In previous blogs, I tracked Jens Dahle’s experiences 150 years ago as he participated in the Civil War, fighting for the 2nd Minnesota under 1st Lt. Mahlan Black.
The Confederates captured Jens at Ream’s Station, a minor skirmish, on the 25th of August and took him to Libby Prison in Richmond (Virginia) for intake on 27 of August. Shortly after that he was moved to Belle Island, now called Belle Isle, which overlooks the city.
From this point forward the record of the experiences of Jens are scant except for the existence and publication of a diary of James Eberhart, a soldier whose capture, Belle Island and Salisbury Prison experiences are contemporary with Jens Dahles’. 
On 8 October 1864, Jens, James and a thousand or more other prisoners were loaded unto a rail car and hauled to Salisbury, North Carolina. He may have been one of the lucky ones who rode inside but if not, he rode on top of the car exposed to the unseasonably cold Fall in the South.
“Sat Oct 8–About 11 am we marched back to the Depot & shipped to Salisbury. We got on top of Cars..We were nearly frozen having been on top of the Cars 7 hours…Our ration is all gone. So nothing to eat tonight. I found some wheat in the Cars and parched it & made coffee out of it. And laid down.” — James Eberhart
James was of stronger constitution than Jens who had already been confined to a hospital for 7 months due to dysentery or other sanitary condition related disease. James, a sergeant in Co. G, of the 8th Pennsylvania RES felt responsible for his men and worked to keep his own physical condition strong and garner rations as they were available to assist his men. He kept his physical condition strong through exercise and constantly taking quinine when it was available even when not outwardly sick.
Like Belle Island, Salisbury was considered a stockade type of prison. While there were structures within the fence, these facilities were reserved for officers, Confederate soldiers who abandoned their posts, and criminals. Other buildings were used for food preparation and the hospital. This prison was well served by the rail line as seen on the right of the bird-eye-view (see photo on left) Today only a small garrison remains of the facility, seen to the right of the rail line. 
The common soldier, including Jens and James Eberhart were left to their own ingenuity in the open area. It was common that one or more would dig a small cave in the ground to share and in which to sleep at night. Water was provided by wells which quickly became contaminated. There may, at times have been a stream as well. Food was served out of the cookhouse connected to the large multistory building. 
Here Jens would stay to the end of the war. The experiences of James, to the extent they could have been experienced by Jens, will be relayed going forward.
What I have done since the last posting: I have worked on a number of presentations for the upcoming speaking engagements. I am ready for the all day-er at Whatcom County, and I am starting to work on the presentations for the LDS Family History conference in early November. the weather has been marvelous here in Seattle and so I also caught a little sunshine today.
 Florence C. McLaughlin, editor, “Diary of Salisbury Prison by James Eberhart,” The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, July 1973.
 “History: Salisbury Confederate Prison,” Salisbury, North Carolina, online database: http://www.salisburync.gov/prison/1.html.