The Andersonville Prison Diary
of Alfred H. Voorhees,
Co. H, 1st N.Y. Cavalry.

Alfred H. Voorhees enlisted in the 1st NY Cavalry (the "Lincoln Cavalry") on
Aug. 5, 1861. He was captured in May of 1864 and was incarcerated in Andersonville Prison. He died of disease on Aug. 13, 1864.
The material that follows is a transcription of the original Alfred Voorhees Diary, done by his sister, Rebecca.


PRIVATE

May 1864

13th Came from long bridge in the morning crossed the mountains, went to New Market, but got in a trap, 280 of us against 4000 or 5000 men. Took to the mountains. Stopped there all night. Slept on a Rock on the top of the mountain. Rained all night. We thought to make our escape but no go.

14th Came off the mountain and was captured, taken to New Market and there joined many of the boys, there is five of us now left. New Market about 2 P.M for Staunton. Raining this morning. My feet are so sore I can scarcely walk.

15th On to Richmond to day. Jonnies took everything from me so I must do without them. Kept all night in a church, had a good nights rest for all we were so wet. I hope..I will keep well all the time.

16th [No report]

17th Left Staunton this morning for Harrisonburg. Changed cars at Charlottsville. day fine. am well as can be expected. arrived at Lynchburg. had very good Treatment, only had to lay on the ground without Shelter..quite a number of wounded are here. Night fine and Mild.

18th The morning is fine. Was counted for Rations. Received 4 oz. of meat, Some Rice and salt and under close guard. Camped in a Valley, a stream of water Running through the Camp. The Officer in command is a fine Man. Had a little Shower. Some of the 3rd New Jersey came to day. Some of the Boys are still behind. Think we will be sent to Danville. I am in good Spirits. Hope to keep so. Wrote home this morning. The remainder of the boys came in today.

19th Day warm - and 950 came in today are all Encamped on Flannery Island. Plenty of lice but not Much grub, but cant complain so far. Feel quite well to day. Hope to Remain so as long as I am here. Some of the boys that came to day look very bad. Have no shelter. Lay on the ground without covering. It is so bad.

20th Left Lynchburg at 10 A.M. took the Southside Rail Road four days Ride. Passed through Farmersville, crossed the High Bridge some 200 feel high. The Country is poor and unproductive. Day warm and pleasant. Changed Cars at Rushville Junction for Danville. Travelled all night in box cars. No Rest for the weary.

21st Arrived at Danville at sun up, the R.R. runs along the Danville River. Town Situated on the River, are quartered in a large Building, Cant look out of the windows, it is against orders. Rations Issued today, Corn Bread and Bacon (Very good). It's warm here, the Country looks God Forsaken.

22nd Left Danville at 10 A.M.

23rd I am very sick.

24th Passed Fort Columbus. Changed Cars, Rode all night, arrived at Augusta at 10 A.M. day warm and dusty, almost smothered. Changed Cars for Macon, arrived at Macon 5 P.M. Changed cars, am better to day.

25th Arrived at Andersonville to day, the place of our destination. See quite a number of My Regt. here, a hard place it is too, the boys ruff, all kinds of Huts and Shanties. Some have been here 8 Months. Feel a good deal better to day, a close place, 18,000 Men on 10 acres.

26th Dry and warm, fixed a Shanty to keep the sun and Rain out. Feel very weak today. Saw Davy Anderson of the 3rd New Jersey Cavalry. Drew no Rations to day. Caught a Raider, shaved one side of his head and drove him through the cam[p] for a Show.

27th This is one of the hotest southren days. The officer of the day came in for Sewerage and Tunnels, found 6 near done for. Was transferd from 61 to 12 date, feel quite well and in fine spirits. We hear nothing here. Rebs had quite a scare today; had troops under arms and in line of Battle all day, cant see why they need be so affraid of us, we have no arms.

28th Warm and fine. Some of Shermans Men came to camp, a great many die from Exposure. Some hard looking objects. Nothing of any importance to write every day the same. Oh! that we soon May be Relieved from this dreadful Prison and Returned to our homes. Have a great distress in My head today (George is well).

29th Warm and fine. More Prisners arrived to day, the Prison is crowded full. Dont know What they will do with any More. How different from Home and Sabbath comeforts, all we can see is filth and dirt. All combined Makes it a hard lingering place. Some die, poor fellows from 30 to 40 per day. Hope I will live through this and see home once more. Feel very well to day with the Exception of a slight cold.

30th This is Hell on Earth to day and Yesterday. More Yanks came in today so thick one can Scarcely Walk. A number of the boys go out to work on the Stockade to enlarge the Prison. Dont feel Well to day. Some talk of a Parole Soon. Cant feed us With proper food. Oh, that We may soon be Relieved. But we must wait, hoping We will not get sick.

31st Warm and dry today. George is very Sick dont feel well myself. The boys commenced a Well to day. Some talk of an armistice for 9 days. How it is dont know, only take us out of this.

June 1864

1st Clear and Warm, had quite a Shower tonight, am Verry much indisposed today, feel about discouraged and Jerry is Sick too.

2nd Clear and hot most of the day, had a Shower in the evening and continued near all night. Some of the boys have no covering--am no better today, hope to be soon...

3rd Rain to day, cant Eat anything, am very unwell, am getting quite bony

4th Raining to day, very disagreeable, feel bad yet, George is not well.

5th Cloudy, but no rain, not s to prayer Meeting to night, a meeting in this place is not like going to one at home, feel quite Well today, a good many are sick, they die from 40 to 50 per day, Charly and I are better, hope to be so as long as We Remain in this place.

6th Am quite well today. Warm and Showery, 90 died today, no Signs of an Exchange.

7th Clear in the morning, but Rainy all night, a number of prisners came in to day-1200. dont feel well to day, have gone down a great deal since I came here.

8th Warm and Showery. Some More Yanks came in to day. am not well, feel very bad at times. George is very bad too. Two weeks since I came here. it is the hardest two weeks I ever spent, it is so sickly, so many die from exposure to rain and sun. No shelter.

9th Twas warm to day. Showry again in the afternoon. Night warm, a few more Yanks came to day. Over 21,000 in this place. So thick can scarcely move, feel better today. George is not much better, am afraid he will not come from this place if he don't take care of himself--

10th Warm and dry, a little rain at Evening as usual. Oh! This Bull Prison, when will we get from here. Some would not go if they could.

11th This has been the hotest day I have experienced since I came in Georgia-at Evening a cool shower came to refresh us poor devils (for a man who is in here is none other than such) had a good dinner today, feel very well. George is no better, would not eat anything.

12th Cool and pleasant, a fine shower, a few more Yanks came to day. About 4 p.m. commenced to rain. Continuing untill dark, then turned into a Regular Storm and Kept it up all night, very hard on the boys who have not Tents. feel bully today, have a good appetite, Some get no beef nor Meal, only Rice and Meat.

13th This has been one of the hardest days With us a cold North East storm. I am thankful for the Shelter we have, oh, how hard it is to see so many men laying in the Storm Without the least thing to Shelter them. poor fellows, but we cant help them. one has all he can do to take care of himself here. Some must surely die if the[y] dont get help Soon.

14th Stormed to last night was a hard one on the boys. Was so cold and So many have no Shelter. I hope to be Exchanged but how Soon, God only Knows. we hear all Kinds of Reports in this Bull Pen, but believe none of them. I feel very Weak (cold I guess). George is very much under the Weather to day, hope Soon he will be better, the Weather is very hard for the Sick, 50 died last night, some days over 100 die, poor Fellows.

15th Cloudy and Rainy this morning, only one day has passed this Month Without Rain and it appears as if it would rain all the Month. Cleard off at 4 P.M. 1100 more prisners came in the Bull Pen to day, none have Tents, a few blankets, poor Fellows, they Will not stand it long Without Shelter. I dont feel well. George is hard up but I hope he Will Recover.

16th Cloudy in the Morning and Misty all day. More Yanks came in to day. Place so full can Scarcely Walk. Feel Fine. Father H. is Much under the Weather, lent him Some Money, poor Fellow, he Will not Stand it long if he is not careful. No news of getting away from here.

17th Cloudy and misty all day, camp is in an awful state. So filthy but guess todays rain will clear it some. Rained so hard we could cook nothing. Rained all night, so awful to see so many without Shelter.

18th Rained again to day, this makes 18 days it has rained. Some more of my Regt. came in to day. Yanks are Moving, the lot was captured the 19th of May, had a hard time on the march took five days, yet they look Well. I feel well to day, George is very bad, yet I hope he will stand it though.

19th Am very well to day, Raining as usual. Nothing new in camp.

20th Cloudy and rainy all day, this makes the 20th day it has Rained in succession, more or less. feel tolerable to day, cant Seem to make much in trading, yet hope to do better this week, its so Rainy we cant keep dry, more than half the time.

21st Warm and pleasant, did not Rain any, first clear day this month, went into the baking business, made 35 dolls among four of us, if we could do that every day, will do very well, can live, feel very well but want to get out of this Confederacy into a better land.

22nd Hot and dry in this Prisn, nothing new to write--Much the same every day, feel well and hope to outlive the Confederacy yet.

23rd Hot and dry. Rebs played a fine game on us-no Rations, and took from the Wood squad workmen all they brought in for the boys --some lost as high as $550. I lost $10. May the curse of God Rest upon the Rebels & Murderers. cant do nothing else, they must take what little food we can get outside the Bull Pen, dont feel well on this account. I say again may the curse of God follow them all their days.

24th Clear and warm, has the apperence of setteled Weather now. Dam[n]ed Yanks cant feed us more than half we need, barely enough to keep us alive, I have lost all I had and now am bare, no money, no friends as is the case at all times. Nevertheless I will try and live through the Confederacy to fight them to the end. I am well, so is George.

25th Hot and dry, the Sun is awful in this Bull Pen, enough to take one down, but I Manage to Keep under cover as Much as possible. 40 more Yanks came in from Shermans Army. Some talk of a Parole, how soon it come, dont know. hope it will soon be for I want to get out of this, Never more to Return. May the God of Heaven speed the time.

26th This has been another of those hot days, the sun is so hot, We can scarcely stand it. Kept as close as possible in my Shanty, the Sun Kills a great many of our poor boys in this Prison, it Rumered that an exchange will take place soon, that the Rebs prisners are on their way to Savanah, how true it is dont know, but hope it is so feel Well to day and in good Spirits, mean to live in hopes if I die in dispair.

27th Verry Warm to day, no Rain for some days past, great talk of an Exchange. Report of Ft. Darling being captured, if it is so Richmond is gone up, feel Well and in good spirits, hope to keep so. So many of the boys are hard up, but hope none will be left behind in Georgia. I want to go home so I do but must wait till the time comes.

28th Clear and warm till near sundown when a heavy shower came up and cooled the hot air, a few of my Regt. came in to day, they bring a sad account of the Regt. Many are killed and wounded, they lost heavy during those Fights, hope soon to get out of this place. am Well and hope to keep so.

29th Warm and Showery to day, the Raiders Made another assault on the camp. Stopt all Rations untill they are found and given up, the boys caught 14 of them and are to Work yet, hope they will find them all..

30th This has been a busy day after the Raiders, diging in their Tents, they find Watches, Money, Knives and such like. they have 91 of them, they are to be tried by a Jury of twelve Men and receive their just dues for they Will deal severely with them. began to Issue Rations again this afternoon, did not get any though.

July 1864

1st This has been another busy day, the Main ground was opened, have Moved over, this gives us plenty of Room to Navigate and the air has free circulation through the camp Which makes it much nicer. am well today. Lynch and Carson are very Sick.

2nd Cool and fine in the Shade but hot in the Sun. Jonny C. died to day, and Lynch is very Sick, tis my opinion We Shall spend our lives in this Bull Pen. Time Rolls on so Swiftly and I hope we may soon [be] out of this and in a Christian Country where we can get Something better than corn, feel boiling to day--all Kinds of Reports about the Exchange.

3rd Clear and hot. No Rations to day, and some say we not get any for three days, hope the Dam[n]ed Rebs will all sink in Hell before tomorrow Morning, this is no other than a place of Starvation--a disgrace to any Government. I feel well only not enough to Eat. I hope Soon to get enough and some to spare, this has been a great Sunday for me.

4th Cool and pleasant with Showers all day. I never spent such a day as this. The Sight is awful, had More Rations issued today. Some Mush and maggotty, glad to get even this. Oh! for Revenge.

5th Hot and dry. no news from Richmond, hope it has fallen. Yesterday We got no news that we can depend upon. had Rations issued again to day. I feel well, hope to Keep so as long as I Remain here. George is well, but Lynch is very bad--he gets no Medical treatment, to[o] bad the way we are treated, beasts could be used no worse.

6th Some cooler today, but for the Wind the Sun would Kill us, dont feel well today, 350 more Yanks came in to day, drew no bread nor Meal, only Meat. Would not take it so I had to do without.

7th Awful hot to day, no news from Grant but any amount of comeforting Reports such as the capture of Fort Darling. Kicked over a number of the Sutlers tables, Rob[b]ed and let the boys take what they Wanted. Feel Well if I only got a little more grub.

8th Hot and dry, the hotest weather I ever saw. God keep us through and bring us safe home from this Prison.

9th Hot and dry, the sand is a hot as fire. I feel well, if I always feel so I can Stand it through. toward Night the Heavens became overcast and a heavy Shower came cooling the hot air. Near a thousand went outside to go to the H.P. Lay in the sun all day. half died from the heat. Lynch went out and I have not heard from him since. dont know wether he is alive or dead. More Yanks came in to day.

10th Hot and dry, apperence of Rain but did not come. More Yanks came in to day, dont feel well. A number of the Raiders are to be hung tomorrow if they are found guilty. I hope they will get their just deserts as a lesson to the Remainder of the gang.

11th Cool and pleasant with a Shower in the afternoon. Some of the Raiders were hung, the gallows was erected inside the camp so every one could see it. At 5 P.M. they were brought through the gate and turned over to our Men, who performed the Execution over 30,000.

12th Cool and fine, apperence of Rain but came not, but it Keeps the air cool. Some More Yanks came in to day, no news of any account, the old Capt. took a gang of Men out to chop wood. hope it is for the Camp for wood is So Scarce and draw half the Meal. Plenty of Wood all around us, yet we do not get it. God have Mercy on us and Send us Wood to cook our food.

13th Cool and Pleasant in the morning, but about 10 oclock the sun came down boiling and it was a terable hot day, another Tunnel was discovered and filled up to day. Feel well and all Right. May I Remain the Same as long as I am in this Prison. looked like Rain but did not come.

14th Clear and dry. In the afternoon the Rebel Camp Was thrown into quite a confusion. two guns were fired as a Signal to arms, they Were Soon at their posts, it proved to be a false alarm. No friends came in today. Capt says if the boys dont stop tumbling he will fire the Camp.

15th This has been a terable hot day, a little Rain at night to cool the air. Great God, when will we get out of this horrible. Soon I hope to be in the land of the free. Am well to day.

16th To day has been another of those Sunny South days, hot enough to fry the fat out of all the Rebs in Hell, if they were here. I seem to stand the heat very Well so far. To day the Rebs thought to make another haul by confiscation of the boys goods but dident make much. I had some but lost none. Am not well, hop[e] to be better tomorrow.

17th This has been a very pleasant and cool day, the Wind blew cool and Refreshing. had a lovely days Rations and a fine supper, corn bread and Molasses, good food...it for a soldier. guess if I was home dont think I would eat such food, how I do wish I was home tonight, how happy I would be, how would Sister feel if she knew how and where I was. God forbid She should know it, till I get out of this.

18th Cool and quite pleasant with a little Rain in the afternoon

19th [No record]

20th Quite pleasant with a cool breeze, the Rebs began to throw up Redouts and Rifle pits for the protection of the camp, they [think] things look rather strange and show signs of a raid. Oh, God may they come soon. I feel quite Smart to day, loads of peaches and Melons and apples in camp, but they are to[o] cheap for me (over the left) only $4 to $8 each, and peaches 50 cts each . Want a fortune to live here.

21st Hot and dry, not Much Wind. Rebs at Work on breast Work, a few more Yanks came in from Shermans army. Report a heavy Raid for some point, perhaps for this place. God Speed the time, am not well to day.

22nd Warm and dry. Rebs still at Work on fortifications. More Yanks came in to day, bring no news, talk of Early and Ewel[l] being in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Guess they will find some Yanks there, don't believe they'l Make Much this time. Feel well as usual. Raw Meat and Meal, No Wood to cook With. God keep us safe from death.

23rd Cloudy and cool apperence of a Storm, hope it Will not be a long one, the Weather is very changeable and unhealthy. Father is hard up and Will have to be careful if he gets out alive. George has a bad cold. I feel as well as can be expected on forage and Raw Meat.

24th Cool and Pleasant all day, at night it was very cold, came near frost, the coldest night I have experienced in Georgia, drew fresh beef and Rice, dont feel well at all.

25th Very chilly and cold, dont feel Well at all, have an attack of the Diarhea, but hope it will not prove Serious. Sent out My pen and pencil and thats the last of them and the Negro. Guess he came back on Me. Will make him pay me Something if its only Wood.

26th Cool and pleasant for July. Oh, if I was only out of this place once More, but no Matter how cool and pleasant it is it Seems hard and Rough to be in prison and loose all the comeforts and pleasures of life. Nevertheless I will live in hopes if I die in dispair, am unwell and feel bad, had a small shower.

27th This has been another cold day, and a little Rain at night. More Yanks came in today from Hunters Army. am no better to day but hope to be soon.

28th Very unhealthy in this place, quite a number die daily. I dont feel well, have the Diarhea very bad. More Yanks came in to day, had quite a heavy Shower.

29th Hot and dry till night When we had a small Shower. More Yanks came in today 700 from every army. am quite bad to day hop[e] to be better soon, it is very disagreeable to be sick in this place. George is very bad. Talk of a Parole the 6th of August, hope it will be so for I want to go home out of this Bull Pen.

30th and 31st [No report]

August 1864

1st and 2nd [No report ]

3rd Hot and dry, am very stiff in My neck and arms, so I can scarcely get them to my head. Tis very disagreeable to be in this Bull Pen. Took quite a number out to day.

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