Our Dead at Elm'<r. 195
" I was fortunate in my recent visit in meeting Postmaster M. M. Conklin, who was on special duty in the prison for some months, and we talked over the prison days. He told me the old darky, named John W. Jones, died only a few weeks ago. I wish I could have seen the old man again and talked to him about the burial of the dead, and the big scare he got one day. The old man drove the horse that pulled the small wagon hauling the dead piled three deep out to the cemetery. Our sergeant, who had charge of preparing the dead for burial, agreed with another prisoner to feign dead. Accordingly he straightened himself out in the box and had the lid nailed lightly on and loaded in the wagon on top of the other two boxes. When the old man reached the cemetery he heard a groan and witnessed a resurrection. He fled to the prison in terror and the prisoner fled in another direction. Thereupon Major Beale ap- pointed my friend, M. M. Conklin, on especial duty, one of his du- ties being to see that no prisoner was sent out of there dead, unless he was much dead. As most of our dead were captured in the Wilderness, I gave my friend Conklin a sketch of that terrible field of carnage. In seven days 50,000 men fell. May i, 1864, Genera^ Lee issued two orders.
"First: 'Send all extra baggage to the rear; Second, cook up three days' rations;' both easily complied with, because we had little extra baggage; second, our three days' rations consisted of three pones of cornbread. May 4th, General Grant crossed the Rapidan with 117,000 men, the flower of the Federal army. Confronting him in the Wilderness was General Lee, with 55,000 ill-clad and poorly fed Confederates. May 5th, General Grant charged us in the Wilderness with three columns across Palmer's old field. Re- sult: 1,100 killed in few hours; i46th New York nearly annihilated, and its commander, Major Gilbert, killed. Continued fighting 'till May .i2th. Dead angle in front of Spotsylvania Courthouse, in which T,IOO of the Elmira prisoners were captured.
LEE LED THE CHARGE.
" Late in the evening, May loth, we reached this spot, and Gen- eral Lee considered it a strategic point, and in order to hold it he led a charge in person. General Gordon caught the bridle of his horse and led him to the rear. At 10 o'clock at night, by aid of the engineers' voices, they formed in the shape of a horseshoe, and we were ordered to fortify. We had no tools, but dug all night with our