Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/94

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

well as inquiries from good people in the North, seeking information concerning Southerners who are supposed to be confined in some unknown Northern prison. Frequently prisoners seek this means of getting and communicating news from and to Northern friends as well as to and from relatives in the South. It is a piece of petty meanness to deprive us of the prized privilege of reading these "personal" items. Surely our reading them cannot impair the integrity of the Yankee Union, or be aiding and abetting the "rebellion."

October 22d—Applied for crutches to-day, as I am literally worn out from lying thirty-three days helpless in bed. A very rude and awkwardly made pair were brought, and, after tying a strip of cloth around my neck and extending it around my knee also, to hold up my wounded limb and thus prevent the painful, unendurable rush of blood to my leg and foot, still very sore from the severed nerves and muscles, I attempted to walk a few steps. Every step jarred my wound, and gave me pain, but I persisted in the effort for some time. An officer came around to get our money to-day, but somehow failed to demand mine. A wounded captain from West Virginia exchanged some greenbacks for Confederate money with me at the rate of twenty of the latter for one of the former. With the pittance obtained I patronize the sutler, and get something to eat. Most of us, recovering from our wounds, are constantly suffering from hunger—this, too, in a land of plenty.

October 23d—Sunday. News of a fierce battle in the Valley, in which the American claims a signal victory for Sheridan over General Early. They boast greatly over very small advantages, and I hope the telegrams are exaggerated. The fight occurred at Cedar Creek, called in their papers Fisher's Hill.

October 24th—Further news from the decimated army of the Valley confirms previous reports, and the malignant Knowles curls his Satanic lip higher, and smiles his peculiar sardonic grin in a more repulsive manner than ever, as he recites the particulars, with extravagant additions doubtless, to his heartsick and suffering patients, who sadly need all the good cheer and encouragement possible, instead of the depression, incident to increased anxiety and trouble. I fear bad news from my brave and beloved company. Poor fellows! How I wish I were with them, instead of languishing in a Yankee bastile!

October 25th—A number of slightly wounded, among them my good friend Captain Hewlett of Company "H." were sent off, we