The Photographic History of the Civil War
                  Volume 7 -
Prisons and Hospitals

  Hunting Roots for Firewood Andersonville Prisoners in 1864


Hunting Roots for Firewood Andersonville Prisoners in 1864

In this photograph of Andersonville Prison, the prisoners are searching along the bank of the sluggish stream. for roots with which to boil "coffee." Here, as at Salisbury and other prisons, organized bands preyed upon the weak and wealthy. Wealth in this connection implies the possession of a little money, a camp kettle, a blanket, or an overcoat, which led to displays of extreme cupidity. The plutocrat owning a skillet or a tin pail might gain greater riches by charging rent. Perhaps he claimed a share of everything cooked, or else might demand a button, a pin, a sheet of paper, a chew of tobacco, or other valuable consideration. These were some of the prison standards of value. There were traders, speculators, and business men in the prisons, as well as the improvident. Even in Andersonville, there were prisoners who kept restaurants and wood-yards. Hundreds peddled articles of food and drink that they had managed to procure. Another diversion was tunneling, an occupation which served to pass the time even when it was discovered by the guards, which was true of the majority of such attempts to escape. The great difficulty in all prisons was the necessity of getting through the twenty-four hours without yielding to fatal despair.

page 129  in 1911 book

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This online edition of The Photographic History of the Civil War includes improved images using digital images from the Library of Congress, when available. It also includes additional images that are either cropped from the Library of Congress digital images or are related to the specific topic being discussed in the article or page.

Volume 7 of the History is the first volume I'm publishing online simply because it was the one I was interested in when I decided to publish.

More to come, I hope.


Copyright 2004 Michael P. Goad  All rights reserved.