Our Returned Prisoners
LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER: NOV. 30, 1864
OUR RETURNED PRISONERS
Shocking inhumanity of the rebels
Two vessels filled with our sick prisoners, just exchanged at Savannah, arrived at Annapolis, Md. on Friday. The steamer Atlantic brought 649 living skeletons, and 8 dead bodies, 9 had been buried at sea. Our surgeons were appalled at the wretched condition of the survivors. Not a man among the numbers but had to be sent to the hospital, many to leave them only for the graveyard. The 550 on the Blackstone were in a better condition, and made the welkin(sic) ring as they landed on the free shores of Maryland.
A Correspondent of the N.Y. Herald, who witnessed the reception of our prisoners below Savannah, give this interesting account:
"I never in my life conceived of such scenes of misery as some of our fellows presented. They suffered from scurvy mostly; but I was told the others, worse off than those we received, were left behind because of impossibility of transporting them in safety. Yet they were joyous beyond description as they came once more beneath the folds of the old flag. On the passage down the Savannah River to Venus Point--the designation of the spot where the exchange is in progress-they were permitted to make no demonstration of joy. Cheering, shouting and singing was prohibited by the rebel guards, who threatened to fire into the crowd if the stringent rules were violated. But when the vessels were lashed together, the air was full of jubilant shouts, and poor, emancipated sufferers, resting in the strong arms of our nurses, mingled their feeble notes of gladness with the lusty tones of the hale and hearty as they were borne across the gang planks to the decks of the Union craft.
"Our men were ragged beyond description. Some of them had nothing on but pantaloons, and I noticed, one pair of inexpressibles the legs of which reached part way to the knees of the wearer. Others had their limbs bound up with strips of blankets, in place of any other covering. Still others, whose garments, had by great care been kept together, were covered with vermin, which rattled from them like sand.. The sick who were unable to help themselves at all, were certainly the most pitiable objects I ever beheld. They were covered with gangrenous fungous sores, harbors of worms and maggots to crawl and wiggle in. They were doubled up as if in a permanent cramp. Some of them had their lips eaten away by their loathsome disease, and were unable even to pronounce their own names. They were washed and shaved, and furnished with new clothes; and then having been placed upon clean cots, were fed with biscuit, coffee and a little milk punch. The tempers of many of the men, as well as their physical frames, were worn out; and after getting a taste of biscuit and coffee some of them cried for more, as babies cry for breast milk; and yet they confessed that they had not had in any three days of their imprisonment, eaten so much as they had just devoured."
Before the prisoners were moved from Andersonville, Ga., 11,000 had been buried there. Correspondence of the rebel surgeons there furnishes full proof of the cruelty of their treatment. Men in the last stages of emacipation from chronic diarrhea, received no nourishment whatever, and starved to death on the course rations which a strong man would reject. Others, suffering from gangrene and ulcers, were compelled to foster in putridity, without even sufficient water to cleanse the loathsome sores. Week after week the diseased and the dying were kept without shelter, and many of them without clothing, on the hard ground, exposed to a torrid sun by day, and heavy rains at all times, in total disregard of the earnest and almost despairing appeals of kind hearted physicians for their relief.
LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER: MARCH 22, 1865
Commissioner Frank Holbrook sends to Walton's Journal a list of paroled prisoners, from which we extract.----
List of paroled officers at Officers' Hospital, Annapolis, March 11th; delivered at Wilmington, N.C., Feb. 28
Capt. Frank Kenfield, C. 17th
Maj. Chas. K. Fleming, 11
2d Lieuts. E.J. McWain, 8th, 11, and J.S. Drennan 11; all captured June 23.
List of Vermont troops at Camp Parole, near Annapolis, Md, recently paroled, delivered at N.E Bridge, N.C.
Priv. Vanness Lilley, E., 3d, captured Aug. 13, at Berryville, Va., delivered Feb. 28th
H.B. Pettingill, I. Cav., captured July 6,1863, at Hagerstown; delivered Feb. 27th
Delivered at Wilmington, Feb. 26---
Private Henry P. Chase, H. 9, captured June 13th, at Newport, N.C.
Delivered at Aikens Landing, Feb. 24th
Privates: Wm. W. Kimball, D, 11th, captured July 21st at Leesburg, Va.
Rodney McGookin, M, 11., captured Aug. 6, at Hallstown, Va.
LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER: MARCH 22, 1865
Private Vanness Lilly and H.B. Pettingill both went from this town and arrived here this week, physically appearing much better than most returned prisoners. Vanness was captured while on the way to his regiment, by Mosby, after being at home on furlough, only four days after leaving here, which was about seven months ago. He was confined at Saulsbury, N.C. most of the time. He reports the death of Amos Truel, Co. C, 17th, from this town, at that prison.
Mr. Pettingil, had been a prisoner about twenty months, and during that time been confined in almost every prison in the South. The latter part of his imprisonment was passed at the famous Andersonville slaughter pen. He reports the death of Jonathan Cook, of this town, having positive knowledge of the fact. Some doubts have existed among his friends as to him being dead, but there can be no chance for doubt now---The tales of suffering undergone by them and their fellow prisoners are heart rending indeed!
We are pleased to notice among the list of returned prisoners, the name of Capt. Frank Kenfield, of Morristown, and many others.
Submitted by Deanna French.