Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century Volume 2.djvu/545

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made by driving into the ground posts which projected five feet above the surface upon which were spiked two by four scantlings. On the inside of the palisades were erected sentry boxes thirty yards apart in which were stationed the armed guards, with instructions to shoot any prisoner who should reach or step inside of this “dead line.” A swampy creek ran through the inclosure from west to east, so that there was left inside of the “dead line” not more than thirteen acres of dry ground upon which men could live. Into this pen were crowded in June, 1864, 22,291 prisoners. Dr. Joseph Jones, a distinguished Confederate physician and surgeon of Augusta, Georgia, made a visit to the stockade in August and gave a report of its condition from which the following extract is made:

“In July there were twenty-nine thousand and thirty, and in August thirty-two thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine prisoners confined in the stockade. No shade trees were left in the entire inclosure. But many of the Federal prisoners had ingeniously constructed huts and caves to shelter themselves from the rain, sun and night damps. The stench arising from this dense population crowded together here, performing all the duties of life, was horrible in the extreme. The accommodations for the sick were so defective and the condition of the others so pitiable that from February 24th to September 21st nine thousand four hundred and seventy-nine died, or nearly one-third of the entire number in the stockade. There were nearly five thousand prisoners seriously ill, and the deaths exceeded one hundred a day. Large numbers were walking about who were not reported sick, who were suffering from diarrhea and scurvy. I visited two thousand sick lying under some long sheds; only one medical officer was in attendance, whereas at least twenty should have been employed. From the crowded condition, bad diet, unbearable filth, dejected appearances of the prisoners, their systems had become so disordered that from the slightest abrasion of the skin, from the heat of the sun or even a mosquito bite, they took on rapid and frightful ulceration and gangrene. The continuous use of salt meat imperfectly cured and their total deprivation of vegetables and fruit caused the scurvy. The sick were lying upon the bare floors of open sheds without even straw to rest upon. The haggard, dejected, living skeletons, crying for medical aid and food, and the ghastly corpses with glazed eyeballs staring up into vacant space, with flies swarming down their open mouths, and over their rags infested with swarms of lice and maggots, as they lay among the sick and dying, formed