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The Smoked Yank: True Story of Andersonville, Escape and Freedom


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The Smoked Yank - Melvin Grigsby, Late Colonel 3rd US Volunteer Cavalry - Known as Grigsby's Cowboys. Dedicated "To the Real Chivalry of the South". Original 1888 Edition.

"A True Story of Andersonville, Escape, and Freedom. Almost more remarkable than having survived the horrors of the Confederate prison at Andersonville is the fact that Melvin Grigsby could 33 years later pen this often hilarious recounting of his experiences in the American Civil War. He does not shy away from descriptions of life as it was in Andersonville. In fact, this is one of the best accounts of life in Rebel confinement.

Over 13,000 of the 45,000 Union POWs died in the squalor of the camp. But Grigsby's education and intelligence made him one of the keenest observers at a very young age. Only 16 when he entered the Union army, he was only 20 upon his final escape to freedom and the end of the war. His curiosity often led him to read plantation overseer logs when his regiment came across them: "If anyone believes that the cruelties practiced on the slaves were exaggerated in 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' let him hunt up and read one of those plantation records."

In Andersonville, they were all "smoked yanks:" "...picture one of these half-naked, bony, filthy, gaunt and ghastly skeletons, his eyes sunken, his cheek bones protruding, his gums all swollen, his elbows and knees swollen, and black and blue, and his feet two great shapeless masses of bloated flesh, and picture him sitting on the ground, as he usually was, with his chin between his knees, and his hands clasped around them, and you have a specimen of "Smoked Yank," thousands of whom could always be seen at a glance."

Helped over and over during his escapes by African-Americans who risked their own lives, he wrote 33 years later: "Should they ever become thoroughly aroused and united in a movement to throw off the white man's yoke, that still oppresses and galls them, I believe that the fortitude, endurance and heroism they will display will surprise the world.
" - (Amazon Review)

  • Model: MB-BOOKS-055
  • Shipping Weight: 2lbs


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