Monday, April 9, 2012

Vulgar Curiosity Averted

This entry is from Scraps From The Prison Table, at Camp Chase and Johnson's Island by Joe Barbier.  He was a Confederate Officer, and Civil War POW.

While on Johnson's Island as a prisoner of war, Barbiere met Colonel Joel Battle, Battle, told Barbier of an experience he had with some Union citizens while on the way to Johnson's Island.
After the capture of Colonel Battel,[sic] (one of our most distinguished fellow prisoners,) he was first taken to St. Louis, and while on the boat, ascending the river, was anxiously hunted by the curious passengers, who had never seen a "secesh," and who were astonished at the hand some and veteran-like appearance of the gallant colonel. Colonel Battel attempted to avoid them, but finding it impossible, retreated to the pilot-house of the boat.  There he was soon followed by the eager crowd, among whom was a minister of the Gospel, who instead of preaching "Christ, and him crucified," was stimulating volunteers to fight their Southern brethren. This wolf in sheep's clothing walked into the pilot house, and with that indelicacy and effrontery, that could only emanate from a bad man, or fool, asked Colonel Battel, if he had any objection to kneeling, and uniting with him in prayer. "Of course not."  The so-called saint offered up a prayer, for the United States, and for the destruction of all her enemies, and rebels in particular. On concluding, the colonel thanked him, and asked if he and the rest would unite with him in prayer, something, I am confident, Colonel Battel never did before in public. The response was in the affirmative, and at it the colonel went, praying with a will, for the Southern Confederacy, and the destruction of all her enemies, and Yankees in general; and, rising from his knees, exclaimed with an air, as only those who know Colonel Battel, as we do in prison, can appreciate: "Now, I'll bet you, or any other man, a hundred dollars, that my prayer reaches Heaven first." The colonel assures us, he was not troubled by vulgar curiosity the rest of the trip.

Colonel Joel Battle, from Metro Davidson County Collection - Nashville Public Library

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Surgeon Pro Tempore

This entry is from Diary of a Confederate Soldier  by John S. Jackman of the Orphan Brigade, edited by William C. Davis.

Jackman, a Confederte soldier from First Kentucky Regiment, or "Orphan Brigade." was ill and got separated from his regiment.  He was attempting to join them, with the assistance of a horse a farmer had entrusted to him.  It was the first day of the Battle of Shiloh. Other things were in store for Jackman on this day, rather than fighting. . .

April 6, 1862
  . . .Four miles brought us to Monterey, and just beyond, we met some of the wounded on foot with their arms and heads bound up in bloody bandages, & I felt then that I was getting in the vicinity of "warfare." Soon we met ambulances and wagons loaded with wounded, and I would hear the poor fellows groaning and shrieking, as they were being jolted over the rough road. . . . .

. . . While passing a hospital on the roadside, I happened to see one of our company lying by a tent wounded.  . . There were heaps of wounded lying about, many of them I knew, and first one then another would ask me to give him water or do some other favor for him.  Wile thus occupied, Dr. P. told me to stay with him, that I was not able to go on the field -- that I would be captured.  There was no one to help him, and I turned surgeon, pro tempore, . . Part of my business was to put patients under the influence of chloroform.  I kept my handkerchief saturated all the time, and was often dizzy from the effects of it myself. . . .

Confederate Soldier photo from Library of Congress