Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Journal of prisoner Sgt. John Clark Ely

(Courtesy of Norman Ely)
Sgt. John Clark Ely and 200 comrades in Company C, 115th Ohio Infantry were captured by Nathan Bedford Forrest’s forces on Dec. 5, 1864, near La Vergne, Tenn. After a couple weeks at a holding facility in Meridian, Miss., Ely, a schoolteacher with a family, was transported to Confederate Camp Sumter in middle Georgia on Jan. 23, 1865.

Ely kept two journals of his wartime experiences, one of which survived. The passages by the soldier, who enlisted in 1862, cover everything from food and horrible conditions to rumors of possible prisoner exchange.

The Civil War Picket is picking up his story after his arrival at Camp Sumter, and once a week will post his daily entries. The transcript is courtesy of Andersonville National Historic Site.

Jan. 28, 1865 (Saturday)
Fine morning, finished chimney, over to hospital 4 men died, bunk fell on them, pretty hard place.

Jan. 29, 1865 (Sunday)
Cloudy, not as cold, again rumors of an exchange, tis most probable a move of us to some other prison. F.H. said our officers came up and were sent on to Merritus where officers were kept

Jan. 30, 1865 (Monday)
Fine morning, white frost, not as cold as usual. Received note from Lt. Eadie, sent note to Capt. Wirz to see Eadie, received no answer.

Jan. 31, 1865 (Tuesday)
Fine morning, sent note to Eadie and again to see him, received no reply, tis reported that old Rosa occupiesMeridian. Hope it may be true.

(Courtesy of Norman Ely)

Feb. 1, 1865 (Wednesday)
Fine morning, all goes on as usual, same routine each day. P.M. 155 prisoners came in from Macon and were put in my division, making 3 hundred. News that the exchange is now put in Grant hands.

Feb. 2, 1865 (Thursday)
Lowery morning and looks like rain. Received note from Eadie.

Feb. 3, 1865 (Friday)

Rained a little in night, very cloudy this morning a little rain. P.M. all rain, man in stocks for not coming in with wood squad.

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