This continues the 1961 speech by Mrs. Chalon Land
This continues the 1961 speech by Mrs. Chalon Land to the White County Historical Society on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. She speaks of the part Enfield citizens played in the war:
"A letter that has come down from Civil War days now belongs to Charles Veatch.
It was written by Jesse H. Veatch to Snowden Veatch of Enfield, from the Army of Occupation at Vicksburg in the fall of 1864.
"'Very Dear and Absent Cousin: It is with a great deal of pleasure that I take my seat to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well and greatly hope that you are enjoying the same.
I am finishing a volunteer enlistment of three years and am being urged to re-enlist.
A bounty of $400 is promised and pay of $15 per month....
I think I have proved my love for my country, and $400 will buy 40 acres of land....
We all want to come home, but John Fields wants to come the worst way of anyone in the company.
[He then quoted prices in Vicksburg--$2 to $5 for a watermelon--and a small one at that--$10 for a chicken and $2 for a gallon of milk.]
"There were Enfield men at Corinth and at Holly Springs, at Lookout Mountain and at Kenesaw Mountain and at the siege of Atlanta. Enfield men marched through Georgia with Sherman.
It has been told that the federal troops lived on the fat of the land in Georgia, but my Grandfather Mitchell laughed at that and said he lived on the fat of a large bacon rind given to him by a friendly cook.
It was his most precious possession, and he carried it inside his blouse for safekeeping, bringing it out at mealtime to add flavor to the issue of ground corn meal.
"We visited Andersonville again last summer.
The park-like expanse on the site of the stockade gives little evidence of the suffering and death that were there 100 years ago until you come to the deep holes that were dug by the prisoners desperate for water--holes dug with spoons, broken pieces of canteens and with their bare hands.
"When they were disappointed in their search for water, they sometimes moved into the hole, for no shelters were provided at Andersonville, no shelter from the broiling Georgia sun in summer nor from the freezing winds and rains of winter.
In the adjacent burying ground are more than 13,000 small white stones marking the graves of men who died of disease, exposure and starvation.
There were five men from Enfield Township imprisoned at Andersonville. Emmanuel Berry was one of the lucky ones, one of the very few to escape.
In spite of the high stockade of vertical logs deeply imbedded in the ground, in spite of the sentries constantly on guard, and in spite of the bloodhounds that patrolled outside the walls, Emmanuel Berry tunneled under the stockade and made his way through many miles of hostile country to rejoin the Union lines.
The Bible that once belonged to his mother shows that he was only 18 when he escaped.
"Thomas Lumm managed to get outside the walls, but he was recaptured. He, with Albert Newman and John Garrett (the same John Garrett who rode with Grierson), remained at Andersonville until the Confederates became alarmed after the fall of Atlanta and partially evacuated the prison.
Francis M. Parkhurst, whose address is given as Enfield in the Adjutant General's Report, was one of the unfortunate men who died at Andersonville.
We continue to be comfortably busy with letters and visitors to our Genealogy Library. We're open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays. Come join us.
Posted with permission from
THE CARMI TIMES
and CHARLENE SHIELDS
Return To~~ White County Historical Society Library~~by Charlene Shields
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