(Lewis A. Day was a member of Company F of the Forty-Second Illinois. Company F was initially comprised almost entirely of boys and men from Michigan. Day was captured on September 20 at Chickamauga in the melee that followed the Confederate breakthrough on the Federal right. Day was twenty-three years old at the time of his capture.)

From Chickamauga to Andersonville

To the Editor the National Tribune:

I was among the prisoners taken by the rebels at the battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 20, 1863. We were first sent to Atlanta where we were stripped of all the valuables in our possession, and then shipped to Richmond, Va., where we were confined in Pemberton prison. We remained there for about two months and thought we were very badly treated, but we had then only experienced the first degree of prison life. During that time I caught a very severe cold which settled in my ears and head and occasioned me great suffering. Doubtless many of my old comrades will remember the little dog that used to accompany the rebel guard who called the roll. Well, I am one of those who helped to clean up his bones. His flesh was certainly the best we had during our stay in that prison.

From Richmond, we were taken to Danville where we were confined in open buildings that had formerly been used as tobacco warehouses. We had no fires, and, as there were no panes in the windows, we suffered intensely from the cold. Those of my comrades who yet survive will recall that cold New Year's Day when we formed a trotting ring on the first floor to trot the cold out. During our stay there clothing and provisions were sent to us by the Federal Government, but were appropriated by the rebels, and the guards used to tantalize us by shaking the overcoats that were intended for us in our faces. I was one of those who were set to work making splint brooms, and I remember that one day we were ordered to bar up the windows of a building, which it was intended to convert into a prison for some more of our men, and that on refusing to do the work we were separated from our comrades and confined in another building. I would like to hear from any of the 17 who escaped through the vault during my stay at Danville, or the nine who helped me to fix the underground train, with a view to making our escape. For part of the time I wered in the hospital as nurse, but do not recall the names of the three comrades who served with me. There were 39 patients in our ward.

In May, 1864, we were moved to Andersonville, Ga. On the way I made a saw out of a case knife and cutting a hole in the bottom of the car made my escape to Salisbury, N. C. in company with another comrade, but we were captured eight miles west of the place by old Evans by the aid of his dogs, and taken back to prison. Then, the following day, we were sent on with a posse of rebels, who were on their way to Andersonville to serve as guards. While at Andersonville I was afflicted with scurvy for more than six months, and utterly unable to stand or walk for about four months. However, I was so fortunate as to receive from my Northern friends a suit of underclothes, which I traded off to the guard for some sweet potatoes. These potatoes cured me of the scurvy and doubtless saved my life.

I remember that one day as Capt. Wirz was passing through the prison, I asked him what propsects there were of an exchange, when he replied, "None at all; and if you are ever exchanged you will be so badly used up that you will not be able to fight any more." In the month of October, I was taken to the hospital, but the only medicine I obtained there was some hard cider. However, my facilities for trading with the guards were better, and I profited by them. I shall never forget the morning of March 18, 1865, when we received the glad tidings that we were to be exchanged. The rebels had deceived us so often that at first the news seemed too good to be true.

L. A. Rose
Co. F, 42nd Ill
Pioneer, Ohio

The National Tribune,
August 7, 1884.