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From the Diary of Lieutenant W.B.
Left the Island February 20, 1865
Every day is alike here now. The
Sutler brings in News Papers nearly every day which we have free
use of. The News for the last day or two has been of a favorable
character even though Northern Papers. Vicksburg is stil holding out
bravely and we have stong reasons to hope that Gen. Johnson will
soon be in Grants rear with a force sufficient to raise the seige.
Another day has passed which
seems almost a blank. I was anxious indeed to go home when I was in
our own camps but now I am getting truly and thoroughly home sick.
If I had as many good books & Papers as I could read I could pass
the time off much more pleasantly. Lt. Pearson has bought him a sett
of Chess Men and we have made a very nice board to play on and
occasionally we have a game of chess by way of killing time and when
we get tired of that we try a game of Draughts by way of variety.
We are pretty well matched at both which makes it the more
interesting. Lt. Collier still quite sick don't seem to improve any
at all. His Dr. is Kentuckian who is also a prisoner he is furnished
with medicine by the Surgeon of the Post and does most of the
practice for the prisoners.
We have had nothing to day to
relieve the dull monotany of this place. The drum beats inside every
morning at 8 O'Clock a.m.when each Mess is required to form in front
of the Block which they occupy the Roll is then called and the
prisoners counted by a Yankkee Serg. All lights except in sick rooms
are required to be put out at Taps which are Beat at 9 O'Clock P.M.
This has been cook day for our
room again. You would be interested if you could see me wiping the
dishes and setting the Table Etc. but I am getting very tired of it.
I had much rather be where such things are done by Women. Our
rations are issued to us every seven days except meat & Bread which
is issued every morning.
14th- Sunday 1863
We had a little sensation inside
of th walls to day esused by the arrival of another Squad of
Prisoners numbering about 300 these were not fresh from the South
but were removed to this place from Camp Chase for what reason I
have not learned. They belong I understand principally to Gen. Gragg
army. There are now as near as I can guess at it about 500 Prisoners
on the Island. I looked in vain among the crows that came in to day
for some one that I knew. I learn that some of them are from Ala.
but I could not find a familiar face in all the crowd. I finished
reading through my Testament to day and will now start through
I have nothing to note of to day
occurrence. We hear it hinted that there is no probability of an
exchange of Officers soon owing to some misunderstanding between the
two Governments. This is very unpleasant news to us but I hope that
these things if it is so will not be of long duration and that
natters will soon be arranged between them so that we will not have
to stay here many more days.
One month to day since the Battle
at Chapion Hil in which I was taken a Prisoner. It seems to me that
it has been almost a year so slowly has the time passed I would give
a good deal to hear from the Major now an dlearn how he came out
with his wounds. PLerhaps he is in Sylacauga by this time surrounded
by the comforts of home and family. I hope he is.
We had good news to day both from
Vicksburg and Virginia, but we hear nothing to give us any hope of
being exchanged soon. Among the Prisoners who are here and who were
captured at the same battle that I was are four Cols., Namely Col.
M.L. Woods of the 46th Ala; Col. Philips of the 52nd Ga.; Gregg of
the 60th Tenn. & Col. Craven of the Arkansas Regt. there are also
two or three Lt. Cols. and several Majors. All the field officers of
the 46th Ala were captured. There are about 150 of the 30th Ala
Regt. now prisoners of war most of them being captured at Champion
Hill some of them at Port Gibson and some at Vicksburg. The number
killed and wounded will boudtless run it up to 200.