Today in History:

92 Series I Volume XXIII-I Serial 34 - Tullahoma Campaign Part I

Page 92 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

officers were put in an old building, which shielded them from the pelting storm that had raged all day and continued through the night. A ration of meal and meat was issued; but vessels were not furnished to cook the meal; it was thrown away. Early in the morning we were waked, and then started to the cars. All overcoats, leggings, knapsacks, and extra clothing were taken from men and officers. I demanded to know by whose order. The reply was, "By order of General Bragg, in retaliation for an order of General Rosecrans, stripping Federal uniforms from our soldiers." I answered, "Strip off any rebel uniform found on us," adding "that this was a cowardly and barbarous act, and the men engaged in it deserved hanging." I demanded an interview with General Bragg, saying "that I believed it impossible for a man of his standing to enforce such a brutal order." This was refused. The men, shivering, half starved, without sleep or rest, were then crowded into box-cars, without a seat, and started for Chattanooga. They were denied the privilege of getting sticks of woods at Tullahoma for seats in the cars. The floor of the one I was in was cover with wet manure. Thus we traveled that day to Chattanooga. On arriving there we were placed, without rations, for the night in a large frame house just erected for a hospital; crowded in, almost to suffocation. The next day about noon rations were dealt out to us in abundance. We all remember the hard bread of Chattanooga as the only feast in the Southern Confederacy.

From this place we were conveyed by rail to Knoxville. For a few hours the Union people of Knoxville were allowed to bring provisions to us and converse with us, but the rebel citizens became infuriated at this, and the soldiers drove them away. We were guarded in a muddy, open space, where part of the prisoners lay or stood all night, although there was shelter in abundance near by, consisting of large sheds and depots. Here the exposures of our march began to tell fearfully on the men. Some could go no farther, and were left. Others, by their haggard looks and decrepit gait, testified that the hands of death would soon remove them from us. Inexorable as the gallows that had stood for two years by the railroad in the city of Knoxville for the execution of Union men were the hearts of rebel officers.

From Knoxville we were carried by rail to Bristol, Tenn. Here we were turned off the cars, to lie again upon the damp and muddy ground, recently overflowed by a creek, although there was ample shelter in the town in the large sheds and houses near the railroad. Such was the brutality of the physicians that they totally refused to visit our sick men here. All intercourse with the citizens was forbidden. We buried the dead, and urged the sick to drag along to a more humane community. At this place, after much delay, we received a small ration of heavy flour bread. We were taken to Luynchburg, Va. Here many went to the hospitals and died. Although the city contains a large number of empty houses, the men were marched to the Fair Grounds and put in open sheds. After remaining at Lynchburg a few days, we were started, in very inclement weather, in box-cars for Richmond. The snow fell to a depth of 18 inches. The trains were delayed; the men had not one day's rations, and were on the road, in broken and partially open cars, some two and some four days, without food or reset, and chilled through. From these cars they were marched to Libby Prison, and huddled, hundreds in a room, without fires or lights, like hogs in a slaughter-pen. Several died within half a day after their arrival at Richmond; many more followed them in the next few days. Neither food, medical attendance, air, or water were furnished, as the barest, sheerest humanity would

Page 92 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.