Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/54

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

Many bring their rations to their bunks, and eat there. All eat as if hungry and ill-fed. Tubs, made of barrels, are placed at night in front of the doors, and used as urinals. These are emptied by details of prisoners early every morning. Each division has its daily details to make fires, sweep up, etc. I spent much of the day writing to friends, informing them of my "change of base" from the Old Capitol to Fort Delaware.

February 6th and 7th—Captain W. M. Dwight, A. A. G., of South Carolina, is "chief" of 22. His duties are to keep a roll of the inmates, make all the details, look after the sweeping and cleaning the room, report names of the sick, preserve order in the division, preside over meetings, etc. Captain D. is an active, gentlemanly officer, and quite popular. I have met Captain E. J. Dean, Colonel P. A. McMichael, Lieutenant James Campell and Adjutant G. E. Manigault, of South Carolina; Adjutant John Law, of Tennessee, Colonel Isaac Hardeman, Captain W. H. Bennett, Captain E. W. Crocker, Captain C. S. Virgin, Adjutant G. C. Conner, of Georgia, and others, but saw them only a few minutes. They are polite and intelligent gentlemen, excellent representatives of their respective States. The majority of the prisoners are worn and feeble by sickness, want of necessary food, wounds, scurvy, personal care, anxiety and privation. Many are sadly depressed on account of long confinement and cruel delay in exchanges. Some are in complete despair. Others make Dixie and home themes of constant thought and conversation. They dream and sigh, and talk and long for home and its loved ones. A few constitutional cowards, who have a mortal horror of the battlefield, seem contented here. They prefer to risk the annoyances, inconveniences, hunger, insults and diseases of prison to the lesser but more dreaded dangers of the field of battle. This class of persons is very limited. Over 2,000 officers and 7,000 non-commissioned officers and privates are in the two prison pens. Brigadier-General A. Schœff, a Hungarian, is in command, and has two very unpopular and insolent officers, Captain G. W. Ahl and Lieutenant Woolf, as his adjutants. These uniformed plebeians delight in exercising petty tyranny over their superiors in the prison. They are rude, coarse men, with no conception of sentiments of generosity and magnanimity. Woolf is generally drunk, boastful and boisterous. Ahl is more genteel in speech and manner, but less obliging and more deceitful and cruel. General Schœff is disposed to be lenient and kind, but is terribly afraid of his superior officers, especially Secretary Stanton.