Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/45

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Prison Pastimes. 39

This is a phenomenon of prison social life to which we can only call the attention of our readers, and leave for a longer experience or more profound and skillful annotations to explain.

As our knowledge of the great world outside is fast becoming tra- ditionary, or, at best, confined to "fresh fish stories," our news will be necessarily of a purely local character. Though it cannot be denied that the operators on our great Grapevine Telegraph some- times manage to get up some wonderful and startling dispatches.

In our humble efforts to portray the prison times at this place we shall labor to keep our readers posted upon all incidents occurring in our midst worthy of record, and afford them every facility of letting them know who is here and what is being done.

Trusting that the difficulties of conducting an enterprise of this kind, under the circumstances, are duly appreciated by an intelligent public, we send forth this our first number, hoping that ere we have time to publish many numbers our Prison Times will be discon- tinued forever and our patrons and ourselves be far away in our loved sunny South.


A glance at our advertising columns will prove that to call our barracks a miniature world is not so much of a misnomer as it might appear at first to the uniniated.

True it is that we have not the genial presence of charming women, and the very few babies we have with us are too old and too large to awaken that interest and sympathy we might have taken at an earlier stage of their existence. But, excepting the want of these grand essentials women and little babies to a perfect world, our little prison world is quite a good abridgment of the great world outside.

We have in our midst " men about town," " gentlemen of elegant leisure," many of whom play the games of chess, draughts, etc., with great proficiency and skill.

There are also several accomplished musicians, vocal and instru- mental, who occasionally enliven and charm our little community with the concord of sweet sounds. The Prisoners' Benevolent Musi- cal Association have lately earned and received the gratitude of our community by their generous efforts in behalf of the sick and desti- tute of our number, as will be seen from the statement we give in another column of the receipts of the concerts given in the Mess Hall for this purpose.