Defence of Petersburg. 19
sessor of a high-crowned beaver. He was the grenadier of the party. Mr. Keiley, in his book, makes mention of an amusing circumstance connected with the owner of the headgear in question. He had incautiously stepped over the "dead line" of the prison pen, when he was hailed by the negro guard from the parapet, "White man, ef you don't get back over dat line I'll blow dat ar nail kag offen top of you head." It is hardly neces- sary to say the proprietor of the "nail kag" beat a hasty retreat.
The following morning we were again placed on board a steamer, arriving late in the afternoon at Point Lookout. We disembarked on the wharf, where we remained all night without any shelter, exposed to the bitter blast coming up the bay, cut- ting into our very vitals. It was by long odds the roughest treatment we received. Though it was the month of June, it was very cold and we suffered much ; sometimes we would lay down close together and get up to walk about to keep our blood in circulation. It would have taken a Mark Tapley to be "jolly" under such circumstances.
The Federal officer into whose custody we were delivered was a cross-looking customer. He carried a curious-looking grape- vine stick, and with much roughness he had us all examined for money or articles contraband of war, preparatory to our being ushered into the prison pen which was to be our post office ad- dress for a long time to come.
THE PRISON PEX.
The place appeared to be about the size of what was then called Poplar Lawn Park, surrounded by a high board fence, outside of which, on a platform, was the guard. Those prisoners who had been there during the previous winter suffered much, the tents they occupied being but a poor protection against the icy breath of winter, the men being allowed only one blanket apiece. The water was procured from wells sunk within the en- closure. It was brackish (said to be impregnated with copper), and must have received a good deal of surface drainage.
Twice a day the men formed in line to receive their rations, consisting principally of a loaf of bread or six crackers (hard tack) once a day, a piece of meat sprinkled over with vinegar, and a tin cup of canned vegetable soup. Coffee had formerly