Andersonville Essay Research Paper Andersonville Torture screams — страница 2

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the main cause of illness. Some stronger bodied prisoners dug wells and sold the water for whatever could be traded. Others simply prayed for help from God. In August, 1864 a miracle happened. A heavy thunderstorm washed the pen clean of human waste and according to legend, a spring bubbled up after a strike by lightning. The thankful prisoners had an answer to their prayers and named the spring Providence Spring. Despite the sudden supply of clear water, later in 1864 over 100 men died each day in Andersonville because of lack of food and water. With not much to do but wonder if they were going to be alive the next day, men kept busy through unusual means. One private braided a simple necklace of pine straw. Another wittled a crude wooden spoon to pass the torturous time at

Andersonville. The prisoners also wanted to communicate with their loved ones outside. They tried to send mail but it was often censored and on top of that to even write the letter they would need paper, a pen, and money to pay or bribe the guards to send the letter. One of the worst things in Andersonville was being put through watching their friends die. They were simply buried by burial details. The corpses were placed in trenches shoulder to shoulder. Rows of wooden stakes marked with consecutive numbers corresponded to the entries in the hospital register to identify the dead. Andersonville was not a place you would want to be sent to because you would most likely get out by dying than leave any other way. Men were constantly trying to escape but were always caught and

punished harshly. Much of the suffering was caused by the Swiss Commander Henry Wirz, the superintendent of Andersonville. His orders led to the death of many men. He was hung after the War for war crimes. Elmira Elmira was the Union prison in New York which was known as the Northern Andersonville and ?Hell hole.? It as not as infamous and well known as Andersonville but just as treacherous. Elmira started out in May, 1861 as a Drilling ground and army barracks for Union troops because of the call for men to suppress the Southern Rebellion. For three years it was used this way until 1864, when it then had no use. The Union found their chance to use the barracks as a prison camp. On May 14, 1864 E.D. Townsend, the assistant adjutant general, sent a memo to Colonel William Hoffman,

the Commission General of prisoners. In the letter it is stated that Elmira had a number of barracks which could be used as a prison camp for recent Confederate prisoners. A great mistake which would later cause much suffering was made by Hoffman. He wrote to the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, stating that Elmira could hold 10,000 prisoners transferred from other camps. Lt. Colonel Frederick Eastman was put in charge of Elmira prison. Also, another mistake by Hoffman, a letter from Hoffman to Eastman stated that only Barracks number three should be used as a prison camp. It also stated the specifics for the fence. Furthermore it said that 8,000 or 10,000 men could arrive shortly. The barracks were 100 ft. long and 16 ft. wide supposedly in excellent condition. There were 35

barracks to hold 4,000 men which were originally made to hold 3,000 men. The tents and hospital tents could hold 1,000 more men and the bakery could hold another 5,000 men. In June, Elmira was ready and Major H.V. Colt was put in as Governor of the camp. In July the first 399 prisoners arrived, one escaped on the way to Elmira. By the end of July, 4,724 prisoners arrived and tents were already being used. By August, all the tents had been used up and more were sent in, though not enough. Many prisoners slept outside without even a blanket. Every morning there was a roll call and the tents were struck to keep count. Due to lack of preparedness or miscommunication severe overcrowding was a problem until March when a 3,009 men prisoner exchange took place. There were still bad

conditions though and winter would be worse. Prisoners were underfed and open to disease because of this and overcrowding. To prevent scurvy from the camps meager rations, men had to buy vegetables from local townsmen. This privilege was taken away when Hoffman ordered bread and water rations for retaliation of Northern prisoners? treatment in the South. Meat and vegetables were not even in the menu therefore an epidemic of scurvy came about. Hunger was such a problem that prisoners surrounded the bone cart begging for scraps that were probably laying in the sun for several days. Men kept bones in their bunk to gnaw and suck on. Men ate trampled apple peelings. A more desperate way to find food was to make use of the large rat population at Foster?s Pond. Rats were used as food