The Prisoner's Plea


Sergt.T. J. HYATT, Co K , 118th Penn. Vols. October 25th, 1864.Written while a prisoner at Audersonville, Ga.

The Prisoner’s Plea.

When our country called for men, we came from forge and store and mill,
From workshop, farm and factory, the broken ranks to fill;
We left our quiet happy homes and ones we loved so well,
To vanquish all our Union’s foes, or fall where others fell.
Now in prison drear we languish, and it is our constant cry,
Oh! ye who yet can save us, will ye leave us here to die?

The voice of slander tells you that our hearts weak with fear,
That all, or nearly all of us were captured to the rear,
The scars upon our bodies from musket balls and shell,
The missing legs and shattered arms a truer tale can tell.
We have tried to do our duty in sight of God on high;
Oh! ye who yet can save us, will ye leave us here to die?

There are hearts with hope still beating in our pleasant Northern homes;
Waiting, watching for the footsteps that may never, never come—
In Southern prisons pining, meagre, tattered, pale and gaunt,
Growing weaker, weaker daily, from pinching cold and want.
Their Brothers, Sons and Husbands, poor and hopeless captives lie;
Oh! ye who yet can save them, will ye leave them here to die?

From out our prison gate there’s a grave yard near at hand,
Where lie twelve thousand Union men beneath the Georgia sand.
Scores on scores are laid beside them, as day succeeds to day;
And thus it will be ever, till they all shall pass away.
And the last can say while dying, with upturned and glazing eye,
Both Faith and Love are dead at home, they have left us here to die.

Original in possession of J. L. Smith.

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