Issuing Rations in
Rations actually were issued in Andersonville Prison,
as attested by this photograph, in spite of a popular impression to the
contrary. The distribution of rations was practically the only event in the
prisoner's life save for the temporary excitement of attempted escapes. Even
death itself was often regarded with indifference. Life became one
monotonous routine. Breakfast over, the prisoners waited for dinner; dinner
rapidly disposed of, they began to wait for breakfast again. Seldom were
more than two meals served in any prison. The determination to escape held
first place with thousands. Like the man with a "system" at Monte Carlo,
such visionaries were always devising fantastic plans which "could not fail"
to give them their liberty. The passion for gambling was even stronger in
prison. Even at Andersonville captives staked their food, their clothing,
their blankets, their most precious belongings. To many, some such
excitement was a necessary stimulant I without which they might have died
of monotony and despair.