Question About Civil War Train Wrecks

Aug 2, 2019
There are also numerous men who died within a year of reaching home, their bodies just too far gone to recover fully. I've also read in many pension files guys still suffering from dysentery years (and sometimes decades) after the war...
We did a survey a few months back on longevity if you managed to leave the prison. It turned out that if an ancestor survived the prison, they either died within the next couple of years, or they lived a longer than average life span with very little middle ground. This was true whether your ancestor was Union or Confederate. I heard someone at Salisbury say this years ago, and Deb Wallsmith's Millen records showed the same thing as our survey. No explanation and it's not exactly a scientific study, but the results all came up the same every time.

As far as the dysentery goes, that's one of the things I look for when I read pension records to see if they are genuine or not. If I read an Andersonville "survivor" who doesn't mention having had diarrhea or dysentery, I immediately become very suspicious of that person's claim that they were there. And since there were no antibiotics back in the day, most of the guys still had recurrent diarrhea in some form for the rest of their lives.