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brigade of infantry, artillery and cavalry, were encamped at Jonesborough, nine miles to the east. Maj. Hayes ordered Lieut. Hine and his Company H, consisting of 25 men, to remain at the station and guard the bridge, and with the balance of his command proceeded toward Jonesborough.

When near there he stopped the train and deployed his men out on picket. At daybreak they advanced and drove in the rebel outpost, killing two and wounding several of them. Finding the rebels in force, he boarded the train and started back to Limestone. In the meantime our little command at the bridge were in clover. Hot bread, butter and a barrel of sweet cider had been brought us by the loyal citizens. Our picnic was shortly interrupted. Looking toward Jonesborough we discovered a cloud of dust in a road running through the woods. Lieut. Hine ordered us in the block house. A battalion of rebel cavalry had ridden to the rear of Hayes's command for the purpose of cutting off his retreat by burning the Limestone bridge. The rebel cavalry, finding the bridge guarded, halted beyond an elevation in a field.

A major, waving a white handkerchief, approached; Lieut. Hill stepped out of the block-house. The rebel officer demanded our surrender. Hine ordered him back to his command. They did not assault us, but retreated at full speed. We followed them a short distance and then returued to the bridge. They retreated along the road,

running parallel with the railroad. When about two miles from Limestone they dismounted and commenced destroying the railroad. Hayes's command, with the train, came up to them. Our men leaped out the freight cars, formed a line and poured a volley into them. The rebel cavalry did not stop to contest the major's right of way, and mounting hastily, retreated back to their main force.

On Hayes's arrival at Limestone bridge, he disembarked his little command and detailed a small guard under Lieut. Jacquette and sent the train with our wounded back to Knoxville. Details for picket, which consumed about the entire force, were made, and doubled quicked out in each direction. Scarcely had the train left when the rebel infantry came up, advanced a strong picket line, and the ball was opened. The rebel cavalry rode to the right and left of us, waving their hats and swinging their sabers. To us of the rank and file, it commenced to look as though we all should have been detailed to guard the train toward Knoxville.

Regiments of infantry were forming lines to the east, north and south, and the cavalry were closing in on the west. A battery was taking position to shell us; about 250 men on the skirmish line, without a reserve, with no hopes of reinforcement were now to contend against a rebel brigade of infantry, cavalry and artillery. The only company kept intact was B, Cap

tain Taylor, and Lieut. Forsyth in command. They held the key to the field, a wooded knoll to the south and west of the bridge. A rebel regiment of dismounted cavalry formed to the west of them. The Johnnies took their time in making their investment sure.

At 2 o'clock the skirmishing commenced in all directions. Our men were well posted behind trees, stumps and fences, and held their skirmishers in check for three hours. Major Hayes was cool and brave, riding out to the skirmish lines on a horse our boys captured in the forenoon when they brushed the rebel cavalry off the railroad track. At 5 o'clock the assault was made upon Co. B, which gave way, and then the rebel lines advanced from all directions, and our little command hastily retreated to the blockhouse at the bridge. In the squad of four which I was in, Todd Mack was killed and Sergeant Weir wounded in the hand while we were hustling for the bridge.

Our men took shelter around the bridge abutments and in the blockhouse. The rebel battery was brought up closer and opened on us with 6-lb. shells. They had the range of the block-house and bridge, and to us the day was lost. Major Hayes held a council with his officers, and then ordered the white flag hoisted. We put our gun-barrels in the port holes and gave them a twist, dipped our cartridges in a tub of water; but soon 3,0co Confederates with the rebel yell were down upon us, and we were prisoners.

We were treated very kindly by rebel officers and soldiers, except in one instance; a rebel drew his gun on one of our men who had a fancy haversack and demanded it. Jackson saw the movement, and pulling his revolver, and with an oath, threatened to shoot any man who attempted to rob a prisoner. This gave us a little hope as to our future treatment.

Soon, however, we were out of the charge of soldiers and turned over to home guards and skulks. We were marched to Jonesborough that night and placed in the court-house.

The next day we were placed in freight cars and taken to Lynchburgh, Va., where we were separated from our officers. We remained at Bristol a few days. The keeper of that prison was a Northern rebel. He took from us our blankets, assuring us that we would not need them. Our money we could keep, as we might find use for it. From Lynchburgh we were transported to Richmond.

Our officers having preceded us, they had been introduced to Col. Dick Turner, and as we marched down the street to Libby prison, Capt. Green and Lieut. Forsyth held up to the window, in a sly way, a piece of paper and motioned down to their boots. The boys generally took the hint. I had a $5 greenback, the last of two month's pay received at Camp Dick Robinson. I punched it inside a loaf of bread I had purchased on the way to Richmond. When inside Libby prison, the rebel Turner took charge

of us, and made his usual explanatory speeeh, assuring us that those who voluntarily gave up their money, their names would be registered in a book they kept for that purpose, and when exchanged, "which would be in a few days," our money would be returned to us, but those who did not comply with his request, "their money and valuables would be taken away from them and confiscated." There were but very few suckers in our squad, and all this robber received he had to find. When being searched I nibbled away at the loaf of bread.

I had to turn my pockets out. He examined the seams in my clothes, and finally turned me up stairs as one "dead broke."

We remained in Libby about two weeks, and then were sent over to Belle Island. This prison pen was on a low, marshy piece of ground at the foot of a bluff and in the neck of the James River. It consisted of about five acres of ground surrounded by a high embankment of earth; on the outside the guards patrolled. About 10,000 Union prisoners were confined in this bull pen. It was quite late in the afternoon when we were counted in. We left Libby just before ration time, and arrived on the island just after that precious morsel had been issued. So we had to curb our stomachs in the hopes for the morrow. "Fresh Fish,' was the universal greeting. We did not see any. We looked around and inquired where our tents were.


We were informed by our men we would have to take our turn for tents. The last numbered squad was 100, and to that we had to assign ourselves. The prisoners were all marched outside the pen once a week and counted back into squads of 100.

As 25 to 50 men died each day, and were carried out and buried by our men, in the course of a few weeks we were enabled to get under cover. The tents were old cast off army tents of all makes and patterns, rotten and full of holes, but they shed the sun and a portion of the storm. The first few nights on that island were the most trying of all the hardships in my three years of army service. The soil in the prison-pen appeared to be an equal mixture of black sand and grey-backs. I walked up and down the paths between the tents till near morning, finally being tired out, without even a blanket, and only my arms for a pillow, I laid down upon that soil and vermin, and exhausted nature brought me a few hours sleep.

When I awoke the sun was shining brightly, and along the paths, and in every direction, I saw rows of men, stripped to the naked skin, with pants turned down below their knees, busily engaged killing the vermin.

The prisoner next to me, when I awoke, told me to pitch in. From the crawling over my body I needed no further reminder.

We obtained water by digging holes in the trenches with our tin cups, which gave us enough for drinking.

ration, and no growling was then allowed.

purposes. The same trenches were used at night for the sanitary purposes.

The prison was commanded by a Frenchman named Bissoux, who was ably assisted by a sergeant named Hyke, and a second tool we dubbed "Cockeye." Hyke was a tall, light haired, liverless six-footer, and "Cockeye" a good representative of the character of "Fagan the Jew." They had been selected for their brutal qualifications, and they left no opportunity escape to display it.

Nine in the morning and three in the afternoon were ration times. Four men with a blanket and a water pail from each squad of 100 would go outside and bring in 25 one pound loaves of coarse ground corn bread, and a pail of pea soup.

The squad of one hundred were divided for rations in messes of 25. To each mess was given eight loaves of bread and a pail of pea soup. The sergeant of the mess would carefully cut the bread into 25 equal parts. The men would form a circle around him and see that he did not eat any of the crumbs. After he had cut it up and laid it out in a row, he would invite an inspection as to its division. There was always some argument, and small pieces taken off one and placed upon another piece, thought to be a little smaller. One of the mess would then step to one side, turn his back to the mess. The sergeant placing his finger upon a ration would call out, "Who's this?" The tailsman would call the name of the comrade-that was his

The soup was made from a Southern stock pea. Your chance to find one of these peas or beans that did not have a little black bug in it, would be about equal to your drawing a prize in a Louisiana lottery, or the finding of a four-leaf clover in a farm meadow.

The bug, however, did not lessen the nutriment of the soup. It was about the only animal matter in it.

With this one-fourth allowance of food it was boastfully announced by the rebel newspapers in Richmond that the Yankee prisoners would never be able to take the field again.

Ten thousand men huddled upon five acres of ground, with little food, a scant supply of water and no fuel, some barefoot and without hat or coat, with pants frizzled to the knee through the cold dreary winter of 1863-4, braved this punishment till liberated by death or exchange. The rebel officers frequently placed signs upon the embankment. "100 prisoners wanted to go over to Richmond and work on shoes and harness.' "Plenty to eat." It was like placing a piece of fresh meat before a hungry dog. During the entire winter less than a half dozen men deserted their country and accepted the rebel offer.

Each morning from ten to fifty men. who had died through the night, were carried out and buried in a field to the north of the prison pen. You would not be surprised when you awoke in the morning to find a dead man in


your tent, perhaps the one next to you. The punishment of prisoners by the Belle Island rebel officials would put to shame the prison keepers at Siberia. One morning they refused to allow the dead to be buried. Twelve of our comrades who had died through the night were carried out for burial. The rebel sergeant ordered them carried to the south of the pen and placed upon the ground. For three days these bodies lay, without covering, in full sight of the prisoners. Finally we were permitted to go out and bury them. I was one to perform the task.

As we picked them up and laid them on blankets, we had to shake our hands to free them from vermin. For the slightest offense the prisoners were tortured till near dead. This rebel Hyke was a fiend incarnate. He had built a high wooden saw-horse, the top being an inch surface. About the only offense was the attempt to escape, or when going out after rations a prisoner would take along a tincup and slyly procure some of the skimmings from the bug pea soup. If caught at it you were sure to ride the horse.

They were placed astride the horse, legs drawn out as tightly as two men could draw them and tied to stakes driven in the ground, hands tied behind them to the board and a stick tied in their mouths. In this position they were tied for hours. Their moans and cries to be released would have melted the heart of the most fiendish Indian. They often begged the guards to shoot

them. The guards would frequently hesitate to walk their beats, past them, being an unwilling witness to such fiendish treatment. These prisoners at Belle Island were under the eyes of Jefferson Davis and Gen. Winder. I saw in a telegraph dispatch a few weeks ago, that Mrs. Jefferson Davis would roast Gen. Miles in her forthcoming book, for the irregularity of this chief rebel's toilet, while he was at Fortress Monroe prison.

If for man's inhumanity to man, there shall be "roasting" in the other world, the immediate friends of the exConfederate President are entitled to all the enjoyment they may derive from the vain hope that he is not already in it.

To those who have not experienced it, but little conception can be formed as to the suffering endured by a long and continuous craving for something to eat. The men would eat any food they could obtain to stop the gnawing appetite. The account in McElroy's "Andersonville," about the eating of the dog, to many, no doubt, seems incredible. Had it only been "a fat bull pup," as he describes it, it would have been a little more palatable. I saw the dog killed and carved. My mouth watered for a piece of the meat. Some thirteen prisoners were in the tent near the gate where the dog was coaxed in, killed and eaten raw. His hide was buried in the ditch near their tent. It was near dark when the rebel Sergt. Hyke entered the pen, followed by the captain's bird dog-a long-haired, lean,

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