Page 41-45

 
 

Transcription

apples candy hot coffee bread etc. There was considerable gambling going on. - There was considerable gambling going on I at last understood that we won to leave on exchange as many thought but I soon found it was mostly a change of prison to return - Capt Mashson told Gulbright myself that if we wished we could stay in St. Louis He would keep us there but we both though there was a better chance for exchange by going with our boys - which afterwards found to be so - I was started off to Alton on the 25th Feb and landed in Alton after dark taken to Penitentiary1 near which I had wandered as a child 24 years before we were washed into the hull and searched our money taken and tickets given for the amount on the euttler - our knives were not taken-

Annotations

1 Alton Prison is located in Alton Illinois, across the Mississippi River from Missouri. Alton Prison was used during the civil war to house Confederate Prisoners. Almost 12,000 prisoners came through Alton Prison while it was in operation during the civil war. See http://www.censusdiggins.com/prison_alton.html

Additional Information

More Information on Alton Prison

Map of Cheavens Travels from Springfield to Alton

 

 
 

Transcription

I then found two of the Todd boys Elijah and his brother with whom I slept. The next day we went to the table when was a scanty supply of fur meat a potatoe and bread and coffee - I found Dr M. Garlance and was installed in the Hospital Squad - The first week I rested myself from the duties which I had been wearing upon me for some 3 months or more. I then took change of the Hospital Squad then assistant Apothicary. The Hospitals were 4 in number one occupied by wouned on by Small Pox exclusively and two with all kinds together - Our cooking was done in the house and we had a little better food then at the grand Fable d'Hote1I learned a great deal about medicine waights and constititnents - The hospitals were in a very filthy condition the vermin were

Annotations

1 Table d’Hote is French for “Table of the host” It means that there is a set menu with a fixed price, probably used here to mean a fancy meal.

 

 
 

Transcription

thick travelling over everything - and the floor was never scoured bed clothing had not been washed for weeks - There were a great number of deaths for the first 3 months of the year was very large Small Pox was very fatal - 300 were buried during the time - 10 would sometimes die of a day and night.1 The health was in recovering when I arrived then - Measles Small Pox Enysipilas and Pneumonia were pre- dominant - There was a Sullter from whom we bought at double the rate dominos things and knick knacks - we had a pretty good ground for promenading in. Every fine evening you would see the boys promenading talking and smoking - Ring making was the prominent employment with some pan and pipe makers and one violin manufacturer-

Annotations

1 At Alton Prison’s memorial site today, there is a list of 1,534 Confederate soldiers known to have died while at the prison.

http://www.altonweb.com/history/civilwar/confed/index.html

 

 
 

Transcription

several violins were made and we frequently had a dance in the open air - I was very healthy the whole time and many was the dose of medicine I put up1 One night the guards shot at one because he refused to put out the light - We had all classes and characters of men. I have seen men gamble in the shop barrels for food thrown in by the dish washers - goats were eaten - Many men seemed to have no other employment than to eat. Men with no minds and education would almost inevitably do so - while those who had some employment for mind and ingenuity for hand would do well in body and mind for this reason I always got a working station.

Annotations

1 Cheaven's crosses out "On the 25th of February up at" at this point in the diary

 

 
 

Transcription

On the last week of March the officer of exchange with his books made his welcome appearance for the purpose of calling our names we were glad and many were the joyful faces when their names were called and many a longing lingering look was given when it failed of being calles - On the 30th1 one of the cooks had a stove to fall on his foot and it caused the amputation of his great toe which saw - He started on the 1st with us - The 1st of April we all were called out with our knapsacks and haversacks of 5 days provisions - We got on the cars and about 10 A M I bid adieu to the lights of Missouri which lie opposite Alton - and the Mississippi River which I have seen since at Vicksburg

Annotations

1 March

Additional Information

Map of Cheavens Travels from Alton to Vicksburg

 

 
   
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