CV Vol XX 1912Does any reader of the Vereran who was at Point Lookout, MD, ever think of the officer in command at the prison at that place in 1864-65. The memory of him is ineffaceably stampted on my memory: and if I were to live to a hundred years and all recollections of comrades dear by blood and association in those perilous times could be effaced, Maj.A.G.Grady as I saw and knew him would have the sole distiction of having impressed his brutal image, his cowardly and inhuman conduct to the prisoners in his keeping (the lowest and meanest of whom were incomparably his superiors)
A.J.Cone, Raleigh, Fla.
Prison Commander at Point Lookout, Md.
as the lowest and most consummate villain of which history makes record.
He was a typical commander of Federal prisons, arrogant, domineering, without the slighest approach to human virtures. He was commandant from Oct 19,1864 to the time I was exchanged. March 19,1865, five months to a day. He was about forty years old, with florid complexion, sandy beard, long nose, small head, goose-eyes, fidgity, wolfsih in countance, savage and cruel. His Sunday exercises were riding thru the streets of the camp at a breakneck speed on a tall, large-footed horse when the men were out in the prison streets to get the benefit of the sunshine to restore their benumbed limbs from the cold and cramped tents, where only a little green pine wood
was allowed, which in the attempt to burn would fill the tents with suffocation smoke which could be endured only by lying prone on our faces.
I saw Southern mem cringingly and patronizingly approach him and talk to him. I would have died a thousand deaths before I would have sought his revolting presence or asked his aid.
To take out a work gang under a boss was quite a distionction, and I sought the boss and he took me out one fine morning to work on a old fortf-under guard, of course. I heard a prisoner ask a guard if he could take the oath of allegance, and the guard asked me if I wanted to
take the oath too. I told him no; that I would stay there until they starved me to death before I would desert my country and comrades. He replied,"You are the kind of soldier I like to see," that if the other man wqas out on oath he would have no confidence in him.
On returning to the prison I got permission to go to a large sirup kettle near the road, and I found it filled with odds and ends of rusty bacon boiled to a jelly of which soap was to be made. I fished
out and filled my haversack with the best of this putrid mess and carried it into the prison and gave to my starved comrades, who ate it with avidity and thanked me for the favor.
We were guared by "buck" niggers clad in great coats, boots, and gauntlet gloves, who stalked through the streets at night. One of these devils shot into the tent next to mine simply because one
poor fellow could not suppress a cough when ordered to do so by the black brute. I saw a gentleman from Virginia meet one of his own slaves in uniform and on guard in the prison. He cursed and abused the nigger, who cowered and moved on with a musket on his shoulder.