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Old October 30, 2005, 10:39 AM   #118
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,847
A matter of honor

Here's on Federal soldier's opinion on honor. He was starving to death at the prison in Florence and figured out his best chances for survival was to cooperate with the Confederates and play his fiddle for them. In exchange, he would be fed better and housed outside of the prison.

Short after, the Adjutant came up and I told him I would go with him. Before leaving the prison, the Adjutant took my parole of honor that I would not go beyond the limits of the prison without permission, and intended to bind me to do no act that would be hurtful to the interests of the C.S.A., but as he read the oath to me from the U.S. Army Regulations and confined himself very closely to the text, it was so hard to tell what he had sworn me to that I felt afterwards at liberty to construe it as it suited me best; at any rate I was only an enlisted man, and in the army it is only the officers who are supposed to have honor, so my parole of honor was subject to so many doubts and uncertainties that it could not stand the strain afterwards when subjected to pressure.

Interesting interpretation of honor, isn't it?

The writer did make an escape attempt but was chased into a swamp and attacked by the hounds. He was brought back. Shortly after that, since Sherman's Army was approaching and Wilmington had been captured, he was paroled back to the Union.
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