From the National Tribune, 1/7/1904
...Another member of the Home, Thomas H. Taylor, of Co. G,
17th Mass., relates the following: “I was captured at Bachelor’s Creek, near
Newbern, N. C., Feb. 1, 1864. Was at the time driving a hospital ambulance. I
was sent out with a detachment under a flag of truce to bring in some wounded;
but the enemy would not honor the flag of truce, and they took me, with six
officers and 66 men. This was Hoke’s Division, of Longstreet’s command.
“I was first taken to Pemberton Prison,
opposite Libby Prison, in Richmond; from there to Belle Isle, where I was kept
six weeks, and then sent to Andersonville, Ga.
“On Belle Island we had some hard experience.
Many of the men had no shelter or blankets; the weather was cold and stormy and
the ground was very muddy. Some of the men had to lie down in the mud, then in
the night the mud would freeze, and in the morning their hair would be frozen
fast to the ground, and their comrades would have to get them loose by digging
with old knives or anything they could use to loosen the ground. The men, of
course, would be dead and frozen stiff.
“There was more suffering from cold at Belle
Isle than at Andersonville, which was I warmer climate.
“The suffering from hunger was just as bad as
“These horrors were going on right under the
nose of Jeff Davis and in full view of the State House in Richmond!”
[remainder of letter details the author’s experience at
Andersonville and was not transcribed.]
Thos. H. Taylor
Soldiers’ Home, Los Angeles
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