VOICES FROM THE CIVIL WAR

M. Brock, a Union soldier stationed in Leesburg, watched in 1863 as three of his fellow soldiers, seated on the edges of coffins, were shot.

"They all fell backward into their coffins and remained as they fell until the whole Column passed them," he wrote. "Melancholy sight to Witness — shot for Deserting."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/05/AR2010110502726.html

CIVIL WAR LOVE LETTER-
Letter from unknown soldier writing from Nashville, Tennessee, to his friend Ettie . He writes that he wants to get married when he returns home from army life and asks her to tell any good-looking, amiable young women she knows that he is available.

Nashville Tenn Jany 5th 64


Friend Ettie

I believe I am not indebted to you by way of letter, but for your kindness to me I will write you a few lines. It is quite cool Weather here now and some snow upon the ground but not enough to make sleighing. I wish I wish I were in Hillsdale today I think I would call around to friend Ettie and go out a Sleighing. I get lonesome sometimes and I not know what to do, if I ever get out of the Service alive I am agoing to settle down and get married.

What a novel Idea that is, perhaps you will not believe it but I am not joking. I am not quite an old Bach yet but I fear I will be before long.

If you know of some good looking amiable young Lady that wish to change her situation in life, just mention the fact to her, and tell her there is a Soldier in the Army that wishes to marry in less than two years after his time expires in the Army.

On New Year’s day about one o-clock I received a verry nice gift which I appreciated verry much. It was the only gift that I received, and on that account realize its worth. You have my heartfelt thanks for your kindness and remembrance of a Soldier. Enclosed you will find the likeness of your unknown Correspondent which you will please accept, with the kindest regards.


I am yours
verry truly

http://spec.lib.vt.edu/cwlove/friendettie.html

Duryee’s Zouaves, Fort Schuyler Adjuant Mess
"I doubt whether it had an equal, and certainly no superior among all the regiments of the Army of the Potomac." - General George Sykes, speaking of the 5th New York Infantry
Duryee’s Zouaves: The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry
The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, “Duryée’s Zouaves,” was one of the most renowned fighting regiments of the American Civil War. Their colorful Zouave uniform, precise maneuvers, effectiveness in combat and steady bearing under fire, won them universal respect and recognition. Many observers considered the 5th New York to be the best-drilled volunteer unit in the Federal Army. In addition to a casualty list that totalled 211 dead out of 1,508 men borne on the rolls, nine of its soldiers attained the rank of general - five the full rank, and four by brevet.
Date: May 18, 1861
Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions: 5 9/16 x 7 1/2
Classification: Photographs
Credit Line: Gilman Collection, Museum Purchase, 2005
http://www.zouave.org/
Photographer- Stacy (American, active 1860s) 
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/285894

Duryee’s Zouaves, Fort Schuyler Adjuant Mess

"I doubt whether it had an equal, and certainly no superior among all the regiments of the Army of the Potomac."
- General George Sykes, speaking of the 5th New York Infantry

Duryee’s Zouaves: The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry

The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, “Duryée’s Zouaves,” was one of the most renowned fighting regiments of the American Civil War. Their colorful Zouave uniform, precise maneuvers, effectiveness in combat and steady bearing under fire, won them universal respect and recognition. Many observers considered the 5th New York to be the best-drilled volunteer unit in the Federal Army. In addition to a casualty list that totalled 211 dead out of 1,508 men borne on the rolls, nine of its soldiers attained the rank of general - five the full rank, and four by brevet.

Date: May 18, 1861
Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions: 5 9/16 x 7 1/2
Classification: Photographs
Credit Line: Gilman Collection, Museum Purchase, 2005
Photographer- Stacy (American, active 1860s)
[Four Officers]
Alexander Gardner  (American, Glasgow, Scotland 1821–1882 Washington, D.C.)
Despite decades of painstaking research by dedicated historians and Civil War buffs, a large number of the era’s photographs remain unidentified,
Including this portrait of four officers in the field. What is known is that the two men in the center wear forage caps featuring a round, sloping leather brim made popular by Gen. Irvin McDowell (leader of the Union troops during the first battle of Bull Run). The other men wear regulation U.S. officer’s slouch hats.

Date: ca. 1864
Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions: Image: 17.8 x 22.8 cm (7 x 9 in.)
Classification: Photographs
Credit Line: Gilman Collection, Purchase, Sam Salz Foundation Gift, 2005
Accession Number: 2005.100.563
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/286442

[Four Officers]

Alexander Gardner
(American, Glasgow, Scotland 1821–1882 Washington, D.C.)

Despite decades of painstaking research by dedicated historians and Civil War buffs, a large number of the era’s photographs remain unidentified,

Including this portrait of four officers in the field. What is known is that the two men in the center wear forage caps featuring a round, sloping leather brim made popular by Gen. Irvin McDowell (leader of the Union troops during the first battle of Bull Run). The other men wear regulation U.S. officer’s slouch hats.

Date: ca. 1864
Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions: Image: 17.8 x 22.8 cm (7 x 9 in.)
Classification: Photographs
Credit Line: Gilman Collection, Purchase, Sam Salz Foundation Gift, 2005
Accession Number: 2005.100.563
[William Snodgrass of an unidentified Virginia infantry regiment with underhammer pistol]
Digital ID:  (digital file from original item) ppmsca 37272 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37272 
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-37272 (digital file from original item)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

[William Snodgrass of an unidentified Virginia infantry regiment with underhammer pistol]

[William Snodgrass of an unidentified Virginia infantry regiment with underhammer pistol]
Digital ID:  (digital file from original item) ppmsca 37272 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37272 
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-37272 (digital file from original item)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

[William Snodgrass of an unidentified Virginia infantry regiment with underhammer pistol]

[Brothers Private Thomas D. Hilliard and Colonel John Hilliard of Co. C, 12th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, in uniform with Bowie knives]
Digital ID:  (digital file from original item) ppmsca 37411 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37411 
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-37411 (digital file from original item)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

[Brothers Private Thomas D. Hilliard and Colonel John Hilliard of Co. C, 12th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, in uniform with Bowie knives]

[Private Hiram L. Barrett of Co. K, 7th Connecticut Infantry Regiment in uniform with bayoneted musket, and nine-month-old girl, Marrie]
Digital ID:  (digital file from original item, both photos) ppmsca 37474 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37474 
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-37474 (digital file from original item, both photos) LC-DIG-ppmsca-37475 (digital file from original item, left photo) LC-DIG-ppmsca-37476 (digital file from original item, right photo)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

[Private Hiram L. Barrett of Co. K, 7th Connecticut Infantry Regiment in uniform with bayoneted musket, and nine-month-old girl, Marrie]

  • Digital ID: (digital file from original item, both photos) ppmsca 37474 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37474
  • Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-37474 (digital file from original item, both photos) LC-DIG-ppmsca-37475 (digital file from original item, left photo) LC-DIG-ppmsca-37476 (digital file from original item, right photo)
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
[Unidentified soldier in Confederate uniform with shotgun sitting next to dog]
Digital ID:  (digital file from original item) ppmsca 37480 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37480 
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-37480 (digital file from original item)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

[Unidentified soldier in Confederate uniform with shotgun sitting next to dog]

[Private William Stone of Co. D, 2nd South Carolina Cavalry Regiment, in uniform]
Digital ID:  (digital file from original item) ppmsca 37863 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37863 
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-37863 (digital file from original item)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

[Private William Stone of Co. D, 2nd South Carolina Cavalry Regiment, in uniform]

Young George Wingate Weeks of Company D, 8th Maine Infantry Regiment With Drum 
THE LIFE OF DRUMMER BOYS IN THE CIVIL WAR
Life as a drummer was hard. William Bircher, who enlisted in the 2nd Minnesota Regiment in the summer of 1861 after several rejections because he hadn’t yet turned 15, kept a diary describing the hardships of war: going without hot meals for weeks on end, marching for miles without shoes, disease – Bircher suffered from dysentery – and, of course, the fear and horrors of battle that he shared with the regular Soldiers. William didn’t just play the drums. He marched, he regularly pulled guard duty and he helped with the wounded.

“Our band was detailed to the hospital to assist the nurses in taking care of the wounded (after the Battle of Chattanooga)” he wrote, Sept. 22, 1863. “It was heartwrending to see the poor fellows as they were brought in, shot and mangled in every possible way. Every few moments we had to take one out who had died, and put him in the dead house, where he would remain until there was a wagonload.”
During Sherman’s 1864 march through Georgia, William’s regiment lost another drummer:
“We lost poor Simmers, the drummer of Company G, during the night. The poor fellow, being unable to keep up, lay down somewhere along the road, and was captured by the (Confederates) that were following us up. I took his blanket and drum to relieve him, but he was too fatigued to follow, saying ‘Oh, let me rest. Let me sleep a short time. Then I will follow on.’ I tried to keep him under my eye, but he finally eluded me, and when we again stopped for a short rest, he was not to be found. By that time he was most likely a prisoner.”

- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2013/12/the-beats-of-battle-images-of-army-drummer-boys-endure/#sthash.CchLImpz.dpuf

Date Created/Published: [between 1862 and 1865]
Medium: 1 photograph : half-plate tintype, hand-colored ; 20.4 x 17.5 cm (case)
Summary: Photo shows identified soldier in Union uniform. More information is in “Glimpses of Soldiers’ Lives,” http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/SoldierbiosWeeks.html
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2013/12/the-beats-of-battle-images-of-army-drummer-boys-endure/
Zoom Info
Young George Wingate Weeks of Company D, 8th Maine Infantry Regiment With Drum 
THE LIFE OF DRUMMER BOYS IN THE CIVIL WAR
Life as a drummer was hard. William Bircher, who enlisted in the 2nd Minnesota Regiment in the summer of 1861 after several rejections because he hadn’t yet turned 15, kept a diary describing the hardships of war: going without hot meals for weeks on end, marching for miles without shoes, disease – Bircher suffered from dysentery – and, of course, the fear and horrors of battle that he shared with the regular Soldiers. William didn’t just play the drums. He marched, he regularly pulled guard duty and he helped with the wounded.

“Our band was detailed to the hospital to assist the nurses in taking care of the wounded (after the Battle of Chattanooga)” he wrote, Sept. 22, 1863. “It was heartwrending to see the poor fellows as they were brought in, shot and mangled in every possible way. Every few moments we had to take one out who had died, and put him in the dead house, where he would remain until there was a wagonload.”
During Sherman’s 1864 march through Georgia, William’s regiment lost another drummer:
“We lost poor Simmers, the drummer of Company G, during the night. The poor fellow, being unable to keep up, lay down somewhere along the road, and was captured by the (Confederates) that were following us up. I took his blanket and drum to relieve him, but he was too fatigued to follow, saying ‘Oh, let me rest. Let me sleep a short time. Then I will follow on.’ I tried to keep him under my eye, but he finally eluded me, and when we again stopped for a short rest, he was not to be found. By that time he was most likely a prisoner.”

- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2013/12/the-beats-of-battle-images-of-army-drummer-boys-endure/#sthash.CchLImpz.dpuf

Date Created/Published: [between 1862 and 1865]
Medium: 1 photograph : half-plate tintype, hand-colored ; 20.4 x 17.5 cm (case)
Summary: Photo shows identified soldier in Union uniform. More information is in “Glimpses of Soldiers’ Lives,” http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/SoldierbiosWeeks.html
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2013/12/the-beats-of-battle-images-of-army-drummer-boys-endure/
Zoom Info

Young George Wingate Weeks of Company D, 8th Maine Infantry Regiment With Drum

THE LIFE OF DRUMMER BOYS IN THE CIVIL WAR

Life as a drummer was hard. William Bircher, who enlisted in the 2nd Minnesota Regiment in the summer of 1861 after several rejections because he hadn’t yet turned 15, kept a diary describing the hardships of war: going without hot meals for weeks on end, marching for miles without shoes, disease – Bircher suffered from dysentery – and, of course, the fear and horrors of battle that he shared with the regular Soldiers. William didn’t just play the drums. He marched, he regularly pulled guard duty and he helped with the wounded.

  • “Our band was detailed to the hospital to assist the nurses in taking care of the wounded (after the Battle of Chattanooga)” he wrote, Sept. 22, 1863. “It was heartwrending to see the poor fellows as they were brought in, shot and mangled in every possible way. Every few moments we had to take one out who had died, and put him in the dead house, where he would remain until there was a wagonload.”

During Sherman’s 1864 march through Georgia, William’s regiment lost another drummer:

  • “We lost poor Simmers, the drummer of Company G, during the night. The poor fellow, being unable to keep up, lay down somewhere along the road, and was captured by the (Confederates) that were following us up. I took his blanket and drum to relieve him, but he was too fatigued to follow, saying ‘Oh, let me rest. Let me sleep a short time. Then I will follow on.’ I tried to keep him under my eye, but he finally eluded me, and when we again stopped for a short rest, he was not to be found. By that time he was most likely a prisoner.”
- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2013/12/the-beats-of-battle-images-of-army-drummer-boys-endure/#sthash.CchLImpz.dpuf
16 Year Old David E. Johnston 1845-1917 FIST HAND ACCOUNT OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS.
The Story of a Confederate Boy in the Civil War.
Portland, Or.: Glass & Prudhomme Co., c1914. DAVID E. JOHNSTON, of the 7th Virginia  Infantry Regiment Author of “Middle New River Settlements”
The Confederate soldier was truly an American, for his people in the South were the truest type of Americans in the land, having very little foreign population among them. Again, this Confederate soldier was born and reared a gentleman, was so by instinct. He was not a mercenary; he was neither for conquest nor aggression, but stood purely for self-defense. He believed in his inmost soul that no people had juster cause, higher aspirations, or made braver or nobler resolves for cause, country, families, homes and firesides. I turn to ask, who were these Confederate soldiers? They were principally country folks, farmers, mechanics, school boys, as stated; native born Americans, descendants of Revolutionary patriots, by no means all slave owners; thousands never owned slaves, and many were opposed to the institution. The Confederate soldier was always impatient of military restraint, feeling himself the equal of and as good as any man, and not inferior to his superior in rank; in battle, as a rule, his own general; his individuality and self-reliance, among his noted characteristics, were the crowning glory of his actions, and this self-reliance taught him when it was wise and prudent to fight, and when it was the better part of valor to decline. On the battlefield he was at his best; “his clothes might be ragged, but his musket and saber were bright. His haversack empty, but he kept his cartridge box filled. Often his feet were bare, blistered and bleeding; occasionally he might straggle on the march, but was up when the battle was on.”
        Barefoot, ragged, without food, no pay and nothing to buy if he had money, he marched further, laughed louder, making the welkin ring with his rebel yell; endured more genuine suffering, hardship and fatigue, fought more bravely, complained and fretted less, than any soldier who marched beneath the banners of Napoleon. His nerve was steady and his aim was sure, and his powers of endurance and resistance unmeasured. This same Confederate soldier fought and hoped and hoped and fought:
                        ”Sometimes he won, then hopes were high;                         Again he lost, but it would not die;                         And so to the end he followed and fought,                         With love and devotion, which could not be bought.”
        Though his ears were often greeted with the cries of woe and distress of those at home (enough to break his heart), his ardor chilled not; he had a never faltering courage; his spirit remained unbroken, his convictions never yielded. In the darkest hour of our peril, in the midst of dark and lowering clouds, with scarcely the glimmer of a star of apparent hope, he still stood firm and grasped his musket with a tighter grip. Following is the description given of this soldier by another:
        ”Look at the picture of this soldier as he stood in the iron and leaden hail, with his old, worn out slouch hat, his bright eyes glistening with excitement, powder-begrimed face, rent and ragged clothing, with the prints of his bare feet in the dust of the battle, a genuine tatterdemalion, fighting bravely, with no hope of reward, promotion or pay, with little to eat and that often cornbread and sorphum molasses. If he stopped a Yankee bullet and was thereby killed, he was buried on the field and forgotten, except by comrades or a loving old mother at home.”
                        ”In the solemn shades of the wood that swept                         The field where his comrades found him,                         They buried him there - and the big tears crept                         Into strong men’s eyes that had seldom wept.                         His mother - God pity her! - smiled and slept,                         Dreaming her arms were around him.”
        In modern times there has never been such valor and heroism displayed as in our Civil War, never such soldiers as the Union and Confederate, and certainly never such as the Confederate soldiers, and it would be nothing to their credit to have achieved victories over less valorous foes than the Union soldiers, and no credit to the Union soldiers that they overwhelmed men of less bravery. The individuality of the Confederate soldier was never lost, and this with his self-possession and intelligent thought made him well nigh invincible. The Army of Northern Virginia as a whole was never driven, from a battlefield, although confronted by as good soldiers as were on the continent. No danger could appall these men of Lee, no peril awe, no hardships dismay, no numbers intimidate. To them duty was an inspiration. They had devastated no fields, desecrated no temples and plundered no people, always respecting woman, and feared no man. The record of these soldiers since the war is clean, their names a stranger to criminal records; few, if any, who followed Lee have been behind the bars of a jail. He was their great exemplar. Thousands of these non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, after the first year of the war, were fitted not only to command regiments, but could well have filled much higher military positions.
        Great soldiers were Lee, Johnston, Jackson, Longstreet, Hills, Pickett, Stuart and others, but who made them great? No generals ever had such soldiers. It was these Confederates in the ranks that made the names of their generals immortal.
http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/johnstond/johnston.html

16 Year Old David E. Johnston 1845-1917 FIST HAND ACCOUNT OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS.

The Story of a Confederate Boy in the Civil War.

Portland, Or.: Glass & Prudhomme Co., c1914. DAVID E. JOHNSTON, of the 7th Virginia Infantry Regiment Author of “Middle New River Settlements”

The Confederate soldier was truly an American, for his people in the South were the truest type of Americans in the land, having very little foreign population among them. Again, this Confederate soldier was born and reared a gentleman, was so by instinct. He was not a mercenary; he was neither for conquest nor aggression, but stood purely for self-defense. He believed in his inmost soul that no people had juster cause, higher aspirations, or made braver or nobler resolves for cause, country, families, homes and firesides. I turn to ask, who were these Confederate soldiers? They were principally country folks, farmers, mechanics, school boys, as stated; native born Americans, descendants of Revolutionary patriots, by no means all slave owners; thousands never owned slaves, and many were opposed to the institution. The Confederate soldier was always impatient of military restraint, feeling himself the equal of and as good as any man, and not inferior to his superior in rank; in battle, as a rule, his own general; his individuality and self-reliance, among his noted characteristics, were the crowning glory of his actions, and this self-reliance taught him when it was wise and prudent to fight, and when it was the better part of valor to decline. On the battlefield he was at his best; “his clothes might be ragged, but his musket and saber were bright. His haversack empty, but he kept his cartridge box filled. Often his feet were bare, blistered and bleeding; occasionally he might straggle on the march, but was up when the battle was on.”

        Barefoot, ragged, without food, no pay and nothing to buy if he had money, he marched further, laughed louder, making the welkin ring with his rebel yell; endured more genuine suffering, hardship and fatigue, fought more bravely, complained and fretted less, than any soldier who marched beneath the banners of Napoleon. His nerve was steady and his aim was sure, and his powers of endurance and resistance unmeasured. This same Confederate soldier fought and hoped and hoped and fought:

                        ”Sometimes he won, then hopes were high;
                        Again he lost, but it would not die;
                        And so to the end he followed and fought,
                        With love and devotion, which could not be bought.”

        Though his ears were often greeted with the cries of woe and distress of those at home (enough to break his heart), his ardor chilled not; he had a never faltering courage; his spirit remained unbroken, his convictions never yielded. In the darkest hour of our peril, in the midst of dark and lowering clouds, with scarcely the glimmer of a star of apparent hope, he still stood firm and grasped his musket with a tighter grip. Following is the description given of this soldier by another:

        ”Look at the picture of this soldier as he stood in the iron and leaden hail, with his old, worn out slouch hat, his bright eyes glistening with excitement, powder-begrimed face, rent and ragged clothing, with the prints of his bare feet in the dust of the battle, a genuine tatterdemalion, fighting bravely, with no hope of reward, promotion or pay, with little to eat and that often cornbread and sorphum molasses. If he stopped a Yankee bullet and was thereby killed, he was buried on the field and forgotten, except by comrades or a loving old mother at home.”

                        ”In the solemn shades of the wood that swept
                        The field where his comrades found him,
                        They buried him there - and the big tears crept
                        Into strong men’s eyes that had seldom wept.
                        His mother - God pity her! - smiled and slept,
                        Dreaming her arms were around him.”

        In modern times there has never been such valor and heroism displayed as in our Civil War, never such soldiers as the Union and Confederate, and certainly never such as the Confederate soldiers, and it would be nothing to their credit to have achieved victories over less valorous foes than the Union soldiers, and no credit to the Union soldiers that they overwhelmed men of less bravery. The individuality of the Confederate soldier was never lost, and this with his self-possession and intelligent thought made him well nigh invincible. The Army of Northern Virginia as a whole was never driven, from a battlefield, although confronted by as good soldiers as were on the continent. No danger could appall these men of Lee, no peril awe, no hardships dismay, no numbers intimidate. To them duty was an inspiration. They had devastated no fields, desecrated no temples and plundered no people, always respecting woman, and feared no man. The record of these soldiers since the war is clean, their names a stranger to criminal records; few, if any, who followed Lee have been behind the bars of a jail. He was their great exemplar. Thousands of these non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, after the first year of the war, were fitted not only to command regiments, but could well have filled much higher military positions.

        Great soldiers were Lee, Johnston, Jackson, Longstreet, Hills, Pickett, Stuart and others, but who made them great? No generals ever had such soldiers. It was these Confederates in the ranks that made the names of their generals immortal.

http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/johnstond/johnston.html

First-Person Narratives Of The American South-The Civil War
"They had stolen cabbage leaves and other things from slop barrels, which was a violation of the rules of the prison."Miles O. Sherrill’s A Soldier’s Story: Prison Life and Other Incidents in the War of 1861-‘65.
Sherrill’s brief story relates his wounding at Spottsylvania and the subsequent amputation of his leg by Federal surgeons. After the tortures of the field hospital, though maimed for life, Sherrill relates that he was eventually imprisoned in Elmyra, New York where smallpox, starvation, and dysentery were the norm.
Upon arriving at the prison:"The commanding officer, Major Beal, greeted us with the most bitter oaths that I ever heard. He swore that he was going to send us out and have us shot; said he had no room for us, and that we (meaning the Confederate soldiers) had no mercy on their colored soldiers or prisoners. He was half drunk, and I was not sure but that we might be dealt with then and there. Then we were searched and robbed of knives, cash, etc., and sent into various wards. While we were standing in the snow, hearing the abuse of Major Beal, some poor ragged Confederate prisoners were marched by with what was designated as barrel shirts, with the word "thief" written in large letters pasted on the back of each barrel, and a squad of little drummer boys following beating the drums. The mode of wearing the barrel shirts was to take an ordinary flour barrel, cut a hole through the bottom large enough for the head to go through, with arm-holes on the right and left, through which the arms were to be placed. This was put on the poor fellow, resting on his shoulders, his head and arms coming through as indicated above; thus they were made to march around for so many hours and so many days. Now, what do you suppose they had stolen? Why, something to eat. Yes, they had stolen cabbage leaves and other things from slop barrels, which was a violation of the rules of the prison."Pages 9-10,A Soldier’s Story: Prison Life and Other Incidents in the War of 1861-‘65http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/connections/narratives-south/file.html

First-Person Narratives Of The American South-The Civil War

"They had stolen cabbage leaves and other things from slop barrels, which was a violation of the rules of the prison."

Miles O. Sherrill’s A Soldier’s Story: Prison Life and Other Incidents in the War of 1861-‘65.

Sherrill’s brief story relates his wounding at Spottsylvania and the subsequent amputation of his leg by Federal surgeons. After the tortures of the field hospital, though maimed for life, Sherrill relates that he was eventually imprisoned in Elmyra, New York where smallpox, starvation, and dysentery were the norm.

Upon arriving at the prison:

"The commanding officer, Major Beal, greeted us with the most bitter oaths that I ever heard. He swore that he was going to send us out and have us shot; said he had no room for us, and that we (meaning the Confederate soldiers) had no mercy on their colored soldiers or prisoners. He was half drunk, and I was not sure but that we might be dealt with then and there. Then we were searched and robbed of knives, cash, etc., and sent into various wards. While we were standing in the snow, hearing the abuse of Major Beal, some poor ragged Confederate prisoners were marched by with what was designated as barrel shirts, with the word "thief" written in large letters pasted on the back of each barrel, and a squad of little drummer boys following beating the drums. The mode of wearing the barrel shirts was to take an ordinary flour barrel, cut a hole through the bottom large enough for the head to go through, with arm-holes on the right and left, through which the arms were to be placed. This was put on the poor fellow, resting on his shoulders, his head and arms coming through as indicated above; thus they were made to march around for so many hours and so many days. Now, what do you suppose they had stolen? Why, something to eat. Yes, they had stolen cabbage leaves and other things from slop barrels, which was a violation of the rules of the prison."

Pages 9-10,A Soldier’s Story: Prison Life and Other Incidents in the War of 1861-‘65
http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/connections/narratives-south/file.html