Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kansas Prisoners Of War.

Statement of James G. Oliver, of Turkey Creek, Kansas.
I was a private in the Ninth Indiana volunteers; was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Chicamauga, September 19, 1833; was taken to Richmond, after being robbed of part of my private property, and on arrival at Richmond, we were thoroughly robbed. W0 suffered much from cold and hunger until December 9, when we were sent to Danville, Virginia. Cold and hungry, as at Richmond, and had the small-pox among us. The dead bodies were allowed to remain in the building with us for two and three days. We were very much crowded, so much so that I have often been compelled to lie down at night beside a dead body. We were vaccinated with impure matter. Many of the prisoners lost their lives from the effects of it. I saw a great many with the flesh on their arms badly rotted. My- own arm was sore for nine months.

April 23, 1864, we were taken to Andersonville, a place of horrors indescribable. A small stream of water ran through the stockade. The rebels wore camped above us on the stream, and the filth of their camp made it very dirty, yet we had to use the water. In June it rained twenty-two days, and we without shelter of any kind. I had no clothing but a pair of drawers. On the 1st, 2d, and 3d of July we were entirely without rations, on account of an attempt being made to tunnel out. There was roll- call every day. Every man, sick or well, had to be present. I have known of several dying at roll-call. If one was absent from a squad they were all deprived of rations until the absent one was accounted for. I saw Wirz shoot several prisoners. I saw the guard shoot men for no offense whatever. They once fired into a crowd lying and sitting on the ground, killing two and wounding three.

Saw men badly wounded brought in on litters and left on the ground to die without having their wounds dressed. I saw men who had attempted to escape brought back all torn and mangled by dogs. Bloodhounds were kept to chase clown prisoners escaping. Most of those thus brought back died. I saw men chained in gangs until some of them died. Men were often put into the stocks, with their heads, arms, and legs confined, for two or three days in the hot sun. Many of them were taken out of the stocks dead. The dead were taken out in the same wagons in which our corn meal was brought to us. They refused to give us our letters if we did not have money to pay the postage in the rebel lines. It they contained money the money was taken out. September 10 about five thousand of us were taken to Charleston, and kept under fn of our guns until about the 9th of October, when we were taken to Florence, South Carolina—another Andersonville—under command of Lieutenant Colonel Iverson, of the Fifth Georgia regiment. Lieutenant Barrett was in command inside of the prison.

I saw him once beat a prisoner with an iron ramrod until he killed him. Saw a guard shoot a man for asking him for a chew of tobacco. Saw another shot for shaking his blanket near the dead-line. Were kept three days without food on account of a tunnel being dug. We had dug wells with our case knives and half canteens, but were forced to fill them up to prevent us from tunneling. On the 15th February we were taken to Wilmington, thence to Goldsboro, thence to Danville. While at Danville two of our sick froze to death. I have not yet regained my health.
Late Private, Co. I., Ninth Indiana Infantry Volunteers.
TURKEY CREEK, Kansas, September 15, 1867.
Statement of James W. Humphrey, of Ottawa, Kansas.
I was corporal of Company A, Fourteenth Illinois cavalry; was taken prisoner near Macon, Georgia, July 31, 1864. Alter capture we were robbed of our valuables, and even our good boots taken from us. We were taken to Andersonville after a long, tedious route, suffering much from hunger on the way. When we arrived we were stripped naked and our clothes searched, even to ripping open the seams. While the search was going on I asked a guard for a drink of water. Wirz asked for the damned Yankee who asked for water, and told the guard to bayonet any one of us who spoke word. I saw a mere boy, who through weakness had fallen across the dead-line, shot through the head. Also saw a crazy man shot for making too much noise. I have often heard men praying for death while lying on the ground rotting with the scurvy. I have seen the officers kick and stamp on men who happened to be lying in their way, unable to get up. Men were placed in the stocks, lying on their backs with their faces to the sun, and kept so for twenty-four hours. We had no shelter over us, and were compelled to lie in the dust or mud, as the weather vas wet or dry. Stars ing, covered with vermin, rotting with scurvy, wasting with diarrhea, almost naked, no change of clothing, no soap to wash the few rags they had. I must leave our condition to imagination. It cannot be described.

JAMES W. HUMPHREY, Late Corporal Company I, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry.
Ottawa, Kansas, August 5, 1867.

Side note. James W. Humphrey, Rank Private Company I Unit 14 IL., U. S. CAVALRY, Residence CHERRY GROVE, CARROLL CO, IL., Age 43, Height 6' 2, Hair BROWN, Eyes GRAY, Complexion DARK, Occupation LABORER, Joined When DEC 31, 1863, Joined Where DIXON, IL., Period 3 YRS, Muster In JAN 11, 1864, Muster In Where DIXON, IL., Muster Out JUL 31, 1865, Muster Out Where PULASKI, TN. Was promoted to Corporal.

A unknown Kansas soldier.

This statement was given by Patrick Fleming of Missouri, who was captured on May 1, 1864, while on the steam boar Emma, at Snaggy point.

There was a boy belonging to the Sixth Kansas, who made his escape out of there, and they captured him at the Sabine River, and they took him, after catching him, and tied a rope around him and threw him in the river, and then hung him up, but they didn’t kill him. Then he was brought into the camp and was out of his mind. When we were coming home he jumped overboard and was drowned.


Andersonville Prison.

1. Abrams, George, Private, 7th., Kansas Cavalry, Company I.

2. George, Thomas, Private, 7th., Kansas Cavalry, Company K

3. Ginzardie, Thomas, Private, 8th., Kansas Infantry, Company A., Captured 09/19/1863, Captured at Chickamauga, Ga., Buried in National Cemetery. Home was Leavenworth, Kansas, enlisted November 20, 1962, mustered in same day. Died of diarrhea, Andersonville, GA., June 14, '64.

4. Halcomb, James, Sergeant, 8th., Kansas Infantry, Company D., Captured 09/19/1863, Captured at Chickamauga, Ga. Was held at Andersonville and survived. Enlisted September 28, 1861, mustered in same day. Died of diarrhea, Annapolis, Md., Jan. 17, 1865; Wounded in action Sept. 19, 1863, Chicamanga, Ga.

5. Spaulding, Charles, Private, 8th., Kansas Infantry, Company A., Was held at Andersonville and survived. Home was Leavenworth, Kansas enlisted September 9, 1861, mustered in same day. Mustered out on det. roll, Nashville, Tenn., June 12, 1865

6. Sweeney, Neil, Private, 1st. Kansas Infantry Company H., Captured 10/08/1863, Was Captured at Big Black River, Ms. Buried in National Cemetery. Home was Leavenworth Kansas, enlisted May 31, 1861, mustered in same day.

7. Weidermann, Anton, Private, 8th., Kansas Infantry, Company B., Captured 09/19/1863, Captured at Chickamauga, Ga. Buried in National Cemetery. Home was Leavenworth, Kansas enlisted September 2, 1861, mustered in same day. Died of diarrhea Andersonville, Ga., Oct. 18, '64.

8. Williams, Charles A., Private, 8th., Kansas Infantry, Company A., Captured 09/19/1863, Captured at Chickamauga, Ga. Buried in National Cemetery. Home was Leavenworth, Kansas enlisted September 1, 1861, mustered in same day. Died in prison Andersonville, Ga., June 6, 1864.

No comments: