Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Dark Side of Sod...12

Good morning! I wonder what my grandfather ever thought would become of his writings from being captured in the Civil War? I know...he probably thought they would be posted on the Internet in a social forum called Facebook...of course he did. Our evolution in just a short 149 years is hard to believe. His writings are daily...I'm just picking a couple at a time.

He writes...

Wednesday July 20th, 1864

Far different feeling exist in the bosoms of many. There are those here who were honest - those who never infringed law but who are now ready to disregard all law. Confinement only makes them desperate, and woe to the man who defeats their plans, should be made known in the future. Human nature - what a theme. Pope has well said that "the proper study of mankind is man". To know man you must see him in all circumstances and in all places.

I have seen them at home. I have seen them in the farm at home enjoying all its pleasures, surrounded with friends and plenty - still they are not satisfied, they complain of hard times and are not content with the dealings of Providence. There is too much rain, or they are suffering for rain, and would be willing to argue the point with the Ruler of the Universe to convince him that they know best and would regulate affairs for Providence if they had it in their power.

In the army I have seen them surrounded with danger and bearing up under all hardships that they are called upon to endure without one word of complaint - but there is another feature that no man knows without learning by experience. That feature I see now and am seeing every day. I love liberty, but should I live to get out safe in due time, I will never begrudge the time spent in prison.

Wednesday July 27th 1864

Weather warm in the forenoon, cloudy in the afternoon with a light shower late in the day. Prisoners from Hunter's army and Petersburg came in the morning but brought no late intelligence.

A few prisoners from Sherman's army came in the evening. They report that on the 22nd the rebels charged our lines and drove them into the works but were repulsed and followed to their own works. Our loss in prisoners is reported at 2000 while the rebel loss is estimated at 5000. The loss in killed and wounded was not known, but one man - who had served six years in the old country and claims to have been in some hard battles - says he never saw as hard fighting and never saw men lie so thick on any field.

One man killed by a rebel guard - but such occurrences are not infrequent, men are shot down almost daily by the guard for the least infringement of the rules regarding the dead line. They do not shoot merely to obey orders, but because they take delight in cold blooded murders - for it cannot be called anything else. Very often it happens that they miss the man they shoot at and kill or wound one or two unoffending individuals.

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