Subtitled: Containing Sketches of Service in the South, and the Experiences, Incidents and Observations Connected with Almost Two Years Imprisonment at Johnson's Island, Ohio, where 3,000 Confederate Officers were Confined.
This book was written by Capt. W. A. Wash of the 60th Tennessee. After his capture at Vicksburg, he, along with many other officers were sent to Johnsonís Island Prison Camp. He spent most of the rest of the war imprisoned there and this book details his incarceration and release.
From the Introduction by Gen. L. M. Lewis:
Having read the manuscript of this volume, and having been an eye-witness of the scenes which the author relates, I take great pleasure in commending it to the public generally, but particularly to those who were unfortunate participants in the horrors of the long imprisonment at Johnsonís Island.
Time can never erase from the memory of any one of the latter class the prominent scenes of prison life in which he may have participated; yet, to many, the minor details, the humorous, the painful, the cruel, the oppressive experiences must have been lost in the immemorial past through the friction of every day life if the diligent hand of Capt. Wash had not embalmed them as they transpired.
To those who witnessed what is here related this volume will prove a source of great satisfaction and amusement. The materials from which this book has been collated were jotted down just as the scenes transpired, for the daily journal of the author recalls almost the entire period from June, 1863, to the close of the war. To an outsider, who never had the misfortune to be locked up for safe keeping in modern bastiles, or to be guarded, not by angels, but by relentless brutes, who, afraid of the battle field, volunteered to guard prisoners, because all the shooting could be on one side, a peep inside is furnished and a slight glimpse of what we experienced.
To us, the former prisoners, the old, gloomy past will be re- enacted, and faces, long since grown dim on the canvass of memory, will be retouched into their former freshness. We will stand again within those plank walls, see familiar forms, hear the laugh of the merry and the complaint of the sad-heartedóin fact, live over again the strangely mingled life of which it is a sketch. Who can not even yet recall the varied emotions experienced by the incarcerated patriot as he listened to the tale of defeat, greedily related and largely embellished? Who can fail to remember how keen the anguish realized as we heard of the want, suffering and ruin of the land we loved better than life?
Who can know, save those who were there, how the heart sunk when grim
despair, like the head of Medusa, chilled the soul into stone at the contemplation of
our home and loved ones given to merciless aliens and strangers, and we unable to
raise an arm to save those precious treasures?
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Camp, Field, and Prison Life.|
Wash, Capt. W. A.
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