Today in History:

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

Page 110 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

expect as prisoner of war in a heathen land, destitute of everything but treason. The march from Columbia to Tullahoma was one that will never be forgotten by those who performed it; marching all day in the rain and mud, fording creeks and rivers, standing out all night on the shortest kind of poor rations, if they got any, constituted our daily routine until we got thought to Tullahoma.

The prisoners were placed under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, of Mississippi. It gives me pleasure to say of Colonel Gordon that he treated the officers with extreme kindness, and did everything possible for the men. I believe he did everything in his power to furnish the men with suitable rations. They were not to be had, and he could not help it. The prisoners had got to be put through; there was no postponement on account of the weather.

But when we reached Tullahoma the scene changed. After marching all day in the rain, without rations, we reached there just at dark, and after having forded a river a little while before, the men were placed out upon a clay hill, where the mud was ankle-deep. The weather was extremely cold, with nothing to make a fire except green logs. A small ration of raw bacon and a little raw meal was all that was dealt out to them, which was of no use, as they had nothing in which to cook it. The officers were thrown into an old shell of a building, and the same rations dealt out for them.

In the morning, after spending the night in this dreadful situation, we were called out, officers and privates, and an order from Bragg read to us, commanding the officers to strip us of our overcoats and what few blankets we had. We were then buried to the cars, and placed in some of the artiest old box-cars I ever saw, without a sign of a seat; all this under the immediate direction of Bragg. Here, to the regret of us all, we had to part with Colonel Gordon and his escort.

I will not attempt to describe our sufferings at Knoxville. The Twenty-second Wisconsin was left over night, for want of transportation. There I was again completed to stand out all night without an overcoat or blanket, nd the weather was bitter cold. There was no [need] of either myself or men having to stand out of doors, only to please the malice of a sneaking set of traitors. I received the same kind of treatment at Bristol, Va. But as it has been wisely ordered that all things must have an end, so our trip through this worse than the land of Idumea was ended, after spending the last forty-eight hours within 15 miles of Richmond, in a severe snow-storm, in open cars, without rations, overcoats, or blankets. Some of the men perished on the way, and a great number soon after they got into prison.

It is not my intention to give an account of our trials and sufferings while in the celebrated Libby. I should not speak of it at all, only from the fact of its being so very different from the treatment the rebel prisoners receive in the North. We were huddled together in a very small place, with not half enough rations and that of the very foulest kind. We could not have lived, only for the little stuff we were permitted to buy at Confederate prices.

The rebel officers as a general thins were insolent and overbearing; very few, if any, exceptions to that rule. But here once more, after eight weeks' close confinement, time came to our relief, and I am once more among human beings.

My impression is, from all that I could see and learn from intercourse with the people, and from actual observation, that they were, at the time we were there, the worst whipped set of people on the face of God's earth. There was nothing left of them but their bombast, although

Page 110 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.