News in a Confederate prison camp

Two days later, on Wednesday, July 6th, Foote states that a “report came in that Sherman has whipped Johnston, hope it is true.”  He is probably referring to the action of July 2nd at Kennesaw Mountain where Johnston pulled back his forces to escape being flanked by Sherman.  News came into the camp from newspapers smuggled in, the ‘grapevine dispatch’, and from new prisoners coming in like the two officers from Sherman’s campaign who came in July 7th according to Foote’s diary.

On July 8th (Friday) Foote recorded that a “Colonel & several other Officers came from Charleston. Report that the Genl Officers are to be brought back here.” These fresh Union prisoners were probably the result of action from James Island on the 7th where the Rebels drove back Union entrenchments.  July 10th saw over 100 Officers coming into camp.

News in camp: sinking of CSS Alabama

Tuesday, July 12th was a hot day according to the diarist Foote. After dinner he apparently heard of the possible sinking of the CSS Alabama, which was true.  The CSS Alabama was a single ship action fought between the U.S. Navy and a CSA ship in June 1864, off Cherbourg, France. The CSS Alabama sank on June 19th and word finally reached the Union prisoners in Macon, Georgia some four weeks later.  It was welcomed news, anything to stir the morale of the Union POWs. The next day, July 13th, Foote records that he has heard “we are to leave hear” soon.  Such would be the case in just two weeks.

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