Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/55
Diary of Captain Robert E. Park.
He is a moral coward, and as false and faithless as the notorious French liar and revolutionist, Barere. General Schœff, the Hungarian, and General Meagher, the Irishman, surely forget the oppressions they pretend to lament in their native lands, while assisting our enemies to enslave and destroy ours. "Consistency is a jewel" they do not prize. Mercenary motives control them.
February 8th—With Captain Browne and Lieutenant Arrington, I left 22, and found somewhat better quarters in division 28. Here we have to climb over two bunks to the uppermost one. Putting my crutches on the bunks above as I ascend, I climb with difficulty, by means of my hands and knees to my bunk, leaving it as seldom as possible. This division is called "The Gambling Hell," and games of faro, keno, poker, euchre, vingt et un, seven-up, chuck-a-luck, etc., are played incessantly, day and night. Gamblers from all the divisions resort to "28." The fascination for games of chance is wonderful, and the utter recklessness with which some men will venture their last "check" is really painful to behold. Many penniless fellows, "dead broke" from repeated fights with the "tiger," stand near and eagerly watch the games for hours in succession. The "faro-bankers," two officers from West Virginia, seem to be flourishing, have plenty of money, and live well from the sutler's. Lieutenant C.C. Carr, of Uniontown, Alabama, bunks next to me. He is in the Fourty-fourth Virginia regiment. Carr is an Alabamian in a Virginia command, while I am a Georgian in an Alabama regiment. Lieutenant George R. Waldman, also of the Forty-fourth Virginia, from Baltimore, Maryland, is the popular and accommodating postmaster of the division. He carries off our letters for inspection and mailing, and delivers those received, after the authorities have opened and read them. He also attends "money calls," and brings sutler's checks in lieu of the greenbacks sent to prisoners. It is an interesting sight to see the crowds gather around him, as he calls out the names of those receiving letters. The eyes of the fortunate recipients sparkle with pleasure, and smiles light up their countenances, while the disappointed turn reluctantly and sadly away, with sighs of regret, when the roll has been finished, and their names not called. Some poor fellows never join these expectant crowds, as they have no acquaintances North, and never receive any letters; they are to be pitied. It is a great consolation to know you are not forgotten, though a prisoner. We find it difficult to sleep at night in our new quarters; so many noisy men remain awake, gambling, talking, swearing and walking