Essay on Michael Dougherty Diary : A Prisoner Of War

Essay on Michael Dougherty Diary : A Prisoner Of War

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In Michael Dougherty diary, he writes about his experiences as a prisoner of war to the confederates. This is a primary source of how those camps functioned, and how they treated them so cruelly. I believe that the northern prisoners were treated very badly.
On February 26th 1863, Michael was in the 13th pennsylvania cavalry when his troop was ordered to go scout out the Shenandoah Valley. They captured eight rebel foragers and drove the rest to camp Woodstock, 11th Rebel regiment, but on their return, they were captured by the enemy that flanked them on both sides. The attack was led by General Lee, Robert E. Lee (1807-70, served as a military officer in the U.S. Army, a West Point commandant and the legendary general of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1861-65). Then, Michael describes the awfulness of his journey. The long period of marching, the sleepless nights due to the cold, and the small rations are some of the things that he endured, he even witnessed soldiers receiving their rations in a hat or boot because they had no tincup to put the soup in. Michael reached the rat infested Richmond Libby prison building. He writes, “allowed to rot, starve, and be overrun with vermin, perish in the cold, breath stifling, tainted atmosphere, no space allowed for us to rest by day, and lying down at night wormed and dove-tailed together like so many fish in a basket.” I am sure that he could have gone on about the terrible condition he and his man had to bare. Stipped of all of their money and belongings they endured the cruelty of the confederates. After the confederates search and take everything that they find, Michael starts his daily journal of survival. On October 20th, he mentions that ther...


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...arious torture devices, like stocks, thumb-screws, barbed iron collars, shackles, ball and chain, and more, that use to be used on the the slaves but now serve different purpose. Also, many of the prisoners, Collins Raiders, are stealing from others who are better of than others. He talks about how the bodies of the dead are hauled out in wagons like dirt.
Michael ends his daily journal in a very sad way saying how his diary is filled, “good bye all; I did not think it would hold out long when it commenced”. Nevertheless, he writes again in a new journal, and he talks about how Andersonville prisoners finally went back to the north, and how he went to the hospital, regained his strength, and finally, after almost two years being a prisoner, went home. Michael Dougherty received a gold medal and the medal of honour for his service.

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