Prison diary of Michael Dougherty (1908)

The diary of Michael Dougherty, a young Irish soldier in the American Civil War, kept while imprisoned in various Confederate prison camps. As Dougherty notes, in 1863 “At 5 p.m. we were overpowered, cut off from the division and 127 of our regiment, among whom was your humble servant, were compelled to surrender.” For the next 23 months moving from camp to camp Dougherty kept his secret diary noting down his experiences of daily life. Of the 127 Union soldiers taken prisoner with him, he was the sole survivor, with nearly all of them perishing at the hands of commander Captain Wirz in the notorious Andersonville, Georgia prison. Dougherty's descriptions of the appalling conditions at Andersonville are amongst the most harrowing in the book.

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