain, which has never ceased from that day to this,
carved in Georgia marble are the great words of that great man in whose
big soul the nation was born again: "With charity to all and malice toward
none."

As I stood by this spot and looked up on the hill I felt a new love of
country stir within my heart. I could but say in my heart I would rather
be a plain American citizen, though black, than a knighted Roman under
Cæsar.

As we think of that prison we are thankful for the cemetery. The prison
typifies suffering. The cemetery is the symbol of peace. Through that
gateway of suffering our martyrs entered into peace. How typical of the
nation! Through the crucible of suffering it entered into peace."

[Illustration: FLAG DAY: ANDERSONVILLE CEMETERY]

[Illustration: THE MICHIGAN MONUMENT IN ANDERSONVILLE CEMETERY]



APPENDIX E.

SHALL THE GOVERNMENT CONFER PERMANENT HONORS ON CONFEDERATE HEROES?


The magnanimity which dictated the terms of surrender at Appomattox was
typical of the treatment extended by the Government of the United States
to its defeated opponents. Well might this be so. The sinews of strength
of the mighty North had through the four years of desperate conflict grown
strong indeed.

A Confederate Major General declared that the veterans of General
Sherman's army, pushing their winter way through the swamps and rivers of
the South; foraging widely for subsistance and always ready to fight,
illustrated a type of soldier that the world had not seen since the days
of Julius Cæsar.

The final parade of the Union army along Pennsylvania avenue before the
President, the Cabinet, prominent Generals and notables of other nations,
displayed a vast procession of seasoned veterans whose effectiveness had
never been surpassed. They were the choice, steel-tempered residue of more
than two millions of citizen soldiery who had enlisted to preserve the
union of States, "one and inseparable," against the folly of secession.

In the plentitude of their invincible strength, nursing no lust of power,
they disbanded to peaceful homes from whence they came; subsiding from
their regnant military life as the mighty storm-waves of the ocean sink
away into pacific calm.

Apart from wide-spread personal bereavement the North bore no serious
scars of war. The perfection of agricultural machinery enabled rich
harvests to be gathered in season notwithstanding the dearth of farm help
which had gone to the army. Factories of every kind were, with large
profits, turning out abundantly all sorts of goods. Our commerce with the
world was unhindered, save by the eccentric raids of the Alabama; the
muscle and brawn of an ample labor immigration supplied the manual force
necessary to national expansion; as illustrated in the building of the
trans-continental railroads. The huge war debt instead of being felt as an
incubus was but a process of turning into ready cash the prosperity of the
future.

Contrast with this picture the condition of the Southern States at the
close of the four dreadful years. Within a goodly portion of her borders
the country was war-swept and harried by the consuming necessities of vast
armies of both friend and foe; for hungry men and beasts on the march and
in the fight must subsist largely upon the supplies which the foragers
gather from the adjacent regions.

Manufacture, as compared with the North, was a neglected art south of
Mason's and Dixon's line.

The most extensive and effective naval blockade of history hermetically
sealed nearly every Southern port, thereby hopelessly shutting in untold
wealth of cotton, the returns of which were otherwise available to every
need.

No millions of stalwart immigrants reinforced Southern industry; on the
contrary her labor system and property tenure in human beings were
shattered in pieces.

The flower of her masculine youth perished; the prestige of ruling
intelligence, culture and wealth was dethroned and, to crown her
afflictions although she knew it not, the South lost her best and most
powerful friend in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Then followed the agonies of political reconstruction and the ignoble
invasion of carpet-bag adventurers who, in many instances, were valiant
only for pelf.

Surviving this wide-spread chaos the South, for the most part, believed in
their lawful right of withdrawing from the Union. By many of their leading
minds this contention had been long held, and that conception of
government doubtless had filtered down through all classes of society so
far as thought was developed on the subject.

The defense of State rights probably was a more powerful incentive to
civil war than was at first the purpose to defend slavery.

The bravery of Southern soldiers has never been surpassed. The
self-sacrificing patriotism of Southern women reached the high-water mark.

The vitality and moral force of Southern chivalry was distinguished even
in the remarkable loyalty of the slaves.

If the foregoing briefly stated considerations form a truthful
presentation of the case, why, it may be asked, may not the National
Government expand the magninimity of President Lincoln and General Grant
by engaging with Congress to erect monuments and other memorials to heroes
of the army and navy of the Confederacy? The first step towards such
procedure has already been taken in the form of proposed legislation at
Washington.

We would not imply that the most eminent leaders of the Southern forces
were personally unworthy of posthumos honor.

On the contrary it is our privilege to bear testimony to the exalted
individual worth, the consecrated devotion to country as they understood
the duty, and the pre-eminent ability in action that characterized the
most noted leaders of the Confederacy.

Nevertheless their relation to national history is determined, not by
individual excellencies, but by the fact that they rebelled against the
Government they were sworn to defend. To the utmost they did all they
could to dismember the Union of which they were an integral part, to
dishonor the flag that emblazoned the glory of a common origin and
history.

In the interest of perpetuating a far-reaching sentiment of loyalty to
national life and well-being we would strenuously deny the moral right of
Congress to make appropriations for the erection of memorials that are
designed to crown Confederate valor with renown. If by private
subscriptions admirers wish to build monuments they undoubtedly will be
allowed to do so.

Our Government has wisely extended high courtesies to prominent Southern
Generals, and has on many occasions held out the olive branch of peace.
But we must not forget that brotherly kindness and neighborly good-will
cannot cancel the fact that the Southern conception of government by state
rights, as against National sovereignty, meant the destruction of the
Nation as such and was so intended.

Had the war for the Union been a failure this fair continent on which has
been nourished the hopes of the world would have been the arena of two
general governments separated by no natural dividing lines and probably at
last to be succeeded by contending states and communities.

Thus the last condition of free civilization in America would have been
more disgraceful than was the situation of the warring principalities of
ancient Greece, because we had sinned against a greater light than they
possessed.

If National monuments are dedicated to commemorate Southern gallantry will
not a subtle influence steadily flow out from these reminders of civil war
to the effect that assault upon the Nation's existence is an offense so
trivial as to be expiated by bravery on the field of battle?

Who can tell what crises of peril may in the future break in upon our
beloved land? And what if the youth of the North and of the South are,
from generation to generation, taught by the influence of public memorials
that there is no real distinction between those who fought to save the
Nation and those who did all they could "that the government of the
people, by the people, and for the people, shall (not) perish from the
earth."

We present a quotation from the judgment of the Supreme Court, as given by
General N. P. Chipman on page 503 of his recent and informing book on
Andersonville:

    "The rebellion out of which the war grew was without any legal
    sanction. In the eye of the law it had the same properties as if it
    had been the insurrection of a country or smaller municipal territory
    as against the State to which it belonged. The proportion and duration
    of the struggle did not affect its character. Nor was there a rebel
    government de facto in such a sense as to give any legal efficiency to
    its acts.... The Union of the States, for all the purposes of the
    constitution, is as perfect and indissoluble as the union of the
    integral parts of the States themselves; and nothing but revolutionary
    violence can in either case destroy the ties which hold the parties
    together.

    "For the sake of humanity certain belligerant rights were conceded to
    the insurgents in arms. But the recognition did not extend to the
    pretended government of the Confederacy.... The Rebellion was simply
    an armed resistence of the rightful authority of the sovereign. Such
    was its character, its rise, progress and downfall."

The legal aspects of the case as thus expressed have their great value as
indicating facts fundamental to organic National existence and they
demonstrate the inherent inconsistency of devoting Federal appropriations
to the erection of monuments to the honor of opponents of the Union. This
can be but a transient purpose which should and, we believe will be,
relinquished.

We close this narrative with the words of a departed soldier who was a
devoted friend of General Lee and afterwards a trusted counsellor of
General Grant, as recorded in the Memoirs of Gen. John B. Gordon, pp. 464,
465:

"American youth in all sections should be taught to hold in perpetual
remembrance all that was great and good on both sides; to comprehend the
inherited convictions for which saintly women suffered and patriotic men
died; to recognize the unparalleled carnage as proof of unrivalled
courage; to appreciate the singular absence of personal animosity and the
frequent manifestation between those brave antagonists of a
good-fellowship such as had never before been witnessed between hostile
armies. It will be a glorious day for our country when all the children
within its borders shall learn that the four years of fratricidal war
between the North and the South was waged by neither with criminal or
unworthy intent, but by both to protect what they conceived to be
threatened rights and imperiled liberty; that the issues which divided the
sections _were born when the Republic was born_, and were forever buried
in an ocean of fraternal blood. We shall then see that, under God's
providence, every sheet of flame from the blazing rifles of the contending
armies, every whizzing shell that tore through the forests at Shiloh and
Chancellorsville, every cannon-shot that shook Chickamauga's hills or
thundered around the heights of Gettysburg, and all the blood and the
tears that were shed are yet to become contributions for the upbuilding of
American manhood and for the future defense of American freedom. The
Christian Church received its baptism of pentecostal power as it emerged
from the shadows of Calvary, and went forth to its world-wide work with
greater unity and a diviner purpose. So the Republic, rising from its
baptism of blood with a national life more robust, a national union more
complete, and a national influence ever widening, shall go forever
forward in its benign mission to humanity."

From the oldest to the youngest, let us all unite in the patriotic
salutation, "I pledge my allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for
which it stands. One Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for
all."


THE FINISH



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Toward the close of the war great bounties were paid for recruits in
northern cities. Many desperate characters enlisted for this money,
intending to desert at the first opportunity. The vigilence of Genl. Grant
forced them into battle. Many were captured and landed in Andersonville.
Here they conspired to rob and murder fellow prisoners. Capt. Wirtz
convened a trial court composed of prisoners who observed all the forms of
law in the trial of these desperadoes. Six of them were found guilty of
murder and were hung.

[2] Market Square was a piece of made ground on the edge of the swamp in
the center of the prison. Here men came together to barter trinkets they
had made to while away the time, to exchange parts of rations, and to
indulge generally, so far as they could, in the Yankee instinct for trade.

[3] On February 20th, 1912, the writer received a call from an old friend,
Rev. M. L. Holt, of Neligh, Nebraska. He gives this confirmatory statement
to Mr. Maile: "As Sergeant Major of the Third New Hampshire Veteran
Volunteer Infantry I can certify to the military surroundings at the place
of your release. Two days before your arrival from Goldsboro, General
Terry ordered our Third New Hampshire to make a forced march to a point
ten miles distant from Wilmington on the Northeast branch of the Cape Fear
river and take from the enemy a pontoon bridge at that point.

"We skirmished with the foe nearly the entire distance and came up to them
just as they had cut the near end of the bridge from the bank. With our
machine guns we drove them off and moored the bridge back to its place. On
the second day after we received the old Andersonville prisoners and had
the satisfaction of knowing we had prepared their way by having the bridge
in readiness for them to cross the river into our lines. I shall never
forget the impression made upon us by the condition of these survivors of
Confederate prisons. These events occurred in March, 1861."



Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Passages in bold are indicated by =bold=.





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