Lights and Shadows in Confederate Prisons 1864-5

9781151533012: Lights and Shadows in Confederate Prisons 1864-5
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1915 edition. Excerpt: the upper rooms. The first floor was uninhabitable. vSo with no bed nor blanket; no chairs, benches, nor tables; no table-ware nor cooking utensils; not even shovel, poker, or coal-scoop; most of us were in a sorry plight. The little stoves, heated white-hot, would have been entirely inadequate to warm those rooms; but the coal was miserably deficient in quality as well as quantity. The fire often went out. To rekindle it, there was no other way than to upset the whole, emptying ashes and cinders on the floor. At best, the heat was obstructed by a compact ring of shivering officers, who had preempted positions nearest the stoves. They had taken upon themselves to "run" the thing; and they did it well. We called them "The Stove Brigade." In spite of their efforts, they like the rest suffered from cold. Three or four of us, as a sanitary measure, made it a point to see, if possible, the funny, or at least the bright side of everything, turn melancholy to mirth, shadow to sunshine. When every officer complained of cold, we claimed to anticipate the philosophers, Tyndall, Huxley, and the other physicists, in declaring that "heat is a mode of motion/' and brisk bodily exercise will infallibly demonstrate the fact! When, as was usually the case, all were hungry, we announced as a sure cure for indigestion, "stop eating!" When our prisoner chaplain Emerson on a Sunday afternoon prayed for the dear ones we expected to see no more, and even the roughest and most profane were in tears, we said with old Homer, "Agathoi aridakrues andres" ("Gallant men are easily moved to tears"), or with Bayard Taylor, "The bravest are the tenderest, the loving are the daring.' Most humiliating of all was the inevitable plague of vermin. "Hard indeed," one...

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