Monday, December 23, 2013

The Andersonville Survivors Trek to Vicksburg To Be Paroled



I am writing the later chapters of Hiram's Hope and have needed an historical account detailing the experiences of Andersonville survivors leaving the prison in late March 1865 on their way to Vicksburg for parole and freedom. I found some first hand accounts (such as the very good account by Chester Berry and a diary by Smith) and a useful book entitled TRANSPORT TO DISASTER by James W. Elliott (published in 1962). Written by a descendent of an Andersonville survivor, the book provides a very readable account of the ordeals of prisoners from Cahaba and Andersonville as they make their way by rail and steamboat across Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, eventually winding up in Vicksburg only to board the ill-fated Sultana that exploded north of Memphis killing most of those aboard.  These are challenging chapters to write as I try to imagine the sights, sounds, thoughts, and conversations that occurred.