Friday, October 29, 2010

James G. Oliver, Turkey Creek Kansas.

James G. Oliver, was born October 3, 1838, and would die on March 9, 1893. His burial is at Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas. James was known to have lived in Turkey Creek Kansas, now there are two towns by that name, one is in Bourbon county and the other was in McPherson county Kansas. It’s not known which county he was from. No one knows when he came to Kansas but it was after the war. In 1861, he was in LaPorte, Indiana, and on August 27, of that year he enlisted in the 9th. Indiana infantry company I., as a private. He was discharged on August 19, 1865, there was a note to his record which stated; Captured at Battle of Chicamauga, GA., September 19, 1863. Release February 1865. Corporal. Reduced to ranks March 4, 1863.

After his captured he was sent to Andersonville prison. The National Park Service has most of the prison records but you will not find him on them for what ever reason I don’t know. But he was there in 1869, Congress put out a report called: ( TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR, BY THE REBEL AUTHORITIES,) On September 15, 1867, he give a statement on his life at Andersonville prison. The following is that statement.

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. We 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 bnt 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.

JAMES G. OLIVER, Late Private Ninth Indiana Volunteers.
TURKEY CREEK, Kansas, September 15, 1867.

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