Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Journal of Sgt. John Clark Ely: Prisoner rejoices over Lee's surrender to Grant

Journal courtesy of Norman Ely

Over the next week at the parole camp in Mississippi, John Clark Ely increasingly mentions his wife, Julia Richmond Ely, who was from Euclid, Ohio. They were married in 1856 and became parents to three daughters and a son. Julia died in 1873 at age 43. Ely, a sergeant with the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, has a lot of good news that trumps rainy conditions. Journal entries are courtesy of Andersonville National Historic Site.

April 8, 1865 (Saturday)
Very cold and cloudy all night and this morning, feeling quite unwell, cold all day, wrote Julia.

April 9, 1865 (Sunday)
Rain in night and this morning, feeling some better this morning, quite a number of ladies out yesterday p.m. from town.  Looks like being among humans again. War news good, cloudy and rain all day.  Clothing was issued to company today.

Sgt. Ely
April 10, 1865 (Monday)
Cloudy, foggy, rainy, muddy and disagreable.  Tracy went today and will probably go up river this p.m.

April 11, 1865 (Tuesday)
Clear cool wind, cloudy p.m., usual routine in camp

April 12, 1865 (Wednesday)
Raining this morning, feeling pretty well, rainy all day, heavy p.m. and evening.

April 13, 1865 (Thursday)
Cool wind, cloudy and lowrey, no very important doing, a few men exchanged most every day.  Oh! How I wish I could hear from Julia, it seems as if it would do me more good than anything else.  Went our with Boody and got some sweet river roots for pipes.  Heavy cannonading in Vicksburg, tis reported that Lee has surrendered and that Mobile is taken.  Wrote Julia p.m.  Was news glorious, Lee has caved to Grant, bully, bully, glorious bully, if any man can save the union, why General Grant is the man, rumored that Johnson has also surrendered to Sherman, if this be ture, the confederacy is most certainly pretty nearly played out for this time, bully news bully.

April 14, 1865 (Friday).
Today Maj. Anderson again raises the same old flag again over Sumpter and today the North rejoice over their victories and today came an order from General Daney (Dana) for us to be paroled and sent North.  Bully, may we soon see our sweethearts.  P.M. tis rumored that General Forrest is negotiating to surrender his command. Hope tis true.

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