10 Incredible Survival Stories From The 19th Century
T. PIKUL NOVEMBER 17, 2015
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#10 Sergeant James Landon
Camp Sumter, commonly known as Andersonville, was a military prison operated by the Confederacy during the US Civil War. Even by the low standards of prisons at the time, Andersonville was notoriously horrible. The prison was overcrowded, and prisoners were forced to sleep in the open in disgusting, unsanitary conditions. During the Civil War, 13,000 prisoners died in Andersonville. Following the war, Captain Henry Wirz, the camp’s commander, was tried and hanged for war crimes.
Sergeant James Landon, a Union soldier from Iowa, was one of the unlucky ones who ended up in Andersonville. During a skirmish, Landon was shot in the thigh. He pried the bullet out using his knife and ran on foot from Confederate forces for five days before being captured. He was then forced to march for another four days to Andersonville. As a wounded soldier entering Andersonville’s unsanitary conditions, Landon didn’t stand much of a chance.
Amazingly, Landon survived. He was held for six weeks at Andersonville before being transferred to another prison camp. He was released from there after two months, as the Confederacy was crumbling and could no longer afford to hold prisoners. Even more amazingly, Landon didn’t receive proper medical treatment until he arrived back in the North. He lived until age 83 and was reportedly healthy and athletic throughout his life.
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Interesting that he operated on himself. All while E&E-ing for five days?
That would be some tale to hear about. As usual, the best part gets untold!
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