Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Journal of POW Sgt. John Clark Ely: "Johnnys are getting very much alarmed"

Thomas O'Dea drawing of cooking rations (ANHS)

In February 1865, one year after it began operations, Camp Sumter, Ga., had about 5,100 prisoners, well below its high the summer before. Halfway through February, though, about 700 prisoners are moved to the stockade from Meridian, Ms. 
Sgt. John Clark Ely of Company C, 115th Ohio Infantry, captured in Tennessee, by then had been at the camp for about three weeks, following his transfer from Confederate prison camps in Mississippi and Alabama. His journal entries are courtesy of Andersonville National Historic Site.

Feb. 11, 1865 (Saturday)
Fine morning and day, white frost, seems like April at home. J.S. Cook went out on parole work at his trade. Some reb came in and preached. Johnnys commenced putting up sheds.

Feb. 12, 1865 (Sunday)
Again a fine day, news that Sherman has taken Branchville near Charleston, may it be true.  Feel much depressed in feeling today, anxiety of home weighs heavy.

Feb. 13, 1865 (Monday)
Pleasant, cool East wind. Johnnys are getting very much alarmed on our account, fearful that we may break out, took out the wood squad and searched them before letting them go for wood.  Sent in the men from the bakery and took some one armed men. Brought in raw rations and very small cooking utensils.

Feb. 14, 1865 (Tuesday)
Rainy morning, cold rain all day and such rations for prisoners and so abundant.

Feb. 15, 1865 (Wednesday)
Rainy all night, cloudy and misty this morning, cleared up a.m., some rumors.

Feb. 16, 1865 (Thursday)
Fine morning and day. Many rumors in camp.

Feb. 17, 1865 (Friday)
Beautiful day, very high wind, sand blew very bad. Some prisoners brought in from Macon, they being exchange rumors big.

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