The Battle at Bethesda Church. 63
of our leaving for " Hilton Head," the negroes on guard fired into some of us. I saw three fall either killed or wounded; they were hurriedly moved out, I never learned their fate. On our arrival in "Port Royal Harbor," we cast anchor eight miles out from shore. Three of our number got the cabin maid to steal them life pre- servers from the cabins and quietly slided overboard where sharks were as thick as minnows. Two were exausted from thirst and lack of food and were captured on Pinkney Island, the third reached Charleston.
The six hundred officers were now divided three hundred were confined in Fort Pulaski and three hundred at Hilton Head,
UNDER "RETALIATION" AND LIVING ON CATS.
We had "jumped out of the frying pan into the fire." We were all put under what they called "retaliation," for forty- five days. They claimed that we starved their prisoners at Andersonville (not having much to feed them, as they had cut our lines and re- fused to exchange), and with all their Christianity and philan- thropy they held it was right for them to starve us as a vicarious punishment for the sins of others. They gave us absolutely noth- ing at all to eat for forty-five days but a little rotten cornmeal filled bugs, without salt or anyway to cook it. Our comrades were dying by squads daily, the dead house was filled all the time with corpses. Scores of cats would enter through holes and prey upon the dead. Some of us would put bags over the holes through which the cats entered, and some would go in with clubs, and soon we would have a full supply of cats. They were eaten ravenously by the starving officers, as Lieutenant Peary's men ate their comrades. At last we were ordered back to Fort Delaware. The remnant of the six hundred left that Yankee hell, where Southern braves cried for bread and fed on cats, gorged with the corpses of their dead com- rades. We reached Fort Delaware a short time before the surrend- er. One morning I was aroused by a familiar "rebel yell" looked out and saw the flags drooping at half mast and heard that Booth had killed Lincoln. Soon all privates and line officers were pa- roled, and sixty field officers were held in prison until August.
THE OLD BRIGADE, WHOSE REGIMENT FURNISHED EARLY, WIL- LIAM SMITH, A. P. HILL, J. P. WALKER AND J. B. TERRELL.
In conclusion I will say that some years ago Captain James Burngardner, of Staunton, who was an officer in the Fifty-second