Friday, November 15, 2013

A Prison Diary: 15 Months at Fort Delaware-- Part 6: Prison Humor and Starvation

Even in a place as bad as Fort Delaware, it helped when the prisoners had a sense of humor. A standard joke among the POWs and political prisoners was about the sorry soup that often had dead flies and worms in it. //// The joke was that the soup was so weak and devoid of nourishment that these creatures had not drowned in it, but had died of starvation. //// However, the reality of starvation was not a laughing matter. A U.S. surgeon who inspected the fort reported that from November 1, 1863, to February 1, 1864, there were 365 cases of scurvy and that some prisoners had died of malnutrition. //// Making matters even worse, in 1864, in retaliation for food scarcity in Confederate prisons, rations in Northern prisons were reduced drastically. //// --Old Secesh

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