My War Service

As A Member Of Taylor's Battery

By: Lewis F. Lake

Prepared for and read before "The Battery Boys" April 12, 1888 in Chicago Illinois.

    In the fall of 1863 under the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 more troops, together with a few young men of this city I enlisted at the age of 16 years as a recruit in Company B, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, better known both North and South as "Taylor's Battery".  An organization that had up to that time participated in the battle of Belmont, Fredericktown, Donaldson, Shiloh, Chickasaw Bayou, Vicksburg, Champion Hills, and many other engagements.

    After the usual examinations, re-examinations, musters, and delays peculiar to transporting recruits to the front, in various camps, including the notorious Zollicaffer Barracks at Nashville, Tennessee, we finally reached the battery, then stationed at Larkinsville, Alabama, in winter quarters and forming a part of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 15th Corps, which was then guarding the Chattanooga and Huntsville Railroad.  We found a fine company of men who were gentlemen as well as soldiers, and in short time all were made to feel at home and assigned places in different squads.  For the information of those unacquainted with the formation of an artillery organization, perhaps at this time it might be well to state that our battery consisted of four twelve pound Napoleon guns, brass pieces, and two ten pounds parrott guns, the latter forming the right and left flanks.  A squad consisted of one gun and caisson manned by seventeen men, a sergeant and two corporals.  A section composed of two squads or guns and caissons were under the command of a lieutenant.  The squads were numbered from right to left in the following order: on and five forming the first section, three and four forming the center section, and two and six forming the left section.  I was assigned to the second squad from the right, being squad five.

    We were once put through the school of the artillerist by veteran officers of the battery, in a manner that won the admiration of the recruit.  Thus passed the time until about the first of May 1864, when preparations were made for one of the grandest campaigns ever planned Atlanta and the sea being the objective points.  After weary days and nights of marching and passing some of the most famous western battlefields of the war, Lookout Mountain, made memorable by gallant Hooker, fighting above the clouds- Mission Ridge, the storming of which cost the lives of many boys from Winnebago County.  Chickamauga, another of these historic battlegrounds, passed many months after the battle, when we could see the marks stern war had left- when the dead had the excuse of a burial by lying upon the ground with a little dirt thrown over them- not enough to leave a covering after the storms of one winter had passed, we could see the faces, hands, and feet of the unknown in many cases.  Trees shattered by cannon balls and pierced by the bullets all made an impression on the mind of the boy soldier that can never be forgotten.  

    On the 13th of May, we found the enemy alive and awaiting the Union hosts under Sherman, McPherson, Logan, and others.  The 15th Corps, General John A. Logan commanding, formed in line of battle at about five o'clock in the afternoon, and Taylor's Battery was placed in position on a hill giving a good view of the fortifications around Resaca.  That evening and night was spent with little shelling and skirmish firing.  The next day the 14th, several charges were made at different points of the line and a little ground gained by the federal army with some loss. It certainly was a grand site to behold: the advancing lines wading the little creek, skirmishers firing, with the artillery on the hills sending shot and shell over the heads of the charging lines.  Some shells from the enemy came rather close to our gun but fortunately no one hurt.

    The night of the e14th General Joe Johnson evacuated Resaca, burning the only bridge over the Costanaula River, and early the next morning a pontoon bridge was laid and Sherman's army in hot pursuit.  We next met the enemy at Dallas, when the gallant Logan proved himself the fearless and dashing soldier, riding down the lines with hat in hand, urging the men to stand fast and give them lead, while the enemy was massing his troops in our front.  With the 6th Missouri Infantry supporting Taylor's Battery and the 83rd Ohio and 116th Illinois in reserve, we gave the advancing foe a warm reception, and repulsed them in their separate charge.  In front of the 57th Ohio Infantry on our immediate right after the last charge, the bodies of 90 dead rebels were picked up and buried in one trench.  Again after long marches, numerous skirmishes and hard fighting, we confronted the flower of the Confederate army at Kennesaw Mountain.

    Here again many homes in Winnebago County were made desolate by the loss of husband, father, or sweetheart.  The 44th, 55th, and 74th Illinois Infantry volunteers lost heavily in the assaults on the mountainside.  One incident here I will mention.  As our battery stood in line awaiting orders to move to the front and previous to the charge, a regiment of Infantry, which proved to be the 55th Illinois (in which a Company from the county) on their return from Veteran furlough, came up side of the battery and halted.  While they were waiting, a shell from one of the large guns on top of the mountain exploded and killed                   of Company I.

    Again on July 3rd at Mill Grove, our section of the battery was ordered on the skirmish line.  We advanced through the woods to the edge of a clearing and went into position, when we discovered at about 1200 yards distant a battery of six guns awaiting our salute.  We opened on them and received a prompt reply.  After about an hour's time we were on the ground of the enemy, having driven him away without any loss to our Battery, but several close calls.  From that time to the 22nd of July we were under fire nearly everyday.  On the 12th of July the terms of service of the men who enlisted for three years in 1861 expired.  As a result the 1862 and 1863 recruits of Batteries A and B (who were always together in the same division) were consolidated and given the letter "A".  Therefore Taylor's Battery lost it identity at that time.  We were left without a commissioned officer and in consequence two Lieutenants, Smith and Robb of Battery F, 1st Illinois Light Artillery were detailed to take charge of the new Battery A.

    It was with many regrets we bade farewell to the heroes of Belmont, Donaldson, and Shiloh.  There seemed to be a foreboding of evil on the minds of the they were assigned to placed in the new command.  As to myself, I had been given the swing team on Squad 5's gun.  Now as I never could manage one horse under a saddle, you can imagine the boy that never liked to ride a horse take the charge of two and mange in a battle.  The very thought of it made my hair stand on end.  So I went to Lieutenant Smith and entered a protest.  As a result, after being a Postillion six days, I was given my old place on the gun, that of firing the piece on number 4.    Under the new order of things I had become warmly attached to one of the old Battery A boys, Comrade William K. Cowlin, of whom I will speak further on.  

    When about two miles from Atlanta July 20th, the battle of Peachtree Creek took place, our section of the Battery was again called to the front or skirmish line by General Logan in person, and assigned to a position in the edge of a light timber and facing an open field.  About 800 yards to the front and in the edge of woods we were told a few stragglers were annoying our left, but we saw no sign of a gray coat we could see.  So General Logan said feel of them with a shell or two boys.  As a result we struck a hornet's nest.  Before we could fire  a second round from each gun the enemy opened on us with a volley from ten pound parrott guns in ambush.  One shell exploded under our gun and killed two comrades and wounded two others.  We were the ordered to limber to the rear in quick time.  

    That evening a line of battle was formed at the old works vacated by the rebels, and with a few hours work with pick and shovel we had a comparatively good entrenchment where we remained during the 21st with occasional shots from the artillery and some skirmish firing from the enemy.  We soon found the enemy had evacuated a good line of entrenchments and retired to the strong earthworks and forts around the city of Atlanta.  Our lines were ordered forward and were soon in a good position and could see the spites of the "Gate City".  The battery was at this place divided by a wagon road, and the Decatur Railroad.  With two guns on the left of the Railroad, which ran through a cut thirty feet deep, and two guns between the railroad and wagon road on the right of the railroad, and the other two guns on the right of the wagon road, with an opening in the works of about twenty feet.  The Battery was supported by the 47th Ohio Infantry, with the 83rd Ohio Infantry on the skirmish line three hundred yards in front, and no reserve whatever.

    July 22, 1864 is one of the war days long remembered in many homes of the land, both North and South.  At an early hour it became evident that an unusual event would occur.  Staff officers and orderlies were on the move carrying orders and dispatches from one part of the line to another.  Heavy firing was soon heard on the left where the 16th and 17th Army Corps were located.  Three regiments of our Brigade were sent to their assistance when General Giles A. Smith was having a hard tussle with the enemy.  General Morgan L. Smith, commanding our Division, ordered Lieutenant Smyth to take are present position and remain until he ordered him out.  Presently, General Sherman called for two guns to go on the skirmish line and fire twelve rounds from each gun as a signal for all artillery on the line to commence shelling the city.

    Our section of the battery went forward under command of Lieutenant Robb.  We took a position near the railroad in advance of a large pile of timber that had been near the track by the enemy for use in building fortifications.  While we were firing the signal guns an accident happened where by comrade Timothy Lynch of our gun squad lost his good right arm. by a premature discharge of the piece.  I was detailed with two other comrades by Corporal Roberts to assist the wounded comrade to the rear.  When we arrived at the pile of lumber just spoken of, he fainted and we were obliged to carry him bodily to the rear.

    You must remember that during all this time General Hood was not caught napping.  We were receiving messages from Atlanta sent by the aid of gunpowder at a lively rate, and shells bursting around us.  If ever I had a faint heart it was when the sergeant ordered the detail to return to the skirmish line.  We started out with little hope of ever getting there but we did, and just in time to hear the order of the major of the 83rd Ohio who was in command of the skirmish line to return to the main line of works as the enemy was preparing to charge.

    We returned to the line in time to take position, when General Frank Cheatham's Division massed in our front came steadily forward, all the while we were giving them double shotted canister.  In the meantime word was passed down the line that General James B. McPherson, the young commander of the "Army of the Tennessee" had met his death, and that General Logan had assumed command by direction of General Sherman, and General M. L. Smith had taken command of the 15th Corps.  Thus with the weakening of our line by the transfer of three regiments to the left the change of our Division commander, and the temporary loss of General Logan's immediate presence, and the fearful charge on our front, imagine the situation.

    The enemy came up in solid column, line after line, with fixed bayonets in our front, and a large body of troops coming through the deep cut along the railroad were soon in our rear.  Lieutenant Smyth soon began to realize what it meant to be ordered out, not by General Smith but by a rebel Colonel who demanded his sword and the surrender of the battery. Even when we fired the last shot in the ammunition chest after the enemy were in our rear and on the works in front.  Lieutenant Robb was shot dead after he had surrendered his sword and had given up for lost, so we could not tell the fate in store for us.  The advancing foe came on with the cheer peculiar to the Southern troops that we use to call "that old rebel yell."  We were prisoners of war!  Our battery loss at this time was ten men killed, as many wounded, 56 horses killed and wounded, four guns and twenty one men prisoners.

    Among that number I can recall but a few names of my comrades.  There was Lieutenant Samuel S. Smyth, Sergeant Heart, Tom Wilcox, Will Cowlin, "Mattie" Frasier, Corporal Whitson, Charlie Schiller, "Billy" Schoupham, and Corporal Schuyler Coe.  When comrade Lynch lost his right arm comrade James W. Porter who was at the time acting First Sergeant took the place of the wounded comrade and seeing Lieutenant Robb shot comrade Porter fell by his side and we thought he too was killed.  But when we returned to the battery after our prison life we heard the story from the boys that Sergeant Porter lay there during the fearful charge, and when General Logan returned with the 2nd Division, drove back the enemy and retook the works, Sergeant Porter picked up an old musket, joined in the fight, and captured two Johnnies.

    We were not allowed to remain on the field many minutes, as we Yanks were invited to get over the works into Atlanta and that at the point of the bayonet.  It is needless to say we got.  We were marched into the city cross lots through wood and ravine on the double quick until we reached the strong line of fortifications.  Then we were taken in charge by the cavalry and hustled through the streets at a lively rate.  While in route to the provost marshal's office near the center of the city an incident occurred that we all remembered.  We were thirsty, dusty, and weary and a good drink of water at that time was a good thing to take-- if you could get one.  While plodding along in the dust some ladies came to the street with pails of water and bade us to drink.  The guards objected to a halt for refreshments but a few of us did that which we never did before (or since either) that is, to take a drink on the sly.  The guards ordered the pails upset but the ladies were firm and a few were fortunate to wet their whistles, for which we are even now grateful.

   When we arrived at headquarters in the public square all were counted and 1600 Union defenders were huddled together, some without hats, some without coats, and a few with blankets.  Our rest was very short, however.  We were put under guard of a squadron of Mississippi cavalry and started for East Point, some eight or nine miles from Atlanta, reaching there late in the evening.  We were turned into a small, open, pen-like enclosure of about one acre in extent, which had been used to corral rebel mules.  We were told to make ourselves comfortable for the night.  The question was asked, "When will we get something to eat?" The answer came back like a thunderbolt, "Not until Morning."  Remembering the hard day's work without dinner and no prospect of a supper was hard indeed.  Our thoughts and opinions of the Confederacy were anything but complimentary.

    Not one of our squad of twenty one had a blanket but three or four of the boys had coats with them.  In our hurry and rush to accept the bayonet invitation into Atlanta we forgot to take out trunks along, hence the scanty wardrobe.  But we lay down on the ground with the dirt for a bed and with the blue sky and stars looking down from above on our coming made the soldier boy think of home and mother.    That night, like many other afterwards, were away without much sleep.  The next day at nine o'clock we went through the form of drawing rations for the ensuing twenty four hours, which consisted of three moldy crackers and a piece of bacon the size of a man's thumb.  Such were our rations for two days.

    Such a God-forsaken looking squad of artillery boys were never seen before.  I will not mention then what they looked like in after days.  We became accustom to looks and were glad to remain together and share the same fates.  We remained here all day.  The next morning, the 25th, we were given five crackers (older than the others, if anything) with the usual little piece of meat and were assisted out under escort and started on the march for Griffin, forty miles away, which placed we reached on the afternoon of the 27th of July.  Perhaps our friends at this date can imagine the condition of the artillery boys each evening as we were allowed to halt for the night, corralled like cattle or mules, and tired, footsore, weary and hungry.  I might say here that while with the battery we seldom complained of walking too much while on the march as we could ride at pleasure.

    At Griffin we were furnished a special train of flatcars, with a framework decorated with brush and pine boughs to protect us from the scorching rays of the sun.  After a short time we arrived at Macon;  here we parted company with Lieutenant Smyth whom we never saw afterwards.  All commissioned officers among the prisoners were left here at the officers' prison, and among the number was Lieutenant Andrew Phinney of Company A, 90th Illinois Volunteers, who was also taken on July 22.  On the next morning we started for Andersonville, arriving there late in the afternoon.  We will look around for a few minutes while the prisoners were alighting from the cars and take a bird's eye view of the camp, three-fourths of a mile distant.

    If you look on a map of the state of Georgia, you will find that Andersonville is situated in the northern part of Sumpter County and about sixty miles southwest of the city of Macon, on the Georgia Central or Southwestern Railroad.  At the time of its occupation as a military prison it was near the terminus of the only railroad then running through the most desolate part of the south.  Andersonville at this time consists of a few old buildings, including the station house, Confederate camps, and the famous stockade which has so often been described.  

    In the stockade were nearly 35,000 Union prisoners of war, with about three thousand and five hundred Confederate infantry and seven batteries of artillery stationed near as guards.  The Camp, as the Confederates were pleased to call the  prison, was situated on either side of a small creek and contained little less than 25 acres of ground, enclosed with high double stockade built of hewn pine timbers about sixteen feet above ground, with sentry boxes fifty feet apart on the top of the inner stockade and reached by ladders from the outside.  There were two gates or entrances on the west side of the stockade, one on either side of the creek, built in the manner of canal locks, or same as the gates of a penitentiary, with an outer and inner door enclosing a space of about thirty feet square.

    We were marched east from the station of General Winders' headquarters.  After name, rank, company, regiment, etc., were taken the search for trinkets, knives, and so forth, was completed for the second time since our capture.  At this time we were drawn up in double rank at a "rear open order."  The officer performing this duty proved to be the notorious Wirs, with whom we became better acquainted in the after days of prison life.  Many prisoners had cause to trouble at his approach.     For all that he was such a smart tyrant a couple of Yanks played him a nice little dodge while he was searching the man on my right, Comrade Charlie Schiller of our battery, I was holding my comrades little eight-inch dirk knife in my pocket.  After searching the pockets of Comrade Schiller the fearless captain stepped to the rear rank for something, then the knife found its way to my comrade's pocket where it remained until we were safe in camp and it was the only knife of any kind in our party.  

    After the search we were divided into detachments of 270 men under the charge of a rebel sergeant, and each detachment sub-divided into companies of 90 men each and under charge of a sergeant or noncommissioned officer of our own men.  It so happened that our little band of 20 were all included  in the same squad or third company of the detachment.  Then came the last march for many of the squad of 1600 Yankee soldiers.  We were driven in like a drove of sheep.  Each division or company was expected to remain together the best we could.  We were escorted through the dense crowd and assigned the place near the northwest corner of the enclosure.  

    I can not give a description of the surroundings as they really were.  Words fail to express the thoughts that passed through the mind of the newcomer, the many questions asked by the older prisoners regarding exchange- did we know anything about it?  No, we knew nothing; no word of encouragement could we give the poor, half demented fellows who looked so worn out, emaciated, dirt-begrimed, covered with rags, filth and vermin, some rotten with scurvy, others with wounds in which gangrene had found its way.  All this gave us thought: how long, oh how long, must we endure this.  We had little hope after the great gate was closed behind us.  

    As we were without barracks, tents, or blankets, and many without coats, our prospects for the future can better be imagined than described.  Our hearts melted when we found no rations could be had until nine o'clock the next morning, as at that moment we were nearly famished.  I find from an old letter I had written home in December, 1864 after our release, that all the rations we had received was the five moldy crackers given at East Point the morning we left Griffin the 25th and this was the 28th.  The next morning (so the letter reads) we received a piece of corn bread three inches square, the cob being ground with the corn, a small piece of bacon, and half pint of boiled black beans cooked with the pods, our rations for the next twenty four hours.  

    For many days we remained so exposed to the cold dews at night and scorching sun by day, until we managed to save a portion of our rations and trade them with our starving companions and thus procured a couple of old blankets, and some sticks, and erected a kind of shelter.  And we were comfortable compared with the many hundreds around us with shelter of no kind.  Later on we managed to secure an old canteen and by opening it at the seams we made a couple of dishes with which to cook our rations whenever we were so unfortunate as to draw uncooked rations.  Our company was huddled close together.  The rations during our captivity were notable for their sameness.  In lieu of corn bread raw meal was given and in place of beans raw rice.  Occasionally cooked rice would be issued, but what we considered worst than the rations themselves was the matter in which cooked beans, rice, and so forth, was brought to us.  After a wagon load of dead comrades had been deposited in the trench,  rations would be placed in the same box without cleaning that had contained the bodies of human beings deceased several days in some instances and brought to the starving prisoners.  It was that, or nothing!  Everyman in the company must be accounted for at morning roll call or no rations for that day.

    Our little squad adopted the plan of early rising and  four o'clock in the morning always found us bathing in the little stream while the water was clear, the Confederates having their camp located above the stockade and near the creek the refuse of their camp came through our prison and  in the afternoon a thick greasy scum was on the water.  After our return to our allotted space from the bath we did the "skirmish act" (any old soldier understands the phrase) or, in other words, we pulled off our shirts and hunted the "podicules."  Tender are the memories of the old soldiers as they recall   the time hunting the gray back among the seams of their clothing, so often being successful in finding all he wished to, never being disappointed and saying," Boys, I didn't find any," for the ground was covered with creeping vermin.

    Corporal Coe was the life of the squad, being of a genial disposition, whenever anyone began to get discouraged it was usual for him to say, "Brace up boys, we may be happy yet."   And then tell a story or sing a song.  He was one of the greatest smokers in the 15th Corps, always smoking his pipe; even during battle I have seen him with his pipe while sighting the gun and clouds of smoke rising so that if anyone heard a shot burst he looked to see if Corporal Coe had been hit in the head.  Imagine, if you can, how he managed, when tobacco was one of the luxuries, to him at least.  He smuggled his old pipe into the stockade: I can't tell how he did it but it was there just the same.

    If Corporal Coe caught a comrade chewing tobacco, no mater who he might be or where he was from, the stranger was interrogated thusly: "I say, comrade, when you are through with the chew please give it to me, won't you, as I am dying for a smoke."  He was mostly always rewarded with the chew at once.  Then he would dry it in the sun, fill his pipe, find fire in some manner best known, perhaps, to those who have been in the same predicament.

    Comrade William H. Colwin, now living at Woodstock, was what we then thought a lucky man.  On the sixth of August he, with Comrades Wilcox and Hall, were ordered to pack their trunks and say farewell to their comrades and march out of the stockade.  They were detailed to assist in the hospital and cook house.  Lucky comrades, so we thought at that time.  But it proved anything but lucky for those poor comrades.  Hall was taken sick sometime in October and remained in the hospital until December 25.  Cowlin and Wilcox returned to the stockade about the first of January '65 and remained until March 14.  Cowlin was then sent to the hospital a very sick man, and finally all three met again Aprill22, '65 at Black River Bridge Mississippi, and were exchanged after nine months of prison life.  Comrade George H. Knott, now a hardware merchant residing at Elgin, used to tell his hungry, starving comrades how nice his good little wife at home could make rice puddings, roast turkey and chickens, and fix up such nice little dishes that would tempt the appetite of even an Andersonville prisoner.  So we used to dream night- and days, too, for that matter- of sitting down to a well loaded tables at home.  

    We were in the habit of walking through the camp every day and sometimes would find some poor, unfortunate comrade we had known under more favorable circumstances, or meet some new friend.  On one of these daily rounds I met a comrade, I think it was Charlie Stewart of the 90th Illinois, who told me of a comrade near whose home was at Rockford.  He took me over to the quarters, or dugout, and introduced me to Roger Brown of Company K, 74th Illinois Volunteers, who was taken prisoner in the charge at Kennesaw Mountain on June 27th.  I also met others whose  names I can not recall after the lapse of 24 years.  There was one comrade, however, whose acquaintance I made, only to lose him in a short time.  In making the daily rounds I seldom took the same route.  This time I found a young man scarcely twenty one years old with a gunshot wound in the muscle of his left arm, in which gangrene had commenced its deadly work.  He was so weak he could hardly sit up, and with a little stick he was picking the maggots from the terrible sore.  I saw that he was working with an effort and I asked him if I could assist him.  He replied, " If you only will."  I took the stick and began the hardest task I ever attempted.  During the work I found that I was befriending a Winnebago County boy.  I do not remember the company or regiment he belonged to, but the name, Julius Trask of Burritt or Harrison township.  Trask bridge road running northwest from Rockford to Durand, was named for his father.   It is needless to say that his grave is numbered with the many thousands of his comrades at Andersonville, that great monument of "Man's inhumanity to man".  

    The story of the deadline and the murders committed near it has so often been told that it is needless for me to repeat it, but I will mention a couple of the many instances where the poor, starving skeletons were sent to eternity at the hands of our cruel captors.  One of the sultry days of August, with Comrade Frasier of our squad, we were walking near the deadline.  A comrade unknown to us lay on the ground asleep; he turned over, and in doing so rolled under the fatal deadline.  Scarcely anyone had noticed him 'till the report of a rifle rang out on the sultry air and then we knew another victim had perished at the hands of our merciless guard.  Without a word of warning from a sentinel from a guard box had watched his chance to send a Yankee to the land of the unknown. Later in the month the great providential spring broke out between the deadline and the stockade near the west bank of the little creek.  A poor, half-demented prisoner stepped under the deadline with a cup to get a drink--he too sleeps with the countless thousands of his dead comrades at Andersonville.

    During the months of August and September the mortality was very great- a hundred and fifty per day were counted in the dead house.  On or about September 14th three comrades of our squad and myself volunteered to assist in carrying out the dead- and at night we counted a hundred and sixty dead comrades.  

    The authorities issued orders that should the Federal army reach a point within seven miles of Andersonville the artillery would open up with canister on the helpless prisoners.  About this time the rebels commenced to remove the prisoners to Savannah and other points.  September 16th the news came that General Sherman and Hood were arranging to exchange 2,00 prisoners who were captured on the 22nd of July and to date.  General Sherman having a large line of communication to keep open from Atlanta to Chattanooga and as he was preparing for his famous march through Georgia to the sea, he wanted every available man for immediate use.  At the suggestion of General John A. Logan this special exchange was perfected.  And among the 2,000 I returned to Rough and Ready, Georgia where we beheld the stars and stripes once more on the 22nd of September after only two months of imprisonment.  But, that was enough to satisfy my curiosity.

    It has truefully been said that "Who but soldiers can sympathize with one and other whose ties have been welded together in the fire of battle."  And we may add, the suffering, starvations, privations endured while confined in the rebel prisons of the South as prisoners of war.   While we are aware that even the strongest language is inadequate to give a full description of the barbarities and cruelties of Andersonville and therefore would not dwell upon the terribleness of the many sufferings imposed upon our prisoners, nor stir the hearts already sunk in grief to deeper woe, still we owe it alike to the living and the dead, that a proper knowledge and realization of the miseries which the endured be entertained by all and with Miss Clara Barton under whose direction the graves of Andersonville were  identified and marked with headstones or tablets, we would say to all, as she did in her report to Congress, "That after this wherever any man who has lain a prisoner within a stockade of Andersonville would tell you of his sufferings, how he fainted, was scoffed, drenched, bruised, and gagged, scourged, hunted and persecuted, how he saw his comrades shot down by the hundreds and starving by the thousands, though the tale be long and twice told, as you would have your own wrongs appreciated, your own woes pitied, your own cries for mercy heard, I charge you, listen and believe him."

    "However definitely he may have spoken, know that he has not told you all.  However strongly he may have outlined or deeply he may have colored his picture, know that the reality calls for a better light and a nearer view than your clouded, distant gaze will ever get.  Whenever stretched the form of a Union prisoner, there rose the signal for cruelty and the cry of agony, and there day by day grew the skeleton graves of the nameless dead."

                            Let us forgive--But not forget.....