This book is an extraordinary day-to-day documentary of the Civil War's most infamous Confederate prison, Camp Sumter, better known as Andersonville.
Here 13,000 wretched Union prisoners died within barely 14 months, from starvation, scurvy, and other diseases that spread through the camp. There was little shelter but makeshift tents; little in the way of blankets, warm clothing, or even shoes; and a scarcity of food and fresh water. Often the men were forced to sleep on the muddy ground in very crowded conditions.
While the deplorable conditions bear witness to man's inhumanity to man, they also are witness to one man's undaunted spirit to survive to tell the dreadful tale.
The narrative in the diary reflects John Ransom's attitudes, changing from the moody early staccato sentences when he is first captured, to resignation, and eventually to cheerful prose when the war draws to a close.
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