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Copyright, 1885, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1893, by 
The Centurv Co, 


The DeVinne Press. 



War Diary of a Union Woman in the South 1 

The Locomotive Chase in Georgia 83 

Mosby's " Partizan Rangers" 102 

A Romance of Morgan's Rough-riders 116 

Colonel Rose's Tunnel at Libby Prison 184 

A Hard Road to Travel out op Dixie 243 

Escape of General Breckinridge 298 



Questioning a Prisoner Frontispiece 

The Locomotive Chase 85 

General John H, Morgan 117 

Map of the Morgan Raid . 118 

The Farmer from Calfkiller Creek 123 

General Duke Tests the Pies 125 

Hospitalities of the Farm 131 

Looking for the Footprints of the Van 137 

Corridor and Cells in the Ohio State Penitentiary — 

Captain Hines's Cell 161 

Exterior of the Prison— Exit from Tunnel 163 

Within the Wooden Gate 167 

Over the Prison Wall 171 

"Hurry Up, Major!" 175 

Captain Hines Objects 178 

Colonel Thomas E. Rose 185 

A Corner of Lebby Prison 187 

LiBBY Prison in 1865 189 

Major A. G. Hamilton 191 

LiBBY Prison in 1884 197 

Liberty ! 223 

Fighting the Rats 230 

Section of Interior of Libby Prison antd Tunnel 233 



Lieutenants E. E. Sill and A. T. Lamson 255 

We Arrive at Headen's 263 

The Escape of Headen 271 

Greenville Jail 277 

Pink Bishop at the Still 283 

Arrival Home of the Baptist Minister 285 

Surprised at Mrs. Kitchen's 291 

The Meeting with the Second Ohio Heavy Artillery . . . 295 

Sand as a Defense against Mosquitos 307 

Searching for Turtles' Eggs 310 

Through a Shallow Lagoon 318 

Exchanging the Boat for the Sloop 315 

Over a Coral-reef 325 

A Rough Night in the Gulf Stream 331 





The following diary was originally written in lead- 
pencil and in a book the leaves of which were too soft 
to take ink legibly. I have it direct from the hands of 
its writer, a lady whom I have had the honor to know 
for nearly thu^ty years. For good reasons the author's 
name is omitted, and the initials of people and the 
names of places are sometimes fictitiously given. 
Many of the persons mentioned were my own acquain- 
tances and friends. When, some twenty years after- 
ward, she first resolved to publish it, she brought 
me a clear, complete copy in ink. It had cost much 
trouble, she said; for much of the pencil writing had 
been made under such disadvantages and was so faint 
that at times she could decipher it only under direct 
sunlight. She had succeeded, however, in making a 
copy, verbatim except for occasional improvement in 
the grammatical form of a sentence, or now and then 
the omission, for brevity's sake, of something unessen- 


tial. The narrative has since been severely abridged 
to bring it within magazine limits. 

In reading this diary one is much charmed with its 
constant understatement of romantic and perilous in- 
cidents and conditions. But the original penciled 
pages show that, even in copying, the strong bent of 
the writer to be brief has often led to the exclusion of 
facts that enhance the interest of exciting situations, 
and sometimes the omission robs her own heroism of 
due emphasis. I have restored one example of this in 
a foot-note following the perilous voyage down the 
Mississippi. Gr. W. Cable. 


New Orleans^ Bee. 1, 1860. — I understand it now. 
Keeping journals is for those who cannot, or dare not, 
speak out. So I shall set up a journal, being only a 
rather lonely young gu'l in a very small and hated mi- 
nority. On my return here in November, after a foreign 
voyage and absence of many months, I found myself 
behind in knowledge of the political conflict, but heard 
the dread sounds of disunion and war muttered in 
threatening tones. Surely no native-born woman loves 
her country better than I love America. The blood of 
one of its Eevolutionary patriots flows iu my veins, 
and it is the Union for which he pledged his "life, 
fortune, and sacred honor" that I love, not any divided 
or special section of it. So I have been reading atten- 


lively and seeking light from foreigners and natives 
on all questions at issue. Living from birth in slave 
countries, both foreign and American, and passing- 
through one slave insurrection in early childhood, the 
saddest and also the pleasantest features of slavery 
have been familiar. If the South goes to war for 
slavery, slavery is doomed in this countrj^ To say so 
is like opposing one drop to a roaring torrent. 

Sunday, Bee. — , 1860. — In this season for peace I had 
hoped for a lull in the excitement, yet this day has been 
full of bitterness. " Come, G.," said Mrs. at break- 
fast, " leave your church for to-day and come with us 

to hear Dr. on the situation. He will convince 

you." " It is good to be convinced," I said ; " I will 
go." The church was crowded to suffocation with the 
elite of New Orleans. The preacher's text was, " Shall 
we have fellowship with the stool of iniquity which 
frameth mischief as a law ! " .. . . The sermon was over 
at last, and then followed a prayer. . . . Forever blessed 
be the fathers of the Episcopal Church for giving us 
a fixed liturgy ! When we met at dinner Mrs. F. ex- 
claimed, "Now, G., you heard him prove from the 
Bible that slavery is right and that therefore secession 
is. Were you not convinced ? " I said, " I was so busy 
thinking how completely it proved too that Brigham 
Young is right about polygamy that it quite weakened 
the force of the argument for me." This raised a laugh, 
and covered my retreat. 

Jan. 26, 1861. — The solemn boom of cannon to-day 
announced that the convention have passed the ordi- 
nance of secession. We must take a reef in our 
patriotism and narrow it down to State limits. Mine 


still sticks out all around the borders of the State. It 
will be bad if New Orleans should secede from Loui- 
siana and set up for herself. Then indeed I would be 
"cabined, cribbed, confined." The faces in the house 
are jubilant to-day. Why is it so easy for them and 
not for me to " ring out the old, ring in the new " ? I 
am out of place. 

Jan. 28, Monday. — Sunday has now got to be a day 
of special excitement. The gentlemen save all the 
sensational papers to regale us with at the late Sunday 
breakfast. Rob opened the battle yesterday morning 
by saying to me in his most aggressive manner, " Gr., I 
believe these are your sentiments " ; and then he read 
aloud an article from the "Journal des Debats" ex- 
pressing in rather contemptuous terms the fact that 
France will follow the policy of non-intervention. 
When I answered, " W^ell, what do you expect ? This 
is not their quarrel," he raved at me, ending by a 
declaration that he would willingly pay my passage to 
foreign parts if I would like to go. "Rob," said his 
father, "keep cool; don't let that threat excite you. 
Cotton is king. Just wait till they feel the pinch a 
little; their tone will change." I went to Trinity 
Church. Some Union people who are not Episco- 
palians go there now because the pastor has not so 
much chance to rail at the Lord when things are not 
going to suit. But yesterday was a marked Sunday. 
The usual prayer for the President and Congress was 
changed to the "governor and people of this com- 
monwealth and their representatives in convention 

The city was very lively and noisy this evening with 


rockets and lights in honor of secession. Mrs. F., in 
common with the neighbors, illuminated. We walked 
out to see the houses of others gleaming amid the dark 
shrubbery like a fairy scene. The perfect stillness 
added to the effect, while the moon rose slowly with 
calm splendor. We hastened home to dress for a 
soiree, but on the stairs Edith said, "G., first come and 
help me dress Phoebe and Chloe [the negi'o servants]. 
There is a ball to-night in aristocratic colored society. 
This is Chloe's first introduction to New Orleans circles, 
and Henry Judson, Phoebe's husband, gave five dollars 
for a ticket for her." Chloe is a recent purchase from 
Georgia. We superintended their very stylish toilets, 
and Edith said, "G., run into your room, please, and 
write a pass for Henry. Put Mr. D.'s name to it." 
"Why, Henrj" is free," I said. "That makes no differ- 
ence; all colored people must have a pass if out late. 
They choose a master for protection, and always carry 
his pass. Henry chose Mr. D., but he 's lost the pass 
he had." 



Feb. 24, 1861.— The toil of the week is ended. Nearly 
a month has passed since I wrote here. Events have 
crowded upon one another. On the 4th the cannon 
boomed in honor of Jefferson Davis's election, and day 
before yesterday Washington's birthday was made the 
occasion of another grand display and illumination, in 
honor of the birth of a new nation and the breaking 


of that Union which he labored to cement. We drove 
to the race-course to see the review of troops. A flag 
was presented to the Washington Artillerj^ by ladies. 
Senator Judah Benjamin made an impassioned speech. 
The banner was orange satin on one side, crimson silk 
on the other, the pelican and brood embroidered in 
pale green and gold. Silver crossed cannon surmounted 
it, orange-colored fringe surrounded it, and crimson 
tassels drooped from it. It was a brilliant, unreal 
scene; with military bands clashing triumphant mu- 
sic, elegant vehicles, high-stepping horses, and lovely 
women richly appareled. 

Wedding-cards have been pouring in till the conta- 
gion has reached us; Edith will be married next Thurs- 
day. The wedding-dress is being fashioned, and the 
bridesmaids and groomsmen have arrived. Edith has 
requested me to be special mistress of ceremonies on 
Thursday evening, and I have told this terrible little 
rebel, who talks nothing but blood and thunder, yet 
faints at the sight of a worm, that if I fill that office 
no one shall mention war or politics during the whole 
evening, on pain of expulsion. 

March 10, 1861. — The excitement in this house has 
risen to fever-heat during the past week. The four 
gentlemen have each a different plan for saving the 
country, and now that the bridal bouquets have faded, 
the three ladies have again turned to public affairs; 
Lincoln's inauguration and the story of the disguise 
in which he traveled to Washington is a never-ending 
source of gossip. The family board being the common 
forum, each gentleman as he appears first unloads his 
pockets of papers from all the Southern States, and 


then his overflowing heart to his eager female Hsteners, 
who in turn relate, inquire, sympathize, or cheer. If I 
dare express a doubt that the path to victory will be 
a flowery one, eyes flash, cheeks burn, and tongues 
clatter, till all are checked \\p suddenly by a warning 
rap for "Order, order!" from the amiable lady presid- 
ing. Thus we swallow politics with every meal. We 
take a mouthful and read a telegram, one eye on table, 
the other on the paper. One must be made of cool 
stuff to keep calm and collected, but I say but little. 
This war fever has banished small talk. Through all 
the black servants move about quietly, never seeming 
to notice that this is all about them. 

"How can you speak so plainly before them?" I say. 

"Why, what matter? They know that we shall keep 
the whip-handle." 

Ajjril 13, 1861. — More than a month has passed since 
the last date here. This afternoon I was seated on the 
floor covered with loveliest flowers, arranging a floral 
offering for the fair, when the gentlemen arrived and 
with papers bearing news of the fall of Fort Sumter, 
which, at her request, I read to Mrs. F. 

April 20. — The last few days have glided away in a 
halo of beauty. But nobody has time or will to enjoy 
it. War, war ! is the one idea. The children play only 
with toy cannons and soldiers; the oldest inhabitant 
goes by every day with his rifle to practice; the public 
squares are full of companies drilling, and are now the 
fashionable resorts. We have been told that it is best 
for women to learn how to shoot too, so as to protect 
themselves when the men have all gone to battle. 
Every evening after dinner we adjourn to the back lot 


and fire at a target with pistols. Yesterday I dined at 
Uncle Ealph's. Some members of the bar were present, 
and were jubilant about their brand-new Confederacy. 
It would soon be thfe grandest government ever known. 
Uncle Ralph said solemnly, " No, gentlemen ; the day 
we seceded the star of our glory set." The words sunk 
into my mind like a knell, and made me wonder at the 
mind that could recognize that and yet adhere to the 
doctrine of secession. 

In the evening I attended a farewell gathering at 
a friend's whose brothers are to leave this week for 
Richmond. There was music. No minor chord was 



April 25. — Yesterday I went with Cousin E. to have 
her picture taken. The picture-galleries are doing a 
thriving business. Many companies are ordered off to 
take possession of Fort Pickens (Florida), and all seem 
to be leaving sweethearts behind them. The crowd 
was in high spirits ; they don't dream that any destinies 
will be spoiled. When I got home Edith was reading 
from the daily paper of the dismissal of Miss Gr. from 
her place as teacher for expressing abolition senti- 
ments, and that she would be ordered to leave the city. 
Soon a lady came with a paper setting forth that she 
has established a "company" — we are nothing if not 
military — for making lint and getting stores of linen 
to supply the hospitals. 


My name went down. If it had n't, my spirit would 
have been wounded as with sharp spears before night. 
Next came a little girl with a subscription paper to get 
a flag for a certain company. The little girls, especially 
the pretty ones, are kept busy trotting around with 
subscription lists. Latest of all came little Guy, Mr. 
F.'s youngest clerk, the pet of the firm as well as of his 
home, a mere boy of sixteen. Such senseless sacrifices 
seem a sin. He chattered brightly, but lingered about, 
saying good-by. He got through it bravely until 
Edith's husband incautiously said, " You did n't kiss 
your little sweetheart," as he always called Ellie, who 
had been allowed to sit up. He turned and suddenly 
broke into agonizing sobs and then ran down the steps. 

3Iaii 10. — I am tired and ashamed of myself. Last 
week I attended a meeting of the lint society to hand 
in the small contribution of linen I had been able to 
gather. We scraped lint till it was dark. A paper was 
shown, entitled the " Volunteer's Friend," started by the 
girls of the high school, and I was asked to help the 
gilds with it. I positively declined. To-day I was 
pressed into service to make red flannel cartridge-bags 
for ten-inch columbiads. I basted while Mrs. S. sewed, 
and I felt ashamed to think that I had not the moral 
courage to say, " I don't approve of your war and won't 
help you, particularly in the murderous part of it." 

May Tl. — This has been a scenic Sabbath. Various 
companies about to depart for Virginia occupied the 
prominent churches to have their flags consecrated. 
The streets were resonant with the clangor of drums 
and trumpets. E. and myself went to Christ Church 
because the Washington Artillery were to be there. 


June 13. — To-day has been appointed a Fast Day. I 
spent the morning writing a letter on which I put my 
first Confederate postage-stamp. It is of a brown 
color and has a large 5 in the center. To-morrow must 
be devoted to all my foreign correspondents before the 
expected blockade cuts us off. 

June 29. — I attended a fine luncheon yesterday at 
one of the public schools. A lady remarked to a school 
official that the cost of provisions in the Confederacy 
was getting very high, butter, especially, being scarce 
and costly. "Never fear, my dear madam," he re- 
plied. "Texas alone can furnish butter enough to 
supply the whole Confederacy ; we '11 soon be getting 
it from there." It 's just as well to have this sublime 

July 15. — The quiet of midsummer reigns, but ripples 
of excitement break around us as the j)apers tell of 
skirmishes and attacj^s here and there in Virginia. 
"Rich Mountain" and " Carrick's Ford" were the last. 
"You see," said Mrs. D. at breakfast to-day, "my 
prophecy is coming true that Virginia will be the seat 
of war." " Indeed," I burst out, forgetting my resolu- 
tion not to argue, " you may think yourselves lucky if 
this war turns out to have any seat in particular." 

So far, no one especially connected with me has gone 
to fight. How glad I am for his mother's sake that 
Rob's lameness will keep him at home. Mr. F., Mr. S., 
and Uncle Ralph are beyond the age for active service, 
and Edith says Mr. D. can't go now. She is very 
enthusiastic about other people's husbands being en- 
rolled, and regrets that her Alex is not strong enough 
to defend his country and his rights. 


Juhj 22. — What a day ! I feel like one who has been 
out in a high wind, and cannot get my breath. The 
newsboys are still shouting with their extras, " Battle 
of Bull's Run ! List of the killed ! Battle of Manassas ! 
List of the wounded ! " Tender-hearted Mrs. F. was 
sobbing so she could not serve the tea; but nobody 
cared for tea. " O G. ! " she said, " three thousand of 
our own, dear Southern boys are lying out there." 
"My dear Fannie," spoke Mr. F., " they are heroes now. 
They died in a glorious cause, and it is not in vain. 
This will end it. The sacrifice had to be made, but 
those killed have gained immortal names." Then Rob 
rushed in with a new extra, reading of the sj)oils cap- 
tured, and grief was forgotten. Words cannot paint 
the excitement. Rob capered about and cheered; 
Edith danced around ringing the dinner-bell and 
shouting, "Victory!" Mrs. F. waved a small Con- 
federate flag, while she wiped her eyes, and Mr. D. 
hastened to the piano and in his most brilliant style 
struck up "Dixie," followed by "My Maryland" and 
the " Bonnie Blue Flag." 

" Do not look so gloomy, G.," whispered Mr. S. "You 
should be happy to-night ; for, as Mr. F. says, now we 
shall have peace." 

" And is that the way you think of the men of your 
own blood and race?" I replied. But an utter scorn 
came over me and choked me, and I walked out of the 
room. What proof is there in this dark hour that they 
are not right? Only the emphatic answer of my own 
soul. To-morrow I will pack my trunk and accept the 
invitation to visit at Uncle Ralph's country house. 

Sept. 25. — When I opened the door of Mrs. F.'s room 


on my return, the rattle of two sewing-machines and a 
blaze of color met me. 

"Ah, G., you are just in time to help us; these are 
coats for Jeff Thompson's men. All the cloth in the 
city is exhausted; these flannel-lined oil-cloth table- 
covers are all we could obtain to make overcoats for 
Thompson's poor boys. They will be very warm and 

" Serviceable — yes ! The Federal army will fly when 
they see those coats ! I only wish I could be with the 
regiment when these are shared around." Yet I helped 
make them. 

Seriously, I wonder if any soldiers will ever wear 
these remarkable coats — the most bewildering com- 
bination of brilliant, intense reds, greens, yellows, and 
blues in big flowers meandering over as vivid grounds ; 
and as no table-cover was large enough to make a coat, 
the sleeves of each were of a different color and pat- 
tern. However, the coats were duly finished. Then 
we set to work on gray pantaloons, and I have just 
carried a bundle to an ardent young lady who wishes 
to assist. A slight gloom is settling down, and the 
inmates here are not quite so cheerfully confident as 
in July. 


Oct. 22. — "When I came to breakfast this morning 
Rob was capering over another victory — Ball's Bluff. 
He would read me, " We pitched the Yankees over the 


bluff," and ask me in the next breath to go to the 
theater this evening. I turned on the poor fellow. 
"Don't tell me about your victories. You vowed by 
all your idols that the blockade would be raised by 
October 1, and I notice the ships are still serenely 
anchored below the city." 

" Gr., you are just as pertinacious yourself in cham- 
pioning your opinions. What sustains you when 
nobody agrees with you?" 

• Oct. 28. — When I dropped in at Uncle Ralph's last 
evening to welcome them back, the whole family were 
busy at a great center-table copying sequestration acts 
for the Confederate Grovernment. The property of all 
Northerners and Unionists is to be sequestrated, and 
Uncle Ralph can hardly get the work done fast enough. 
My aunt apologized for the rooms looking chilly; she 
feared to put the carpets down, as the city might be 
taken and burned by the Federals. "We are living as 
much packed up as possible. A signal has been agi*eed 
upon, and the instant the army approaches we shall be 
off to the country again." 

Great preparations are being made for defense. At 
• several other places where I called the women were al- 
most hysterical. They seemed to look forward to being 
blown up with shot and shell, finished with cold steel, 
or whisked off to some Northern prison. When I got 
home Edith and Mr. D. had just returned also. 

"Alex," said Edith, "I was up at your orange-lots 
to-day, and the sour oranges are dropping to the 
ground, while they cannot get lemons for our sick 

" That 's my kind, considerate wife," replied Mr. D. 


"Why did n't I think of that before? Jim shall fill 
some barrels to-morrow and take them to the hospitals 
as a present from yon." 

Nov. 10. — Surely this year will ever be memorable 
to me for its perfection of natural beanty. Never was 
sunshine such pure gold, or moonlight such transparent 
silver. The beautiful cnstom prevalent here of deck- 
ing the graves with flowers on All Saints' day was well 
fulfilled, so profuse and rich were the blossoms. On 
All-hallow eve Mrs. S. and myself visited a large ceme- 
tery. The chrysanthemums lay like great masses of 
snow and flame and gold in every garden we passed, 
and were piled on every costly tomb and lowly grave. 
The battle of Manassas robed many of our women in 
mourning, and some of those who had no graves to 
deck were weeping silently as they walked through the 
scented avenues. 

A few days ago Mrs. E. arrived here. She is a widow, 
of Natchez, a friend of Mrs. F.'s, and is traveling home 
with the dead body of her eldest son, killed at Manas- 
sas. She stopped two days waiting for a boat, and 
begged me to share her room and read her to sleep, 
saying she could n't be alone since he was killed; she 
feared her mind would give way. So I read all the 
comforting chapters to be fonnd till she dropped into 
forgetfulness, but the recollection of those weeping 
mothers in the cemetery banished sleep for me. 

Nov. 26. — The lingering summer is passing into those 
misty autumn days I love so well, when there is gold 
and fire above and around us. But the glory of the 
natural and the gloom of the moral world agree not 
well together. This morning Mrs. F. came to my room 


in dire distress. "You see," she said, "cold weather is 
coming on fast, and our poor fellows are lying out at 
night with nothing to cover them. There is a wail for 
blankets, but there is not a blanket in town. I have 
gathered up all the spare bed-clothing, and now want 
every available rug or table-cover in the house. Can't 
I have yours, Gr. f "We must make these small sacrifices 
of comfort and elegance, you know, to secure indepen- 
dence and freedom." 

" Very well," I said, denuding the table. " This may 
do for a drummer boy." 

Bee. 26, 1861. — The foul weather cleared off bright 
and cool in time for Christmas. There is a midwinter 
lull in the movement of troops. In the evening we 
went to the grand bazaar in the St. Louis Hotel, got 
up to clothe the soldiers. This bazaar has furnished 
the gayest, most fashionable war-work yet, and has 
kept social circles in a flutter of pleasant, heroic excite- 
ment all through December. Everything beautiful or 
rare garnered in the homes of the rich was given for 
exhibition, and in some cases for raffle and sale. There 
were many fine paintings, statues, bronzes, engravings, 
gems, laces — in fact, heuiooms and bric-a-brac of all 
sorts. There were many lovely crecJle girls present, in 
exquisite toilets, passing to and fro through the deco- 
rated rooms, listening to the band clash out the Anvil 

Jan. 2, 1862. — I am glad enough to bid '61 good-by. 
Most miserable year of my life ! What ages of thought 
and experience have I not lived in it! 

The city authorities have been searching houses for 
firearms. It is a good way to get more guns, and the 


homes of those men suspected of being Unionists were 
searched first. Of course they went to Dr. B.'s. He 
met them with his own delightful courtesy. "Wish to 
search for arms? Certainly, gentlemen." He con- 
ducted them all through the house with smiling readi- 
ness, and after what seemed a very thorough search 
bowed them politely out. His gun was all the time 
safely reposing between the canvas folds of a cot-bed 
which leaned folded up together against the wall, in 
the very room where they had ransacked the closets. 
Queerly, the rebel families have been the ones most 
anxious to conceal all weapons. They have dug graves 
quietly at night in the back yards, and carefully wrap- 
ping the weapons, buried them out of sight. Every 
man seems to think he will have some private fighting 
to do to protect his family. 


Friday, Jan. 24, 1862. {On Steamboat W., Missis- 
sippi River.) — With a changed name I open you once 
more, my journal. It was a sad time to wed, when 
one knew not how long the expected conscription 
would spare the bridegroom. The women-folk knew 
how to sympathize with a girl expected to prepare for 
her wedding in three days, in a blockaded city, and 
about to go far from any base of supplies. They all 
rallied round me with tokens of love and consideration, 
and sewed, shopped, mended, and packed, as if sewing 


soldier clothes. And they decked the whole house 
and the church with flowers. Music breathed, wine 
sparkled, friends came and went. It seemed a dream, 
and comes up now again out of the afternoon sunshine 
where I sit on deck. The steamboat slowly plows its 
way through lumps of floating ice, — a novel sight to 
me, — and I look forward wondering whether the new 
people I shall meet will be as fierce about the war as 
those in New Orleans. That past is to be all forgotten 
and forgiven; I understood thus the kindly acts that 
sought to brighten the threshold of a new life. 

Feh. 15. {Village of X.) — We reached Arkansas 
Landing at nightfall. Mr. Y., the planter who owns 
the landing, took us right up to his residence. He 
ushered me into a large room where a couple of candles 
gave a dim light, and close to them, and sewing as if 
on a race with Time, sat Mrs. Y. and a little negro girl, 
who was so black and sat so stiff and straight she 
looked like an ebony image. This was a large planta- 
tion; the Y.'s knew H. very well, and were very kind 
and cordial in their welcome and congratulations. Mrs. 
Y. apologized for continuing her work; the war had 
pushed them this year in getting the negroes clothed, 
and she had to sew by dim candles, as they could ob- 
tain no more oil. She asked if there were any new 
fashions in New Orleans. 

Next morning we drove over to our home in this 
village. It is the county-seat, and was, till now, a good 
place for the practice of H.'s profession. It lies on the 
edge of a lovely lake. The adjacent planters count 
their slaves by the hundreds. Some of them live with 
a good deal of magnificence, using service of plate. 


having smoking-rooms for the gentlemen built oif the 
house, and entertaining with great hospitality. The 
Baptists, Episcopalians, and Methodists hold services 
on alternate Sundays in the court-house. All the 
planters and many others near the lake shore keep a 
boat at their landing, and a raft for crossing vehicles 
and horses. It seemed very piquant at first, this tak- 
ing our boat to go visiting, and on moonlight nights 
it was charming. The woods around are lovelier than 
those in Louisiana, though one misses the moaning of 
the pines. There is fine fishing and hunting, but these 
cotton estates are not so pleasant to visit as sugar 

But nothing else has been so delightful as, one morn- 
ing, my first sight of snow and a wonderful new, white 

Feb. 27. — The people here have hardly felt the war 
yet. There are but two classes. The planters and the 
professional men form one ; the very poor villagers the 
other. There is no middle class. Ducks and par- 
tridges, squirrels and fish, are to be had. H. has bought 
me a nice pony, and cantering along the shore of the 
lake in the sunset is a panacea for mental worry. 


March 11, 1862. — The serpent has entered our Eden. 
The rancor and excitement of New Orleans have in-, 
vaded this place. If an incautious word betrays any 


want of sympathy with popular plans, one is " traitor- 
ous," " ungrateful," " crazy." If one remains silent and 
controlled, then one is "phlegmatic," "cool-blooded," 
" unpatriotic." Cool-blooded ! Heavens ! if they only 
knew. It is very painful to see lovable and intelligent 
women rave till the blood mounts to face and brain. 
The immediate cause of this access of war fever has 
been the battle of Pea Ridge. They scout the idea 
that Price and Van Dorn have been completely worsted. 
Those who brought the news were speedily told what 
they ought to say. " No, it is only a serious check ; 
they must have more men sent forward at once. This 
country must do its duty." So the women say another 
company must be raised. 

We were guests at a dinner-party yesterday. Mrs. 
A. was very talkative. " Now, ladies, you must all join 
in with a vim and help equip another company." 

" Mrs. L.," she said, turning to me, " are you not 
going to send your husband f Now use a yoimg bride's 
influence and persuade him; he would be elected one 
of the officers." " Mrs. A.," I replied, longing to spring 
up and throttle her, " the Bible says, ' When a man 
hath married a new wife, he shall not go to war for 
one year, but remain at home and cheer up his wife.' " 

"Well, H.," I questioned, as we walked home after 
crossing the lake, "can you stand the pressure, or 
shall you be forced into volunteering f " " Indeed," he 
replied, " I will not be bullied into enlisting by women, 
or by men. I will sooner take my chance of conscrip- 
tion and feel honest about it. You know m}^ attach- 
ments, my interests are here ; these are my people. I 
could never fight against them; but my judgment 


disapproves their course, and the result will inevitably 
be against us." 

This morning the only Irishman left in the village 
presented himself to H. He has been our wood-sawyer, 
gardener, and factotum, but having joined the new 
company, his time recently has been taken up with 
drilling. H. and Mr. R. feel that an extensive vegetable 
garden must be prepared while he is here to assist, or we 
shall be short of food, and they sent for him yesterday. 

" So, Mike, you are really going to be a soldier ? " 

" Yes, sor ; but faith, Mr. L., I don't see the use of me 
going to shtop a bullet when sure an' I 'm willin' for it 
to go where it plazes." 

March 18, 1862. — There has been unusual gaiety in 
this little village the past few days. The ladies from 
the surrounding plantations went to work to get up a 
festival to equip the new company. As Annie and 
myself are both brides recently from the city, requisi- 
tion was made upon us for engravings, costumes, music, 
garlands, and so forth. Annie's heart was in the work; 
not so with me. Nevertheless, my pretty things were 
captured, and shone with just as good a grace last 
evening as if willingly lent. The ball was a merry one. 
One of the songs sung was " Nellie Grray," in which the 
most distressing feature of slavery is bewailed so piti- 
fully. To sing this at a festival for raising money to 
clothe soldiers fighting to perpetuate that very thing 
was strange. 

March 20, 1862. — A man professing to act by General 
Hindman's orders is going through the country im- 
pressing horses and mules. The overseer of a certain 
estate came to inquire of H. if he had not a legal right 


to protect the jDroperty from seizure. Mr. L. said yes, 
unless the agent could show some better credentials 
than his bare word. This answer soon spread about, 
and the overseer returned to report that it excited 
great indignation, especially among the company of 
new volunteers. H. was pronounced a traitor, and they 
declared that no one so untrue to the Confederacy 
should live there. When H. related the circumstance 
at dinner, his partner, Mr. R., became very angry, being 
ignorant of H.'s real opinions. He jumped up in a 
rage and marched away to the tillage thoroughfare. 
There he met a batch of the volunteers, and said, "We 
know what you have said of us, and I have come to 
tell you that you are liars, and you know where to 
find us." 

Of com'se I expected a difficulty; but the evening 
passed, and we retired undisturbed. Not long after- 
ward a series of indescribable sounds broke the still- 
ness of the night, and the tramp of feet was heard out- 
side the house. Mr. R. called out, "It 's a serenade, H. 
Get up and bring out all the wine you have." Annie 
and I peeped through the parlor window, and lo ! it 
was the company of volunteers and a diabolical band 
composed of bones and broken-winded brass instru- 
ments. They piped and clattered and whined for some 
time, and then swarmed in, while we ladies retreated 
and listened to the clink of glasses. 

March 22. — H., Mr. R., and Mike have been very 
l)usy the last few days getting the acre of kitchen-gar- 
den plowed and planted. The stay-law has stopped all 
legal business, and they have welcomed this work. 
But to-day a thunderbolt fell in our household. Mr. , 


E. came in and announced that he had agreed to join 
the company of volunteers. Annie's Confederate prin- 
ciples would not permit her to make much resistance, 
and she has been sewing and mending as fast as pos- 
sible to get his clothes ready, stopping now and then to 
wipe her eyes. Poor Annie ! She and Max have been 
married only a few months longer than we have ; but 
a noble sense of duty animates and sustains her. 



April 1. — The last ten days have brought changes in 
the house. Max R. left with the company to be mus- 
tered in, leaving with us his weeping Annie. Hardly 
were her spirits somewhat composed when her brother 
arrived from Natchez to take her home. This morn- 
ing he, Annie, and Reeney, the black handmaiden, 
posted off. Out of seven of us only H., myself, and 
Aunt Judy are left. The absence of Reenej^ will be not 
the least noted. She was as precious an imp as any 
Topsy ever was. Her tricks were endless and her 
innocence of them amazing. When sent out to bring 
in eggs she would take them from nests where hens 
were hatching, and embryo chickens would be served 
up at breakfast, while Reeney stood by grinning to see 
them opened; but when accused she was imperturb- 
able. "Laws, Mis' L., I nebber done bin nigh dem 
hens. Mis' Annie, you can go count dem dere eggs." 
That when counted they were found minus the num- 


ber she had brought had no effect on her stolid denial. 
H. has plenty to do finishing the garden all by himself, 
but the time rather drags for me. 

A2)ril 13, 1862. — This morning I was sewing up a 
rent in H.'s garden coat, when Aunt Judy rushed in. 

" Laws ! Mis' L., here 's Mr. Max and Mis' Annie done 
come back!" A buggy was coming up with Max, 
Annie, and Reeney. 

" Well, is the war over ? " I asked. 

" Oh, I got sick ! " replied our returned soldier, get- 
ting slowly out of the buggy. 

He was very thin and pale, and explained that he 
took a severe cold almost at once, had a mild attack of 
pneumonia, and the surgeon got him his discharge as 
unfit for service. He succeeded in reaching Annie, and 
a few days of good care made him strong enough to 
travel back home. 

" I suppose, H., you 've heard that Island No. 10 is 
gone ? " 

Yes, we had heard that much, but Max had the par- 
ticulars, and an exciting talk followed. At night H. 
said to me, " Gr., New Orleans will be the next to go, 
you '11 see, and I want to get there first ; this stagna- 
tion here will kill me." 

A2)ril 28. — This evening has been very lovely, but 
full of a sad disappointment. H. invited me to drive. 
As we turned homeward he said : 

" Well, my arrangements are completed. You can 
begin to pack your trunks to-morrow, and I shall have 
a talk with Max." 

Mr. R. and Annie were sitting on the gallery as I ran 
up the steps. 


" Heard the news ? " they cried. 

"No. What news?" 

" New Orleans is taken ! All the boats have been 
run up the river to save them. No more mails." 

How little they knew what plans of ours this dashed 
away. But our disappointment is truly an infinitesi- 
mal drop in the great waves of triumph and despair 
surging to-night in thousands of hearts. 

Ajml 30. — The last two weeks have glided quietly 
away without incident except the arrival of new neigh- 
bors — Dr. Y., his wife, two children, and servants. 
That a professional man prospering in Vicksburg 
should come now to settle in this retired place looks 
queer. Max said : 

" H., that man has come here to hide from the con- 
script officers. He has brought no end of provisions, 
and is here for the war. He has chosen well, for this 
county is so cleaned of men it won't pay to send the 
conscript officers here." 

Our stores are diminishing and cannot be replenished 
from without ; ingenuity and labor must evoke them. 
We have a fine garden in growth, plenty of chickens, 
and hives of bees to furnish honey in lieu of sugar. A 
good deal of salt meat has been stored in the smoke- 
house, and, with fish from the lake, we expect to keep 
the wolf from the door. The season for game is about 
over, but an occasional squirrel or duck comes to the 
larder, though the question of ammunition has to be 
considered. What we have may be all we can have, if 
the war lasts five years longer ; and they say they are 
prepared to hold out till the crack of doom. Food, 
however, is not the only want. I never realized before 
the varied needs of civilization. Every day something 


is out. Last week but two bars of soap remained, so 
we began to save bones and ashes. Annie said: 
" Now, if we only had some china-berry trees here, we 
should n't need any other grease. They are making 
splendid soap at Vicksburg with china-balls. They 
just put the berries into the lye and it eats them right 
up and makes a fine soap." I did long for some china- 
berries to make this experiment. H. had laid in what 
seemed a good supply of kerosene, but it is nearly gone, 
and we are down to two candles kept for an emergency. 
Annie brought a receipt from Natchez for making 
candles of rosin and wax, and with gTeat forethought 
brought also the wick and rosin. So yesterday we 
tried making candles. We had no molds, but Annie 
said the latest stjde in Natchez was to make a waxen 
rope by dipping, then wrap it round a corn-cob. But 
H. cut smooth blocks of wood about four inches 
square, into which he set a polished cylinder about 
four inches high. The waxen ropes were coiled round 
the cylinder like a serpent, with the head raised about 
two inches ; as the light burned down to the cylinder, 
more of the rope was unwound. To-day the vinegar 
was found to be all gone, and we have started to make 
some. For tyros we succeed pretty well. 



Maij 9. — A great misfortune has come upon us all. 
For several days every one has been uneasy about the 
unusual rise of the Mississippi and about a rumor that 


the Federal forces had cut levees above to swamp the 
country. There is a slight levee back of the village, 
and H. went yesterday to examine it. It looked strong, 
and we hoped for the best. About dawn this morning 
a strange gurgle woke me. It had a pleasing, lulling 
effect. I could not fully rouse at first, but curiosity 
conquered at last, and I called H. 

" Listen to that running water. What is it ? " 
He sprung up, listened a second, and shouted: "Max, 
get up! The water is on us!" They both rushed off 
to the lake for the skiff. The levee had not broken. 
The water was running clean over it and through the 
garden fence so rapidly that by the time I dressed and 
got outside Max was paddling the pirogue they had 
brought in among the pea-vines, gathering all the ripe 
peas left above the water. We had enjoyed one mess, 
and he vowed we should have another. 

H. was busy nailing a raft together while he had a 
dry place to stand on. Annie and I, with Reeney, had 
to secure the chickens, and the back piazza was given 
up to them. By the time a hasty breakfast was eaten 
the water was in the kitchen. The stove and every- 
thing there had to be put up in the dining-room. 
Aunt Judy and Eeeney had likewise to move into the 
house, their tioor also being covered with w^ater. The 
raft had to be floated to the storehouse and a plat- 
form built, on which everything was elevated. At 
evening we looked around and counted the cost. The 
garden was utterly gone. Last evening we had walked 
round the strawberry-beds that fringed the whole acre 
and tasted a few just ripe. The hives were swamped. 
Many of the chickens were drowned. Sancho had 


been sent to high ground, where he could get grass. 
In the village everything green was swept away. Yet 
we were better olf than many others; for this house, 
being raised, we have escaped the water indoors. It 
just laves the edge of the galleries. 

May 26. — During the past week we have lived some- 
what like Venetians, with a boat at the front steps and a 
raft at the back. Sunday H. and I took skiff to church. 
The clergyman, who is also tutor at a planter's across 
the lake, preached to the few who had arrived in skiffs. 
We shall not try it again, it is so troublesome getting 
in and out at the court-house steps. The imprison- 
ment is hard to endure. It threatened to make me 
really ill, so every evening H. lays a thick wrap in the 
pirogue, I sit on it, and we row off to the ridge of dry 
land running along the lake-shore and branching off 
to a strip of wood also out of water. Here we dis- 
embark and march up and down till dusk. A great 
deal of the wood got wet and had to be laid out to dry 
on the galleries, with clothing, and everything that 
must be dried. One's own trials are intensified by 
the worse suffering around that we can do nothing 
to relieve. 

Max has a puppy named after Greneral Price. The 
gentlemen had both gone up-town yesterday in the 
skiff when Annie and I heard little Price's despairing 
cries from under the house, and we got on the raft to 
find and save him. We wore light morning di*esses 
and slippers, for shoes are becoming precious. Annie 
donned a Shaker and I a broad hat. We got the raft 
pushed out to the center of the grounds opposite the 
house, and could see Price clinging to a post; the next 


move must be to navigate the raft up to the side of the 
house and reach for Price. It sounds easy; but poke 
around with our poles as wildly or as scientifically as 
we might, the raft would not budge. The noonday sun 
was blazing right overhead, and the muddy water run- 
ning all over slippered feet and dainty dresses. How 
long we stayed praying for rescue, yet wincing already 
at the laugh that would come with it, I shall never 
know. It seemed like a day before the welcome boat 
and the "Ha, ha!" of H. and Max were heard. The 
confinement tells severely on all the animal life about 
us. Half the chickens are dead and the other half sick. 
The days drag slowly. We have to depend mainly 
on books to relieve the tedium, for we have no piano ; 
none of us like cards ; we are very poor chess-players, 
and the chess-set is incomplete. When we gather 
round the one lamp — we dare not light any more — 
each one exchanges the gems of thought or mirthful 
ideas he finds. Frequently the gnats and the mos- 
quitos are so bad we cannot read at all. This even- 
ing, till a strong breeze blew them away, they were in- 
tolerable. Aunt Judy goes about in a dignified silence, 
too full for words, only asking two or three times, 
"Wat I done tole you fum de fust?" The food is a 
trial. This evening the snaky candles lighted the glass 
and silver on the supper-table with a pale gleam, and 
disclosed a frugal supper indeed — tea without milk 
(for all the cows are gone), honey, and bread. A faint 
ray twinkled on the water swishing against the house 
and stretching away into the dark woods. It looked 
like civilization and barbarism met together. Just as 
we sat down to it, some one passing in a boat shouted 


that Confederates and Federals were fighting at Vicks- 

Monday, June 2. — On last Friday moruing, just three 
weeks from the day the water rose, signs of its falling 
began. Yesterday the ground appeared, and a hard 
rain coming down at the same time washed off much 
of the unwholesome debris. To-day is fine, and we 
went out without a boat for a long walk. 

June 13. — Since the water ran off, we have, of 
course, been attacked by swamp fever. H. succumbed 
first, then Annie, Max next, and then I. Luckily, the 
new Dr. Y. had brought quinine with him, and we 
took heroic doses. Such fever never burned in my 
veins before or sapped strength so rapidly, though 
probably the want of good food was a factor. The two 
or three other professional men have left. Dr. Y. 
alone remains. The roads now being dry enough, H. 
and Max started on horseback, in different directions, 
to make an exhaustive search for food supplies. H. 
got back this evening with no supplies. 

June 15. — Max got back to-day. He started right 
off again to cross the lake and interview the jjlanters 
on that side, for they had not suffered from overflow. 

June 16. — Max got back this morning. H. and he 
were in the parlor talking and examining maps together 
till dinner-time. When that was over they laid the mat- 
ter before us. To buy provisions had i^roved impossible. 
The planters across the lake had decided to issue 
rations of corn-meal and pease to the villagers whose 
men had all gone to war, but they utterly refused to 
sell anything. " They told me," said Max, " ' We will 
not see your family starve, Mr. R. ; but with such 


numbers of slaves and the village poor to feed, we can 
spare nothing for sale.' " " Well, of course," said H., 
" we do not purpose to stay here and live on charity 
rations. We must leave the place at all hazards. We 
have studied out every route and made inquiries every- 
where we went. We shall have to go down the Missis- 
sippi in an open boat as far as Fetler's Landing (on the 
eastern bank). There we can cross by land and put 
the boat into Steele's Bayou, pass thence to the Yazoo 
River, from there to Chickasaw Bayou, into McNutt's 
Lake, and land near my uncle's in Warren County." 

June 20. — As soon as our intended departure was 
announced, we were besieged by requests for all sorts 
of things wanted in every family — pins, matches, gun- 
powder, and ink. One of the last cases H. and Max 
had before the stay-law stopped legal business was the 
settlement of an estate that included a country store. 
The heirs had paid in chattels of the store. These had 
remained packed in the office. The main contents of 
the cases were hardware ; but we found treasure in- 
deed — a keg of powder, a case of matches, a paper of 
pins, a bottle of ink. Red ink is now made out of 
pokeberries. Pins are made by capping thorns with 
sealing-wax, or using them as nature made them. 
These were articles money could not get for us. We 
would give our friends a few matches to save for the 
hour of tribulation. The paper of pins we divided 
evenly, and filled a bank-box each with the matches. H. 
filled a tight tin case apiece with powder for Max and 
himself and sold the rest, as we could not carry any 
more on such a trip. Those who did not hear of this 
in time offered fabulous prices afterward for a single 


pound. But money has not its old attractions. Our 
preparations were delayed by Aunt Judy falling sick 
of swamp fever. 

Friday^ June 27. — As soon as the cook was up again, 
we resumed preparations. We put all the clothing in 
order, and had it nicely done up with the last of the 
soap and starch. "I wonder," said Annie, "when I 
shall ever have nicely starched clothes after these? 
They had no starch in Natchez or Vicksburg when I 
was there." We are now furbishing up dresses suit- 
able for such rough summer travel. While we sat at 
work yesterday, the quiet of the clear, calm noon was 
broken by a low, continuous roar like distant thunder. 
To-day we are told it was probably cannon at Vicks- 
burg. This is a great distance, I think, to have heard 
it — over a hundred miles. 

H. and Max have bought a large yawl and are busy 
on the lake-bank repairing it and fitting it with lockers. 
Aunt Judy's master has been notified when to send for 
her ; a home for the cat Jeff has been engaged ; Price 
is dead, and Sancho sold. Nearly all the furniture is 
disposed of, except things valued from association, 
which will be packed in H.'s office and left with some 
one likely to stay through the war. It is hardest to 
leave the books. 

Tiiesdai/, July 8. — We start to-morrow. Packing the 
trunks was a problem. Annie and I are allowed one 
large trunk apiece, the gentlemen a smaller one each, 
and we a light carpet-sack apiece for toilet articles. I 
arrived with six trunks and leave with one ! We went 
over everything carefully twice, rejecting, trying to 
shake off the bonds of custom and get down to primi- 


tive needs. At last we made a judicious selection. 
Everything old or worn was left; everything merely 
ornamental, except good lace, which was light. Gossa- 
mer evening dresses were all left. I calculated on taking 
two or three books that would bear the most reading if 
we were again shut up where none could be had, and 
so, of course, took Shakspere first. Here I was inter- 
rupted to go and pay a farewell visit, and when we re- 
turned Max had packed and nailed the cases of books 
to be left. Chance thus limited my choice to those that 
happened to be in my room — "Paradise Lost," the 
"Arabian Nights," a volume of Macaulay's History I 
was reading, and my prayer-book. To-day the provi- 
sions for the trip were cooked : the last of the flour was 
made into large loaves of bread ; a ham and several 
dozen eggs were boiled; the few chickens that have 
survived the overflow were fried ; the last of the coffee 
was parched and ground ; and the modicum of the tea 
was well corked up. Our friends across the lake added 
a jar of butter and two of preserves. H. rode off to X. 
after dinner to conclude some business there, and I sat 
down before a table to tie bundles of things to be left. 
The sunset glowed and faded, and the quiet evening 
came on calm and starry. I sat by the window till 
evening deepened into night, and as the moon rose I 
still looked a reluctant farewell to the lovely lake and 
the grand woods, till the sound of H.'s horse at the gate 
broke the spell. 




Thursday, July 10. ( Plantation.) — Yesterday 

about four o'clock we walked to the lake and embarked. 
Provisions and utensils were packed in the lockers, and 
a large trunk was stowed at each end. The blankets 
and cushions were placed against one of them, and 
Annie and I sat on them Turkish fashion. Near the 
center the two smaller trunks made a place forReeney. 
Max and H. were to take turns at the rudder and oars. 
The last word was a fervent Grod-speed from Mr. E., 
who is left in charge of all our affairs. We believe him 
to be a Union man, but have never spoken of it to him. 
We were gloomy enough crossing the lake, for it was 
evident the heavily laden boat would be difficult to 
manage. Last night we stayed at this plantation, and 
from the window of my room I see the men unloading 
the boat to place it on the cart, which a team of oxen 
will haul to the river. These hospitable people are 
kindness itself, till you mention the war. 

Saturday, July 12. ( Under a cotton-shed on the hank of 
the Mississippi River.) — Thursday was a lovely day, and 
the sight of the broad river exhilarating. The negroes 
launched and reloaded the boat, and when we had paid 
them and spoken good-by to them we felt we were 
really off. Every one had said that if we kept in the 
current the boat would almost go of itself, but in fact 
the current seemed to throw it about, and hard pulling 
was necessary. The heat of the suq was very severe, 
and it proved impossible to use an umbrella or any kind 


of shade, as it made steering more difficult. Snags and 
floating timbers were very troublesome. Twice we hur- 
ried up to the bank out of the way of passing gunboats, 
but they took no notice of us. When we got thirsty, 
it was found that Max had set the jug of water in the 
shade of a tree and left it there. We must dip up the 
river water or go without. When it got too dark to 
travel safely we disembarked. Reeney gathered wood, 
made a fire and some tea, and we had a good supj)er. 
We then divided, H. and I remaining to watch the boat, 
Max and Annie on shore. She hung up a mosquito-bar 
to the trees and went to bed comfortably. In the boat 
the mosquitos were horrible, but I fell asleep and slept 
till voices on the bank woke me. Annie was wander- 
ing disconsolate round her bed, and when I asked the 
trouble, said, " Oh, I can't sleep there ! I found a toad 
and a lizard in the bed." When dropping off again, H. 
woke me to say he was very sick ; he thought it was 
from drinking the river water. With difficulty I got a 
trunk opened to find some medicine. While doing so a 
gunboat loomed up vast and gloomy, and we gave each 
other a good fright. Our voices doubtless reached her, 
for instantly every one of her lights disappeared and 
she ran for a few minutes along the opposite bank. We 
momently expected a shell as a feeler. 

At dawn next morning we made coffee and a hasty 
breakfast, fixed up as well as we could in our sylvan 
dressing-rooms, and pushed on ; for it is settled that 
traveling between eleven and two will have to be given 
up unless we want to be roasted alive. H. grew worse. 
He suffered terribly, and the rest of us as much to see 
him pulling in such a state of exhaustion. Max would 


not trust either of us to steer. About eleven we 
reached the landing of a plantation. Max walked up 
to the house and returned with the owner, an old 
gentleman living alone with his slaves. The house- 
keeper, a young colored girl, could not be surpassed 
in her graceful efforts to make us comfortable and 
anticipate .every want. I was so anxious about H. that 
I remember nothing except that the cold drinking- 
water taken from a cistern beneath the building, into 
which only the winter rains were allowed to fall, was 
like an elixir. They offered luscious peaches that, with 
such water, were nectar and ambrosia to our parched 
lips. At night the housekeeper said she was sorry they 
had no mosquito-bars ready, and hoped the mosquitos 
would not be thick, but they came out in legions. I 
knew that on sleep that night depended recovery or 
illness for H., and all possibility of proceeding next 
day. So I sat up fanning away mosquitos that he 
might sleep, toppling over now and then on the pillows 
till roused by his stuTing. I conti'ived to keep this up 
till, as the chill before dawn came, they abated and I 
got a short sleep. Then, with the aid of cold water, 
a fresh toilet, and a good breakfast, I braced up for 
another day's baking in the boat. 

If I had been well and strong as usual, the discom- 
forts of such a journey would not have seemed so 
much to me; but I was still weak from the effects of 
the fever, and annoyed by a worrying toothache which 
there had been no dentist to rid me of in our village. 

Having paid and dismissed the boat's watchman, we 
started and traveled till eleven to-day, when we stopped 
at this cotton-shed. When our dais was spread and 


lunch laid out in the cool breeze, it seemed a blessed 
spot. A good many negroes came offering chickens 
and milk in exchange for tobacco, which we had not. 
We bought some milk with money. 

A United States transport just now steamed by, and 
the men on the guards cheered and waved to us. We 
all replied but Annie. Even Max was surprised into 
an answering cheer, and I waved my handkerchief 
with a very full heart as the dear old flag we had 
not seen for so long floated by; but Annie turned 
her back. 

Sunday, July 13. {Under a tree on the east hank of the 
Mississippi.) — Late on Saturday evening we reached a 
plantation whose owner invited us to spend the night 
at his house. What a delightful thing is courtesy! 
The first tone of our host's welcome indicated the true 
gentleman. We never leave the oars with the watch- 
man; Max takes these, Annie and I each take a band- 
box, H. takes my carpet-sack, and Reeney brings up 
the rear with Annie's. It is a funny procession. Mr. 
B.'s family were absent, and as we sat on the gallery 
talking, it needed only a few minutes to show this was 
a "Union man." His home was elegant and tasteful, 
but even here there was neither tea nor coffee. 

About eleven we stopped here in this shady place. 
While eating lunch the negroes again came imploring 
for tobacco. Soon an invitation came from the house 
for us to come and rest. We gratefully accepted, but 
found their idea of rest for warm, tired travelers was 
to sit in the parlor on stiff chairs while the whole 
family trooped in, cool and clean in fresh toilets, to 
stare and question. We soon returned to the trees; 


however, they kindly offered corn-meal pound-cake and 
beer, which were excellent. 

Eight gunboats and one transport have passed us. 
Getting out of their way has been troublesome. Our 
gentlemen's hands are badly blistered. 

Tuesday, July 15. — Sunday night about ten we 
reached the place where, according to our map, Steele's 
Bayou comes nearest to the Mississippi, and where the 
landing should be ; but when we climbed the steep bank 
there was no sign of habitation. Max walked off into 
the woods on a search, and was gone so long we feared 
he had lost his waj^ He could find no road. H. sug- 
gested shouting, and both began. At last a distant 
halloo replied, and by cries the answerer was guided 
to us. A negro came forward and said that was the 
right place, his master kept the landing, and he would 
watch the boat for five dollars. He showed the road, 
and said his master's house was one mile off and 
another house two miles. We mistook, and went to 
the one two miles off. At one o'clock we reached Mr. 
Fetler's, who was pleasant, and said we should have 
the best he had. The bed into whose grateful softness 
I sank was piled with mattresses to within two or three 
feet of the ceiling ; and, with no step-ladder, getting in 
and out was a problem. This morning we noticed the 
high-water mark, four feet above the lower floor. Mrs. 
Fetler said they had lived up-stairs several weeks. 



Wednesday/, July 16. {Under a tree on the hank of 
Steele's Bayou.) — Early this morning our boat was taken 
out of the Mississippi and put on Mr. Fetler's ox-cart. 
After breakfast we followed on foot. The walk in the 
woods was so delightful that all were disappointed when 
a silvery gleam through the trees showed the bayou 
sweeping along, full to the banks, with dense forest 
trees almost meeting over it. The boat was launched, 
calked, and reloaded, and we were off again. Toward 
noon the sound of distant cannon began to echo around, 
probably from Vicksburg again. About the same time 
we began to encounter rafts. To get around them re- 
quired us to push through brash so thick that we had 
to lie down in the boat. The banks were steep and the 
land on each side a bog. About one o'clock we reached 
this clear space with dry shelving banks, and disem- 
barked to eat lunch. To our surprise a neatly dressed 
woman came tripping down the declivity, bringing a 
basket. She said she lived above and had seen our 
boat. Her husband was in the army, and we were the 
first white people she had talked to for a long while. 
She offered some corn-meal pound-cake and beer, and as 
she climbed back told us to " look out for the rapids." 
H. is putting the boat in order for our start, and says 
she is waving good-by from the bluff above. 

Thursday., July 17. {On a raft in SteeWs Bayou.) — 
Yesterday we went on nicely awhile, and at afternoon 
came to a strange region of rafts, extending about three 


miles, on which persons were living. Many saluted us, 
saying they had run away from Vieksburg at the first 
attempt of the fleet to shell it. On one of these rafts, 
about twelve feet square,' bagging had been hung up to 
form three sides of a tent. A bed was in one corner, 
and on a low chair, with her provisions in jars and 
boxes grouped round her, sat an old woman feeding a 
lot of chickens. 

Having moonlight, we had intended to travel till late. 
But about ten o'clock, the boat beginning to go with 
great si^eed, H., who was steering, called to Max : 

" Don't row so fast ; we may run against something." 

" I 'm hardly pulling at all." 

" Then we 're in what she called the rapids ! " 

The stream seemed indeed to slope downward, and in 
a minute a dark line was visible ahead. Max tried to 
turn, but could not, and in a second more we dashed 
against this immense raft, only saved from breaking 
up by the men's quickness. We got out upon it and 
ate supper. Then, as the boat was leaking and the 
current swinging it against the raft, H. and Max thought 
it safer to watch all night, but told us to go to sleep. It 
was a strange spot to sleep in — a raft in the middle of 
a boiling stream, with a wilderness stretching on either 
side. The moon made ghostly shadows, and showed H., 
sitting still as a ghost, in the stern of the boat, while 
mingled with the gurgle of the water round the raft 
beneath was the boom of cannon in the air, solemnly 
breaking the silence of night. It drizzled now and then, 
and the mosquitos swarmed over us. My fan and 
umbrella had been knocked overboard, so I had no 

1 More likely twelve yards. — G. W. C. 


weapon against them. Fatigue, however, overcomes 
everything, and I contrived to sleep. 

H. roused us at dawn. Reeney found lightwood 
enough on the raft to make a good fire for coffee, which 
never tasted better. Then all hands assisted in unload- 
ing; a rope was fastened to the boat, Max got in, H. 
held the rope on the raft, and, by much pulling and 
pushing, it was forced through a narrow passage to the 
farther side. Here it had to be calked, and while that 
was being done we improvised a dressing-room in the 
shadow of our big trunks. During the trip I had to 
keep the time, therefore properly to secure belt and 
watch was always an anxious part of my toilet. The 
boat is now repacked, and while Annie and Reeney are 
washing cups I have scribbled, wishing much that mine 
were the hand of an artist. 

Friday morn, July 18. {House of Colonel K., on Yazoo 
River.) — After leaving the raft yesterday all went well 
till noon, when we came to a narrow place where an 
immense tree lay clear across the stream. It seemed 
the insurmountable obstacle at last. We sat despairing 
what to do, when a man appeared beside us in a pirogue. 
So sudden, so silent was his arrival that we were thrilled 
with surprise. He said if we had a hatchet he could 
help us. His fairy bark floated in among the branches 
like a bubble, and he soon chopped a path for us, and 
was delighted to get some matches in return. He said 
the cannon we heard yesterday were in an engagement 
with the ram Arkansas, which ran out of the Yazoo 
that morning. We did not stop for dinner to-day, but 
ate a hasty lunch in the boat, after which nothing but 
a small piece of bread was left. About two we reached 


the forks, one of which ran to the Yazoo, the other to 
the Old River. Max said the right fork was our road ; 
H. said the left, that there was an error in Max's map ; 
but Max steered into the right fork. After pulling about 
three miles he admitted his mistake and turned back ; 
but I shall never forget Old River. It was the vision 
of a drowned world, an illimitable waste of dead waters, 
stretching into a great, silent, desolate forest. 

Just as we turned into the right way, down came the 
rain so hard and fast we had to stop on the bank. It 
defied trees or umbrellas, and nearly took away the 
breath. The boat began to fill, and all five of us had 
to bail as fast as possible for the half-hour the sheet of 
water was pouring down. As it abated a cold breeze 
sprang up that, striking our clothes, chilled us to the 
bone. All were shivering and blue — no, I was green. 
Before leaving Mr. Fetler's Wednesday morning I had 
donned a dark-green calico. I wiped my face with a 
handkerchief out of my pocket, and face and hands 
were all dyed a deep green. When Annie turned round 
and looked at me she screamed, and I realized how I 
looked ; but she was not much better, for of all dejected 
things wet feathers are the worst, and the plumes in 
her hat were painful. 

About five we reached Colonel K.'s house, right 
where Steele's Bayou empties into the Yazoo. We had 
both to be faii'ly dragged out of the boat, so cramped 
and weighted were we by wet skirts. The family were 
absent, and the house was headquarters for a squad of 
Confederate cavalry, which was also absent. The old 
colored housekeeper received us kindly, and lighted 
fires in our rooms to dry the clothing. My trunk had 


got cracked on top, and all the clothing to be got 
at was wet. H. had dropped his in the river while 
lifting it out, and his clothes were wet. A spoonful of 
brandy apiece was left in the little flask, and I felt that 
mine saved me from being ill. Warm blankets and the 
brandy revived us, and by supper-time we got into 
some dry clothes. 

Just then the squad of cavalry returned ; they were 
only a dozen, but they made much uproar, being in 
great excitement. Some of them were known to Max 
and H., who learned from them that a gunboat was 
coming to shell them out of this house. Then ensued 
a clatter sucll as twelve men surely never made be- 
fore — rattling about the halls and galleries in heavy 
boots and spurs, feeding horses, calling for supper, 
clanking swords, buckling and unbuckling belts and 
pistols. At last supper was despatched, and they 
mounted and were gone like the wind. We had a quiet 
supper and a good night's rest in spite of the expected 
shells, and did not wake till ten to-day to realize we 
were not killed. About eleven breakfast was furnished. 
Now we are waiting till the rest of our things are dried 
to start on our last day of travel by water. 

Sunday^ July 20. — A little way down the Yazoo on 
Friday we ran into McNutt's Lake, thence into Chicka- 
saw Bayou, and at dark landed at Mrs. C.'s farm, the 
nearest neighbors of H.'s uncle. The house was full of 
Confederate sick, friends from Vicksburg, and while 
we ate supper all present poured out the story of the 
shelling and all that was to be done at Vicksburg. 
Then our stuff was taken from the boat, and we finally 
abandoned the stanch little craft that had carried us 


for over one hundred and twenty-five miles in a trip 
occupying nine days. The luggage in a wagon, and 
ourselves packed in a buggy, were driven for four or 
five miles, over the roughest road I ever traveled, to 
the farm of Mr. B., H.'s uncle, where we arrived at mid- 
night and hastened to hide in bed the utter exhaustion 
of mind and body. Yesterday we were too tired to 
think, or to do anything but eat peaches. 



This morning there was a most painful scene. 
Annie's father came into Vicksburg, ten miles from 
here, and learned of our arrival from Mrs. C.'s messen- 
ger. He sent out a carriage to bring Annie and Max 
to town that they might go home with him, and with it 
came a letter for me from friends on the Jackson Rail- 
road, written many weeks before. They had heard that 
our village home was under water, and invited us to 
visit them. The letter had been sent to Annie's people 
to forward, and thus had reached us. This decided H., 
as the place was near New Orleans, to go there and 
wait the chance of getting into that city. Max, when 
he heard this from H., lost all self-control and cried like 
a baby. He stalked about the garden in the most 
tragic manner, exclaiming: 

" Oh ! my soul's brother from youth up is a traitor ! 
A traitor to his country ! " 

Then H. got angry and said, " Max, don't be a fool." 


"Who has done this?" bawled Max. "You felt 
with the South at first ; who has changed you I " 

" Of course I feel for the South now, and nobody has 
changed me but the logic of events, though the twenty- 
negro law has intensified my opinions. I can't see why 
I, who have no slaves, must go to fight for them, while 
every man who has twenty may stay at home." 

I also tried to reason with Max and pour oil on his 
wound. "Max, what interest has a man like you, 
without slaves, in a war for slavery ? Even if you had 
them, they would not be your best property. That lies 
in your country and its resources. Nearly all the world 
has given up slavery ; why can't the South do the same 
and end the struggle. It has shown you what the 
South needs, and if all went to work with united 
hands the South would soon be the greatest country on 
earth. You have no right to call H. a traitor ; it is we 
who are the true patriots and lovers of the South." 

This had to come, but it has upset us both. H. is 
deeply attached to Max, and I can't bear to see a cloud 
between them. Max, with Annie and Reeney, drove 
off an hour ago, Annie so glad at the prospect of 
again seeing her mother that nothing could cloud her 
day. And so the close companionship of six months, 
and of dangers, trials, and pleasures shared together, 
is over. 

Oak Bid//e, July 26, Saturday. — It was not till Wed- 
nesday that H. could get into Vicksburg, ten miles 
distant, for a passport, without which we could not go 
on the cars. We started Thursday morning. I had to 
ride seven miles on a hard-trotting horse to the nearest 
station. The day was burning at white heat. When 


the station was reached my hair was down, my hat on 
my neck, and my feelings were indescribable. 

On the train one seemed to be right in the stream of 
war, among officers, soldiers, sick men and cripples, 
adiens, tears, laughter, constant chatter, and, strangest 
of all, sentinels posted at the locked car doors demand- 
ing passports. There was no train south from Jackson 
that day, so we put up at the Bowman House. The 
excitement was indescribable. All the world appeared 
to be traveling through Jackson. People were besieg- 
ing the two hotels, offering enormous prices for the 
privilege of sleeping anywhere under a roof. There 
were many refugees from New Orleans, among them 
some acquaintances of mine. The peculiar styles of 
[women's] dress necessitated by the exigencies of war 
gave the crowd a very striking appearance. In single 
suits I saw sleeves of one color, the waist of another, 
the skirt of another; scarlet jackets and gray skirts; 
black waists and blue skirts; black skirts and gi'ay 
waists; the trimming chiefly gold braid and buttons, 
to give a military air. The gray and gold uniforms of 
the officers, glittering between, made up a carnival of 
color. Every moment we saw strange meetings and 
partings of people from all over the South. Conditions 
of time, space, locality, and estate were all loosened; 
everybody seemed floating he knew not whither, but 
determined to be jolly, and keep up an excitement. At 
supper we had tough steak, heavy, dirtj^'-looking bread. 
Confederate coffee. The coffee was made of either 
parched rye or corn-meal, or of sweet potatoes cut in 
small cubes and roasted. This was the favorite. When 
flavored with "coffee essence," sweetened with sor- 


ghum, and tinctured with chalky milk, it made a 
curious beverage which, after tasting, I preferred not 
to drink. Every one else was drinking it, and an 
acquaintance said, "Oh, you '11 get bravely over that. 
I used to be a Jewess about pork, but now we just 
kill a hog and eat it, and kill another and do the same. 
It 's all we have." 

Friday morning we took the down train for the 
station near my friend's house. At every station we 
had to go through the examination of passes, as if in a 
foreign country. 

The conscript camp was at Brookhaven, and every 
man had been ordered to report there or to be treated 
as a deserter. At every station I shivered mentally, 
expecting H. to be dragged off. Brookhaven was also 
the station for dinner. I choked mine down, feeling 
the sword hanging over me by a single hair. At sunset 
we reached our station. The landlady was pouring 
tea when we took our seats, and I expected a treat, but 
when I tasted it was sassafras tea, the very odor of 
which sickens me. There was a general surprise when 
I asked to exchange it for a glass of water; every one 
was drinking it as if it were nectar. This morning we 
drove out here. 

My friend's little nest is calm in contrast to the 
tumult not far off. Yet the trials of war are here too. 
Having no matches, they keep fire, carefully covering 
it at night, for Mr. G. has no powder, and cannot flash 
the gun into combustibles as some do. One day they 
had to go with the children to the village, and the 
servant let the fire go out. When they returned at 
nightfall, wet and hungry, there was neither fire nor 


food. Mr. Gr. had to saddle the tired mule and ride 
three miles for a pan of coals, and blow them, all the 
way back, to keep them alight. Crockery has gradually 
been broken and tin cups rusted out, and a visitor told 
me they had made tumblers out of clear glass bottles 
by cutting them smooth with a heated wire, and that 
they had nothing else to drink from. 

Aug. 11. — We cannot get to New Orleans. A special 
passport must be shown, and we are told that to apply 
for it would render H. very likely to be conscripted. 
I begged him not to try; and as we hear that active 
hostilities have ceased at Vicksburg, he left me this 
morning to return to his uncle's and see what the pros- 
pects are there. I shall be in misery about conscription 
till he returns. 

Sunday^ Sept. 7. {Vlckshurg, Washington Hotel.) — H. 
did not return for three weeks. An epidemic disease 
broke out in his uncle's family and two children died. 
He stayed to assist them in their trouble. Tuesday 
evening he returned for me, and we reached Vicksburg 
yesterday. It was my first sight of the "Gibraltar of 
the South." Looking at it from a slight elevation 
suggests the idea that the fragments left from world- 
building had tumbled into a confused mass of hills, 
hollows, hillocks, banks, ditches, and ra^dnes, and that 
the houses had rained down afterward. Over all there 
was dust impossible to conceive. The bombardment 
has done little injury. People have returned and re- 
sumed business. A gentleman asked H. if he knew of 
a nice girl for sale. I asked if he did not think it 
impolitic to buy slaves now. 

" Oh, not young ones. Old ones might run off when 


the enemy's lines approach ours, but with young ones 
there is no danger." 

We had not been many hours in town before a posi- 
tion was offered to H. which seemed providential. The 
chief of a certain department was in ill health and 
wanted a deputy. It secures him from conscription, 
requires no oath, and pays a good salary. A mountain 
seemed lifted off my heart. 

Thursday, Sept. 18. {Thanksgiving Day.) — We stayed 
three days at the Washington Hotel ; then a friend of 
H.'s called and told him to come to his house till he 
could find a home. Boarding-houses have all been 
broken up, and the army has occupied the few houses 
that were for rent. To-day H. secured a vacant room 
for two weeks in the only boarding-house. 

Oah Haven, Oct. 3. — To get a house in V. proved im- 
possible, so we agreed to part for a time till H. could 
find one. A friend recommended this quiet farm, six 

miles from [a station on the Jackson Railroad]. 

On last Saturday H. came with me as far as Jackson 
and put me on the other train for the station. 

On my way hither a lady, whom I judged to be a 
Confederate " blockade-runner," told me of the tricks 
resorted to to get things out of New Orleans, including 
this : A ^ery large doll was emptied of its bran, filled 
with quinine, and elaborately dressed. When the 
owner's trunk was opened, she declared with tears that 
the doll was for a poor crippled girl, and it was passed. 

This farm of Mr. W.'s^ is kept with about forty ne- 

lOii this plantation, and in this domestic circle, I myself afterward 
sojourned, and from them enlisted in the army. The initials are fictitious, 
but the description is perfect. — G. W. C. 


groes. Mr. W., nearly sixty, is the only white man on it. 
He seems to have been wiser in the beginning than most 
others, and curtailed his cotton to make room for rye, 
rice, and corn. There is a large vegetable-garden and 
orchard; lie has bought plenty of stock for beef and 
mutton, and laid in a large supply of sugar. He must 
also have plenty of ammunition, for a man is kept 
hunting and supplies the table with delicious wild tur- 
keys and other game. There is abundance of milk and 
butter, hives for honey, and no end of pigs. Chickens 
seem to be kept like game in parks, for I never see any, 
but the hunter shoots them, and eggs are plentiful. 
We have chicken for breakfast, dinner, and supper, 
fried, stewed, broiled, and in soup, and there is a family 
of ten. Luckily I never tire of it. They make starch 
out of corn-meal by washing the meal repeatedly, 
pouring off the water, and drying the sediment. Truly 
the uses of corn in the Confederacy are varied. It 
makes coffee, beer, whisky, starch, cake, bread. The 
only privations here are the lack of coffee, tea, salt, 
matches, and good candles. Mr, W. is now having the 
dirt floor of his smoke-house dug up and boiling from 
it the salt that has dripped into it for years. To-day 
Mrs. W. made tea out of dried blackberry leaves, but 
no one liked it. The beds, made out of equal ^rts of 
cotton aud corn-shucks, are the most elastic I ever 
slept in. The servants are dressed in gray homespun. 
Hester, the chambermaid, has a gray gown so pretty 
that I covet one like it. Mrs. W. is now arranging 
dyes for the thread to be woven into dresses for herself 
and the girls. Sometimes her hands are a curiosity. 
The school at the nearest town is broken up, aud 


Mrs. W. says the children are growing up heathens. 
Mr. W. has offered me a liberal price to give the chil- 
dren lessons in English and French, and I have 
accepted transiently. 

Oct. 28. — It is a month to-day since I came here. I 
only wish H. could share these benefits — the nourish- 
ing food, the pure aromatic air, the sound sleep away 
from the fevered life of Vicksburg. He sends me all 
the papers he can get hold of, and we both watch care- 
fully the movements reported lest an army should get 
between us. The days are full of useful work, and in 
the lovely afternoons I take long walks with a big dog 
for company. The girls do not care for walking. In 
the evening Mr. W. begs me to read aloud all the war 
news. He is fond of the "Memphis Appeal," which 
has moved from town to town so much that they call 
it the " Moving Appeal." I sit in a low chair by the 
fire, as we have no other light to read by. Sometimes 
traveling soldiei:s stop here, but that is rare. 

Oct. 31. — Mr. W. said last night the farmers felt un- 
easy about the " Emancipation Proclamation " to take 
effect in December. The slaves have found it out, 
though it had been carefully kept from them. 

" Do yours know it ? " I asked. 

" Oh, yes. Finding it to be known elsewhere, I told 
it to mine with fair warning what to expect if they 
tried to run away. The hounds are not far oft'." 

The need of clothing for their armies is worrying 
them too. I never saw Mrs. W. so excited as on last 
evening. She said the provost-marshal at the next 
town had ordered the women to knit so many pairs of 


" Just let him try to enforce it and they will cowhide 
him. He '11 get none from me. I '11 take care of my 
own friends without an order from him." 

" Well," said Mr. W., " if the South is defeated and 
the slaves set free, the Southern people will all become 
atheists; for the Bible justifies slavery and says it shall 
be perpetual." 

" You mean, if the Lord does not agree with you, 
you '11 repudiate him." 

" Well, we '11 feel it 's no use to believe in anything." 

At night the large sitting-room makes a striking 
picture. Mr. W., spare, erect, gray-headed, patriarchal, 
sits in his big chair by the odorous fire of pine logs 
and knots roaring uj) the vast fireplace. His driver 
brings to him the report of the day's picking and a 
basket of snowy cotton for the spinning. The hunter 
brings in the game. I sit on the other side to read. 
The great spinning-wheels stand at the other end of 
the room, and Mrs. W. and her black satellites, the 
elderly women with their heads in bright bandanas, are 
hard at work. Slender and auburn-haired, she steps 
back and forth out of shadow into shine following 
the thread with graceful movements. Some card the 
cotton, some reel it into hanks. Over all the firelight 
glances, now touching the golden curls of little John 
toddling about, now the brown heads of the girls stoop- 
ing over their books, now the shadowy figure of little 
Jule, the girl whose duty it is to supply the fire with 
rich pine to keep up the vivid light. If they would 
only let the child sit down! But that is not allowed, 
and she gets sleepy and stumbles and knocks her head 
against the wall and then straightens up again. When 


that happens often it drives me off. Sometimes while 
I read the bright room fades and a vision rises of 
figures clad in gray and blue lying pale and stiff' on 
the biood-sprinkled ground. 

Nov. 15. — Yesterday a letter was handed me from H. 
Grant's army was moving, he wrote, steadily down the 
Mississippi Central, and might cut the road at Jack- 
son. He has a house and will meet me in Jackson 

Nov. 20. (Vickshurg.) — A fair morning for my jour- 
ney back to Vicksburg. On the train was the gentle- 
man who in New Orleans had told us we should have 
all the butter we wanted from Texas. On the cars, as 
elsewhere, the question of food alternated with news 
of the war. 

When we ran into the Jackson station, H. was on the 
platform, and I gladly learned that we could go right 
on. A runaway negro, an old man, ashy-colored from 
fright and exhaustion, with his hands chained, was 
being dragged along by a common-looking man. Just 
as we started out of Jackson the conductor led in a 
young woman sobbing in a heartbroken manner. Her 
grief seemed so overpowering, and she was so young 
and helpless, that every one was interested. Her hus- 
band went into the army in the opening of the war, 
just after their marriage, and she had never heard from 
him since. After months of weary searching she 
learned he had been heard of at Jackson, and came 
full of hope, but found no clue. The sudden breaking 
down of her hope was terrible. The conductor placed 
her in care of a gentleman going her way and left her 
sobbing. At the next station the conductor came to 


ask her about her baggage. She raised her head to try 
and answer. "Don't cry so; you '11 find him yet." She 
gave a start, jumped from her seat with arms flung out 
and eyes staring. " There he is now!" she cried. Her 
husband stood before her. 

The gentleman beside her yielded his seat, and as 
hand grasped hand a hysterical gurgle gave place to a 
look like Heaven's peace. The low murmur of their 
talk began, and when I looked around at the next 
station they had bought pies and were eating them 
together like happy childi'en. 

Midway between Jackson and Vicksburg we reached 
the station near where Annie's parents were staying. 
I looked out, and there stood Annie with a little sister 
on each side of her, brightly smiling at us. Max had 
written to H., but we had not seen them since our 
parting. There was only time for a word and the train 
flashed away. 



We reached Yicksburg that night and went to H.'s 
room. Next morning the cook he had engaged arrived, 
and we moved into this house. Martha's ignorance 
keeps me busy, and H. is kept close at his office. 

January 7, 1863. — I have had little to record here 
recently, for we have lived to ourselves, not visiting or 
visited. Every one H. knows is absent, and I know 
no one but the family we stayed with at first, and they 
are now absent. H. tells me of the added triumph 


since the repulse of Sherman in December, and the 
one paper published here shouts victory as much as 
its gradually diminishing size will allow. Paper is a 
serious want. There is a great demand for envelops 
in the office where H. is. He found and bought a lot 
of thick and smooth colored paper, cut a tin pattern, 
and we have whiled away some long evenings cutting' 
envelops and making them up. I have put away a 
package of the best to look at when we are old. The 
books I brought from Arkansas have proved a trea- 
sure, but we can get no more. I went to the only 
book-store open; there were none but Mrs. Stowe's 
" Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands." The clerk said 
I could have that cheap, because he could n't sell her 
books, so I got it and am reading it now. The monot- 
ony has only been broken by letters from friends here 
and there in the Confederacy. One of these letters 
tells of a Federal raid to their place, and says: "But 
the worst thing was, they would take every tooth- 
brush in the house, because we can't buy any more; 
and one cavalryman put my sister's new bonnet on 
his horse, and said, 'Get uj). Jack,' and her bonnet 
was gone." 

Fehruary 25. — A long gap in my journal, because H. 
has been ill unto death with typhoid fever, and I 
nearly broke down from loss of sleep, there being no 
one to relieve me. I never understood before how 
terrible it was to be alone at night with a patient in 
delirium, and no one within call. To wake Martha 
was simply impossible. I got the best doctor here, 
but when convalescence began the question of food 
was a trial. I got with great difficulty two chickens. 


The doctor made the drug-store sell two of their six 
bottles of port; he said his patient's life depended 
on it. An egg is a rare and precious thing. Mean- 
while the Federal fleet has been gathering, has anchored 
at the bend, and shells are thrown in at intervals. 

March 20. — The slow shelling of Vicksburg goes on 
all the time, and we have grown indifferent. It does 
not at present interrupt or interfere with daily avoca- 
tions, but I suspect they are only getting the range of 
different points; and when they have them all com- 
plete, showers of shot will rain on us all at once. Non- 
combatants have been ordered to leave or prei^are 
accordingly. Those who are to stay are having caves 
built. Cave-digging has become a regular business; 
prices range from twenty to fifty dollars, according to 
size of cave. Two diggers worked at ours a week and 
charged thirty dollars. It is well made in the hill that 
slopes just in the rear of the house, and well propped 
with thick posts, as they all are. It has a shelf also, 
for holding a light or water. When we went in this 
evening and sat down, the earthy, suffocating feeling, 
as of a living tomb, was dreadful to me. I fear I 
shall risk death outside rather than melt in that dark 
furnace. The hills are so honeycombed with caves 
that the streets look like avenues in a cemetery. The 
hill called the Sky-parlor has become quite a fashion- 
able resort for the few upper-circle families left here. 
Some officers are quartered there, and there is a band 
and a field-glass. Last evening we also climbed the 
hill to watch the shelling, but found the view not so 
good as on a quiet hill nearer home. Soon a lady 
began to talk to one of the officers: "It is such folly 


for them to waste their ammunition like that. How 
can they ever take a town that has such advantages 
for defense and protection as this ! We '11 just burrow 
into these hills and let them batter away as hard as 
they please." 

" You are right, madam ; and besides, when our 
women are so willing to brave death and endure dis- 
comfort, how can we ever be conquered ? " 

Soon she looked over with significant glances to 
where we stood, and began to talk at H. 

" The only drawback," she said, " are the contempt- 
ible men who are staying at home in comfort, when 
they ought to be in the army if they had a spark of 

I cannot repeat all, but it was the usual tirade. It is 
strange I have met no one yet who seems to compre- 
hend an honest difference of opinion, and stranger yet 
that the ordinary rules of good breeding are now so 
entirely ignored. As the spring comes one has the 
craving for fresh, green food that a monotonous diet 
produces. There was a bed of radishes and onions in 
the garden that were a real blessing. An onion salad, 
dressed only with salt, vinegar, and pepper, seemed a 
dish fit for a king; but last night the soldiers quartered 
near made a raid on the garden and took them all. 

April 2. — We have had to move, and thus lost our 
cave. The owner of the house suddenly returned and 
notified us that he intended to bring his family back ; 
did n't think there 'd be any siege. The cost of the 
cave could go for the rent. That means he has got 
tired of the Confederacy and means to stay here and 
thus get out of it. This house was the only one to be 


had. It was built by ex-Senator G., and is so large 
our tiny household is lost in it. We use only the lower 
floor. The bell is often rung by persons who take it for 
a hotel and come beseeching food at any price. To-day 
one came who would not be denied. "We do not keep 
a hotel, but would willingly feed hungry soldiers if we 
had the food." " I have been traveling all night, and 
am starving; will pay any price for just bread." I 
went to the dining-room and found some biscuits, and 
set out two, with a large piece of corn-bread, a small 
piece of bacon, some nice syrup, and a pitcher of water. 
I locked the door of the safe and left him to enjoy his 
lunch. After he left I found he had broken open the 
safe and taken the remaining biscuits. 

Aj^r'd 28. — I never understood before the full force 
of those questions — What shall we eat ? what shall we 
drink ? and wherewithal shall we be clothed ? We 
have no prophet of the Lord at whose prayer the meal 
and oil will not waste. Such minute attention must be 
given the wardrobe to preserve it that I have learned 
to darn like an artist. Making shoes is now another 
accomplishment. Mine were in tatters. H. came 
across a moth-eaten pair that he bought me, giviifg ten 
dollars, I think, and they fell into rags when I tried to 
wear them; but the soles were good, and that has 
helped me to shoes. A pair of old coat-sleeves saved — 
nothing is thrown away now — was in my trunk. I cut 
an exact pattern from my old shoes, laid it on the 
sleeves, and cut out thus good uppers and sewed them 
carefully ; then soaked the soles and sewed the cloth to 
them. I am so proud of these home-made shoes, think 
I '11 put them in a glass case when the war is over, as 


au heirloom. H. says he has come to have an abiding 
faith that everything he needs to wear will come out 
of that trunk while the war lasts. It is like a fairy 
casket. I have but a dozen pins remaining, so many 
I gave away. Every time these are used they are 
straightened and kept from rust. All these curious 
labors are performed while the shells are leisurely 
screaming through the air ; but as long as we are out 
of range we don't worry. For many nights we have 
had but little sleep, because the Federal gunboats have 
been running past the batteries. The uproar when this 
is happening is phenomenal. The first night the thun- 
dering artillery burst the bars of sleep, we thought it an 
attack by the river. To get into garments and rush 
up- stairs was the work of a moment. From the upper 
gallery we have a fine view of the river, and soon a red 
glare lit up the scene and showed a small boat, towing 
two large barges, gliding by. The Confederates had 
set fire to a house near the bank. Another night, eight 
boats ran by, throwing a shower of shot, and two burn- 
ing houses made the river clear as day. One of the 
batteries has a remarkable gun they call " Whistling 
Dick," because of the screeching, whistling sound it 
gives, and certainly it does sound like a tortured thing. 
Added to all this is the indescribable Confederate yell, 
which is a soul-harrowiug sound to hear. I have 
gained respect for the mechanism of the human ear, 
which stands it all without injury. The streets are 
seldom quiet at night; even the dragging about of 
cannon makes a din in these echoing gullies. The 
other night we were on the gallery till the last of the 
eight boats got by. Next day a friend said to H., " It 


was a wonder you did n't have your heads taken off 
last night. I passed and saw them stretched over the 
gallery, and grape-shot were whizzing up the street 
just on a level with you." The double roar of batteries 
and boats was so great, we never noticed the whizzing. 
Yesterday the Cincinnati attempted to go by in day- 
light, but was disabled and sunk. It was a pitiful 
sight; we could not see the finale, though we saw her 
rendered helpless. 


Vicksbiirg, May 1, 1863. — It is settled at last that we 
shall spend the time of siege in Vicksburg. Ever since 
we were deprived of our cave, I had been dreading that 
H. would suggest sending me to the country, where his 
relatives lived. As he could not leave his position and 
go also without being conscripted, and as I felt certain 
an army would get between us, it was no j)art of my 
plan to be obedient. A shell from one of the practis- 
ing mortars brought the point to an issue yesterday 
and settled it. Sitting at work as usual, listening to 
the distant sound of bursting shells, apparently aimed 
at the court-house, there suddenly came a nearer ex- 
plosion; the house shook, and a tearing sound was 
followed by terrified screams from the kitchen. I 
rushed thither, but met in the hall the cook's little girl 
America, bleeding from a wound in the forehead, and 
fairly dancing with fright and pain, while she uttered 
fearful yells. I stopped to examine the wound, and her 


mother bounded in, her black face ashy from terror. 
" Oh! Miss v., my child is killed and the kitchen tore 
up." Seeing America was too lively to be a killed sub- 
ject, I consoled Martha and hastened to the kitchen. 
Evidently a shell had exploded just outside, sending 
three or four pieces through. When order was restored 
I endeavored to impress on Martha's mind the necessity 
for calmness and the uselessness of such excitement. 
Looking round at the close of the lecture, there stood a 
group of Confederate soldiers laughing heartily at my 
sermon and the promising audience I had. They chimed 
in with a parting chorus : 

" Yes, it 's no use hollerin', old lady." 

"Oh! H.," I exclaimed, as he entered soon after, 
"America is wounded." 

" That is no news ; she has been wounded by traitors 
long ago." 

" Oh, this is real, living, little black America. I am 
not talking in symbols. Here are the pieces of shell, 
the first bolt of the coming siege." 

"Now you see," he replied, "that this house will 
be but paper to mortar-shells. You must go in the 

The argument was long, but when a woman is ob- 
stinate and eloquent, she generally conquers. I came 
off victorious, and we finished preparations for the 
siege to-day. Hiring a man to assist, we descended 
to the wine-cellar, where the accumulated bottles told 
of the " banquet-hall deserted," the spirit and glow of 
the festive hours whose lights and garlands were dead, 
and the last guest long since departed. To empty 
this cellar was the work of many hours. Then in the 
safest corner a platform was laid for our bed, and in 


another portion one arranged for Martha. The dun- 
geon, as I call it, is lighted only by a trap-door, and is 
so damp it will be necessary to remove the bedding 
and mosquito-bars every day. The next question was 
of supplies. I had nothing left but a sack of rice-flour, 
and no manner of cooking I had heard or invented 
contrived to make it eatable. A column of recipes for 
making delicious preparations of it had been going the 
rounds of Confederate papers. I tried them all; they 
resulted only in brick-bats or sticky paste. H. sallied 
out on a hunt for provisions, and when he returned 
the disproportionate quantity of the different articles 
obtained provoked a smile. There was a hogshead of 
sugar, a barrel of syrup, ten pounds of bacon and peas, 
four pounds of wheat-flour, and a small sack of corn- 
meal, a little vinegar, and actually some spice ! The 
wheat-flour he purchased for ten dollars as a special 
favor from the sole remaining barrel for sale. We 
decided that must be left for sickness. The sack of 
meal, he said, was a case of corruj^tion, through a 
special providence to us. There is no more for sale at 
any price; but, said he, "a soldier who was hauling 
some of the Government sacks to the hospital offered 
me this for five dollars, if I could keep a secret. When 
the meal is exhausted, perhaps we can keep alive on 
sugar. Here are some wax candles; hoard them like 
gold." He handed me a parcel containing about two 
pounds of candles, and left me to arrange my treasures. 
It would be hard for me to picture the memories those 
candles called up. The long years melted away, and I 

Trod again my childhood's track, 
And felt its verv gladness. 


In those childish days, whenever came dreams of 
household splendor or festal rooms or gay illumina- 
tions, the lights in my vision were always wax candles 
burning with a soft radiance that enchanted every 
scene. . . . And, lo! here on this spring day of '63, 
with war raging through the land, I was in a fine 
house, and had my wax candles sure enough ; but, alas ! 
they were neither cerulean blue nor rose-tinted, but 
dirty brown ; and when I lighted one, it spluttered and 
wasted like any vulgar tallow thing, and lighted only 
a desolate scene in the vast handsome room. They 
were not so good as the waxen rope we had made in 
Arkansas. So, with a long sigh for the dreams of 
youth, I return to the stern present in this besieged 
town — my only consolation to remember the old axiom, 
"A city besieged is a city taken," — so if we live 
through it we shall be out of the Confederacy. H. is 
very tired of having to carry a pass around in his 
pocket and go every now and then to have it renewed. 
We have been so very free in America, these restric- 
tions are irksome. 

May 9. — This morning the door-bell rang a startling 
peal. Martha being busy, I answered it. An orderly 
in gray stood with an official envelop in his hand. 

" Who lives here ? " 

"Mr. L." 

Very imperiously — "Which Mr. L.!" 

"Mr. H. L." 

"Is he here?" 


" Where can he be found ? " 

"At the office of Deputy ." 


" I 'm not going there. This is an order from Gen- 
eral Pemberton for you to move out of this house in 
two hours. He has selected it for headquarters. He 
will furnish you with wagons." 

" Will he furnish another house also ? " 

" Of course not." 

" Has the owner been consulted ? " 

" He has not ; that is of no consequence ; it has been 
taken. Take this order." 

" I shall not take it, and I shall not move, as there is 
no place to move to but the street." 

" Then I '11 take it to Mr. L." 

"Very well; do so." 

As soon as Mr. Impertine walked off, I locked, bolted, 
and barred every door and window. In ten minutes 
H. came home. 

" Hold the fort till I 've seen the owner and the gen- 
eral," he said, as I locked him out. 

Then Dr. B.'s remark in New Orleans about the effect 
of Dr. C.'s fine presence on the Confederate officials 
there came to mind. They are just the people to be 
influenced in that way, I thought. I look rather shabby 
now ; I will dress. I made an elaborate toilet, put on 
the best and most becoming dress I had, the richest 
lace, the handsomest ornaments, taking care that all 
should be appropriate to a morning visit ; dressed my 
hair in the stateliest braidsj and took a seat in the par- 
lor ready for the fray. H. came to the window and said : 

"Landlord says, 'Keep them out. Would n't let 
them have his house at any price.' He is just riding 
off to the country and can't help .us now. Now I 'm 
going to see Major C, who sent the order." 


Next came an officer, banged at the door till tired, 
and walked away. Then the orderly came again and 
beat the door — same result. Next, four officers with 
bundles and lunch-baskets, followed by a wagon-load 
of furniture. They went round the house, tried every 
door, peeped in the windows, pounded and rapped, 
while I watched them through the blind-slats. Pres- 
ently the fattest one, a real Falstaffiau man, came back 
to the front door and rang a thundering peal. I saw the 
chance for fun and for putting on their own grandilo- 
quent style. Stealing on tiptoe to the door, I turned 
the key and bolt noiselessly, and suddenly threw wide 
back the door and appeared behind it. He had been 
leaning on it, and nearly pitched forward with an " Oh ! 
what 's this ! ■' Then seeing me as he straightened up, 
" Ah, madam ! " almost stuttering from surprise and 
anger, " are you aware I had the right to break down 
this door if you had n't opened it ? " 

" That would make no difference to me. I 'm not the 
owner. You or the landlord would pay the bill for the 

" Why did n't you open the door f " 

" Have I not done so as soon as you rung ? A lady 
does not open the door to men who beat on it. Gentle- 
men usually ring; I thought it might be stragglers 

"Well," growing much blander, "we are going 
to send you some wagons to move; you must get 

" With pleasure, if you have selected a house for me. 
This is too large ; it does not suit me." 

" No, I did n't find a house for you." 


"You surely don't expect me to run about in the 
dust and shelling to look for it, and Mr. L. is too 

" Well, madam, then we must share the house. We 
will take the lower floor." 

" I prefer to keep the lower floor myself ; you surely 
don't expect me to go up and down stairs when you are 
so light and more able to do it." 

He walked through the hall, trying the doors. "What 
room is that?" "The parlor." "And this!" "My 
bedroom." "And this ? " " The dining-room." 

" Well, madam, we '11 find you a house and then come 
and take this." 

" Thank you, colonel ; I shall be ready when you find 
the house. Good-morning, sir." 

I heard him say as he ran down the steps, " We must 
go back, captain; you see I did n't know they were 
this kind of people." 

Of course the orderly had lied in the beginning to 
scare me, for General P. is too far away from Vicks- 
burg to send an order. He is looking about for General 
Grant. We are told he has gone out to meet John- 
ston ; and together they expect to annihilate Grant's 
army and free Vicksburg forever. There is now a 
general hospital opposite this house, and a smallpox 
hospital next door. AYar, famine, pestilence, and fire 
surround us. Every day the band plays in front of the 
smallpox hospital. I wonder if it is to keep up their 
spirits? One would suppose quiet would be more 

May 17. — Hardly was our scanty breakfast over this 
morning when a hurried ring drew us both to the door. 


Mr. J., one of H.'s assistants, stood there in high ex- 

" Well, Mr. L., they are upon us; the Yankees will be 
here by this evening." 

"What do you mean I" 

"That Pemberton has been whipped at Baker's 
Creek and Big Black, and his army are running back 
here as fast as they can come, and the Yanks after 
them, in such numbers nothing can stop them. Has n't 
Pemberton acted like a fool?" 

"He may not be the only one to blame," replied H. 

"They 're coming along the Big B. road, and my 
folks went down there to be safe, you know; now 
they 're right in it. I hear you can't see the armies 
for the dust; never was anything else known like it. 
But I must go and try to bring my folks back here." 

What struck us both was the absence of that con- 
cern to be expected, and a sort of relief or suppressed 
pleasure. After twelve some worn-out-looking men 
sat down under the window. 

" What is the news ? " I inquired. 

" Ritreat, ritreat ! " they said, in broken English — 
they were Louisiana Acadians. 

About three o'clock the rush began. I shall never 
forget that woeful sight of a beaten, demoralized army 
that came rushing back, — humanity in the last throes 
of endurance. Wan, hollow-eyed, ragged, foot-sore, 
bloody, the men limped along unarmed, but followed 
by siege-guns, ambulances, gun-carriages, and wagons 
in aimless confusion. At twilight two or three bands 
on the court-house hill and other points began playing 
"Dixie," "Bonnie Blue Flag," and so on, and drums 


began to beat all about ; I suppose they were rallying 
the scattered army. 

May 28. — Since that day the regular siege has con- 
tinued. We are utterly cut off from the world, sur- 
rounded by a circle of fire. Would it be wise like the 
scorpion to sting ourselves to death? The fiery shower 
of shells goes on day and night. H.'s occupation, of 
course, is gone; his office closed. Every man has to 
carry a pass in his pocket. People do nothing but eat 
what they can get, sleep when they can, and dodge 
the shells. There are three intervals when the shelling 
stops, either for the guns to cool or for the gunners' 
meals, I suppose, — about eight in the morning, the 
same in the evening, and at noon. In that time we 
have both to prepare and eat ours. Clothing cannot be 
washed or anything else done. On the 19th and 22d, 
when the assaults were made on the lines, I watched 
the soldiers cooking on the green opposite. The half- 
spent balls coming all the way from those lines were 
flying so thick that they were obliged to dodge at every 
turn. At all the caves I could see from my high perch, 
people were sitting, eating their poor suppers at the 
cave doors, ready to plunge in again. As the first shell 
again flew they dived, and not a human being was 
visible. The sharp crackle of the musketry-firing was 
a strong contrast to the scream of the bombs. I think 
all the dogs and cats must be killed or starved: we 
don't see any more pitiful animals prowling around. 
. . . The cellar is so damp and musty the bedding 
has to be carried out and laid in the sun every day, 
with the forecast that it may be demolished at any 
moment. The confinement is dreadful. To sit and 


listen as if waiting for death in a horrible manner 
would drive me insane. I don't know what others do, 
but we read when I am not scril)bling in this. H. 
borrowed somewhere a lot of Dickens's novels, and we 
reread them by the dim light in the cellar. When the 
shelling abates, H. goes to walk about a little or get 
the "Daily Citizen," which is still issuing a tiny sheet 
at twenty-five and fifty cents a copy. It is, of course, 
but a rehash of speculations which amuses a half 
hour. To-day he heard while out that expert swim- 
mers are crossing the Mississippi on logs at night to 
bring and carry news to Johnston. I am so tired of 
corn-bread, which I never liked, that I eat it with. 
tears in my eyes. We are lucky to get a quart of milk 
daily from a family* near who have a cow they houi-ly 
expect to be killed. I send five dollars to market each 
morning, and it buys a small piece of mule-meat. 
Eice and milk is my main food; I can't eat the mule- 
meat. We boil the rice and eat it cold with milk for 
supper. Martha runs the gauntlet to buy the meat 
and milk once a day in a perfect terror. The shells 
seem to have many different names: I hear the sol- 
diers say, "That 's a mortar-shell. There goes a Par- 
rott. That 's a rifle-shell." They are all equally 
terrible. A pair of chimney-swallows have built in 
the parlor chimney. The concussion of the house 
often sends down parts of their nest, which they 
patiently pick up and reascend with. 

Fridaif, June 5. In the cellar. — Wednesday evening 
H. said he must take a little walk, and went while the 
shelling had stopped. He never leaves me alone for 
long, and when an hour had passed without his return 


I grew anxious; and when two hours, and the shelling 
had grown terrific, I momentarily expected to see his 
mangled body. All sorts of horrors fill the mind now, 
and I am so desolate here; not a friend. When he 
came he said that, passing a cave where there were no 
others near, he heard groans, and found a shell had 
struck above and caused the cave to fall in on the 
man within. He could not extricate him alone, and 
had to get help and dig him out. He was badly hurt, 
but not mortally, and I felt fairly sick from the 

Yesterday morning a note was brought H. from a 
bachelor uncle out in the trenches, saying he had been 
taken ill with fever, and could we receive him if he 
came? H. sent to tell him to come, and I arranged 
one of the parlors as a dressing-room for him, and laid 
a pallet that he could move back and forth to the 
cellar. He did not arrive, however. It is our custom 
in the evening to sit in the front room a little while in 
the "dark, with matches and candle held ready in hand, 
and watch the shells, whose course at night is shown 
by the fuse. H. was at the window and suddenly 
sprang up, crying, " Run ! " — " Where f " — ^^Back ! " 

I started through the back room, H. after me. I was 
just within the door when the crash came that threw 
me to the floor. It was the most appalling sensation 
I 'd ever known — worse than an earthquake, which 
I 've also experienced. Shaken and deafened, I picked 
myself up; H. had struck a light to find me. I lighted 
mine, and the smoke guided us to the parlor I had 
fixed for Uncle J. The candles were useless in the 
dense smoke, and it was many minutes before we 


could see. Then we found the entire side of the room 
torn out. The soldiers who had rushed in said, " This 
is an eighty-pound Parrott." It had entered through 
the front, burst on the pallet-bed, which was in tatters; 
the toilet service and everything else in the room 
smashed. The soldiers assisted H. to board up the 
break with planks to keep out prowlers, and we went 
to bed in the cellar as usual. This morning the yard is 
partially plowed by a couple that fell there in the 
night. I think this house, so large and prominent 
from the river, is perhaps taken for headquarters and 
specially shelled. As we descend at night to the lower 
regions, I think of the evening hymn that grandmother 
taught me when a child : 

Lord, keep us safe this night, 

Secui'e from all our fears ; 
May angels guard us while we sleep, 

Till morning light appears. 

Surely, if there are heavenly guardians, we need 
them now. 

Jiinel. {In the cellar.) — There is one thing I feel 
especially grateful for, that amid these horrors we 
have been spared that of suffering for water. The 
weather has been dry a long time, and we hear of 
others dipping up the water from ditches and mud- 
holes. This place has two large underground cisterns 
of good cool water, and every night in my subterra- 
nean dressing-room a tub of cold water is the nerve- 
calmer that sends me to sleep in spite of the roar. One 
cistern I had to give up to the soldiers, who swarm 
about like hungry animals seeking something to de- 


vour. Poor fellows ! my heart bleeds for them. They 
have nothing but spoiled, greasy bacon, and bread 
made of musty pea-flour, and but little of that. The 
sick ones can't bolt it. They come into the kitchen 
when Martha puts the pan of corn-bread in the stove, 
and beg for the bowl she mixed it in. They shake up 
the scrapings with water, put in their bacon, and boil 
the mixture into a kind of soup, which is easier to 
swallow than pea-bread. AVhen I happen in, they look 
so ashamed of their poor clothes. I know we saved 
the lives of two by gi^'ing a few meals. To-day one 
crawled on the gallery to lie in the breeze. He looked 
as if shells had lost their terrors for his dumb and 
famished misery. I 've taught Martha to make first- 
rate corn-meal gruel, because I can eat meal easier that 
way than in hoe-cake, and I fixed him a saucerful, put 
milk and sugar and nutmeg — I 've actually got a nut- 
meg! When he ate it the tears ran from his eyes. 
" Oh, madam, there was never anything so good ! I 
shall get better." 

JiDie 9. — The churches are a great resort for those 
who have no caves. People fancy they are not shelled 
so much, and they are substantial and the pews good 
to sleep in. We had to leave this house last night, 
they were shelling our quarter so heavily. The night 
before, Martha forsook the cellar for a church. We 
went to H.'s office, which was comparatively quiet last 
night. H. carried the bank-box; I the case of matches; 
Martha the blankets and pillows, keeping an eye on 
the shells. We slept on piles of old newspapers. In 
the streets the roar seems so much more confusing, I 
feel sure I shall run right in the way of a shell. They 


seem to have five different sounds from the second of 
throwing them to the hollow echo wandering among 
the hills, and that sounds the most blood-curdling of all. 

June 13. — Shell burst just over the roof this morn- 
ing. Pieces tore through both floors down into the 
dining-room. The entire ceiling of that room fell in a 
mass. We had just left it. Every piece of crockery on 
the table was smashed up. The "Daily Citizen " to-day 
is a foot and a half long and six inches wide. It has a 
long letter from a Federal officer, P. P. Hill, who was 
on the gunboat Cincinnati., that was sunk May 27. 
Says it was found in his floating trunk. The editorial 
says, " The utmost confidence is felt that we can main- 
tain our position until succor comes from outside. The 
undaunted Johnston is at hand," 

June 18. — To-day the "Citizen" is printed on wall- 
paper ; therefore has grown a little in size. It says, 
"But a few days more and Johnston will be here"; 
also that " Kirby Smith has driven Banks from Port 
Hudson," and that "the enemy are throwing incendiary 
shells in." 

June 20. — The gentleman who took our cave came 
yesterday to invite us to come to it, because, he said, 
"it 's going to be very bad to-day." I don't know why 
he thought so. We went, and found his own and 
another family in it; sat outside and watched the 
shells till we concluded the cellar was as good a place 
as that hillside. I fear the want of good food is 
breaking down H. I know from my own feelings of 
weakness, but mine is not an American constitution 
and has a recuperative power that his has not. 

June 21. — I had gone up-stairs to-day during the inter- 


reguum to enjoy a rest ou my bed, and read the reliable 
items in the " Citizen," when a shell burst right outside 
the window in front of me. Pieces flew in, striking all 
around me, tearing down masses of plaster that came 
tumbling over me. When H. rushed in I was crawling 
out of the plaster, digging it out of my eyes and hair. 
When he picked up a piece as large as a saucer beside 
my pillow, I realized my narrow escape. The window- 
frame began to smoke, and we saw the house was on 
fire. H. ran for a hatchet and I for water, and we put 
it out. Another [shell] came crashing near, and I 
snatched up my comb and brush and ran down here. 
It has taken all the afternoon to get the plaster out of 
my hair, for my hands were rather shaky. 

June 25. — A horrible day. The most horrible yet to 
me, because I 've lost my nerve. We were all in the 
cellar, when a shell came tearing through the roof, 
burst up-stairs, tore up that room, and the pieces 
coming through both floors down into the cellar, one 
of them tore open the leg of H.'s pantaloons. This 
was tangible proof the cellar was no i^lace of protec- 
tion from them. On the heels of this came Mr. J. to 
tell us that young Mrs. P. had had her thigh-bone 
crushed. When Martha went for the milk she came 
back horror-stricken to tell us the black girl there had 
her arm taken off by a shell. For the first time I 
quailed. I do not think people who are physically 
brave deserve much credit for it; it is a matter of 
nerves. In this way I am constitutionally brave, 
and seldom think of danger till it is over; and death 
has not the terrors for me it has for some others. 
Every night I had lain down expecting death, and 


every morning rose to tlie same prospect, without 
being unnerved. It was for H. I trembled. But now 
I first seemed to realize that something worse than 
death might come: I might be crippled, and not killed. 
Life, without all one's powers and limbs, was a thought 
that broke down my courage. I said to H., "You 
must get me out of this horrible place; I cannot stay; 
I know I shall be crippled." Now the regret comes 
that I lost control, because H. is worried, and has lost 
his composure, because my coolness has broken down. 
July 1. — Some months ago, thinking it might be 
useful, I obtained from the consul of my birthplace, 
by sending to another town, a passport for foreign 
parts. H. said if we went out to the lines we might 
be permitted to get through on that. So we packed 
the trunks, got a carriage, and on the 30th drove out 
there. General V. offered us seats in his tent. The 
rifle-bullets were whizzing so zip^ zip from the sharp- 
shooters on the Federal lines that involuntarily I 
moved on my chair. He said, "Don't be alarmed; you 
are out of range. They are firing at our mules yon- 
der." His horse, tied by the tent door, was quivering 
all over, the most intense exhibition of fear I 'd ever 
seen in an animal. General V. sent out a flag of truce 
to the Federal headquarters, and while we waited wrote 
on a piece of silk paper a few words. Then he said, 
"My wife is in Tennessee. If you get through the 
lines, send her this. They will search you, so I will 
put it in this toothpick." He crammed the silk paper 
into a quill toothpick, and handed it to H. It was 
completely concealed. The flag-of-truce officer came 
back flushed and angry. "General Grant says no 


human being shall pass out of Vicksburg; but the lady 
may feel sure danger will soon be over. Vicksburg 
will surrender on the 4th." 

"Is that so, general?" inquired H. "Are arrange- 
ments for surrender made?" 

"We know nothing of the kind. Vicksburg will not 

"Those were Greneral G-rant's exact words, sir," said 
the flag-officer. "Of course it is nothing but their 

We went back sadly enough, but to-day H. says he 
will cross the river to General Porter's lines and try 
there; I shall not be disappointed. 

July 3. — H. was going to headquarters for the re- 
quisite pass, and he saw General Pemberton crawling 
out of a cave, for the shelling had been as hot as ever. 
He got the pass, but did not act with his usual caution, 
for the boat he secured was a miserable, leaky one — a 
mere trough. Leaving Martha in charge, we went to 
the river, had our trunks put in the boat, and em- 
barked; but the boat became utterly unmanageable, 
and began to fill with water rapidly. H. saw that we 
could not cross in it, and turned to come back; yet in 
spite of that the pickets at the battery fired on us. H. 
raised the white flag he had, yet they fired again, and 
I gave a cry of horror that none of these dreadful 
things had wrung from me. I thought H. was struck. 
When we landed H. showed the pass, and said that the 
officer had told him the battery would be notified we 
were to cross. The officer apologized and said they 
were not notified. He furnished a cart to get home, 
and to-day we are down in the cellar again, shells 


flying as thick as ever; provisions so nearly gone, 
except the hogshead of sugar, that a few more days 
will bring us to starvation indeed. Martha says rats 
are hanging dressed in the market for sale with mule- 
meat: there is nothing else. The officer at the battery 
told me he had eaten one yesterday. We have tried to 
leave this Tophet and failed, and if the siege continues 
I must summon that higher kind of courage — moral 
bravery — to subdue my fears of possible mutilation. 

July 4. — It is evening. All is still. Silence and night 
are once more united. I can sit at the table in the par- 
lor and write. Two candles are lighted. I would like 
a dozen. We have had wheat supper and wheat bread 
once more. H. is leaning back in the rocking-chair; 
he says : 

" Gr., it seems to me I can hear the silence, and feel it, 
too. It wraps me like a soft garment ; how else can I 
express this peace f " 

But I must write the history of the last twenty-four 
hours. About five yesterday afternoon, Mr. J., H.'s as- 
sistant, who, having no wife to keep him in, dodges 
about at every change and brings us the news, came to 
H. and said : 

" Mr. L., you must both come to our cave to-night. I 
hear that to-night the shelling is to surpass everything 
yet. An assault will be made in front and rear. You 
know we have a double cave ; there is room for you in 
mine, and mother and sister will make a place for Mrs. 
L. Come right up ; the ball will open about seven." 

We got ready, shut up the house, told Martha to go 
to the church again if she preferred it to the cellar, and 
walked up to Mr. J.'s. When supper was eaten, all se- 


cure, and ladies in their cave night toilet, it was just 
six, and we crossed the street to the cave opposite. As 
I crossed a mighty shell flew screaming right over my 
head. It was the last thrown into Vicksburg. "We lay 
on our pallets waiting for the expected roar, but no 
sound came except the chatter from neighboring caves, 
and at last we dropped asleep. I woke at dawn stiff. 
A draft from the funnel-shaped opening had been 
blowing on me all night. Every one was expressing 
surprise at the quiet. We started for home and met 
the editor of the " Daily Citizen." H. said : 

" This is strangely quiet, Mr. L." 

"Ah, sir," shaking his head gloomily, "I 'm afraid (?) 
the last shell has been thrown into Vicksburg." 

" Why do you fear so f " 

"It is surrender. At six last evening a man went 
down to the river and blew a truce signal ; the shelling 
stopped at once." 

When I entered the kitchen a soldier was there wait- 
ing for the bowl of scrapings (they took turns for it). 

"Grood morning, madam," he said; "we won't bother 
you much longer. We can't thank you enough for let- 
ting us come, for getting this soup boiled has helped 
some o'f us to keep alive; but now all this is over." 

" Is it true about the surrender ? " 

"Yes; we have had no official notice, but they are 
paroling out at the lines now, and the men in Vicks- 
burg will never forgive Pemberton. An old granny ! 
A child would have known better than to shut men up 
in this cursed trap to starve to death like useless ver- 
miu." His eyes flashed with an insane fire as he spoke. 
" Have n't I seen my friends carried out three or four 


in a box, that had died of starvation! Nothing else, 
madam ! Starved to death because we had a fool for a 

" Don't you think you 're rather hard on Pemberton? 
He thought it his duty to wait for Johnston." 

" Some people may excuse him, ma'am ; but we '11 
curse him to our dying day. Anyhow, you '11 see the 
blue-coats directly." 

Breakfast despatched, we went on the upper gallery. 
What I expected to see was files of soldiers marching 
in, but it was very different. The street was deserted, 
save by a few people carrying home bedding from 
their caves. Among these was a group taking home 
a little creature born in a cave a few days previous, 
and its wan-looking mother. About eleven o'clock 
a soldier in blue came sauntering along, who looked 
about curiously. Then two more followed him, and 
then another. 

"H., do you think these can be the Federal sol- 
diers ! " 

" Why, yes ; here come more up the street." 

Soon a group appeared on the court-house hill, and 
the flag began slowly to rise to the top of the staff. 
As the breeze caught it, and it sprang out like a live 
thing exultant, H. drew a long breath of contentment. 

" Now I feel once more at home in mine own country." 

In an hour more a grand rush of people setting 
toward the river began, — foremost among them the 
gentleman who took our cave; all were flying as if 
for life. 

"What can this mean, H.l Are the populace turn- 
ing out to greet the despised conquerors!" 


" Oh," said H., springing up, " look ! It is the boats 
coming around the bend." 

Truly, it was a fine spectacle to see that fleet of 
transports sweep around the curve and anchor in the 
teeth of the battery so lately vomiting fire. Presently 
Mr. J. passed and called : 

" Are n't you coming, Mr. L. ? There 's provisions 
on those boats: coffee and floui-. 'First come, first 
served,' you know." 

" Yes, I '11 be there pretty soon," replied H. 

But now the newcomers began to swarm into our 
yard, asking H. if he had coin to sell for greenbacks. 
He had some, and a little bartering went on with the 
new greenbacks. H. went out to get provisions. When 
he returned a Confederate officer came with him. H. 
went to the box of Confederate money and took out 
four hundred dollars, and the officer took off his watch, 
a plain gold one, and laid it on the table, saying, '' We 
have not been paid, and I must get home to my family." 
H. added a five-dollar greenback to the pile, and 
wished him a happy meeting. The townsfolk continued 
to dash through the streets w^ith their arms full, 
canned goods predominating. Toward five, Mr. J. 
passed again. " Keep on the lookout," he said ; " the 
army of occupation is coming along," and in a few 
minutes the head of the column aj)peared. What a 
contrast to the suffering creatures we had seen so long 
were these stalwart, well-fed men, so splendidly set up 
and accoutred! Sleek horses, polished arms, bright 
plumes, — this was the pride and panoply of war! 
Civilization, discipline, and order seemed to enter with 
the measured tramp of those marching columns ; and 


the heart turned with throbs of added pity to the worn 
men in gray, who were being blindly dashed against 
this embodiment of modern power. And now this 
" silence that is golden " indeed is over all, and my 
limbs are unhurt, and I suppose if I were a Catholic, in 
my fervent gratitude I would hie me with a rich offer- 
ing to the shrine of " our Lady of Mercy." 

July 7. — I did not enjoy quiet long. First came 
Martha, who announced her intention of going to 
search for her sons, as she was free now. I was hardly 
able to stand since the severe cold taken in the cave 
that night ; but she would not wait a day. A colored 
woman came in and said she had asked her mistress 
for wages and she had turned her out (wanting a 
place). I was in no condition to stand upon ceremony 
then, and engaged her at once, but hear to-day that I 
am thoroughly pulled to pieces in Vicksburg circles ; 
there is no more salvation for me. Next came two 
Federal officers and wanted rooms and board. To have 
some protection was a necessity ; both armies were 
still in town, and for the past three days every Confed- 
erate soldier I see has a cracker in his hand. There is 
hardly any water in town, no prospect of rain, and the 
soldiers have emptied one cistern in the yard already 
and begun on the other. The colonel put a guard at 
the gate to limit the water given. Next came the 
owner of the house and said we must move; he 
wanted the house, but it was so big he 'd just bring 
his family in ; we could stay till we got one. They 
brought boarders with them too, and children. Men 
are at work all over the house shoveling up the plaster 
before repairing. Up-stairs they are pouring it by 


biicketfuls through the windows. Colonel D. brought 
work for H. to help with from headquarters. Making 
out the paroles and copying them has taken so long 
they wanted help. I am surprised and mortified to 
find that two thirds of all the men who have signed 
made their mark; they cannot write. I never thought 
there was so much ignorance in the South. One of the 
men at headquarters took a fancy to H., and presented 
him with a portfolio that he said he had captured 
when the Confederates evacuated their headquarters at 
Jackson. It contained mostly family letters written in 
French, and a few official papers. Among them was 
the following note, which I will copy here, and file 
away the original as a curiosity when the war is over. 

Headquarters Dept. of Texx. 

Tupelo, Aug. 6, 1862. 

Capt : The Major- General Commanding directs me to say that he 

submits it altogether to your own discretion whether you make the 

attempt to capture General Grant or not. While the exploit would 

be very brilUant if successful, you must remember that failiu-e would 

be disastrous to you and your men. The General commends your 

activity and energy, and expects you to continue to show these 


I am, very respectfully, jt. obt. svt. 

Thomas L. Snead, A. A. G. 

Capt. Geo. L. Baxter, 

Commanding Beauregard Scouts. 

I would like to know if he tried it and came to grief 
or abandoned the project. As letters can now get 
through to New Orleans, I wrote there. 

July 14. — Moved yesterday into a house I call " Fair 
Rosamond's bower " because it would take a clue of 


thread to go through it without getting lost. One 
room has five doors opening into the house, and no 
windows. The stairs are like ladders, and the 
colonel's contraband valet won't risk his neck taking 
down water, but pours it through the windows on 
people's heads. We sha'n't stay in it. Men are at 
work closing up the caves ; they had become hiding- 
places for trash. Vicksburg is now like one vast 
hospital — every one is getting sick or is sick. My cook 
was taken to-day with bilious fever, and nothing but 
will keeps me up. 

July 23. — We moved again two days ago. 

Aug. 20. — Sitting in my easy-chair to-day, looking 
out upon a grassy slope of the hill in the rear of this 
house, I have looked over this journal as if in a dream ; 
for since the last date sickness and sorrow have been 
with me. I feel as if an angry wave had passed over 
me, bearing away strength and treasure. For on one 
day there came to me from New Orleans the news of 
Mrs. B.'s death, a friend whom no tie of blood could 
have made nearer. The next day my beautiful boy 
ended his brief life of ten days, and died in my arms. 
My own illness caused him to perish ; the fatal cold in 
the cave was the last straw that broke down strength. 
The colonel's sweet wife has come, and I do not lack 
now for womanly companionship. She says that with 
such a prenatal experience perhaps death was the best 
for him. I try to think so, and to be glad that H. has 
not been ill, though I see the effects. This book is ex- 
hausted, and I wonder whether there will be more ad- 
ventures by flood and field to cause me to begin 



THE railroad raid to Georgia, in the spring of 1862, 
has always been considered to rank high among 
the striking and novel incidents of the civil war. At 
that time General 0. M. Mitchel, under whose authority 
it was organized, commanded Union forces in middle 
Tennessee, consisting of a division of Buell's army. 
The Confederates were concentrating at Corinth, 
Mississippi, and Grant and Buell were advancing by 
different routes toward that point. Mitchel's orders 
required him to protect Nashville and the country 
around, but allowed him great latitude in the dispo- 
sition of his division, which, with detachments and 
garrisons, numbered nearly seventeen thousand men. 
His attention had long been strongly turned toward 
the liberation of east Tennessee, which he knew that 
President Lincoln also earnestly desired, and which 
would, if achieved, strike a most damaging blow at 
the resources of the rebellion. A Union army once in 
possession of east Tennessee would have the inestim- 
able advantage, found nowhere else in the South, of 
operating in the midst of a friendly population, and 
having at hand abundant supplies of all kinds. 
Mitchel had no reason to believe that Corinth would 


detain the Union armies much longer than Fort Donel- 
son had done, and was satisfied that as soon as that 
position had been captured the next movement would 
be eastward toward Chattanooga, thus throwing his 
own division in advance. He determined, therefore, to 
press into the heart of the enemy's country as far as 
possible, occupying strategical points before they were 
adequately defended and assured of speedy and power- 
ful reinforcement. To this end his measures were 
vigorous and well chosen. 

On the 8th of April, 1862, — the day after the battle 
of Pittsburg Landing, of which, however, Mitchel had 
received no intelligence, — he marched swiftly south- 
ward from Shelbyville, and seized Huntsville in 
Alabama on the 11th of April, and then sent a detach- 
ment westward over the Memphis and Charleston 
Railroad to open railway communication with the 
Union army at Pittsburg Landing. Another detach- 
ment, commanded by Mitchel in person, advanced on 
the same day seventy miles by rail directly into the 
enemy's territory, arriving unchecked with two thou- 
sand men within thirty miles of Chattanooga, — in two 
hours' time he could now reach that point, — the most 
important position in the West. Why did he not go 
on? The story of the railroad raid is the answer. The 
night before breaking camp at Shelbyville, Mitchel sent 
an expedition secretly into the heart of Georgia to cut 
the railroad communications of Chattanooga to the 
south and east. The fortune of this attempt had a 
most important bearing upon his movements, and will 
now be narrated. 

-In the employ of G-eneral Buell was a spy named 



James J. Andrews, who had rendered vahiable services 
in the first year of the war, and had secured the full 
confiidence of the Union commanders. In March, 1862, 
Buell had sent him secretly with eight men to burn 
the bridges west of Chattanooga; but the failure of 
expected cooperation defeated the plan, and Andrews, 
after visiting Atlanta, and inspecting the whole of the 

enemy's lines in that vicinity and northward, had re- 
turned, ambitious to make another attempt. His plans 
for the second raid were submitted to Mitchel, and on 
the eve of the movement from Shelbyville to Hunts- 
ville Mitchel authorized him to take twenty-four men, 
secretly enter the enemy's territory, and, by means of 
capturing a train, burn the bridges on the northern 
part of the Georgia State Railroad, and also one on 
on the East Tennessee Railroad where it approaches 
the Georgia State line, thus completely isolating 
Chattanooga, which was virtually ungarrisoned. 

The soldiers for this expedition, of whom the writer 
was one, were selected from the three Ohio regiments 
belonging to General J. W. Sill's brigade, being simply 


told that they were wanted for secret and very dan- 
gerous service. So far as known, not a man chosen 
declined the perilous honor. Our uniforms were ex- 
changed for ordinary Southern dress, and all arms 
except revolvers were left in camp. On the 7th of 
April, by the roadside about a mile east of Shelbyville, 
in the late evening twilight, we met our leader. Tak- 
ing us a little way from the road, he quietly placed 
before us the outlines of the romantic and adventurous 
plan, which was: to break into small detachments of 
three or four, journey eastward into the Cumberland 
Mountains, then work southward, traveling by rail after 
we were well within the Confederate lines, and finally, 
the evening of the third day after the start, meet 
Andrews at Marietta, Greorgia, more than two hundred 
miles away. When questioned, we were to profess 
ourselves Kentuckians going to join the Southern army. 

On the journey we were a good deal annoyed by the 
swollen streams and the muddy roads consequent on 
three days of almost ceaseless rain. Andrews was led 
to believe that Mitchel's column would be inevitably 
delayed; and as we were expected to destroy the 
bridges the very day that Huntsville was entered, he 
took the responsibility of sending word to our different 
groups that our attempt would be postponed one 
day — from Friday to Saturday, AjDril 12. This was a 
natural but a most lamentable error of judgment. 

One of the men detailed was belated, and did not join 
us at all. Two others were very soon captured by the 
enemy, and though their true character was not 
detected, they were forced into the Southern army, 
and two reached Marietta, but failed to report at the 


rendezvous. Thus, when we assembled very early in 
the morniug in Andrews's room at the Marietta Hotel 
for final consultation before the blow was struck we 
were but twenty, including oui* leader. All preliminary 
difficulties had been easily overcome, and we were in 
good spirits. But some serious obstacles had been 
revealed on our ride from Chattanooga to Marietta the 
previous evening.^ The railroad was found to be 
crowded with trains, and many soldiers were among 
the passengers. Then the station — Big Shanty — at 
which the capture was to be effected had recently been 
made a Confederate camp. To succeed in our enter- 
prise it would be necessary first to capture the engine 
in a guarded camp with soldiers standing around as 
spectators, and then to run it from one to two hundred 
miles through the enemy's country, and to deceive or 
overpower all trains that should be met — a large con- 
tract for twenty men. Some of our party thought the 
chances of success so slight, under existing circum- 
stances, that they urged the abandonment of the whole 
enterprise. But Andrews declared his purpose to 
succeed or die, offering to each man, however, the 
privilege of withdrawing from the attempt — an offer 
no one was in the least disposed to accept. Final 
instructions were then given, and we hurried to the 
ticket-office in time for the northward-bound mail- 
train, and purchased tickets for different stations along 
the line in the direction of Chattanooga, 
Our ride, as passengers, was but eight miles. We 

1 The different' detachments reached the Georgia State Railroad at 
Chattanooga, and traveled as ordiuary passengers on trains running 
southward. — Editor. 


swept swiftly around the base of Keuesaw Mountain, 
and soon saw the tents of the Confederate forces 
camped at Big Shanty gleam white in the morning 
mist. Here we were to stop for breakfast, and attempt 
the seizure of the train. The morning was raw and 
gloomy, and a rain, which fell all day, had already 
begun. It was a painfully thrilling moment. We were 
but twenty, with an army about us, and a long and 
difficult road before us, crowded with enemies. In an 
instant we were to throw off the disguise which had 
been our only protection, and trust to our leader's genius 
and our own efforts for safety and success. Fortun- 
ately we had no time for giving way to reflections and 
conjectures which could only unfit us for the stern 
task ahead. 

Wlien we stopped, the conductor, the engineer, and 
many of the passengers hurried to breakfast, leaving 
the train unguarded. Now was the moment of action. 
Ascertaining that there was nothing to prevent a 
rapid start, Andrews, our two engineers, Brown and 
Knight, and the firemen hurried forward, uncoupling a 
section of the train consisting of three empty baggage 
or box-cars, the locomotive, and the tender. The 
engineers and the firemen sprang into the cab of the 
engine, while Andrews, with hand on the rail and foot 
on the step, waited to see that the remainder of the 
party had gained entrance into the rear box-car. This 
seemed difScult and slow, though it really consumed 
but a few seconds, for the car stood on a considerable 
bank, and the first who came were pitched in by their 
comrades, while these in turn dragged in the others, 
and the door was instantly closed. A sentinel, with 


musket in hand, stood not a dozen feet from the 
engine, watching the whole proceeding ; but before he 
or any of the soldiers or guards around could make up 
their minds to interfere all was done, and Andrews, 
with a nod to his engineer, stepjDed on board. The 
valve was pulled wide open, and for a moment the 
wheels slipped round in raj^id, ineffective revolutions ; 
then, with a bound that jerked the soldiers in the box- 
car from their feet, the little train 4arted away, leaving 
the camp and the station in the wildest uproar and 
confusion. The first step of the enterprise was 
triumphantly accomplished. 

According to the time-table, of which Andrews had 
secured a copy, there were two trains to be met. 
These presented no serious hindrance to our attaining 
high speed, for we could tell just where to expect 
them. There was also a local freight not down on the 
time-table, but which could not be far distant. Any 
danger of collision with it could be avoided by running 
according to the schedule of the captured train until 
it was passed; then at the highest possible speed we 
could run to the Oosteuaula and Chickamauga bridges, 
lay them in ashes, and pass on through Chattanooga 
to Mitchel at Huntsville, or wherever eastward of that 
point he might be found, arriving long before the close 
of the day. It was a brilliant prospect, and so far as 
human estimates can determine it would have been 
realized had the day been Friday instead of Saturday. 
On Friday every train had been on time, the day dry, 
and the road in perfect order. Now the road was in 
disorder, every train far behind time, and two "extras" 
were approaching us. But of these unfavorable condi- 


tions we knew nothing, and pressed confidently for- 

We stopped frequently, and at one point tore up the 
track, cut telegraph wires, and loaded on cross-ties to 
be used in bridge-burning. Wood and water were 
taken without difficulty, Andrews very coolly telling 
the story to which he adhered throughout the run — 
namely, that he was one of General Beauregard's offi- 
cers, running an impressed powder-train through to 
that commander at Corinth. We had no good instru- 
ments for track-raising, as we had intended rather to 
depend upon fire; but the amount of time spent in tak- 
ing up a rail was not material at this stage of our jour- 
ney, as we easily kept on the time of our captured 
train. There was a wonderful exhilaration in passing 
swiftly by towns and stations through the heart of an 
enemy's country in this manner. It possessed just 
enough of the spice of danger, in this part of the run, 
to render it thoroughly enjoyable. The slightest acci- 
dent to our engine, however, or a miscarriage in any 
part of our program, would have completely changed 
the conditions. 

At Etowah we found the " Yonah," an old locomotive 
owned by an iron company, standing with steam up; 
but not wishing to alarm the enemy till the local 
freight had been safely met, we left it unharmed. 
Kingston, thirty miles from the starting-point, was 
safely reached. A train from Rome, Georgia, on a 
branch road, had just arrived and was waiting for 
the morning mail — our train. We learned that the 
local freight would soon come also, and, taking the 
side-track, waited for it. When it arrived, however, 


Andrews saw, to his surprise and chagrin, that it bore 
a red flag, indicating another train not far behind. 
Stepping over to the conductor, he boldly asked: 
"What does it mean that the road is blocked in this 
manner when I have orders to take this powder to 
Beauregard without a minute's delay!" The answer 
was interesting, but not reassuring: " Mitchel has cap- 
tured Huntsville, and is said to be coming to Chatta- 
nooga, and we are getting everything out of there." 
He was asked by Andrews to pull his train a long way 
down the track out of the way, and promptly obeyed. 

It seemed an exceedingly long time before the ex- 
pected " extra " arrived, and when it did come it bore 
another red flag. The reason given was that the 
"local," being too great for one engine, had been made 
up in two sections, and the second section would 
doubtless be along in a short time. This was terribly 
vexatious ; yet there seemed nothing to do but to wait. 
To start out between the sections of an extra train 
would be to coui't destruction. There were already 
three trains around us, and their many passengers and 
others were all growing very curious about the mys- 
terious train, manned by strangers, which had arrived 
on the time of the morning mail. For an hour and 
five minutes from the time of arrival at Kingston we 
remained in this most critical position. The sixteen of 
us who were shut up tightly in a box-car, — person- 
ating Beauregard's ammunition, — hearing sounds out- 
side, but unable to distinguish words, had perhaps the 
most trying position. Andrews sent us, by one of the 
engineers, a cautious warning to be ready to fight in 
case the uneasiness of the crowd around led them to 


make any investigatiou, while he himself kept near the 
station to prevent the sending off of any alarming 
telegram. So intolerable was our suspense, that the 
order for a deadly conflict would have been felt as a 
relief. But the assurance of Andrews quieted the 
crowd until the whistle of the expected train from the 
north was heard; then as it glided up to the depot, 
past the end of our side-track, we were off without 
more words. 

But unexpected danger had arisen behind us. Out 
of the panic at Big Shanty two men emerged, deter- 
mined, if possible, to foil the unknown captors of their 
train. There was no telegraph station, and no loco- 
motive at hand with which to follow ; but the conduc- 
tor of the train, W. A. Fuller, and Anthony Mui-phy, 
foreman of the Atlanta railway machine-shops, who 
happened to be on board of Fuller's train, started on 
foot after us as hard as they could run. Finding a 
hand-car they mounted it and pushed forward till 
they neared Etowah, where they ran on the break we 
had made in the road, and were precipitated down the 
embankment into the ditch. Continuing with more 
caution, they reached Etowah and found the "Yonah," 
which was at once pressed into service, loaded with 
soldiers who were at hand, and hurried with flying 
wheels toward Kingston. Fuller j^repared to fight at 
that point, for he knew of the tangle of extra trains, 
and of the lateness of the regular trains, and did not 
think we should be able to pass. We had been gone 
only four minutes when he arrived and found himself 
stopped by three long, heavy trains of cars, headed in 
the wrong direction. To move them out of the way so 


as to pass would cause a delay lie was little inclined to 
afford — would, indeed, have almost certainly given us 
the victory. So, abandoning his engine, he with Mur- 
phy ran across to the Rome train, and, uncoupling the 
engine and one car, pushed forward with about forty 
armed men. As the Rome branch connected with the 
main road above the depot, he encountered no hin- 
drance, and it was now a fair race. We were not many 
minutes ahead. 

Four miles from Kingston we again stopped and 
cut the telegraph. While trying to take up a rail at 
this point we were greatly startled. One end of the 
rail was loosened, and eight of us were pulling at it, 
when in the distance we distinctly heard the whistle 
of a pursuing engine. With a frantic effort we broke 
the rail, and all tumbled over the embankment with 
the effort. We moved on, and at Adairsville we found 
a mixed train (freight and passenger) waiting, but 
there was an express on the road that had not yet 
arrived. We could afford no more delay, and set out 
for the next station, Calhoun, at terrible speed, hoping 
to reach that point before the express, which was be 
hind time, should arrive. The nine miles which we 
had to travel were left behind in less than the same 
number of minutes. The express was just pulling out, 
but, hearing our whistle, backed before us until we 
were able to take the side-track. It stopped, however, 
in such a manner as completely to close up the other 
end of the switch. The two trains, side by side, almost 
touched each other, and our precipitate arrival caused 
natural suspicion. Many searching questions were 
asked, which had to be answered before we could get the 


opportunity of proceeding. We in the box-car could 
hear the altercation, and were almost sure that a fight 
would be necessary before the conductor would con- 
sent to "pull up" in order to let us out. Here again 
our position was most critical, for the pursuers were 
rapidly approaching. 

Fuller and Murphy saw the obstruction of the 
broken rail in time, by reversing their engine, to pre- 
vent wreck, but the hindrance was for the present 
insuperable. Leaving all their men behind, they 
started for a second foot-race. Before they had gone 
far they met the train we had passed at Adairsville, 
and turned it back after us. At Adairsville they 
dropped the cars, and with locomotive and tender 
loaded with armed men, they drove forward at the 
highest speed possible. They knew that we were not 
many minutes ahead, and trusted to overhaul us before 
the express train could be safely passed. 

But Andrews had told, the powder story again with 
all his skill, and added a direct request in peremptory 
form to have the way opened before him, which the 
Confederate conductor. did not see fit to resist; and 
just before the pursuers arrived at Calhoun we were 
again under way. Stopping once more to cut wires 
and tear up the track, we felt a thrill of exhilaration 
to which we had long been strangers. The track was 
now clear before us to Chattanooga; and even west 
of that city we had good reason to believe that we 
should find no other train in the way till we had 
reached Mitchel's lines. If one rail could now be 
lifted we would be in a few minutes at the Oostenaula 
bridge ; and that burned, the rest of the task would be 


little more than simple manual labor, with the enemy 
absolutely powerless. We worked with a will. 

But in a moment the tables were turned. Not far 
behind we heard the scream of a locomotive bearing 
down upon us at lightning speed. The men on board 
were in plain sight and well armed. Two minutes — 
perhaps one — would have removed the rail at which 
we were toiling; then the game would have been in 
our own hands, for there was no other locomotive 
^beyond that could be turned back after us. But the 
most desperate efforts were in vain. The rail was 
simply bent, and we hurried to our engine and darted 
away, while remorselessly after us thundered the 

Now the contestants were in clear view, and a race 
followed unparalleled in the annals of war. Wishing 
to gain a little time for the burning of the Oostenaula 
bridge, we dropped one car, and, shortly after, another; 
but they were "picked up" and pushed ahead to Resaca. 
We were obliged to run over the high trestles and 
covered bridge at that point without a pause. This 
was the first failure in the work assigned us. 

The Confederates could not overtake and stop us on 
the road; but their aim was to keej) close behind, so 
that we might not be able to damage the road or take 
in wood or water. In the former they succeeded, but 
not in the latter. Both engines were put at the highest 
rate of speed. We were obliged to cut the wire after 
every station passed, in order that an alarm might not 
be sent ahead; and we constantly strove to throw our 
pursuers off the track, or to obstruct the road perma- 
nently in some way, so that we might be able to burn 


the Chickamauga bridges, still ahead. The chances 
seemed good that Fuller and Murphy would be wrecked. 
We broke out the end of our last box-car and dropped 
cross- ties on the track as we ran, thus checking their 
progress and getting far enough ahead to take in wood 
and water at two separate stations. Several times we 
almost lifted a rail, but each time the coming of the 
Confederates within rifle-range compelled us to desist 
and speed on. Our worst hindrance was the rain. 
The previous day (Friday) had been clear, with a high 
wind, and on such a day fire would have been easily 
and tremendously effective. But to-day a bridge could 
be burned only with abundance of fuel and careful 

Thus we sped on, mile after mile, in this fearful 
chase, round curves and past stations in seemingly 
endless perspective. Whenever we lost sight of the 
enemy beyond a curve, we hoped that some of our 
obstructions had been effective in throwing him from 
the track, and that we should see him no more; but at 
each long reach backward the smoke was again seen, 
and the shrill whistle was like the scream of a bird of 
prey. The time could not have been so very long, for 
the terrible speed was rapidly devouring the distance; 
but with our nerves strained to the highest tension 
each minute seemed an hour. On several occasions 
the escape of the enemy from wreck was little less 
than miraculous. At one point a rail was placed across 
the track on a curve so skilfully that it was not seen 
till the train ran upon it at full speed. Fuller says 
that they were terribly jolted, and seemed to bounce 
altogether from the track, but lighted on the rails in 


safety. Some of the Confederates wished to leave a 
train which was driven at such a reckless rate, but 
their wishes were not gratified. 

Before reaching Dalton we urged Andrews to turn 
and attack the enemy, lajdng an ambush so as to get 
into close quarters, that our revolvers might be on 
equal terms with their guns. I have little doubt that 
if this had been carried out it would have succeeded. 
But either because he thought the chance of wrecking 
or obstructing the enemy still good, or feared that the 
country ahead had been alarmed by a telegram around 
the Confederacy by the way of Richmond, Andrews 
merely gave the plan his sanction without making any 
attempt to carry it into execution. 

Dalton was passed without difficulty, and beyond 
we stopped again to cut wires and to obstruct the 
track. It happened that a regiment was encamped not 
a hundred yards away, but they did not molest us. 
Fuller had written a despatch to Chattanooga, and 
dropped a man with orders to have it forwarded in- 
stantly, while he pushed on to save the bridges. Part 
of the message got through and created a wild panic 
in Chattanooga, although it did not materially influ- 
ence our fortunes. Our supply of fuel was now very 
short, and without getting rid of our pursuers long 
enough to take in more, it was evident that we could 
not run as far as Chattanooga. 

While cutting the wire we made an attempt to get 
up another rail; but the enemy, as usual, were too 
quick for us. We had no tool for this purpose except 
a wedge-pointed iron bar. Two or three bent iron 
claws for pulling out spikes would have given us such 


incontestable superiority that, down to almost the last 
of our run, we should have been able to escape and 
even to burn all the Chickamauga bridges. But it had 
not been our intention to rely on this mode of obstruc- 
tion — an emergency only rendered necessary by our 
unexpected delay and the pouring rain. 

We m^de no attempt to damage the long tunnel 
north of Dalton, as our enemies had greatly dreaded. 
The last hope of the raid was now staked upon an 
effort of a kind different from any that we had yet 
made, but which, if successful, would still enable us to 
destroy the bridges nearest Chattanooga. But, on the 
other hand, its failure would terminate the chase. 
Life and success were put upon one throw. 

A few more obstructions were dropped on the track, 
and our own speed increased so that we soon forged 
a considerable distance ahead. The side and end 
boards of the last car were torn into shreds, all avail- 
able fuel was piled upon it, and blazing brands were 
brought back from the engine. By the time we ap- 
proached a long, covered bridge a fire in the car 
was fairly started. We uncoupled it in the middle 
of the bridge, and with painful suspense waited the 
issue. Oh for a few minutes till the work of conflagra- 
tion was fairly begun ! There was still steam pressure 
enough in our boiler to carry us to the next wood-yard, 
where we could have replenished our fuel by force, if 
necessary, so as to run as near to Chattanooga as was 
deemed prudent. We did not know of the telegraph 
message which the pursuers had sent ahead. But, 
alas! the minutes were not given. Before the bridge 
was extensively fired the enemy was upon us, and we 


moved slowly onward, looking back to see what they 
would do next. We had not long to conjecture. The 
Confederates pushed right into the smoke, and drove 
the burning car before them to the next side-track. 

With no car left, and no fuel, the last scrap having 
been thrown into the engine or upon the burning car, 
and with no obstruction to drop on the track, our 
situation was indeed desperate. A few minutes only 
remained until our steed of iron which had so well 
served us would be powerless. 

But it might still be possible to save ourselves. If 
we left the train in a body, and, taking a direct course 
toward the Union lines, hurried over the mountains at 
right angles with their course, we could not, from the 
nature of the country, be followed by cavalry, and 
could easily travel — athletic young men as we were, 
and fleeing for life — as rapidly as any pursuers. There 
was no telegraph in the mountainous districts west 
and northwest of us, and the prospect of reaching the 
Union lines seemed to me then, and has always since 
seemed, very fair. Confederate pursuers with, whom I 
have since conversed freely have agreed on two points 
— that we could have escaped in the manner here 
pointed out, and that an attack on the pursuing train 
would likely have been successful. But Andrews 
thought otherwise, at least in relation to the former 
plan, and ordered us to jump from the locomotive one 
by one, and, dispersing in the woods, each endeavor to 
save himself. Thus ended the Andrews railroad raid. 

It is easy now to understand why Mitchel paused 
thirty miles west of Chattanooga. The Andrews 
raiders had been forced to stop eighteen miles south of 


the same town, and no flying train met him with the 
expected tidings that all railroad communications of 
Chattanooga were destroyed, and that the town was in 
a panic and undefended. He dared advance no farther 
without heavy reinforcements from Pittsburg Landing 
or the north; and he probably believed to the day of 
his death, six months later, that the whole Andrews 
party had perished without accomplishing anything, 

A few words will give the sequel to this remarkable 
enterprise. There was great excitement in Chattanooga 
and in the whole of the surrounding Confederate 
territory for scores of miles. The hunt for the fugitive 
raiders was prompt, energetic, and completely success- 
ful. Ignorant of the country, disorganized, and far 
from the Union lines, they strove in vain to escape. 
Several were captured the same day on which they 
left the cars, and all but two within a week. Even 
these two were overtaken and brought back when they 
supposed that they were virtually out of danger. Two 
of those who had failed to be on the train were 
identified and added to the band of prisoners. 

Now follows the saddest part of the story. Being in 
citizens' dress within an enemy's lines, the whole party 
were held as spies, and closely and vigorously guarded. 
A court-martial was convened, and the leader and 
seven others out of the twenty-two were condemned 
and executed. The remainder were never brought to 
trial, probably because of the advance of Union forces, 
and the consequent confusion into which the affairs of 
the departments of east Tennessee and Georgia were 
thrown. Of the remaining fourteen, eight succeeded 
by a bold effort — attacking their guard in broad day- 



light — in making their escape from Atlanta, Georgia, 
and ultimately in reaching the North. The other six 
who shared in this effort, but were recaptured, re- 
mained prisoners until the latter part of March, 1863, 
when they were exchanged through a special arrange- 
ment made with Secretary Stanton. All the survivors 
of this expedition received medals and promotion.' 
The pursuers also received expressions of gratitude 
from their fellow-Confederates, nitably from the gov- 
ernor and the legislature of Geoi^a. 

1 Below is a list of the partici- 
pants in the raid: 

James J. Andrews,* leader ; Wil- 
liam Campbell,* a civnlian who 
volunteered to accompany the 
raiders; George D. Wilson,* Com- 
pany B, 2d Ohio Volunteers ; Marion 
A. Ross,* Company A, 2d Ohio 
Volunteers; Perry G. Shadrack,* 
Company K, 2d Ohio Volunteers ; 
Samuel Slavens,* 33d Ohio Volun- 
teers; Samuel Robinson,* Company 
G, 33d Ohio Volunteers ; John Scott,* 
Company K, 21st Ohio Volunteers; 
Wilson W. Brown,t Company F, 21st 
Ohio Volunteers; William Knight,t 
Company E, 21st Ohio Volunteers ; 
Mark Wood,t Company C, 21st Ohio 
Volunteers; James A. Wilson,! 
Company C, 21st Ohio Volunteers ; 

John Wollam,t Company C, 33d Ohio 
Volunteers ; D. A. Dorsey,t Company 
H, 33d Ohio Volunteers; Jacob 
Parrott,t Company K, 33d Ohio 
Volunteers ; Robert Buffum,t Com- 
pany H, 21st Ohio Volunteers-; 
William Benzinger,t Company G, 
21st Ohio Volunteers; William Red- 
dick,t Company B, 33d Ohio Volun- 
teers; E. H. Mason, { Company K, 
21st Ohio Volunteers ; William Pit- 
tenger,t Company G, 2d Ohio Vol- 

J. R. Porter, Company C, 21st Ohio, 
and Martin J. Hawkins, Company 
A, 33d Ohio, reached Marietta, but 
did not get on board of the' train. 
They were captured and imprisoned 
with their comrades. 
* Executed, f Escaped. J Exchanged. 



DURING the early stages of the war between the 
States, the Confederate Congress enacted a statute 
known as the Partizan Ranger Act, which provided for 
independent bodies of cavahy to be organized as other 
government troops. The officers were to be regularly 
commissioned and the men to be paid like other 
soldiers. The distinctive features were, that the 
rangers should operate independently of the regular 
army and be entitled to the legitimate spoil captured 
from the enemy. 

While John S. Mosby was employed as a scout by 
General J. E. B. Stuart, he had concluded that a com- 
mand organized and operated as contemplated by this 
act could do great damage to the enemy guarding that 
portion of Northern Virginia abandoned by the Con- 
federate armies. But the partizan branch of the service 
having been brought into disrepute by the worse than 
futile efforts of others, his superior officers at first 
refused him permission to engage in so questionable 
an enterprise. Finally, however, General Stuart gave 
Mosby a detail of nine men from the regular cavalry 
with which to experiment. 

At that time the two main armies operating in 
Virginia were confronting each other near Fredericks- 


burg. To protect their lines of communication with 
Washington, the Federals had stationed a considerable 
force across the Potomac, with headquarters at Fairfax 
Court-house. They also established a complete cordon 
of pickets from a point on the river above Washington 
to a point below, thus encompassing many square miles 
of Virginia territory. Upon these outposts Mosby 
commenced his operations. The size of his command 
compelled him to confine his attacks to the small 
details made nightly for picket duty. But he was so 
uniformly successful that when the time came for him 
to report back to Greneral Stuart, that officer was so 
pleased with the experiment that he allowed Mosby 
to select fifteen men from his old regiment and re- 
turn, for an indefinite period, to his chosen field of 

His first exploits had been so noised abroad that the 
young men from the neighboring counties and the sol- 
diers at home on furloughs would request permission to 
join in his raids. He could easily muster fifty of these, 
known as "Mosby's Conglomerates," for any expedition. 
The opportunity for developing his ideas of border 
warfare was thus presented. With great vigor he 
renewed his attacks upon the Federal outposts. As a 
recognition of one of his successful exploits, the Con- 
federate government sent him a captain's commission 
with authority to raise a company of partizan rangers. 
The material for this was already at hand, and on 
June 10, 1862, he organized his first company. This 
was the nucleus around which he subsequently shaped 
his ideal command. The fame of his achievements had 
already spread throughout Virginia and Maryland, and 


attracted to his standard many kindred spirits from 
both States. No conscripting was necessary. Those 
for whom this mode of warfare possessed a charm 
would brave hardship and danger for the privilege of 
enlisting under his banner. His recruits from Marj^- 
land, and many of those from Virginia, were compelled 
to pass through the Federal pickets in order to join his 
command. Yet great care had to be exercised in the 
selection of his men, and not every applicant was 
received. If an unworthy soldier procured admission, 
so soon as the mistake was discovered he was sent 
under guard as a conscript to the regular service. 

Mosby reserved the right to select all of his officers, 
who were invariably chosen from those who had 
already demonstrated their fitness for this particular 
service. It has been said of a great military hero that 
the surest proof of his genius was his skill in finding 
out genius in others, and his promptness in calling it 
into action. Mosby, in his limited sphere, displayed 
a similar talent, and to this faculty, almost as much 
as any one thing, may be attributed his success 
with his enlarged command. When a sufficient num- 
ber of men had enlisted to form a new company, he 
would have them drawn up in line and his adjutant 
would read to them the names of those selected for 
officers, with the announcement that all who were not 
in favor of their election could step out of the ranks 
and go to the regular service. Of course no one ever 
left. In order to comply with the law, the form of an 
election was then gone through with, and their com- 
mander's choice ratified. In no other body of troops 
were all the officers thus unanimously electedo 


Mosby's command, as finally organized, consisted of 
eight companies of cavalry and one of mounted artil- 
lery, officered by a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, and a 
major, with the usual complement of company officers. 
But the entire force was seldom combined. Instead of 
this, they would be divided into two or more detach- 
ments operating in different places. So it was not at all 
unusual for an attack to be made the same night upon 
Sheridan's line of transportation in the valley, upon 
the pickets guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 
upon the outposts in Fairfax County, and upon the 
rear of the army manoeuvering against Lee. This 
explains — what at the time seemed to many of the 
readers of the Northern newspapers a mystery — how 
Mosby's men could be in so many different places at 
the same time. The safety and success of the Rangers 
were enhanced by these subdivisions, the Federals 
having become so alert as to make it extremely diffi- 
cult for a large command either to evade their pickets 
or manoeuver within their lines. From fifty to one 
hundred men were all that were usually marched 
together, and many of their most brilliant successes 
were achieved with even a smaller force. Mosby had 
only twenty men with him when he captured Brig- 
adier-General Edwin H. Stoughton. With these he 
penetrated the heart of the Federal camp, and carried 
off its commander. General Stoughton was in charge 
of an army of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, with 
headquarters at Fairfax Coui*t-house. One dark night 
in March, 1863, Mosby, with this small detachment, 
evaded the Federal pickets, passed through the sleep- 
ing army, and with their camp-fires gleaming all 


around him, and their sentinels on duty, aroused their 
general from his slumbers, and took him captive with 
thirty-seven of his comrades. 

But the novelty of Mosby's mode of warfare con- 
sisted chiefly in the manner of subsisting, quartering, 
and protecting his men. The upper portion of Lou- 
doun and Fauquier counties, embracing a circuit of 
about thirty miles in diameter, was then known as 
"Mosby's Confederacy." By a glance at the map it 
will be observed that it bordered upon the Blue 
Ridge Mountains on the west, and the Bull Run Moun- 
tains on the east. The valley between is one of the 
richest, most beautiful, and highly cultivated in the 
State of Virginia. It was thickly inhabited with old 
Virginia families, who were loyal and true to the 
Southern cause. These people received Mosby's men 
into their houses as their guests, and neither danger 
nor want could tempt their betrayal. Robin Hood's 
band sought safety in the solitudes of Sherwood 
Forest, Marion's men secreted themselves "in the 
pleasant wilds of Snow's Island" and other South 
Carolina swamps, but the Partizan Rangers of Vir- 
ginia protected themselves by dispersing in an open 
country among a sympathizing people. They never 
established a camp ; to have done so would have 
invited capture. Each soldier had his boarding-house, 
where he lived when off duty, as a member of the 
family. From these they would come, singly or in 
groups, bringing their rations with them to some 
designated rendezvous, march rapidly to and from the 
point of attack, send their prisoners under guard to 
the nearest Confederate post, divide the spoil, and dis- 


perse. If they were pursued by an overwhelming 
force, as was frequently the case, the evening found 
them scattered to the four winds, where each man, 
mounted upon his own fleet steed, could protect him- 
self from capture. If the Federals attempted to follow 
the chase in small parties, the Rangers, from behind 
every hill and grove, would concentrate and dash upon 
them. If they marched in solid column, the Rangers 
would hang upon their flanks, firing upon them from 
behind trees, fences, and hilltops. In this way. General 
Julius Stahel, who had invaded Mosby's Confederacy 
with two brigades of cavaky and four pieces of artil- 
lery for the avowed purpose of utterly demolishing the 
Rangers, was so annoyed that he retired, thoroughly 
disgusted with an enemy "who only fought when 
they got their foe at a disadvantage." 

As there were no civil officers commissioned by 
either party in all that section of Virginia, the people 
naturally turned to Mosby as their only representative 
of law and order. It was not unusual for them to sub- 
mit their property controversies to him for decision. 
In this way he acquired a civil jurisdiction in connec- 
tion with his military dictatorship. Being a lawyer by 
profession, educated at the University of Virginia, his 
civil administration became as remarkable for its pru- 
dence and justice as his military leadership was for 
magnanimity and dash. I heard an old citizen remark, 
"For two years Mosby was our ruler, and the country 
never was better governed." He protected the people 
from stragglers and deserters, who pillaged friend and 
foe alike. Every captured horse-thief was promptly 
executed. He required his own men to treat the citi- 


Zens with fairness and courtesy, and any violation of 
this rule was punished by sending the offender to the 
regular service. Its observance was more easily en- 
forced than would appear possible at first glance. The 
men were scarcely ever off duty, except for neces- 
sary rest. The officers were then distributed among 
them, and by their example and authority controlled, 
when necessary, the deportment of their men. The 
citizens with whom they lived also exercised a healthy 
influence over them. These relations engendered many 
attachments that ran like golden threads through the 
soldier's life and outlived the rough usages of war. 

It thus became no easy matter to drive the Rangers 
from a territory so dear to them, and in which they 
were befriended by all. On two occasions the entire 
Federal army operating against General Lee passed 
through Mosby's Confederacy, and yet his men did not 
abandon it. They hid themselves in the mountains 
during the day, and descended upon the enemy at night. 
They thus observed every movement of the Federal 
army, and all valuable information was promptly sent to 
the Confederate general. On one of these occasions, 
June 17, 1863, Mosby found himself at ten o'clock at 
night between the infantry and cavalry commands 
of General Hooker's army. Observing three horses 
hitched near a house, with an orderly standing by, he 
left his command with the prisoners already captured, 
and taking with him three men, rode up to the orderly 
and was informed by him that the horses belonged to 
Major William R. Sterling and another officer. In a 
whisper he said to the orderly: 

" My name is Mosby. Keep quiet ! " 


The man understood him to say that he (the orderly) 
was " Mosby," and very indignantly replied : 

" No, sir, I am as good a Union man as ever walked 
the earth." 

" Those are just the sort I am after," said Mosby. 

Just then the two officers emerged from the house. 
As they approached, one of the Rangers stretched out 
his hand to disarm the major. Supposing him to 
be an acquaintance, Major Sterling offered his hand 
in retm-n, but was overwhelmed with surprise when 
informed that he was a prisoner. Upon examination 
he was found to be the bearer of important despatches 
from Greneral Hooker to his chief of cavalry, General 
Pleasonton. These despatches, which developed the 
contemplated movements of the army and directed the 
cooperation of the cavalry, were placed in General 
Stuart's hands by dawn of day. On this and many 
similar occasions information furnished by the Rangers 
proved invaluable to the Confederate generals. 

But furnishing information was not the most im- 
portant service they rendered. It has been fairly 
estimated that they detained on guard duty thirty 
thousand Federal soldiers, who otherwise might have 
been employed at the front. Even then the Federal 
lines of transportation were constantly being attacked, 
with more or less success. It was impossible to protect 
them against such reckless activity as the Rangers were 
constantly displajdug. No matter how vigilant the 
Federals were, Mosby was sure to find an opportunity 
for attacking. Sometimes his success would lie in the 
very boldness of the attempt. This was never more 
strikingly illustrated than in one of his attacks upon 


Sheridan's line of transportation. The Federal army 
which had driven Greneral Early up the valley beyond 
Winchester was drawing its supplies over the turnpike 
from Harper's Ferry. Mosby, taking a command of 
five companies of cavalry and two mountain how- 
itzers, — numbering two hundred and fifty men, — 
passed at night across the Blue Ridge, and fording the 
Shenandoah, halted a few miles below Berryville. 
Riding out to the turnpike, he discovered in his imme- 
diate front two large trains parked for the night — one 
going toward the army loaded, the other returning 
empty. He determined to capture the former, com- 
posed of one hundred and fifty wagons. At daybreak 
it commenced to move, guarded by a brigade of in- 
fantry and two hundred and fifty cavalry. The train 
and its guard were soon strung along the turnpike. 
The cavalry rode on the flank near the center, a 
company of infantry marched in front of each tenth 
wagon, and the remaining force was distributed be- 
tween the rear- and advance-guards. It was a bright 
summer morning, and just as the sun was rising the 
Rangers marched across the open fields and halted 
about four hundred yards from the road, and within 
full view of the moving train. Observing the Fed- 
eral cavalry dismounted across the road a quarter of 
a mile to his left, Mosby sent two companies of his 
cavalry and one howitzer, with orders to take a position 
immediately opposite them and there await the sig- 
nal of attack, which was to be three shots fired from 
the howitzer left behind. This detachment did not 
halt until it was within seventy-five yards of the 
moving train. Of course the Federals observed all 

mosby's "PAKTIZAN KANGEKS" 111 

these manoeuvers, but were misled by their very bold- 
ness; they never imagined but what this new force 
was a part of their own army. So when the first shot, 
which fell short, was fired from the howitzer, several of 
their of&cers rode to the eminence not more than thirty 
steps in front of the detached Confederate squadron, 
and lifting their glasses to their eyes, prepared to wit- 
ness what they supposed to be artillery practice. Just 
then the second shell from the howitzer burst in the 
midst of their cavalry, who, supposing it had been fired 
in that direction through mistake, hastily prepared to 
move beyond range. Immediately the rebel yell was 
raised, and the squadron dashed at the Federals, 
scattering them in every direction, and capturing the 
officers with their glasses still in their hands. Turning 
abruptly to the left, the Rangers charged along the 
road, riding over company after company of infantry 
until checked by a volley from the advance-guard. At 
the same time another squadron had struck the turn- 
pike immediately in front of their first position, and 
turning to the right, had ridden down everything 
between them and the rear-guard. Then, with one 
howitzer plajang upon the advance- and the other upon 
the rear-guard, the Rangers rapidly collected their 
prisoners, unhitched the teams, and burned the wagons. 
When reinforcements reached the Federals they de- 
ployed their skirmishers and advanced in line of battle, 
only to see the Rangers riding over the hills in the dis- 
tance, taking with them three hundred prisoners, seven 
hundred mules and horses, and two hundred and thirty 
beef-cattle. But the rejoicing of the Rangers was 
almost turned into chagrin when they learned from the 


Northern papers that one of the wagons from which 
they had taken the mules was loaded with an iron safe 
containing one million dollars to pay off the army. 
Upon reading it, Mosby dropped the paper with a sigh, 
exclaiming, " There 's a cool million gone after it was 
fairly earned! "What other man could sustain such 
losses with so little embarrassment?" 

But this failure of the Eangers to secure their 
"earnings" did not always attend them. Shortly after 
that they collected a sufficient amount of "dues" to 
enable them to determine upon greenbacks as the 
future currency of their Confederacy. It happened 
in this wise. Taking with him seventy-five men, 
Mosby crossed, at an early hour of the night, in rear 
of Sheridan's army, and struck the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad above Harper's Ferry, near Dufiield 
Station. Here they prized up one side of the track 
to a height of four feet, placing a secure foundation 
under it. Soon the night express came rushing along. 
The engine upset, and the train came to a stand 
without serious injury to the passengers. Immediately 
the cars were boarded, and every one in Federal 
uniform captured. Among the prisoners were two 
paymasters. Majors Moore and Ruggles, who had in 
a satchel and tin box $168,000, in greenbacks, to pay 
off the troops stationed along the road. Securing 
this rich booty, the Rangers burned the cars and re- 
passed Sheridan's pickets before the day had dawned. 
The money was divided upon reaching their Con- 
federacy, each man receiving something over two 
thousand dollars, Mosby taking nothing. 

Only the men who participated in a particular raid 



hai the plan — the deten- 
otbn of troops that would 
h)therwise strengthen Rose- 
slrans in the decisive bat- 
rae to be fought south of 




\ c/C/LY. 1863. 

RailJioads thus . 
Zine of Raid . . 

\0 20 30 40 50 

the Tennessee. He contended, moreover, that a raid 
into Indiana and Ohio, the more especially as im- 
portant political elections were pending there, would 
cause troops to be withdrawn from Eosecrans and 
Burnside for the protection of those States. But 
General Bragg refused permission to cross the Ohio, 
and instructed Morgan to make the raid as originally 

Some weeks previous to this conference, by Morgan's 
direction I had sent competent men to examine the 
fords of the upper Ohio. He had even then contem- 
plated such an expedition. It had long been his 
conviction that the Confederacy could maintain the 
struggle only by transferring hostilities and waging 


war, whenever opportunity offered, on Northern soil. 
Upon his return from this interview he told me what 
had been discussed, and what were General Bragg's 
instructions. He said that he meant to disobey them ; 
that the emergency, he believed, justified disobedience. 
He was resolved to cross the Ohio River and invade 
Indiana and Ohio. His command would probably be 
captured, he said ; but in no other way could he give sub- 
stantial aid to the army. General Bragg had directed 
Morgan to detail two thousand men for the expedition. 
From the two brigades commanded respectively by 
myself and Colonel Adam R. Johnson, Morgan selected 
twenty-four hundred and sixty of the best-mounted 
and most effective. He took with him four pieces of 
artillery — two 3- inch Parrotts, attached to the First 
Brigade, and two 12-pounder howitzers, attached to 
the Second. 

I should state that Morgan had thoroughly planned 
the raid before he marched from Tennessee. He meant 
to cross the Cumberland in the vicinity of Burkesville, 
and to march directly across Kentucky to the nearest 
point at which he could reach the Ohio west of Louis- 
ville, so closely approaching Louisville as to compel 
belief that he meant to attempt its capture. Turning 
to the right after entering Indiana, and marching as 
nearly due east as possible, he would reduce to a mini- 
mum the distance necessary to be covered, and yet 
threaten and alarm the population of the two States as 
completely as by penetrating deeply into them; more 
so, indeed, for pursuing this line he would reach the 
immediate vicinity of Cincinnati and excite fears for 
the safety of that city. While he intended to prolong 


the raid to the uttermost, he proposed to be at no time 
far from the Ohio, so that he might avail himself of 
an opportunity to recross. On reaching the borders of 
Pennsylvania, he intended, if General Lee should be in 
that State, to make every effort to join him; failing in 
that, to make his escape through West Virginia. In- 
formation he had gotten about the fords of the upper 
Ohio had induced him to indicate Buffington's Island 
as the point where he would attempt to recross that 
stream. He deemed the passage of the Cumberland 
one of the four chief difficulties of the expedition that 
might prove really dangerous and insuperable; the 
other three were the passage of the Ohio, the circuit 
around Cincinnati, and the recrossing of the Ohio. 

Before noon on the 2d of July my brigade began to 
cross the Cumberland at Burkesville and at Scott's 
Ferry, two miles higher up the stream. The river, 
swollen by heavy and long-continued rains, was pour- 
ing down a volume of water which overspread its 
banks and rushed with a velocity that seemed to defy 
any attempt to stem it. Two or three canoes lashed 
together and two small flats served to transport the 
men and the field-pieces, while the horses were made 
to swim. Many of them were swept far down by the 
boiling flood. This process was necessarily slow, as 
well as precarious. Colonel Johnson, whose brigade 
was crossing at Turkey Neck Bend, several miles below 
Burkesville, was scarcely so well provided with the 
means of ferriage as myself. About 3 p. m. the enemy 
began to threaten both brigades. Had these demon- 
strations been made earlier, and vigorously, we could 
not have gotten over the river. Fortunately by this 


time we had taken over the 6th Kentucky and 9th 
Tennessee of my brigade — aggregating nearly six hun- 
dred men — and also the two pieces of artillery. These 
regiments were moved beyond Burkesville and placed 
in a position which served all the purposes of an am- 
buscade. When the enemy approached, one or two 
volleys caused his column to recoil in confusion. Gen- 
eral Morgan instantly charged it with Quirk's scouts 
and some companies of the 9th Tennessee, and not 
only prevented it from rallying, but drove it all the 
way back to Marrowbone, entering the encampment 
there with the trooi3s he was i^ursuing in a pell-mell 
dash. He was soon driven back, however, by the 
enemy's infantry and artillery. 

The effect of this blow was to keep the enemy quiet 
for the rest of the day and night. The forces threaten- 
ing Colonel Johnson were also withdrawn, and we both 
accomplished the passage of the river without further 
molestation. That night the division marched out on 
the Columbia road and encamped about two miles 
from Burkesville. On the next day Judah concentrated 
the three brigades of his cavalry command in that 
region, while orders were sent to all the other Federal 
detachments in Kentucky to close in upon our line 
of march. 

General Bragg had sent with the expedition a large 
party of commissaries of subsistence, who were directed 
to collect cattle north of the Cumberland and drive 
them, guarded by one of our regiments, to Tullahoma. 
I have never understood how he expected us to be able, 
under the circumstances, to collect the cattle, or the 
foragers to drive them out. The commissaries did not 



attempt to carry out their instructions, but followed 
us the entire distance and pulled up in prison. They 
were gallant fellows and made no complaint of danger 
or hardship, seeming rather to enjoy it. 




There was one case, however, which excited uni- 
versal pity. An old farmer and excellent man, who 
lived near Sparta, had accompanied us to Burkesville ; 
that is, he meant to go no farther, and thought we 


would not. He wished to procure a barrel of salt, as 
the supply of that commodity was exhausted in his 
part of the country. He readily purchased the salt, 
but learned, to his consternation, that the march to 
Burkesville was a mere preliminary canter. He was 
confronted with the alternative of going on a dan- 
gerous raid or of returning alone through a region 
swarming with the fierce bushwhackers of " Tinker 
Dave" Beattie, who never gave quarter to Confederate 
soldier or Southern sympathizer. He knew that if 
he fell into their hands they would pickle him with 
his own salt. So this old man sadly yet wisely re- 
solved to follow the fortunes of Morgan. He made 
the grand tour, was hurried along day after day 
through battle and ambush, dragged night after night 
on the remorseless march, ferried over the broad Ohio 
under fire of the militia and gunboats, and lodged 
at last in a "loathsome dungeon." On one occasion, 
in Ohio, when the home guards were peppering us in 
rather livelier fashion than usual, he said to Captain 
C. H. Morgan, with tears in his voice: "I sw'ar if I 
would n't give all the salt in Kaintucky to stand once 
more safe and sound on the banks of Calfkiller Creek." 
Pushing on before dawn of the 3d, we reached Co- 
lumbia in the afternoon. The place was occupied by 
a detachment of Colonel Frank Wolford's brigade, 
which was quickly driven out. Encamping that 
evening some eight miles from Columbia, we could 
hear all night the ringing of the axes near Green 
River bridge, on the road from Columbia to Campbells- 
ville. Three or four hundred of the 25th Michigan 
Infantry were stationed at the bridge to protect it; 



but the commander, Colonel Orlando H. Moore, de- 
liberately quitting the elaborate stockade erected near 
the bridge, — in which nine officers out of ten would 
have remained, but where we could have shelled him 
into surrender without losing a man ourselves, — se- 
lected one of the strongest natural positions I ever saw, 
and fortified it skilfully although simply. The Green 
River makes here an immense horseshoe sweep, with 
the bridge at the toe of the horseshoe; and more than 
a mile south of it was the point where Colonel Moore 
elected to make his fight. The river there wound back 
so nearly upon its previous course that the peninsula, 
or "neck," was scarcely a hundred yards wide. This 
narrow neck was also very short, the river bending 
almost immediately to the west again. At that time 
it was thickly covered with trees and undergrowth, and 
Colonel Moore, felling the heaviest timber, had con- 
structed a formidable abatis across the narrowest part 
of it. Just in front of the abatis there was open 
ground for perhaps two hundred yards. South of the 
open was a deep ravine. The road ran on the east side 
of the cleared place, and the banks of the river were 
high and precipitous. The center of the open space 
rose into a swell, sloping gently away both to the 
north and south. On the crest of the swell Moore had 
thrown up a slight earthwork, which was manned 
when we approached. An officer was promptly de- 
spatched with a flag to demand his surrender. Colonel 
Moore responded that an officer of the United States 
ought not to surrender on the Fourth of July, and 
he must therefore decline. Captain " Ed " Byrne had 
planted one of the Parrott guns about six hundred 



yards from the earthwork, and on the return of the 
bearer of the flag opened fire, probing the work with 
a round shot. One man in the trench was killed by 
this shot, and the others ran back to the abatis. 

Colonel Johnson, whose brigade was in advance, 
immediately dashed forward with the 3d and 11th 
Kentucky to attack the main position. Artillery could 
not be used, for the guns could bear upon the abatis 
only from the crest of which I have spoken, and if 
posted there the cannoneers, at the very short range, 
would not have been able to serve their pieces. The 
position could be won only by direct assault. The 
men rushed up to the fallen timber, but became en- 
tangled in the network of trunks and branches, and 
were shot down while trying to climb over or push 
through them. I reinforced Johnson with a part of 
Smith's regiment, the 5th Kentucky, but the jam and 
confusion incident to moving in so circumscribed an 
area and through the dense undergrowth broke the 
force of the charge. The enemy was quite numerous 
enough to defend a line so short and strong and 
perfectly protected on both flanks. We had not more 
than six hundred men actually engaged, and the 
fighting lasted not longer than fifteen or twenty min- 
utes. Our loss was about ninety, nearly as many 
killed as wounded. Afterward we learned that Colonel 
Moore's loss was six killed and twenty-three wounded. 
When General Morgan ordered the attack he was not 
aware of the strength of the position ; nor had he 
anticipated a resistance so spirited and so skilfully 
planned. He reluctantly drew off without another 
assault, convinced that to capture the abatis and its 


defenders would cost him half his command. Among 
the killed were Colonel D. W. Chenault and Captain 
Alexander Treble of the 11th Kentucky, Lieutenant 
Robert Cowan of the 3d, and Major Thomas Y. Brent, 
Jr., and Lieutenants Holloway and Ferguson of the 
5th. These officers were all killed literally at the 
muzzles of the rifles. 

Colonel Moore's position might easily have been 
avoided; indeed, we passed around it immediately 
afterward, crossing the river at a ford about two miles 
below the bridge. Morgan assailed it merely in accor- 
dance with his habitual policy when advancing of at- 
tacking all in his path except very superior forces. 

On the same afternoon Captain William M. Magenis, 
assistant adjutant-general of the division, a valuable 
officer, was murdered by a Captain Murj^hy, whom he 
had placed under arrest for robbing a citizen. Murphy 
made his escape from the guard two or three days sub- 
sequently, just as the court-martial which was to have 
tried him was convening. 

On the morning of July 5th the column reached Leb- 
anon, which was garrisoned by the 20tli Kentucky In- 
fantry, commanded by Colonel Charles S. Hanson. 
The 8th and 9th Michigan Cavalry and the 11th Michi- 
gan Battery, under command of Colonel James I. 
David, were approaching by the Danville road to rein- 
force the garrison, necessitating a large detachment to 
observe them. Morgan's demand for surrender having 
been refused, artillery fire was directed upon the rail- 
road depot and other buildings in which the enemy 
had established himself; but, as the Federals endured 
it with great firmness, it became necessary to carry the 


town by assault. Our loss was some forty in killed 
and wounded, including several excellent officers. One 
death universally deplored was that of the Oeneral's 
brother, Lieutenant Thomas H. Morgan. He was a 
bright, handsome, and very gallant lad of nineteen, 
the favorite of the division. He was killed in front of 
the 2d Kentucky in the charge upon the depot. The 
Federal loss was three killed and sixteen wounded, and 
three hundred and eighty were prisoners. 

Without delay we passed through Springfield and 
Bardstowu, crossing the Louisville and Nashville Rail- 
road at Lebanon Junction, thirty miles from Louisville, 
on the evening of the 6th. At Springfield two com- 
panies of about ninety men were sent toward Har- 
rodsburg and Danville to occupy the attention of the 
Federal cavahy in that quarter. From Bardstown, Cap- 
tain W. C. Davis, acting assistant adjutant-general of 
the First Brigade, was sent with a detachment of one 
hundred and thirty men to scout in the vicinity of 
Louisville, to produce the impression that the city was 
about to be attacked, and to divert attention from the 
passage of the Ohio by the main body at Brandenburg. 
He was instructed to cross the river somewhere east 
of Louisville and to rejoin the column on its line of 
march through Indiana. He executed the first part 
of the program perfectly, but was unable to get across 
the river. Tapping the wires at Lebanon Junction,, 
we learned from intercepted despatches that the garri- 
son at Louisville was much alarmed, and in expecta- 
tion of an immediate attack. 

The detachments I have just mentioned, with some 
smaller ones previously sent off on similar service. 


aggregated not less than two hundred and sixty men 
permanently separated from the division ; which, with a 
loss in killed and wounded, in Kentucky, of about one 
hundred and fifty, had reduced our effective strength, 
at the Ohio, by more than four hundred. 

The rapid and constant marching already began to 
tell upon both horses and men, but we reached the 
Ohio at Brandenburg at 9 a. m. on the 8th. Captains 
Samuel Taylor and H. C. Meriwether of the 10th Ken- 
tucky had been sent forward the day before, with 
their companies, to capture steamboats. We found 
them in possession of two large craft. One had been 
surprised at the wharf, and steaming out on her, they 
had captured the other. Preparations for crossing 
were begun ; but, just as the first boat was about to 
push off, an unexpected musketry fire was opened 
from the Indiana side by a party of home-guards col- 
lected behind some houses and haystacks. They were 
in pursuit of Captain Thomas H. Hines, who had that 
morning returned from Indiana to Kentucky, after 
having undertaken a brief expedition of his own. 
This fire did no harm, the river here being eight hun- 
dred or a thousand yards wide. But in a few minutes 
the bright gleam of a field-piece spouted through the 
low-hanging mist on the farther bank. Its shell 
pitched into a group near the wharf, severely wound- 
ing Captain W. H. Wilson, acting quartermaster of 
the First Brigade. Several shots from this piece fol- 
lowed in quick succession, but it was silenced by 
Lieutenant Lawrence with, his Parrotts. The 2d Ken- 
tucky and 9th Tennessee were speedily ferried over 
without their horses, and forming under the bluff 



they advanced upon the militia, which had retired 
to a wooded ridge some six hundred yards from the 
river-bank, abandoning the gun. The two regiments 
were moving across some open ground, toward the 
ridge, sustaining no loss from the volleys fired at 
them, and the boats had scarcely returned for further 
service when a more formidable enemy appeared. A 
gunboat, the JElh, steamed rapidly round the bend, and 
began firing alternately upon the troops in the town 
and those already across. The situation was now ex- 
tremely critical. We could not continue the ferriage 
while this little vixen remained, for one well-directed 
shot would have sent either of the boats to the bottom. 
Delay was exceedingly hazardous, affording the enemy 
opportunity to cut off the regiments we had already 
sent over, and giving the cavalry in pursuit of us time 
to come up. If forced to give up the attempt to cross 
the river, we must also abandon our comrades on the 
other side. So every piece of artillery was planted 
and opened on the gunboat, and after an hour or two 
of \4gorous cannonading she was driven off. Bv mid- 
night all our troops were over. 

About noon of the 9th the column reached the little 
town of Corydon, Indiana, which proved not nearly so 
gentle as its name. Our advance-guard, commanded 
by Colonel R. C. Morgan, found a body of militia there, 
ensconced behind stout barricades of fence rails, 
stretching for some distance on each side of the road. 
Colonel Morgan charged the barricade, his horses could 
not leap it, the militia stood resolutely, and he lost six- 
teen men. A few dismounted skirmishers thrown 
upon the flanks, and a shot or two from one of the 


pieces which accompanied the advance-guard, quickly 
dispersed them, however, and we entered the town 
without further resistance. 

Our progress, quite rapid in Kentucky, was now 
accelerated, and we were habitually twenty-one hours 
out of the twenty-four in the saddle, very frequently 
not halting at night or going into camp at all. For 
the first three or four days we saw nothing of the 
inhabitants save in their character as militia, when 
they forced themselves on our attention much more 
frequently than we desired. The houses were entirely 
deserted. Often we found the kitchen fire blazing, the 
keys hanging in the cupboard lock, and the chickens 
sauntering about the yard with a confidence which 
proved that they had never before seen soldiers. 

As the first scare wore off, however, we found the 
women and children remaining at home, while the men 
went to the muster. When a thirsty cavalryman rode 
up to a house to inquire for buttermilk, he was gen- 
erally met by a buxom dame, with a half-dozen or 
more small children peeping out from her volumi- 
nous skirts, who, in response to a question about 
the "old man," would say: "The men hev all gone to 
the 'rally'; you '11 see 'em soon." We experienced lit- 
tle difficulty in procuring food for man and horse. 
Usually upon our raids it was much easier to obtain 
meat than bread. But in Indiana and Ohio we always 
found bread ready baked at every house. In Ohio, 
on more than one occasion, in deserted houses we 
found pies, hot from the oven, displayed upon tables 
conveniently spread. The first time that I witnessed 
this sort of hospitality was when I rode up to a house 


where a party of my men were stauding around a 
table garnished as I have described, eyeing the pies 
hungrily, but showing no disposition to touch them. 
I asked, in astonishment, why they were so abstinent. 
One of them replied that they feared the pies might 
be poisoned. I was quite sure, on the contrary, that 
they were intended as a propitiatory offering. I have 
always been fond of pies, — these were of luscious 
apples, — so I made the spokesman hand me one of the 
largest, and proceeded to eat it. The men watched me 
vigilantly for two or three minutes, and then, as I 
seemed much better after my repast, they took hold 

The severe marching made an exchange of horses a 
necessity, though as a rule the horses we took were 
very inferior to the Kentucky and Tennessee stock we 
had brought with us, and which had generally a large 
infusion of thoroughbred blood. The horses we im- 
pressed were for the most part heavy, sluggish beasts, 
barefooted and grass-fed, and gave out after a day or 
two, sometimes in a few hours. A strong provost 
guard, under Major Steele of the 3d Kentucky, had 
been organized to prevent the two practices most pre- 
judicial to discipline and efficiency — straggling and 
pillage. There were very good reasons, independent of 
the provost guard, why the men should not straggle 
far from the line of march ; but the well-filled stores 
and gaudy shop-windows of the Indiana and Ohio 
towns seemed to stimulate, in men accustomed to im- 
poverished and unpretentious Dixie, the propensity to 
appropriate beyond limit or restraint. I had never 
before seen anything like this disposition to plunder. 


Our perilous situation only seemed to render the men 
more reckless. At the same time, anything more 
ludicrous than the manner in which they indulged 
their predatory tastes can scarcely be imagined. The 
weather was intensely warm, — the hot July sun 
burned the earth to powder, and we were breathing 
superheated dust, — yet one man rode for three days 
with seven pairs of skates slung about his neck; 
another loaded himself with sleigh-bells. A large chaf- 
ing-dish, a medium-sized Dutch clock, a green glass 
decanter with goblets to match, a bag of horn buttons, 
a chandelier, and a bird-cage containing three canaries 
were some of the articles I saw borne off and jealously 
fondled. The officers usually waited a reasonable pe- 
riod, until the novelty had worn off, and then had this 
rubbish thrown away. Baby shoes and calico, how- 
ever, were the staple articles of appropriation. A 
fellow would procure a bolt of calico, carry it carefully 
for a day or two, then cast it aside and get another. 

From Corydon our route was via Salem, Vienna, 
Lexington, Paris, Vernon, Dupont, and Sumanville to 
Harrison, near the Ohio State line and twenty-five 
miles from Cincinnati. Detachments were sent to 
Madison, Versailles, and other points, to bm^n bridges, 
bewilder and confuse those before and behind us, and 
keep bodies of military stationary that might other- 
wise give trouble. All were drawn in before we 
reached Harrison. At this point Morgan began dem- 
onstrations intended to convey the impression that he 
would cross the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Rail- 
road at Hamilton. He had always anticipated difficulty 
in getting over this road ; fearing that the troops from 


Kentucky would be concentrated at or near Cincinnati, 
and that every effort would be made to intercept him 
there. If these troops lined the railroad and were judi- 
ciously posted, he knew it would be extremely difficult 
to elude them or cut his way through them. He be- 
lieved that if he could pass this ordeal safely, the suc- 
cess of the expedition would be assured, unless the 
river should be so high that the boats v/ould be able 
to transport troops to intercept him at the upper 

After remaining at Harrison two or three hours, and 
sending detachments in the direction of Hamilton, he 
moved with the entire column on the Hamilton road. 
But as soon as he was clear of the town, he cut the 
telegrai)h-wires — previously left intact with the hope 
that they might be used to convey intelligence of his 
apparent movement toward Hamilton — and, turning 
across the country, gained the direct road to Cincin- 
nati. He hoped that, deceived by his demonstrations 
at Harrison, the larger part of the troops at Cincinnati 
would be sent to Hamilton, and that it would be too 
late to recall them when his movement toward Cin- 
cinnati was discovered. He trusted that those re- 
maining would be drawn into the city, under the 
impression that he meant to attack, leaving the way 
clear for his rapid transit. He has been c*'iticized 
for not attempting the capture of Cincinnati, but he 
had no mind to involve his handful of wearied men in 
a labyrinth of streets. We felt very much more at 
home amid rural surroundings. But if he had taken 
Cincinnati, and had safely crossed the river there, the 
raid would have been so much briefer, and its principal 




object to that extent defeated by the release of the 
troops pursuing us. 

We reached the environs of Cincinnati about ten 
o'clock at night, and were not clear of them until after 
daybreak. My brigade was marching in the rear, and 
the guides were with General Morgan in the front. 
The continual straggling of some companies in the 
rear of Johnson's brigade caused me to become sepa- 
rated from the remainder of the column by a wide gap, 
and I was for some time entirely ignorant of what di- 
rection I should take. The night was pitch-dark, and I 
was compelled to light torches and seek the track of 
the column by the foam dropped from the mouths of 
the horses and the dust kicked up by their feet. At 
every halt which this groping search necessitated, 
scores of tired men would fall asleep and drop out of 
their saddles. Daylight appeared after we had crossed 
all of the principal suburban roads, and were near the 
Little Miami Railroad. I never welcomed the fresh, 
invigorating air of morning more gratefully. That 
afternoon we reached Williamsburg, twenty-eight 
miles east of Cincinnati. 

The Ohio militia were more numerous and aggi'es- 
sive than those of Indiana. We had frequent skir- 
mishes with them dail}^, and although hundreds were 
captured, they resumed operations as soon as they 
were turned loose. What excited in us more astonish- 
ment than all else we saw were the crowds of able- 
bodied men. The contrast with the South, drained of 
adult males to recruit her armies, was striking, and 
suggestive of anything but confidence on our part in 
the result of the struggle. 


At Piketon we learned that Vicksburg had fallen, 
and that General Lee, having been repulsed at Gettj^s- 
biirg, had retreated across the Potomac. Under the 
circumstances this information was peculiarly disheart- 
ening. As we approached Pomeroy the militia began 
to embarrass our march by felling trees and erecting 
barricades across the roads. In passing near that town 
we were assailed by regular troops, — as we called the 
volunteers, in contradistinction to the militia, — and 
forced a passage only by some sharp fighting. At 1 
p. M. on the 18th we reached Chester, eighteen miles 
from Buffington's Island. A halt here of nearly two 
hours proved disastrous, as it caused us to arrive at 
the river after nightfall, and delayed any attempt at 
crossing until the next morning, Morgan thoroughly 
appreciated the importance of crossing the river at 
once, but it was impossible. The darkness was intense, 
we were ignorant of the ford and without guides, and 
were encumbered with nearly two hundred wounded, 
whom we were unwilling to abandon. By instruction 
I placed the 5th and 6th Kentucky in position to 
attack, as soon as day broke, an earthwork command- 
ing the ford, and which we learned was mounted with 
two guns and manned by three hundred infantry. At 
dawn I moved upon the work, and found it had been 
evacuated and the guns thrown over the bluff. Press- 
ing on a few hundred yards to reconnoiter the Pome- 
roy road, we suddenly encountered the enemy. It 
proved to be General Judah's advance. The 5th and 
6th Kentucky instantly attacked and dispersed it, 
taking a piece of artillery and forty or fifty prisoners, 
and inflicting some loss in killed and wounded. 


The position in which we found ourselves, now that 
we had light enough to examine the ground, was any- 
thing but favorable. The valley we had entered, about 
a mile long and perhaps eight hundred yards wide at 
its southern extremity, — the river running here nearly 
due north and south, — gradually narrows, as the ridge 
which is its western boundary closely approaches the 
river-bank, until it becomes a mere ravine. The 
Chester road enters the valley at a point about equi- 
distant from either end. As the 5th Kentucky fell 
back that it might be aligned on the 6th Kentucky, 
across the southern end of the valley, into which 
Judah's whole force was now pouring, it was charged 
by the 8th and 9th Michigan and a detachment of the 
5th Indiana. A part of the 5th Kentucky was cut off 
by this charge, the gun we had taken was recaptured, 
and our Parrotts also fell into the hands of the enemy. 
They were so clogged with dust, however, as to be 
almost unserviceable, and their ammunition was ex- 
pended. Bringing up a part of the 2d Kentucky, 
I succeeded in checking and driving back the regi- 
ments that first bore down on us, but they were 
quickly reinforced and immediately returned to the 
attack. In the mean time Colonel Johnson's videttes 
on the Chester road had been driven in, and the cav- 
alry under Hobson, which had followed us throughout 
our long march, deployed on the ridge, and attacked on 
that side. I sent a courier to General Morgan, advis- 
ing that he retreat up the river and out of the valley 
with all the men he could extricate, while Colonel 
Johnson and I, with the troops already engaged, would 
endeavor to hold the enemy in check. The action was 


soon hot from both directions, and the gunboats, 
steaming up the river abreast of us, commenced shell- 
ing vigorously. We were now between three assail- 
ants. A sharp artillery fire was opened by each, and 
the peculiar formation we were compelled to adopt 
exposed us to a severe cross-fire of small arms. 

We were in no condition to make a successful or 
energetic resistance. The men were worn out and de- 
moralized by the tremendous march, and the fatigue 
and lack of sleep for the ten days that had elapsed 
since they had crossed the Ohio. Having had no op- 
portunity to replenish their cartridge-boxes, they were 
almost destitute of ammunition, and after firing two or 
three rounds were virtually unarmed. To this fact is 
attributable the very small loss our assailants sustained. 
Broken down as we were, if we had been supplied with 
cartridges we could have piled the ground with Judah's 
men as they advanced over the open plain into the 
valley. As the line, seeking to cover the withdrawal 
of the troops taken off by General Morgan, was rolled 
back by the repeated charges of the enemy, the strag- 
glers were rushing wildly about the valley, with bolts 
of calico streaming from their saddles, and changing 
direction with every shrieking shell. When the rear- 
guard neared the northern end of the valley, — out of 
which Greneral Morgan with the greater part of the 
command had now passed, — and perceived that the 
only avenue of escape was through a narrow gorge, a 
general rush was made for it. The Michigan regi- 
ments dashed into the mass of fugitives, and the gun- 
boats swept the narrow pass with grape. All order 
was lost in a wild tide of flight. 


About seven hundred were captured here, and per- 
haps a hundred and twenty killed and wounded. 
Probably a thousand men got out with General Mor- 
gan. Of these some three hundred succeeded in 
swimming the river at a point twenty miles above 
Buffington, while many were drowned in the attempt. 
The arrival of the gunboats prevented others from 
crossing. General Morgan had gotten nearly over, 
when, seeing that the bulk of his command must 
remain on the Ohio side, he returned. For six more 
days Morgan taxed energy and ingenuity to the ut- 
most to escape the toils. Absolutely exhausted, he 
surrendered near the Pennsylvania line, on the 26th 
day of July, with three hundred and sixty-four men. 

The expedition was of immediate benefit, since a 
part of the forces that would otherwise have harassed 
Bragg's retreat and swollen Rosecrans's muster-roll at 
Chickamauga were carried by the pursuit of Morgan so 
far northward that they were kept from participating 
in that battle. 

But Morgan's cavalry was almost destroyed, and his 
prestige impaired. Much the larger number of the 
captured men lingered in the Northern prisons until 
the close of the war. That portion of his command 
which had remained in Tennessee became disinte- 
grated ; the men either were incorporated in other 
organizations, or, attracted by the fascinations of 
irregular warfare, were virtually lost to the service. 
Morgan, after four or five months' imprisonment in 
the Ohio penitentiary, effected an escape which has 
scarcely a parallel for ingenuity and daring. He 
was received in the South enthusiastically. The 


authorities at Eichmoud seemed at first to share the 
popular sympathy and admn^ation. But it soon be- 
came apparent that his infraction of discipHne in 
crossing the Ohio was not forgiven. Placed for a short 
time in practical command of the Department of South- 
western Virginia, he was given inadequate means for 
its defense, and bound with instructions which ac- 
corded neither with his temperament nor with his sit- 
uation. The troops he commanded were not, like his 
old riders, accustomed to his methods, confident in his 
genius, and devoted to his fortunes. He attempted 
aggressive operations with his former energy and self- 
reliance, but not with his former success. He drove 
out of West Virginia two invading columns, and then 
made an incursion into the heart of Kentucky — known 
as his last Kentucky raid — in the hope of anticipat- 
ing and deterring a movement into his own territory. 
Very successful at first, this raid ended, too, in disaster. 
After capturing and dispersing Federal forces in the 
aggregate much larger than his own, he encountered 
at Cynthiana a vastly superior force, and was defeated. 
Two months later, September 4, 1864, he was killed at 
Grreeneville, Tennessee, while advancing to attack the 
Federal detachments stationed in front of Knoxville. ^ 

1 E. W. Doran of Greeneville, residence in town. At this time 

Tenn., gives the following partic- Captain Robert C. Carter, in com- 

ulars of General Morgan's death : mand of a company of Colonel 

Crawford's regiment, was stationed 

General Morgan came to Greene- three or four miles north of the 

ville on September 3, and stationed town. He got accurate information 

his troops on a hill overlooking the of Morgan's whereabouts, and sent 

town from the east, while he and a messenger at once to General A. 

his staff were entertained at the C. Gillem, at Bull's Gap, sixteen 

'' Williams Mansion," the finest miles distant. This message was 


The remnant of his old command served during the 
gloomy winter of 1864-65 in the region where their 
leader met death, fighting often on the same ground. 
When Eichmond fell, and Lee surrendered, they 
marched to join Joseph E. Johnston. After his capit- 
ulation they were part of the escort that guarded 
Jefferson Davis in his aimless retreat from Charlotte, 
and laid down their arms at Woodville, Greorgia, by 
order of John C. Breckinridge, when the armies of the 
Confederacy were disbanded, and its President became 
a fugitive. 



WHEN it was known at Indianapolis that Gen- 
eral Morgan, with a large force, had crossed 
the Ohio, the city was panic-stricken. The State had 

iutrusted to John Davis and two they arrived about daylight, and 

other young men of his company, surrounded the house where Morgan 

who rode through a fearful storm, was. He ran out, without waiting 

picking their way by the lightning- to dress, to conceal himself in the 

flashes and arriving there some time shrubbery and grape arbors, but 

before midnight. Other messages was seen from the street and shot 

were probably sent to Gillem that by Andrew G. Campbell, a private 

night from Greeneville, but this in the 13th Tennessee. Campbell 

was the first received. The report was promoted to a lieutenancy, 

usually given in the histories to the Morgan's body was afterward se- 

effeet that Mrs. Joseph Williams cured by his friends and given 

carried the news is not correct, as decent burial. But little firing was 

she was known to be in an opposite done by either army ; and after 

direction several miles, and knew Morgan was killed his forces 

nothing of the affair. In an hour marched out of town while the 

after the message was delivered Union forces marched in, in easy 

Gillem's forces were hurrying on range of each other, yet not a shot 

their way to Greeneville, where was fired on either side. 


been literally depleted of troops to assist Kentucky, 
and everybody knew it. The very worst was appre- 
hended — that railways would be cut up, passenger 
and freight trains robbed, bridges and depots burned, 
our arsenal pillaged, two thousand Confederate prison- 
ers at Camp Morton liberated, and Jeffersonville, with 
all its Government stores, and possibly Indianapolis 
itself, destroyed. 

Nor was this all. It had been reported, and partly 
believed, as afterward indeed proved to be the fact, 
that the State was literally undermined with rebel 
sympathizers banded together in secret organizations. 
The coming of Morgan had been looked for, and his 
progress through Kentucky watched with consider- 
able anxiety. It was gloomily predicted that hun- 
dreds, perhaps thousands, of "Knights of the Golden 
Circle" and of "Sons of Liberty" would flock to his 
standard and endeavor to carry the State over to the 

Morgan probably had fair reason to believe that 
his ranks would be at least largely recruited in the 
southern counties of Indiana. The governor of In- 
diana, Oliver P. Morton, went to work with all his 
tremendous energy and indomitable will, in the face 
of the greatest opposition that had been encountered 
in any Northern State, amounting, just before, almost 
to open rebellion. He proclaimed martial law, 
though not in express terms, and ordered out the 
"Legion," or militia, and called upon the loyal citi- 
zens of the State to enroll themselves as minute-men, 
to organize and report for arms and for martial duty. 
Thousands responded to the call within twenty-four 


hours — many within two hours/ Everything possible 
was done by telegraph, until the lines were cut. Some 
arms were found in the State Arsenal, and more, with 
accoutrements and ammunition, together with whole 
batteries of artillery, were procured from Chicago and 
St. Louis. 

The disposition of the State levies that came throng- 
ing in was left to me as fast as they were armed. The 
three great junctions of the Ohio and Mississippi Rail- 
road in Indiana, over which troops and supplies were 
shipped from all points to Rosecrans at Chattanooga, — 
viz., Mitchell, Seymour, and Vernon, — were first to be 
made secure; for surely Morgan must have some mili- 
tary objectives, and these appeared to be the most 
likely. The westerly junction was Mitchell. This 
was quickly occupied and guarded by General James 
Hughes, with Legion men, reinforced by the new 
organizations rising in that quarter. Seymour was 
the most central, and lay directly on the road to Cin- 
cinnati and Indianapolis from Louisville; and at Sey- 
mour a brigade was assembled from the center of 
the State, with General John Love, a skilful old army 
officer, to command it, with instructions to have an 
eye to Vernon likewise. To this last point Burnside 
ordered a battery from Cincinnati; and what few 

1 According to the report of the out ; many of them refused pay, yet 

adjutant-general of Indiana, 30,000 $232,000 were disbursed for services 

militia assembled within thirty-six during the raid. It would appear, 

hours, and about the time Morgan therefore, that 120,000 militia took 

was leaving the State 65,000 men the field against Morgan, in addi- 

were in the field. In Ohio, accord- (;ion to the three brigades of General 

ing to a report made to the adju- Judah's United States cavalry. — 

tant-general, 55,000 militia turned Editor. 


troops I had in Michigan, though half organized, came 
down to Vernon and to G-eneral Love. Besides these 
thus rendezvoused, the people of the southern counties 
were called upon to bushwhack the enemy, to obstruct 
roads, to guard trains, bridges, etc., and to make them- 
selves generally useful and pestiferous. 

Our militia first came in contact with the enemy 
opposite Brandenburg, where he crossed; but it made 
the stand at Corydon Junction, where the road runs 
between two abrupt hills, across which Colonel Lewis 
Jordan threw up some light intrenchments. Morgan's 
advance attempted to ride over these "rail-piles" rough- 
shod, but lost some twenty troopers unhorsed. They 
brought up their reserve and artillery, flanked, and 
finally surrounded Colonel Jordan, who, after an hour's 
resolute resistance, surrendered. 

This gave the raiders the town, and the citizens the 
first taste of Morgan's style, which somewhat disgusted 
the numerous class of Southern sj^'mpathizers. The 
shops were given up to plunder, and the ladies levied 
on for meals for the whole command. 

Throwing out columns in various directions, Morgan 
pushed for Mitchell, where no doubt he expected to 
cut the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, got as far as 
Salem in that direction, captured or dispersed a few 
squads of badly armed minute-men who were guarding 
depots and bridges, which he bui'ned, and doubtless 
hearing from his scouts, sent out in citizens' clothes, 
of Hughes's force collected at Mitchell, "he discreetly 
turned off northeastward, apparently aiming next for 
Seymour. This I heard with great satisfaction. 

The panic at Indianapolis began to subside. Still I 


felt uneasy for Seymour, as I next heard of Morgan 
at Vienna, where he tapped the telegraph-lines and 
learned what he could of all our plans to catch him. 
He came within nine miles of Seymour. Greneral Love 
sent out a reconnaissance of sharpshooters under 
Colonel C. V. De Laud, with a couple of field-pieces. 
They found that Morgan had turned off eastward. 
Love divined his object, and started De Land and two 
Indiana regiments of militia for Vernon. Here Morgan 
next turned up, planted his Parrotts, and demanded 
surrender. He was defied until Love's arrival with 
the rest of his militia, and then he swept off in a hurry 
from Vernon, followed by our men, who captured his 
pickets and rear-guard, but who, having no cavalry, 
were soon outmarched. 

Morgan secured a great advantage by seizing all the 
horses within reach,^ leaving none for the militia or 
for General E. H. Hobson, which enabled him to gain 
on his pursuers, and he would then have left Hobson 
far out of sight but for the home guard, who ob- 
structed the roads somewhat, and bushwhacked his 
men from every hedge, hill, or tree, when it could be 
done. But the trouble was that we could not attack 
him with sufficient organized numbers. 

After he left Vernon we felt safe at Indianapolis. 
" Defensive sites " were abandoned, and the banks 

1 General J. M. Sehaekelf ord says head of each regiment, on each side 

in his official report : ''Our pursuit of the road, to go five miles into 

was much retarded by the enemy's the country, seizing every horse, 

burning all the bridges in our front, and then fall in at the rear of the 

He had every advantage. His sys- column. In this way he swept 

tem of horse-stealing was perfect, the country for ten miles of all 

He would despatch men from the the horses." — Editor. 


brought back their deposits which they had sent off 
by express to Chicago and the North. Some fears, or 
hopes, were entertained as to Madison, toward which 
Morgan next bent his way — fears for the safety of 
that city, and hopes that, with the help of Judah's 
troops and the gunboats now on the way up the river, 
we might put an end to the raid. From Indianapolis 
we started Greneral Lew Wallace with a good brigade 
of minute-men, and with high hopes that at either 
Madison or Lawrenceburg, farther up the river, he 
might " capture them." The people ahead were asked 
by telegraph to cooperate. But after going down that 
line as far as Dupont, Morgan turned northeast for Ver- 
sailles, where we next heard of him threatening the Cin- 
cinnati and Indianapolis Railway. This was a nice bit 
of work. He baffled all our calculations, and did some 
damage on both the Ohio and Mississippi and Cincinnati 
railroads, sending off flying columns in a dozen direc- 
tions at a time for the purpose, as well as to throw 
Hobson off the scent. Some of these columns looked 
like traveling circuses adorned with useless plunder 
and an excess of clowns. Thus they went through 
Pierceville and Milan to Harrison, on White River, 
and on the Ohio line. Here Hobson's advance came 
upon them, but unfortunately it paused to plant artil- 
lery, instead of dashing across the bridge and engaging 
the raiders until the main body should arrive. This 
lost us the bridge, which was burned before our eyes, 
and many hours' delay, marching round by the ford. 
Their next demonstration was toward Hamilton. Here 
there was a fine railway bridge over the Big Miami. 
Hobson followed in such close pursuit through New 


Baltimore, Gllendale, and Miamiville that the raiders 
did little damage. Their attempt to bum a bridge at 
Miamiville was repulsed by the home guard. My last 
troops were despatched from Indianapolis to head 
them off at Hamilton, after five hours' delay caused 
by the intoxication of their commander. His suc- 
cessor in command was General Hascall, who swore 
like a trooper to find himself "just in time to be too 
late." He proceeded through Hamilton, Ohio, as far 
as Loveland. But Morgan had sent only a detachment 
toward Hamilton to divert attention from Cincinnati, 
toward which he made a rapid march with his whole 
united force. 

Governor Tod of Ohio had already called out the 
militia and proclaimed martial law. He raised men 
enough, but Burnside had to organize and arm them. 
Morgan found the great city guarded, but he passed 
through the very suburbs by a night march around 
it, unmolested. He crossed the Little Miami Eailroad 
at daylight, and came north in sight of Camp Denni- 
son, where Colonel Neff half armed his convalescents, 
threw out pickets, dug rifle-pits, and threw up in- 
trenchments. His fiery old veterans saved a railway 
bridge, and actually captured a lieutenant and others 
before they sheered off and went some ten miles 
northward to Williamsburg. From that point they 
seemed to be steering for the great bend of the Ohio 
at Pomeroy. 

In the vicinity of Cincinnati, Colonel W. P. Sanders, 
the splendid raider of East Tennessee, came up from 
Kentucky with some Michigan cavalry, and joined 
Hobson in pursuit, and these were about the only 


fresh horses in the chase. Sanders had come by 
steamer, and, landing at Cincinnati, had been thrown 
out from there, it was hoped, ahead of Morgan, who, 
however, was too quick for him. They met later on. 

Under the good management of Colonel A. Y. Kautz 
in advance, with his brigade, and of Sanders, the 
men now marched more steadily and gained ground. 
Kautz had observed how the other brigade comman- 
ders had lost distance and blown their horses by follow- 
ing false leads, halting and closing up rapidly at the 
frequent reports of "enemy in front," and by stopping 
to plant artillery. Marching in his own way, at a 
steady walk, his brigade forming the rear-guard, he 
had arrived at Batavia two hours before the main 
body, that had been " cavorting round the country " 
all day, "misled by two citizen guides" — possibly Mor- 
gan's own men. 

Not stopping to draw the rations sent out to him 
from Cincinnati, Hobson urged his jaded horses 
through Brown, Adams, and Pike counties, now under 
the lead of Kautz, and reached Jasper, on the Scioto, 
at midnight of the 16th, Morgan having passed there 
at sundown. The next day they raced through Jack- 
son. On the 18th, Hobson, at Rutland, learned that 
Morgan had been turned off by the militia at Pomeroy, 
and had taken the Chester road for Portland and 
the fords of the Ohio. The chase became animated. 
Our troopers made a march of fifty miles that day and 
still had twenty-five miles to reach Chester. They 
arrived there without a halt at eleven at night, and had 
still fifteen miles to reach the ford. They kept on, and 
at dawn of the 19th struck the enemy's pickets. Two 


miles out from Portland, Morgan was brought to bay 
— and not by Hobson alone. First came the militia, 
then came Judah. His division had pushed up the 
river in steamers parallel with Morgan's course. Lieu- 
tenant John O'Neil, afterward of Fenian fame, with a 
troop of Indiana cavalry, kept up the touch on Mor- 
gan's right flank by a running fight, stinging it at 
every vulnerable point, and reporting Morgan's course 
to Judah in the neck-and-neck race. Aided by the 
local militia, O'Neil now dashed ahead and fearlessly 
skirmished with the enemy's flankers from every 
coign of vantage. He reached the last descent to the 
river-bottom near Buffington Bar, and near the his- 
torical Blennerhasset's Island, early on the morning 
of the 19th. 

The Ohio River was up. It had risen unexpectedly. 
But here Morgan must cross, if at all. It could not be 
forded by night, when he got here. He tried the ford 
at Blennerh asset. Failing in this, his men collected 
flatboats, and set to work calking them, meantime 
sending a party to Buffington Bar, where they found 
a small earthwork and captured its guard; and these 
things delayed them until morning. General Judah 
attempted a reconnaissance, resulting in a fight, which 
he describes as follows in his report : 

Before leaving Pomeroy I despatched a courier to General Hob- 
son, apprising him of my direction, and requesting him to press the 
enemy's rear with all the forces he could bring up. Traveling all 
night, I reached the last descent to the river-bottom at Bufl&ngton 
Bar at 5.30 a. m. on the 19th. Here, halting my force, and placing 
my artillery in a commanding position, I determined to make a 
reconnaissance in person, for the purpose of ascertaining if a report 


just made to me — that the gunboats had left on a pre\'ious even- 
ing, the home guards had retreated, and that the enemy had 
been crossing all night — was true. A very dense fog enveloped 
everj'thing, confining the view of suiTounding objects to a radius of 
about fifty yards. I was accompanied by a small advance-guard, 
my escort, and one piece of Henshaw's battery, a section of which, 
under Captain Henshaw, I had ordered to join my force. I 
advanced slowly and cautiously along a road leading toward the 
river, . . . when my little force found itself enveloped on three 
sides- — fi'ont and both flanks — by three regiments, dismounted, 
and led by Colonel Basil [W.] Duke, just discernible through the 
fog, at a distance of from fifty to a hundred yards. This force, 
as I afterward learned, had been disposed for the capture of 
the home guards, intrenched on the bank of the river. To 
use Colonel Duke's own expression after his capture, " He could 
not have been more surprised at the presence of my force if 
it had been dropped from the clouds." As soon as discovered, 
the enemy opened a heavy fire, advancing so rapidly that before 
the piece of artilleiy could be brought into battery it was 
captured, as were also Captain R. C. Kise, my assistant adjutant- 
general, Captain Grafton, volunteer aide-de-camp, and between 
twenty and thirty of my men. Two privates were killed. 
Major McCook (since dead), paymaster and volunteer aide- 
de-camp,! Lieutenant F. Gr. Price, aide-de-camp, and ten men 
were wounded. Searching in vain for an opening through which 
to charge and temporarily beat back the enemy, I was compelled 
to fall back upon the main body, which I rapidly brought up into 
position, and opened a rapid and beautifully accui-ate artillery fii-e 
from the pieces of the 5th Indiana upon a battery of two pieces 
which the enemy had opened upon me, as well as upon his deployed 
dismounted force in line. Obstructing fences prevented a charge 
by my cavalry. In less than half an hour the enemy's Hnes were 
broken and in retreat. The advance of my artUlery, and a charge 
of cavalry made by Lieutenant O'Neil, 5th Indiana Cavalry, with 

1 Major Daniel McCook, father of strauce. to find the slayer of his son 
the famous fighting family, who (General Robei"t L. McCook), re- 
pushed himself in, against remon- ported to be with Morgan. 


only fifty men, converted his retreat into a rout, and drove him 
upon General Hobson's forces, which had engaged him upon the 
other road. His prisoners, the piece of artillery lost by me, all of 
his own artillery (five pieces), his camp equipage, and transporta- 
tion and plunder of all kinds, were abandoned and captured. We 
also captured large numbers of prisoners, including Colonels Basil 
[W.] Duke, Dick [R. C] Morgan, and Allen [Ward?], and the most 
of General Morgan's staff. 

Yet with a considerable force Morgan succeeded in 
making his escape, and started into the interior like a 
fox for cover. Passing around the advanced column 
of his enemy, he suddenly came upon the end of 
Shackelford's column, under Wolford, whom he at 
once attacked with his usual audacity. Shackelford 
reversed his column, selected his best horses, and 
gave pursuit. He overtook the enemy at Backum 
Church, where Wolford's Kentucky fellows rushed 
upon Morgan's men with drawn sabers and Ken- 
tucky yells, and chased them until next afternoon, 
when they were found collected on a high bluff, 
where some hundreds surrendered; but Morgan again 
escaped, and with over six hundred horsemen gave 
our fellows a long chase yet by the dirt road aud 
by rail. Continuing north through several counties, 
he veered northwest toward the Peimsylvania line, 
even now burning buildings, car-loads of freight, 
and bridges by the way, though hotly hounded by 
Shackelford, and flanked and headed off by troops 
in cars. 

Among the latter was Major W. B. Way, of the 9th 
Michigan, with a battalion of his regiment. Way had 
left the cars at Mingo and marched over near to 



Steubenville,^ where he began a skirmish which lasted 
over twenty-five miles toward Salineville, away up in 
Columbiana County. Here he brought Morgan to 
bay. The latter still fought desperately, losing 200 
prisoners, and over 70 of his men killed or wounded, 
and skipped away. Another Union detachment came 
up by rail under Major Greorge W. Rue, of the 9th 
Kentucky Cavalry, joined Shackelford at Hammonds- 
ville, and took the advance with 300 men. 

IMr. E. E. Day makes the fol- 
lowing statement in regard to 
Morgan's brief stay at Winters- 
ville : 

Defeated at BufEiiigton Bar, Morgan 
abandoned his plan of making a water- 
ing trough of Lake Erie, and fled north 
through the tier of river counties, 
keeping within a few miles of the Ohio. 
The river was low, but not fordable 
except at Cose's Riffle, a few niile.s be- 
low Steuben ville. Headed at this point 
also, he struck across the country and 
passed through WintersviUe, a small 
village five miles west of Steubenville. 
That was a memorable Saturday in 
WintersviUe. Morgan's progress across 
the State had been watched with the 
most feverish anxiety, and the dread 
that the village might lie in his path 
filled the hearts of many. The wildest 
rumors passed current. Morgan and 
his " guerrillas," it was said, would kill 
all the men, lay the village in ashes, 
and carry off the women and children. 
The militia, or " hundred-day men," 
who lived in or near the village, drilled 
in the village streets, and fired rattling 
volleys of blank cartridges at a board 
fence, in preparation for the coming 
conflict. On Friday evening word 
came that Morgan would attempt to 
force a passage at Coxe's Riffle the next 
morning, and the militia marched to 

Steubenville to help intercept him. A 
bloody battle was expected. About the 
middle of the forenoon a horseman 
dashed into the village shouting, 
" Morgan 's coming ! He 's just down 
at John Hanna's ! " and galloped on to 
warn others. Mr. Hanna was a farmer 
li\ing about a mile south of the village. 
He had shouldered his musket and 
gone with the militia, leaving his wife 
and two children at home. About ten 
o'clock Morgan's men were seen coming 
up the road. Mrs. Hanna with her 
children attempted to reach a neigh- 
bor's house, but they were overtaken 
and ordered to the house, which they 
found full of soldiers. Morgan and his 
officers were stretched, dusty clothes, 
boots, and all, upon her beds, and a 
negro was getting dinner. While the 
third table was eating, a squad of mili- 
tiaTnen appeared on a neighboring hill. 
Moi-gan ordered their capture, saying, 
"Wliat will those Yankees do with the 
thousand men I have ? " A number of 
Morgan's men started to carry out their 
chief's command, but the militia made 
good their escape. Soon after, word 
came that Shackelford's men were 
near, and Morgan left so hurriedly that 
he neglected to take the quilts and 
blankets his men had selected. 

In the village all was consternation. 
Many of the women and children 
gathered at the Maxwell Tavern. Their 


At Salineville he found Morgan, pursued by Major 
Way, pushing for Smith's Ford on the Ohio. Break- 
ing into trot and gallop, he outmarched and inter- 
cepted the fugitives at the cross-roads near Beaver 
Creek, and had gained the enemy's front and flank 
when a flag of truce was raised, and Morgan coolly 
demanded his surrender. Rue's threat to open fire 
brought Morgan to terms, when another issue was 

terror upon hearing that Morgan was 
"just down at HaHna's " cannot be de- 
scribed. Word had been sent to Steu- 
benville, and Colonel James Collier 
marched out with a force of about 
eight hundred militia, sending a squad 
under command of Captain Prentiss to 
reconnoiter. They galloped through 
the village, and as Morgan's advance 
came in sight began firing. The fire 
was returned, and a private named 
Parks, from Steuben ville, was wounded. 
Morgan's men charged the scouting 
party, sending them through the vil- 
lage back to the main body in a very 
demoralized condition. The frightened 
women, and still worse frightened chil- 
dren, no sooner saw the " dust-brown 
ranks " of the head of Morgan's column 
than they beat a hasty retreat down 
the alley to the house of Dr. Markle, 
the village physician. This change of 
base was made under fire, as Morgan's 
men were shooting at the retreating 
militia, and also at a house owned by 
William Fisher, in which they had 
heard there were a number of militia- 
men. At the doctor's house all crowded 
into one room, and were led in prayer 
by the minister's wife. The retreat of 
the scouting party did not have a very 
cheering effect upon the advancing 
militia. As they passed a field of 
broom-corn several men suddenly dis- 
appeared, their swift course through 
the cane being easily followed by the 

swajdng of the tassels. The militia 
were met by rumors that the village 
was in ashes. Morgan did not set tii-e 
to the village, but his men found time 
to explore the village store, and to 
seai-ch the Fisher house, in the second 
story of which they found a fiag. Mor- 
gan's men were hardly out of sight on 
the Richmond road when Colonel Col- 
lier and the militia appeared. They 
formed line of battle on a hill east of 
the village just in time to see Shackel- 
ford's advance coming along the road 
over which they were expecting Mor- 
gan. The colonel at once opened fire 
with his six-pounder loaded with scrap- 
iron. The first shot did Uttle damage. 
One piece of scrap-iron found its way 
to the right, and stiiick with a resound- 
ing thwack against the end of the Max- 
well Tavern. The second shot did not 
hit anything. One of Shackelford's 
officers rode across the field and in- 
quired, "What are you fools shooting 
at ? " The colonel then learned, to his 
astonishment, that Morgan was at least 
two miles out on the Richmond road. 
Many who had been conspicuously ab- 
sent then showed themselves, and the 
daring deeds and hairbreadth escapes 
which came to light are not to be 
lightly referred to. At least a dozen 
dead rebels, it was said, would be dis- 
covered in the fields when the farmers 
came to cut their oats, but for some 
reason the bodies were never found. 


raised. It was now claimed that Morgan had abeady 
surrendered, namely, to a militia officer, and had been 
by him paroled. This " officer" turned out to be "Cap- 
tain" James Bui'bick, of the home guard.^ Eue held 
Morgan, with 364 officers and men and 400 horses, till 
Greneral Shackelford came up, who held them as pris- 
oners of war. 

And thus ended the greatest of Morgan's raids. By 
it Bragg lost a fine large division of cavalry, that, if 
added to Buckner's force, — already equal to Burnside's 
in East Tennessee, — might have defeated Burnside; 
or, if thrown across Rosecrans's flanks or long lines of 
supply and communication, or used in reconnaissance 
on the Tennessee Eiver, might have baffled Rosecrans's 
plans altogether. As it was, Rosecrans was able to 
deceive Bragg by counterfeit movements that could 
easily have been detected by Morgan. 

1 General W. T. H. Brooks says said, " Give me an answer, yes or no." 

in his report • Burbick, evidently in confusion, said, 


Morgan had passed a company of 
citizens from New Lisbon, and agreed 

not to fire upon them if they would not James Burbick sent a statement 

fire upon him. He had taken two or to Governor Tod, in whieli he said 

three of their men prisoners, and was that he was not a prisoner with Mor- 

using them as guides. Among them g^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ j^^ ^^^ guiding him 

was a Mr. Burbick. of New Lisbon, who ..^i^.^tarily away from the vicinity 

of New Lisbon, after Morgan had 

had gone out at the head of a small 
squad of mounted men. When Morgan 

saw that his advance was about to be agreed not to pass through that 

cut off by Major Rue, he said to this town. Burbick reported that he 

Captain Burbick: "I would prefer to accepted Morgan's surrender, and 

surrender to the militia rather than to started for the rear with a handker- 

United states troops. I wiU surrender ^j^.^^ ^.^^ ^^ ^ ^^-^^^ ^^ intercept the 

to you if you will agree to respect pri- ^^^^^^^. ^^ ^^-^^ Lieutenant 

vate property and parole the omcers ^ ^ ,^ . .., T.r 

, „<. t„ ni^„;„ C. D. Maus, a prisoner with Mor- 

and men as soon as we get to Cincm- ' ^ 

nati." Burbick rephed that he knew gan, was sent with another flag of 

nothing about this business. Morgan truce across the fields. 




ON the 31st of July and the 1st of August, 1863, 
General John H. Morgan, General Basil W. Duke, 
and sixty-eight other officers of Morgan's command, 
were, by order of General Burnside, confined in the Ohio 
State Penitentiary at Columbus. Before entering the 
main prison we were searched and relieved of our 
pocket-knives, money, and. of all other articles of value, 
subjected to a bath, the shaving of our faces, and the 
cutting of our hair. We were placed each in a separate 
cell in the first and second tiers on the south side in 
the east wing of the prison. General Morgan and 
General Duke were on the second range. General Mor- 
gan being confined in the last cell at the east end, 
those who escaped with General Morgan having their 
cells in the first range. 

From five o'clock in the evening until seven o'clock 
in the morning we were locked into our cells, with no 
possible means of communication with one another; 
but in the day, between these hours, we were permitted 
to mingle together in the narrow hall, twelve feet wide 
and one hundred and sixty long, which was cut off 
from the other portion of the building, occupied by the 
convicts, by a plank partition, in one end of which was 
a wooden door. At each end of the hall, and within 
the partitions, was an armed military sentinel, while 
the civil guards of the prison passed at irregular inter- 

1 Condensed from "The Bivouac" of June, 1885. 


vals among us, and very frequently tlie warden or his 
deputy came through in order to see that we were 
secure and not violating the prison rules. We were 
not permitted to talk with or in any way to commu- 
nicate with the convicts, nor were we permitted to see 
any of our relatives or friends that might come from a 
distance to see us, except upon the written order of 
Greneral Burnside, and then only in the presence of a 
guard. Our correspondence underwent the censor- 
ship of the warden, we receiving and he sending only 
such as met his approbation ; we were not permitted to 
have newspapers, or to receive information of what 
was going on in the outside busy world. 

Many plans for escape, ingenious and desperate, 
were suggested, discussed, and rejected because 
deemed impracticable. Among them was bribery of 
the guards. This was thought not feasible because of 
the double set of guards, militar}^ and civil, who were 
jealous and watchful of each other, so that it was 
never attempted, although we could have commanded, 
through our friends in Kentucky and elsewhere, an 
almost unlimited amount of money. 

On a morning in the last days of October I was 
rudely treated, without cause, by the deputy warden. 
There was no means of redress, and it was not wise to 
seek relief by retort, since I knew, from the experience 
of my comrades, that it would result in my confine- 
ment in a dark dungeon, with bread and water for 
diet. I retired to my cell, and closed the door with the 
determination that I would neither eat nor sleep until 
I had devised some means of escape. I ate nothing 
and drank nothing during the day, and by nine o'clock 


I had matured the plan that we carried into execution. 
It may be that I owed something to the fact that 
I had just completed the reading of Victor Hugo's 
" Les Miserables," containing such vivid delineations 
of the wonderful escapes of Jean Valjean, aud of the 
subterranean passages of the city of Paris. This may 
have led me to the line of thought that terminated in 
the plan of escape adopted. It was this: I had ob- 
served that the floor of my cell was upon a level with 
the ground upon the outside of the building, which 
was low and flat, and also that the floor of the cell was 
perfectly dry and free from mold. It occurred to me 
that, as the rear of the cell was to a great extent ex- 
cluded from the light and air, this dryness and free- 
dom from mold could not exist unless there was 
underneath something in the nature of an air-chamber 
to prevent the dampness from rising up the walls and 
through the floor. If this chamber should be found to 
exist, and could be reached, a tunnel might be run 
through the foundations into the yard, from which we 
might escape by scaling the outer wall, the air-chamber 
furnishing a receptacle for the earth and stone to be 
taken out in running the tunnel. The next morning, 
when our cells were unlocked, and we were permitted 
to assemble in the hall, I went to General Morgan's 
cell, he having been for several days quite unwell, 
and laid before him the plan as I have sketched it. 
Its feasibility appeared to him unquestioned, and to it 
he gave a hearty and unqualified approval. If, then, 
our supposition was correct as to the existence of the 
air-chamber beneath the lower range of cells, a limited 
number of those occupying that range could escape, 



and only a limited number, because the greater the 
number the longer the time required to complete the 
work, and the greater the danger of discovery while 
prosecuting it, in making our way over the outer wall, 
and in escaping afterward. 

With these considerations in view, General Morgan 
and myself agreed upon the following officers, whose 
cells were nearest the point at which the tunnel was to 
begin, to join us in the enterprise : Captain J. C. Ben- 
nett, Captain L. D. Hockersmith, Captain C. 
S. Magee, Captain Ralph Sheldon, and Cap- 
tain Samuel B. Taylor. The plan was then 
laid before these gentlemen, and received 
their approval. It was agreed that work 
should begin in my cell, and continue 
from there until completed. In 
order, however, to do this 
without detection, it was nec- 
essary that some means should 
be found to prevent the daily 
inspection of that cell, it being 
the custom of the deputy 
warden, with the guards, to 
visit and have each cell swept 
every morning. This end 
was accomplished by my ob- 
taining permission from the 
warden to furnish a broom 

and sweep my own cell. For a few mornings thereafter 
the deputy warden would pass, glance into my cell, 
compliment me on its neatness, and go on to the in- 
spection of the other cells. After a few days my cell 



was allowed to go without any inspection whatever, 
and then we were ready to begin work, having ob- 
tained, through some of our associates who had been 
sent to the hospital, some table-knives made of flat 
steel files. In my cell, as in the others, there was a 
narrow iron cot, which could be folded and propped 
up to the cell wall. I thought the work could be com- 
pleted within a month. 

On the 4th of November work was begun in the 
back part of my cell, under the rear end of my cot. 
We cut through six inches of cement, and took out six 
layers of brick put in and cemented with the ends up. 
Here we came to the air-chamber, as I had calculated, 
and found it six feet wide by four feet high, and run- 
ning the entire length of the range of cells. The ce- 
ment and brick taken out in effecting an entrance to 
the chamber were placed in my bed-tick, upon which 
I slept during the progress of this portion of the work, 
after which the material was removed to the chamber. 
We found the chamber heavily grated at the end, 
against which a large quantity of coal had been 
heaped, cutting off any chance of exit in that way. 
We then began a tunnel, running it at right angles 
from the side of the chamber, and almost directly be- 
neath my cell. We cut through the foundation wall, 
five feet thick, of the cell block ; through twelve feet 
of grouting, to the outer wall of the east wing of the 
prison ; through this wall, six feet in thickness ; and 
four feet up near the surface of the yard, in an un- 
frequented place between this wing and the female 
department of the prison. 

During the progress of the work, in which we were 



greatly assisted by several of our comrades who were 
not to go out, notably among them Captain Thomas 
W. Bullitt of Louisville, Kentucky, I sat at the en- 
trance to my cell studiously engaged on Gibbon's 
Rome and in trying to master French. By this device 


I was enabled to be constantly on guard without be- 
ing suspected, as I had pursued the same course 
during the whole period of my imprisonment. Those 
who did the work were relieved every hour. This was 
accomplished, and the danger of the guards overhear- 
ing the work as they passed obviated, by adopting a 
system of signals, which consisted in giving taps on 
the floor over the chamber. One knock was to sus- 
pend work, two to proceed, and three to come out. 
On one occasion, by oversight, we came near being 


discovered. The prisoners were taken out to their 
meals by ranges, and on this day those confined in the 
first range were called for dinner while Captain Hock- 
ersmith was in the tunnel. The deputy warden, on 
calling the roll, missed Hockersmith, and came back 
to inquire for him. General Morgan engaged the at- 
tention of the warden by asking his opinion as to 
the propriety of a remonstrance that the general had 
prepared to be sent to General Burn side. Flattered by 
the deference shown to his opinion by General Morgan, 
the warden unwittingly gave Captain Hockersmith 
time to get out and fall into line for dinner. While 
the tunnel was being run, Colonel R. C. Morgan, a 
brother of General Morgan, made a rope, in links, of 
bed-ticking, thirty-five feet in length, and from the 
iron poker of the hall stove we made a hook, in the 
nature of a grappling-iron, to attach to the end of 
the rope. 

The work was now complete with the exception of 
making an entrance from each of the cells of those 
who were to go out. This could be done with safety 
only by working from the chamber upward, as the 
cells were daily inspected. The difficulty presented in 
doing this was the fact that we did not know at what 
point to begin in order to open the holes in the cells at 
the proper place. To accomplish this a measurement 
was necessary, but we had nothing to measure with. 
Fortunately the deputy warden again ignorantly aided 
us. I got into a discussion with him as to the length of 
the hall, and to convince me of my error he sent for his 
measuring-line, and after the hall had been measured, 
and his statement verified. General Morgan occupied 


his attention, while I took the line, measured the dis- 
tance from center to center of the cells, — all being of 
uniform size, — and marked it upon the stick used in 
my cell for propping up my cot. With this stick, 
measuring from the middle of the hole in my cell, the 
proper distance was marked off in the chamber for the 
holes in the other cells. The chamber was quite dark, 
and light being necessary for the work, we had ob- 
tained candles and matches through our sick comrades 
in the hospital. The hole in my cell during the pro- 
gress of the work was kept covered with a large hand- 
satchel containing my change of clothing. We cut 
from underneath upward until there was only a thin 
crust of the cement left in each of the cells. Money 
was necessary to pay expenses of transportation and 
for other contingencies as they might arise. General 
Morgan had some money that the search had not dis- 
covered, but it was not enough. Shortly after we began 
work I wrote to my sister in Kentucky a letter, which 
through a trusted convict I sent out and mailed, 
requesting her to go to my library and get certain 
books, and in the back of a designated one, which she 
was to open with a thin knife, place a certain amount 
of Federal money, repaste the back, write my name 
across the inside of the back where the money was 
concealed, and send the box by express. In due course 
of time the books with the money came to hand. It 
only remained now to get information as to the time 
of the running of the trains and to await a cloudy 
night, as it was then full moon. Our trusty convict 
was again found useful. He was quite an old man, 
called Heavy, had been in the penitentiary for many 


years, aud as he had been so faithful, and his time 
having almost expired, he was permitted to go on 
errands for the officials to the city. I gave him ten 
dollars to bring us a daily paper and six ounces of 
French brandy. Neither he nor any one within the 
prison or on the outside had any intimation of our 
contemplated escape. 

It was our first thought to make our way to the Con- 
federacy by way of Canada; but, on inspecting the 
time-table in the paper, it was seen that a knowledge 
of the escape would necessarily come to the prison 
officials before we could reach the Canadian border. 
There was nothing left, then, but to take the train 
south, which we found, if on time, would reach Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, before the cells were opened in the morning, 
at which time we expected our absence to be discov- 
ered. One thing more remained to be done, and that 
was to ascertain the easiest and safest place at which 
to scale the outside wall of the prison. The windows 
opening outward were so high that we could not see 
the wall. In the hall was a ladder resting against the 
wall, fifty feet long, that had been used for sweeping 
down the wall. A view from the top of the ladder 
would give us a correct idea of the outside, but the diffi- 
culty was to get that view without exciting suspicion. 

Fortunately the warden came in while we were dis- 
cussing the great strength and activity of Captain 
Samuel B. Taylor, who was very small of stature, 
when it was suggested that Taylor could go hand over 
hand on the under side of the ladder to the top, and, 
with a moment's rest, return in the same way. To the 
warden this seemed impossible, and, to convince him. 



Taylor was permitted to make the trial, which he did 
successfully. At the top of the ladder he rested for 
a minute and took a mental photograph of the wall. 
When the warden had left, Taylor communicated the 
fact that directly 
south of and at 
almost right angles 
from the east end of 
the block in which 
we were confined 
there was a double 
gate to the outer 
wall, the inside one 
being of wooden up- 
rights four inches 



apart, and the out- 
side one as solid as 

the wall ; the wooden gate being supported by the 
wing wall of the female department, which joined to 
the main outer wall. 

On the evening of the 27th of November the cloudy 
weather so anxiously waited for came; and prior to 
being locked in our cells it was agi-eed to make the 
attempt at escape that night. Cell No. 21, next to my 
cell, No. 20, on the first range, was occupied by Colonel 
R. C. Morgan, a brother of General Morgan. That cell 
had been prepared for Greneral Morgan by opening a 
hole to the chamber, and when the hour for locking up 
came. General Morgan stepped into Cell 21, and Colonel 
Morgan into General Morgan's cell in the second 
range. The guard did not discover the exchange, as 
General Morgan and Colonel Morgan were of about the 


same physical proportions, and each stood with his 
back to the cell door when it was being locked. 

At intervals of two hours every night, beginning at 
eight, the guards came around to each cell and passed 
a light through the grating to see that all was well 
with the prisoners. The approach of the guard was 
often so stealthily made that a knowledge of his pres- 
ence was first had by seeing him at the door of the cell. 
To avoid a surprise of this kind we sprinkled fine coal 
along in front of the cells, walking upon which would 
give us warning. By a singular coincidence that might 
have been a fatality, on the day we had determined 
upon for the escape General Morgan received a let- 
ter from Lexington, Kentucky, begging and warning 
Mm not to attempt to escape, and by the same mail I 
received a letter from a member of my family saying 
that it was rumored and generally believed at home 
that. I had escaped. Fortunately these letters did not 
put the officials on their guard. We ascertained from 
the paper we had procured that a train left for Cincin- 
nati at 1.15 A. M., and as the regular time for the guard 
to make his round of the cells was twelve o'clock, we 
arranged to descend to the chamber immediately there- 
after. Captain Taylor was to descend first, and, pass- 
ing under each cell, notify the others. Greneral Morgan 
had been permitted to keep his watch, and this he gave 
to Taylor that he might not mistake the time to go. 

At the appointed hour Taylor gave the signal, each 
of us arranged his cot with the seat in his cell so as to 
represent a sleeping prisoner, and, easily breaking the 
thin layer of cement, descended to the chamber, passed 
through the tunnel, breaking through the thin stratum 


of earth at the end. We came out near the wall of 
the female prison, — it was raining slightly, — crawled 
by the side of the wall to the wooden gate, cast our 
grappling-iron attached to the rope over the gate, 
made it fast, ascended the rope to the top of the gate, 
drew up the rope, and made our way by the wing wall 
to the outside wall, where we entered a sentry-box 
and divested ourselves of our soiled outer garments. 
In the daytime sentinels were placed on this wall, but 
at night they were on the inside of the walls and at 
the main entrance to the prison. On the top of the 
wall we found a cord running along the outer edge 
and connecting with a bell in the office of the prison. 
This cord General Morgan cut with one of the knives 
we had used in tunneling. Before leaving my cell I 
wrote and left, addressed to N. Merion, the warden, 
the following : 

Castle Merion, Cell No. 20, November 27, 1863.— Commence- 
ment, November 4, 1863 ; conclusion, November 24, 1863 ; number 
of hoiu's for labor per day, five ; tools, two small knives. La 
patience est am^re, mais son fruit est doitx. By order of my six honor- 
able Confederates. Thomas H. Hines, Captain, C. S. A. 

Having removed all trace of soil from our clothes 
and persons, we attached the iron hook to the railing 
on the outer edge of the wall, and descended to the 
ground within sixty yards of where the prison guards 
were sitting round a fire and conversing. Here we 
separated, Greneral Morgan and myself going to the 
depot, about a quarter of a mile from the prison, 
where I purchased two tickets for Cincinnati, and 
entered the car that just then came in. General Mor- 


gan took a seat beside a Federal major in uniform, 
and I sat immediately in theii* rear. The general 
entered into conversation with the major, who was 
made the more talkative by a copious drink of my 
French brandy. As the train passed near the prison- 
wall where we had descended, the major remarked, 
"There is where the rebel General Morgan and his 
officers are put for safe-keeping." The general replied, 
"I hope they will keep him as safe as he is now." 
Our train passed through Dayton, Ohio, and there, 
for some unknown reason, we were delayed an hour. 
This rendered it extra hazardous to go to the depot 
in the city of Cincinnati, since by that time the prison 
officials would, in all probability, know of our escape, 
and telegraph to intercept us. In fact, they did tele- 
graph in every direction, and offered a reward for 
our recapture. Instead, then, of going to the depot 
in Cincinnati, we got off, while the train was moving 
slowly, in the outskirts of the city, near Ludlow 
Ferry, on the Ohio River. Groing directly to the ferry 
we were crossed over in a skiff and landed immedi- 
ately in front of the residence of Mrs. Ludlow. We 
rang the door-bell, a servant came, and Gleneral Mor- 
gan wrote upon a visiting-card, "General Morgan and 
Captain Hines, escaped." We were warmly received, 
took a cup of coffee with the family, were furnished 
a guide, and walked some three miles in the country, 
where we were furnished horses. Thence we went 
through Florence to Union, in Boone County, Ken- 
tucky, where we took supper with Daniel Piatt. On 
making ourselves known to Mr. Piatt, who had two 
sons in our command, we were treated with the most 




cordial hospitality and kindness by the entire family. 
We there met Dr. John J. Dulaney of Florence, Ken- 
tucky, who was of great benefit in giving us informa- 
tion as to the best route. That night we went to Mr. 
Corbin's, near Union, — who also had gallant sons in 
our command, — where we remained concealed until 


the next night, and where friends supplied us with 
fresh horses and a pair of pistols each. 

On the evening of the 29th of November we left 
Union with a voluntary guide, passed through the 
eastern edge of Gallatin County, and after traveling 
all night spent the day of the 30th at the house of 
a friend on the Owen County line. Passing through 
New Liberty, in Owen County, and crossing the Ken- 
tucky River at the ferry on the road to New Castle, 
in Henry County, we stopped at the house of Mr. 
Pollard at 2 a. m., December 1. Our guide did not 
know the people nor the roads farther than the ferry, 
at which point he turned back. Not knowing the 
politics of Mr. Pollard, it was necessary to proceed 
with caution. On reaching his house we aroused him 
and made known our desire to spend the remainder 
of the night with him. He admitted us and took us 
into the family room, where there was a lamp dimly 
burning on a center-table. On the light being turned 
up I discovered a Cincinnati "Enquirer" with large 
displayed head-lines, announcing the escape of General 
Morgan, Captain Hines, and five other officers from 
the Ohio penitentiary. The fact that this newspaper 
was taken by Mr. Pollard was to me sufficient evidence 
that he was a Southern sympathizer. Glancing at the 
paper, I looked up and remarked, " I see that General 
Morgan, Hines, and other officers have escaped from 
the penitentiary." He responded, " Yes ; and you are 
Captain Hines, are you not ? " I replied, " Yes ; and 
what is your name ? " " Pollard," he answered. "Allow 
me, then, to introduce General Morgan." I found that 
I had not made a mistake. 


After rest and a late breakfast and a discussion of 
the situation, it was deemed inexpedient to remain 
during the day, as the house was immediately on a 
public highway, besides the danger of such unex- 
plained delay exciting the suspicion of the negroes on 
the place. We assumed the character of cattle-buyers, 
Mr. Pollard furnishing us with cattle-whips to make 
the assumption plausible. Our first objective point 
was the residence of Judge W. S. Pryor, in the out- 
skirts of New Castle. After dinner Judge Pryor rode 
with us some distance, and put us in charge of a guide, 
who conducted us that night to Major Helm's, near 
Shelbyville, where we remained during the day of the 
2d, and were there joined by four of our command 
in citizen's dress. That night we passed through 
Taylorsville, and stopped on the morning of the 3d 
near Bardstown. 

The night of the 4th we resumed our journey, and 
stopped on the morning of the 5th at Mr. McCormack's 
at Rolling Fork Creek, in Nelson County, thence 
through Taylor, Green (passing near Greensburg), 
Adair, and Cumberland counties, crossing Cumberland 
River some nine miles below Burkesville. We crossed 
the Cumberland, which was quite high, by swimming 
our horses by the side of a canoe. Near the place of 
crossing, on the south side, we stopped overnight with 
a private in Colonel R. 'T. Jacob's Federal cavalry, 
passing ourselves as citizens on the lookout for stolen 
horses. Next morning, in approaching the road from 
Burkesville to Sparta, Tennessee, we came out of a 
byway immediately in the rear of and some hundred 
yards from a dwelling fronting on the Burkesville- 


Sparta road, and screening us from view on the 
Burkes ville end. As we emerged from the woodland 
a woman appeared at the back door of the dwelling 
and motioned us back. We withdrew from view, but 
kept in sight of the door from which the signal to 
retire was given, when after a few minutes the woman 
again appeared and signaled us to come forward. She 
informed us that a body of Federal cavalry had just 
passed, going in the direction of Burkesville, and that 
the officer in command informed her that he was try- 
ing to intercept General Morgan. We followed the 
Burkesville road something like a mile, and in sight 
of the rear-guard. We crossed Obey's River near the 
mouth of Wolf, and halted for two days in the hills of 
Overton County, where we came upon forty of our 
men, who had been separated from the force on the 
expedition into Indiana and Ohio. These men were 
placed under my command, and thence we moved di- 
rectly toward the Tennessee River, striking it about 
fifteen miles below Kingston, at Bridges's Ferry, De- 
cember 13. There was no boat to be used in crossing, 
and the river was very high and angry, and about one 
hundred and fifty yards wide. We obtained an ax 
from a house near by, and proceeded to split logs and 
make a raft on which to cross, and by which to swim 
our horses. We had learned that two miles and a half 
below us was a Federal cavalry camp. This stimulated 
us to the utmost, but notwithstanding our greatest ef- 
forts we were three hours in crossing over five horses 
and twenty-five men. At this juncture the enemy 
appeared opposite, and began to fire on our men. 
Here Greneral Morgan gave characteristic evidence 



of devotion to his men. When the firing began he 
insisted on staying with the dismounted men and 

taking their chances, and was dissuaded only by my 
earnest appeal and representation that such a course 
would endanger the men as well as ourselves. The 


men, by scattering in the mountains, did ultimately 
make their way to the Confederacy. 

Greneral Morgan, myself, and the four mounted men 
crossed over a spur of the mountains and descended 
by a bridle-path to a ravine or gulch upon the op- 
posite side, and halted in some thick underbrush about 
ten steps from a path passing along the ravine. Not 
knowing the country, it was necessary to have infor- 
mation or a guide, and observing a log cabin about 
a hundred yards up the ravine, I rode there to get 
directions, leaving General Morgan and the others on 
their horses near the path. I found at the house a 
woman and some children. She could not direct me 
over the other spur of the mountain, but consented 
that her ten-year-old son might go with me and show 
the way. He mounted behind me, and by the time 
he was seated I heard the clatter of hoofs down the 
ravine, and, looking, I saw a body of about seventy- 
five cavalry coming directly toward me, and passing 
within ten steps of where the general and his men 
were sitting on their horses. I saw that my own 
escape was doubtful, and that any halt or delay of the 
cavalry would certainly result in the discovery and 
capture of General Morgan. I lifted the boy from 
behind me and dashed to the head of the column, 
exclaiming, " Hurry up, Major, or the rebels will 
escape!" He responded, "Who are you?" I answered, 
"I belong to the home-guard company in the bend: 
hurry, or they are gone." We dashed on, I riding by 
the major at the head of the column about half a 
mile, when we came to where a dry branch crossed 
the road, and, as it had been raining that day, it was 


easily seen from the soil that had washed down from 
the side of the mountain that no one had passed there 
since the rain. Seeing this, the command was halted, 
and the major again demanded to know who I was. 
I replied that I was a member of General Morgan's 

command. " Yes, you ! You have led me off 

from Morgan ; I have a notion to hang you for it." 
"No, that was not General Morgan. I have served 
under him two years and know him well, and have 
no object in deceiving you; for if it was Morgan, he 
is now safe." "You lie, for he was recognized at the 
house where you got the ax. I would not have missed 
getting him for ten thousand dollars. It would have 
been a brigadier's commission to me. I will hang you 
for it." Up to this time I had taken the situation 
smilingly and pleasantly, because I did not apprehend 
violence; but the officer, livid with rage from disap- 
pointment, directed one of his men to take the halter 
from his horse and hang me to a designated limb of 
a tree. The halter was adjusted around my neck, 
and thrown over the limb. Seeing that the officer 
was desperately in earnest, I said, " Major, before you 
perform this operation, allow me to make a sugges- 
tion," " Be quick about it, then." " Suppose that 
was General Morgan, as you insist, and I have led 
you astray, as you insist, would n't I, being a member 
of his command, deserve to be hung if I had not 
done what you charge me with I " He dropped his 
head for a moment, looked up with a more pleasant 
expression, and said, " Boys, he is right ; let him 
I was placed under guard of two soldiers and sent 


across the river to camp, while the officer in com- 
mand took his men over the mountain in search of 

General Morgan, who succeeded in making good his 
escape. The next evening the major returned with 
his command from his unsuccessful pursuit. He 


questioned me closely, wanting to know my name, 
and if I was a private in the command, as I had 
stated to him at the time of my capture. Remember- 
ing that in prison the underclothing of Captain Bullitt 
had been exchanged for mine, and that I then had 
on his with his name in ink, I assumed the name 
of Bullitt. 

On the evening of the second day in this camp the 
major invited me to go with him and take supper at 
the house of a Unionist half a mile away. We spent 
the evening with the family until nine o'clock, when 
the major suggested that we should go back to camp. 
On reaching the front gate, twenty steps from the 
front veranda, he found that he had left his shawl in 
the house, and returned to get it, requesting me to 
await his return. A young lady of the family was 
standing in the door, and when he went in to get the 
shawl, she closed the door. I was then perfectly free, 
but I could not get my consent to go. For a moment 
of time while thus at liberty I suffered intensely in the 
effort to determine what was the proper thing to do. 
Upon the one hand was the tempting offer of freedom, 
that was very sweet to me after so many months of 
close confinement ; while on the other hand was the 
fact that the officer had treated me with great kind- 
ness, more as a comrade than as a prisoner, that the 
acceptance of his hospitality was a tacit parole and my 
escape would involve him in trouble. I remained 
until his return. He was greatly agitated, evidently 
realizing for the first time the extent of his indiscretion, 
and surprised undoubtedly at finding me quietly await- 
ing him. I had determined not to return to prison, 


but rather than break faith I awaited some other occa- 
sion for escape. Notwithstanding all this, something 
excited suspicion of me; for the next morning, while 
lying in the tent apparently asleep, I heard the officer 
direct the sergeant to detail ten men and guard me to 
Kingston, and he said to the sergeant, " Put him on 
the meanest horse you have and be watchful or he 
will escape." I was taken to Kingston and placed in 
jail, and there met three of our parfy who had been 
captured on the north side of the Tennessee River at 
the time we attempted to cross. They were E,. C. 

Church, William Church, and Smith. After two 

days' confinement there, we were sent under guard of 
twelve soldiers to the camp of the 3d Kentucky Federal 
Infantry, under command of Colonel Henry C. Dunlap. 
The camp was opposite the town of Loudon, and was 
prepared for winter quarters. The large forest trees 
had been felled for a quarter of a mile around the 
camp, and log huts built in regular lines for the occu- 
pation of the troops. We were placed in one of these 
huts with three guards on the inside, while the guards 
who delivered us there were located around a camp- 
fire some ten steps in front of the only door to our hut, 
and around the whole encampment was the regular 
camp guard. The next day, as we had learned, we 
were to be sent to Knoxville, Tennessee, which was 
then Greneral Buruside's headquarters; and as I knew 
I would there be recognized, and, on account of my 
previous escape, that my chances for freedom would be 
reduced to a minimum, we determined to escape that 

It was perfectly clear, the moon about full, making 
the camp almost as light as day; and as the moon did 


not go down until a short time before daylight, we con- 
cluded to await its setting. The door of the cabin was 
fastened by a latch on the inside. The night was cold. 
We had only pretended to sleep, awaiting our oppor- 
tunity. When the moon was down we arose, one after 
another, from our couches, and went to the fire to warm 
us. We engaged the guards in pleasant conversation, 
detaiUng incidents of the war. I stood with my right 
next the door, facing the fire and the three guards, and 
my comrades standing immediately on my left. While 
narrating some incident in which the guards were ab- 
sorbed, I placed my right hand upon the latch of the 
door, with a signal to the other prisoners, and, without 
breaking the thread of the narrative, bade the guards 
good night, threw the door open, ran through the guards 
in front of the door, passed the sentinel at the camp 
limits, and followed the road we had been brought in 
to the mountains. The guards in front of the door 
fired upon me, as did the sentinel on his beat, the last 
shot being so close to me that I felt the fire from the 
gun. Unfortunately and unwittingly I threw the door 
open with such force that it rebounded and caught my 
comrades on the inside. The guards assaulted them 
and attempted to bayonet them, but they grappled, 
overpowered, and disarmed the guards, and made 
terms with them before they would let them up. All 
three of these prisoners, by great daring, escaped 
before they were taken North to prison. 

In running from the camp to the mountains I passed 
two sentinel fires, and was pursued some distance at 
the point of the bayonet of the soldier who had last 
fired at me. All was hurry and confusion in the camp. 
The horses were bridled, saddled, and mounted, and 


rapidly ridden out on the road I had taken ; but by the 
time the pursuers reached the timber I was high up 
the mountain side, and complacently watched them as 
they hurried by. As I ran from my prison-house I 
fixed my eye upon Venus, the morning star, as my 
guide, and traveled until daylight, when I reached the 
summit of the mountain, where I found a sedge-grass, 
field of about twenty acres, in the middle of which I 
lay down on the frozen ground and remained until the 
sun had gone down and darkness was gathering. Dur- 
ing the day the soldiers in search of me frequently 
passed within thirty steps, so close that I could hear 
their conjectures as to where I was most likely to be 
found. I remained so long in one position that I 
thawed into the frozen earth; but the cool of the even- 
ing coming on, the soil around me froze again, and I 
had some difficulty in releasing myself. 

As it grew dark I descended the mountain, and 
cautiously approached a humble dwelling. Seeing no 
one but a woman and some children, I entered and 
asked for supper. While my supper was being pre- 
pared, no little to my disappointment, the husband, 
a strapping, manly-looking fellow, with his rifle on 
his shoulder, walked in. I had already assumed a 
character, and that was as agent to purchase horses 
for the Federal Grovernment. I had come down that 
evening on the train from Knoxville, and was anxious 
to get a canoe and some one to paddle me down to 
Kingston, where I had an engagement for the next 
day to meet some gentlemen who were to have 
horses there, by agreement with me, for sale. Could 
the gentleman tell me where I could get a canoe and 
some one to go with me I He said the rebels were 


SO annoyiDg that all boats and canoes had been de- 
stroyed to keep them from crossing. He knew of 
but one canoe, owned by a good Union man some 
two miles down the river. Would he be kind enough 
to show me the way there, that I might get an early 
start and keep my engagement? 

After supper my hospitable entertainer walked with 
me to the residence of the owner of the canoe. The 
family had retired, and when the owner of the prem- 
ises came out, there came with him a Federal soldier 
who was staying overnight with him. This was not 
encouraging. After making my business known and 
offering large compensation, the owner of the canoe 
agreed to start with me by daylight. During my 
walk down there, my guide had mentioned that a 
certain person living opposite the place where the 
canoe was owned had several horses that he would 
like to sell. I suggested that, in order to save time 
and get as early a start as possible for Kingston, the 
canoe-owner should take me over to see to the pur- 
chase of these horses that night. The river was high 
and dangerous to cross at night, but by promises 
of compensation I was taken over and landed some 
quarter of a mile from the house. With an injunc- 
tion to await me, when the canoe landed I started 
toward the house ; but when out of sight I changed 
my course and took to the mountains. 

For eight days I traveled by night, taking my 
course by the stars, lying up in the mountains by 
day, and getting food early in the evening wherever 
I could find a place where there were no men. On 
the 27th of December I reached the Confederate lines 
near Dalton, Greorgia. 



A MONGr all the thrilling incidents in the history of 
Jl\- Libby Prison, none exceeds in interest the cele- 
brated tunnel escape which occurred on the night of 
February 9, 1864. I was one of the 109 Union officers 
who passed through the tunnel, and one of the ill-fated 
48 that were retaken. I and two companions — Lieu- 
tenant Charles H. Morgan of the 21st Wisconsin 
regiment, who has since served several terms in Con- 
gress from Missouri, and Lieutenant William L. Watson 
of the same company and regiment — when recaptured 
by the Confederate cavalry were in sight of the Union 
picket posts. Strange as it may appear, no accurate 
and complete account has ever been given to the pub- 
lic of this, the most ingenious and daring escape made 
on either side during the civil war. Twelve of the 
party of fifteen who dug the tunnel are still living, 
including their leader. 

Thomas E. Rose, colonel of the 77th Pennsylva- 
nia Volunteers, the engineer and leader in the plot 
throughout, — now a captain in the 16th United States 
Infantry, — was taken prisoner at the battle of Chicka- 
mauga, September 20, 1863. On his way to Eichmond 
he escaped from his guards at Weldon, N. C, but, after 
a day's wandering about the pine forests with a broken 



foot, was retaken by a detachment of Confederate cav- 
alry and sent to Libby Prison, Richmond, where he 
arrived October 1, 1863. 

Libby Prison fronts on Carey street, Richmond, and 
stands upon a hill which descends abruptly to the 


canal, from which its southern wall is divided only by 
a street, and having a vacant lot on the east. The 
building was wholly detached, making it a compar- 
atively easy matter to guard the prison securely with 
a small force and keep every door and window in full 
view from without. As an additional measure of 
safety, prisoners were not allowed on the ground-floor, 
except that in the daytime they were permitted to use 


the first door of the middle section for a cook-room. 
The interior embraced nine large warehouse-rooms, 
105 X 45, with eight feet from each floor to ceiling, 
except the upper floor, which gave more room, owing 
to the pitch of the gable roof. The abrupt slant of the 
hill gives the building an additional story on the south 
side. The whole building really embraces three sec- 
tions, and these were originally separated by heavy 
blank walls. The Confederates cut doors through the 
walls of the two upper floors, which comprised the 
prisoners' quarters, and they were thus permitted to 
mingle freely with each other ; but there was no com- 
munication whatever between the three large rooms 
on the first floor. Beneath these floors were three 
cellars of the same dimensions as the rooms above 
them, and, like them, divided from each other by 
massive blank walls. For ready comprehension, let 
these be designated the east, middle, and west cel- 
lars. Except in the lofts known as " Streight's room " 
and "Milroy's room," which were occupied by the 
earliest inmates of Libby in 1863, there was no fur- 
niture in the building, and only a few of the early 
comers possessed such a luxury as an old army blanket 
or a knife, cup, and tin plate. As a rule, the prisoner, 
by the time he reached Libby, found himself devoid 
of earthly goods save the meager and dust-begrimed 
summer garb in which he had made his unlucky 

At night the six large lofts presented strange 
war-pictures, over which a single tallow candle wept 
copious and greasy tears that ran down over the petri- 
fied loaf of corn-broad, Borden's condensed-milk can, 



or bottle in which it was set. The candle flickered 
on until " taps," when the guards, with unconscious 
irony shouted, "Lights out!" — at which signal it 
usually disappeared amid a shower of boots and such 
other missiles as were at hand. The sleepers covered 


the six floors, lying in ranks, head to head and foot to 
foot, like prostrate lines of battle. For the general 
good, and to preserve something like military preci- 
sion, these ranks (especially when cold weather com- 
pelled them to lie close for better warmth) were 
subdivided into convenient squads under charge of a 
"captain," who was invested with authority to see 
that every man lay " spoon fashion." 

No consideration of j)ersonal convenience was per- 
mitted to interfere with the general comfort of the 
" squad." Thus, when the hard floor could no longer be 
endured on the right side, — especially by the thin men, 
— the captain gave the command, "Attention, Squad 
Number Four ! Prepare to spoon ! One — two — spoon ! " 
And the whole squad flopped over on the left side. 


The first floor on the west of the building was used 
by the Confederates as an office and for sleeping-quar- 
ters for the prison officials, and a stairway guarded by 
sentinels led from this to Milroy's room just above 
it. As before explained, the middle room was shut off 
from the office by a heavy blank wall. This room, 
known as the " kitchen," had two stoves in it, one of 
which stood about ten feet from the heavy door that 
opened on Carey street sidewalk, and behind the door 
was a fireplace. The room contained also several long 
pine tables with permanent seats attached, such as 
may be commonly seen at picnic grounds. The floor 
was constantly inundated here by several defective 
and overworked water-faucets and a leaky trough. 

A stairway without banisters led up on the south- 
west end of the floor, above which was a room known 
as the " Chickamauga room," being chiefly occupied by 
Chickamauga prisoners. The sentinel who had formerly 
been placed at this stairway at night, to prevent the 
prisoners from entering the kitchen, had been with- 
drawn when, in the fall of 1863, the horrible condition 
of the floor made it untenable for sleeping purposes. 

The uses to which the large ground-floor room east of 
the kitchen was put varied during the first two years 
of the war; but early in October of 1863, and there- 
after, it was permanently used and known as the hos- 
pital, and it contained a large number of cots, which 
were never unoccupied. An apartment had been made 
at the north or front of the room, which served as a 
doctor's office and laboratory. Like those adjoining it 
on the west, this room had a large door opening on 
Carey street, which was heavily bolted and guarded on 
the outside. 



The arrival of the Chickamauga prisoners greatly 
crowded the upper floors, and compelled the Confed- 

erates to board up a small portion of the east cellar 
at its southeast corner as an additional cook-room, 
several large caldrons having been set in a rudely built 


furnace ; so, for a short period, the prisoners were 
allowed down there in the daytime to cook. A stair- 
way led from this cellar to the room above, which 
subsequently became the hospital. 

Such, in brief, was the condition of things when 
Colonel Rose arrived at the prison. From the hour of 
his coming, a means of escape became his constant 
and eager study ; and, with this purpose in view, he 
made a careful and minute survey of the entire 

From the windows of the upper east or " Grettysburg 
room " he could look across the vacant lot on the east 
and get a glimpse of the yard between two adjacent 
buildings which faced the canal and Carey street re- 
spectively, and he estimated the intervening space at 
about seventy feet. From the south windows he 
looked out across a street upon the canal and James 
River, running parallel with each other, the two 
streams at this point being separated by a low and 
narrow strip of land. This strip periodically disap- 
peared when protracted seasons of heavy rain came, or 
when spring floods so rapidly swelled the river that 
the latter invaded the cellars of Libby. At such times 
it was common to see enormous swarms of rats come 
out from the lower doors and windows of the prison 
and make head for dry land in swimming platoons 
amid the cheers of the prisoners in the upper windows. 
On one or two occasions Rose observed workmen de- 
scending from the middle of the south-side street into 
a sewer running through its center, and concluded 
that this sewer must have various openings to the 
canal both to the east and west of the prison. 



The north portion of the cellar contained a large 
quantity of loose packing-straw, covering the floor to 
an average depth of two feet ; and this straw afforded 

"^"^SJ^" .v^" "" 


shelter, especially at night, for a large colony of rats, 
which gave the place the name of " Rat Hell." 

In one afternoon's inspection of this dark end. Rose 
suddenly encountered a fellow-prisoner, Major A. Gr. 
Hamilton, of the 12th Kentucky Cavalry. A confiding 
friendship followed, and the two men entered at once 
upon the plan of gaining their liberty. They agreed 
that the most feasible scheme was a tunnel, to begin 
in the rear of the little kitchen-apartment at the 
southeast corner of Rat Hell. Without more ado 


they secured a broken shovel and two case-knives 
and began operations. 

Within a few days the Confederates decided upon 
certain changes in the prison for the greater security 
of their captives. A week afterward the cook-room 
was abandoned, the stairway nailed up, the prisoners 
sent to the upper floors, and all communication with 
the east cellar was cut off. This was a sore misfortune, 
for this apartment was the only possible base of suc- 
cessful tunnel operations. Colonel Rose now began to 
study other practicable means of escape, and spent 
night after night examining the posts and watching the 
movements of the sentinels on the four sides of Libbj^ 
One very dark night, during a howling storm. Rose 
again unexpectedly met Hamilton in a place where 
no prisoner could reasonably be looked for at such 
an hour. For an instant the impenetrable darkness 
made it impossible for either to determine whether he 
had met a friend or foe: neither had a weapon, yet each 
involuntarily felt for one, and each made ready to 
spi'ing at the other's throat, when a flash of lightning 
revealed their identity. The two men had availed 
themselves of the darkness of the night and the roar 
of the storm to attempt an escape from a window of 
the upper west room to a platform that ran along the 
west outer wall of the prison, from which they hoped 
to reach the gi^ound and elude the sentinels, whom 
they conjectured would be crouched in the shelter of 
some doorway or other partial refuge that might be 
available; but so vivid and frequent were the lightning 
flashes that the attempt was seen to be extremely 


Rose now spoke of the entrance from the south-side 
street to the middle cellar, ha\dng frequently noticed 
the entrance and exit of workmen at that point, and 
expressed his belief that if an entrance could be 
effected to this cellar it would afford them the only 
chance of slipping past the sentinels. 

He hunted up a bit of pine-wood which he whittled 
into a sort of wedge, and the two men went down into 
the dark, vacant kitchen directly over this cellar. With 
the wedge Rose pried a floor-board out of its place, 
and made an opening large enough to let himself 
through. He had never been in this middle cellar, 
and was wholly ignorant of its contents or whether it 
was occupied by Confederates or workmen ; but as he 
had made no noise, and the place was in profound 
darkness, he decided to go down and reconnoiter. 

He wrenched off one of the long boards that formed 
a table-seat in the kitchen, and found that it was long 
enough to touch the cellar base and protrude a foot or 
so above the kitchen floor. By this means he easily 
descended, leaving Hamilton to keep watch above. 

The storm still raged fiercely, and the faint beams of 
a street-lamp revealed the muffled form of the sentinel 
slowly pacing his beat and carrying his musket at 
" secure " arms. Creeping softly toward him along the 
cellar wall, he now saw that what he had supposed was 
a door was simply a naked opening to the street ; and 
further inspection disclosed the fact that there was 
but one sentinel on the south side of the prison. 
Standing in the dark shadow, he could easily have 
touched this man with his hand as he repeatedly 
passed him. Groping about, he found various appurte- 


nances indicating that the south end of this cellar was 
used for a carpenter's shop, and that the north end 
was partitioned off into a series of small cells with 
padlocked doors, and that through each door a square 
hole, a foot in diameter, was cut. Subsequently it 
was learned that these dismal cages were alternately 
used for the confinement of " troublesome prisoners" — 
i. e., those who had distinguished themselves by ingeni- 
ous attempts to escape — and also for runaway slaves, 
and Union spies under sentence of death. 

At the date of Rose's first reconnaissance to this 
cellar, these cells were vacant and unguarded. The 
night was far spent, and Rose proceeded to return 
to the kitchen, where Hamilton was patiently waiting 
for him. 

The very next day a rare good fortune befell Rose. 
By an agreement between the commissioners of ex- 
change, several bales of clothing and blankets had 
been sent by our government to the famishing Union 
prisoners on Belle Isle, a number of whom had already 
frozen to death. A committee of Union officers then 
confined in Libby, consisting of General Neal Dow, 
Colonel Alexander von Shrader, Lieut.-Colonel Joseph 
F. Boyd, and Colonel Harry White, having been se- 
lected by the Confederates to supervise the distribu- 
tion of the donation. Colonel White had, by a shrewd 
bit of finesse, " confiscated " a fine rope by which one 
of the bales was tied, and this he now presented to 
Colonel Rose. It was nearly a hundred feet long, an 
inch thick, and almost new. 

It was hardly dark the following night before Rose 
and Hamilton were again in the kitchen, and as soon 


as all was quiet Rose fastened his rope to one of the 
supporting posts, took up the floor-plank as before, 
and both men descended to the middle cellar. They 
were not a little disappointed to discover that where 
there had been but one sentinel on the south side 
there were now two. On this and for several nights 
they contented themselves with sly visits of observa- 
tion to this cellar, during which Rose found and se- 
creted various tools, among which were a broad-ax, a 
saw, two chisels, several files, and a carpenter's square. 
One dark night both men went down and determined 
to try their luck at passing the guards. Rose made 
the attempt and succeeded in passing the first man, 
but unluckily was seen by the second. The latter 
called lustily for the corporal of the guard, and the 
first excitedly cocked his gun and peered into the dark 
door through which Rose swiftly retreated. The 
guard called, " Who goes there ? " but did not enter the 
dark cellar. Rose and Hamilton mounted the rope 
and had just succeeded in replacing the plank when 
the corporal and a file of men entered the cellar with a 
lantern. They looked into every barrel and under 
every bench, but no sign of Yankees appeared ; and as 
on this night it happened that several workmen were 
sleeping in an apartment at the north end, the cor- 
poral concluded that the man seen by the sentinel 
was one of these, notwithstanding their denial when 
awakened and questioned. After a long parley the 
Confederates withdrew, and Hamilton and Rose, de- 
pressed in spirits, went to bed. Rose as usual conceal- 
ing his rope. 

Before the week was out they were at it again. On 


one of these nights Rose suddenly came upon one of 
the workmen, and, swift as thought, seized the hid- 
den broad-ax with the intention of l^raining him if he 
attempted an alarm ; but the poor fellow was too much 
paralyzed to cry out, and when finally he did recover 
his voice and his wits, it was to beg Rose, " for God's 
sake," not to come in there again at night. Evidently 
the man never mentioned the circumstance, for Rose's 
subsequent visits, which were soon resumed, disclosed 
no evidence of a discovery by the Confederates. 

Hamilton agreed with Rose that there remained ap- 
parently but one means of escape, and that was by 
force. To overpower the two sentinels on the south 
side would have been an easy matter, but how to do it 
and not alarm the rest of the guard, and, in conse- 
quence, the whole city, was the problem. To secure 
these sentinels, without alarming their comrades on 
the east, west, and north sides of the prison, would re- 
quire the swift action of several men of nerve acting 
in concert. Precious time was passing, and possibly 
further alterations might be decided upon that would 
shut them off from the middle cellar, as they had 
already been from their original base of operations. 
Moreover, a new cause of anxiety now appeared- It 
soon transpired that their nocturnal prowlings and 
close conferences together had already aroused the be- 
lief among many observant prisoners that a plan of 
escape was afoot, and both men were soon eagerly 
plied with guarded inquiries, and besought by their 
questioners to admit them to their confidence. 

Hamilton and Rose now decided to organize an escap- 
ing party. A number of men were then sworn to 



secrecy and obedience by Colonel Rose, who was the 
only recognized leader in all operations that followed. 

This party soon numbered seventy men. The band 
was then taken down by Rose in convenient details to 


the middle cellar or carpenter's shop on many nights, 
to familiarize each man with the place and with his 
special part in the plot, and also to take advantage of 
any favoring circumstances that might arise. 

When all had by frequent visits become familiar with 
the rendezvous, Rose and the whole party descended 
one night with the determination to escape at whatever 
hazard. The men were assigned to their several sta- 
tions as usual, and a selected few were placed by the 
leader close to the entrance, in front of which the sen- 
tinel was regularly passing. Rose commanded strict 
silence, and placed himself near the exit preparatory 
to giving the signal. It was an exciting moment, and 
the bravest heart beat fast. A signal came, but not the 
one they looked for. At the very moment of action, 
the man whom Rose had left at the floor-opening in 
the kitchen gave the danger-signal ! The alert leader 
had, with consummate care, told every man beforehand 
that he must never be surprised by this signal, — it 
was a thing to be counted upon, — and that noise and 
panic were of all things to be avoided as fatal folly in 
their operations. As a consequence, when this signal 
came. Rose quietly directed the men to fall in line and 
reascend to the kitchen rapidly, but without noise, 
which they did by the long rope which now formed the 
easy means of communication from the kitchen to the 

Rose remained below to cover the retreat, and when 
the last man got up he followed him, replaced the board 
in the floor, and concealed the rope. He had barely 
done so when a detail of Confederate guards entered 
the kitchen from the Carey street door, and, headed by 


an officer, marched straight in his direction. Meantime 
the party had disappeared np the stairway and swiftly 
made their way over their prostrate comrades' forms to 
their proper sleeping-places. Rose, being the last up, 
and having the floor to fix, had now no time to disap- 
pear like his companions, at least without suspicious 
haste. He accordingly took a seat at one of the tables, 
and, putting an old pipe in his mouth, coolly awaited 
the approach of the Confederates. The officer of the 
guard came along, swinging his lantern almost in his 
face, stared at him for a second, and without a remark 
or a halt marched past him and ascended with his 
escort to the Chickamauga room. The entrance of a 
guard and their march around the prison, although 
afterward common enough after taps, was then an un- 
usual thing, causing much talk among the prisoners, 
and to the mind of Rose and his fellow-plotters was 
indicative of aroused suspicion on the part of the 

The whispering groups of men next day, and the 
number of his eager questioners, gave the leader con- 
siderable concern ; . and Hamilton suggested, as a 
measure of safety rather than choice, that some of 
the mischievous talk of escape would be suppressed by 
increasing the party. This was acted upon ; the men, 
like the rest, were put under oath by Rose, and the 
party was thus increased to four hundred and twenty. 
This force would have been enough to overpower the 
prison guard in a few minutes, but the swift alarm cer- 
tain to ensue in the streets and spread like wild-fire 
over Richmond, the meager information possessed by 
the prisoners as to the strength and position of the 


nearest Federal troops, the strongly guarded labyrinth 
of breastworks that encircled the city, and the easy 
facilities for instant pursuit at the command of the 
Confederates, put the success of snch an undertaking 
clearly out of the range of probability, unless, indeed, 
some unusual favoring contingency should arise, such 
as the near approach of a cooperating column of 
Federal cavalry. 

Nor M^as this an idle dream, as the country now 
knows, for even at this period General Kilpatrick was 
maturing his plans for that bold expedition for the 
rescue of the prisoners at Richmond and Belle Isle in 
which the lamented and heroic young cripple. Colonel 
Ulric Dahlgren, lost his life. Rose saw that a break 
out of Libby without such outside assistance promised 
nothing but a fruitless sacrifice of life and the sav- 
age punishment of the survivors. Hence the pro- 
ject, although eagerly and exhaustively discussed, was 
prudently abandoned. 

All talk of escape by the general crowd now wholly 
ceased, and the captives resigned themselves to their 
fate and waited with depressed spirits for the remote 
contingency of an exchange. The quiet thus gained 
was Rose's opportunity. He sought Hamilton and told 
him that they must by some stratagem regain access to 
Rat Hell, and that the tunnel project must be at once 
revived. The latter assented to the proposition, and 
the two began earnestly to study the means of gain- 
ing an entrance without discovery into this coveted 
base of operations. 

They could not even get into the room above the 
cellar they wanted to reach, for that was the hospital, 


and the kitchen's heavy wall shut them off therefrom. 
Neither could they bi^eak the heavy wall that divided 
this cellar from the carpenter's shop, which had been 
the nightly rendezvous of the party while the break- 
out was under consideration, for the breach certainly 
would be discovered by the workmen or Confederates, 
some of whom were in there constantly dui'ing 

There was, in fact, but one plan by which Rat Hell 
could be reached without detection, and the conception 
of this device and its successful execution were due to 
the stout-hearted Hamilton. This was to cut a hole in 
the back of the kitchen fireplace; the incision must 
be just far enough to preserve the opposite or hos- 
pital side intact. It must then be cut downward to a 
point below the level of the hospital floor, then east- 
ward into Rat Hell, the completed oj^ening thus to de- 
scribe the letter " S." It must be wide enough to let a 
man through, yet the wall must not be broken on the 
hospital side above the floor, nor marred on the car- 
penter's-shop side below it. Such a break would be 
fatal, for both of these points were conspicuously ex- 
posed to the view of the Confederates every hour in 
the day. Moreover, it was imperatively necessary 
that aU trace of the beginning of the opening should 
be concealed, not only from the Confederate officials 
and guards, who were constantly passing the spot 
every day, but from the hundreds of uninitiated pris- 
oners who crowded around the stove just in front of it 
from dawn till dark. 

Work could be possible only between the hours of 
ten at night, when the room was generally abandoned 


by the prisonei's because of its inundated condition, and 
four o'clock in the morning, when the earliest risers 
were again astir. It was necessary to do the work with 
an old jack-knife and one of the chisels previously se- 
cured by Eose. It must be done in darkness and with- 
out noise, for a vigilant sentinel paced on the Carey 
street sidewalk just outside the door and within ten 
feet of the fireplace. A rubber blanket was procured, 
and the soot from the chimney carefully swept into it. 
Hamilton, with his old knife, cut the mortar between 
the bricks and pried a dozen of them out, being careful 
to preserve them whole. 

The rest of the incision was made in accordance 
with the design described, but no conception could 
have been formed beforehand of the sickening tedious- 
ness of cutting an S-shaped hole through a heavy 
wall with a feeble old jack-knife, in stolen hours of 
darkness. Rose guarded his comrade against the con- 
stant danger of interruption by alert enemies on one 
side and by blundering friends on the other ; and, as 
frequently happens in human affairs, their friends 
gave them more trouble than their foes. Night after 
night passed, and still the two men got up after taps 
from their hard beds, and descended to the dismal and 
reeking kitchen to bore for liberty. When the sentinel's 
call at Castle Thunder and at Libby announced four 
o'clock, the dislodged bricks were carefully replaced, 
and the soot previously gathered in the gum blanket 
was flung in handfuls against the restored wall, filling 
the seams between the bricks so thoroughly as to defy 
detection. At last, after many weary nights, Ham- 
ilton's heroic patience and skill were rewarded, and 


the way was open to the coveted base of operations, 
Rat Hell. 

Now occurred a circumstance that almost revealed 
the plot and nearly ended in a tragedy. When the 
opening was finished, the long rope was made fast to 
one of the kitchen supporting posts, and Rose pro- 
ceeded to descend and reconnoiter. He got partly 
through with ease, but lost his hold in such a manner 
that his body slipped through so as to pinion his arms 
and leave him wholly powerless either to drop lower or 
return — the bend of the hole being such as to cramp 
his back and neck terribly and prevent him from breath- 
ing. He strove desperately, but each effort only wedged 
him more firmly in the awful vise. Hamilton sprang 
to his aid and did his utmost to effect his release ; but, 
powerful as he was, he could not budge him. Rose 
was gasping for breath and rapidly getting fainter, but 
even in this fearful strait he refrained from an outcry 
that would certainly alarm the guards just outside the 
door. Hamilton saw that without speedy relief his 
comrade must soon smother. He dashed through the 
long, dark room up the stairway, over the forms of 
several hundred men, and disregarding consequences 
and savage curses in the dark and crowded room, he 
trampled upon arms, legs, faces, and stomachs, leaving 
riot and blasphemy in his track among the rudely awa- 
kened and now furious lodgers of the Chickamauga 
room. He sought the sleeping-place of Major George 
H. Fitzsimmons, but he was missing. He, however, 
found Lieutenant F. F. Bennett, of the 18th Regulars 
(since a major in the 9th United States Cavalry), to 
whom he told the trouble in a few hastv words. Both 


men fairly flew across the room, dashed down the 
stairs, and by theii' united efforts Rose, half dead and 
quite speechless, was drawn up from the fearful trap. 

Hamilton managed slightly to increase the size of 
the hole and provide against a repetition of the acci- 
dent just narrated, and all being now ready, the two 
men entered eagerly upon the work before them. They 
appropriated one of the wooden spittoons of the prison, 
and to each side attached a piece of clothes-line which 
they had been permitted to have to dry clothes on. 
Several bits of candle and the larger of the two chisels 
were also taken to the operating-cellar. They kept this 
secret well, and worked alone for many nights. In fact, 
they would have so continued, but they found that 
after digging about four feet their caudle would go out 
in the vitiated air. Rose did the digging, and Hamil- 
ton fanned air into him with his hat : even then he had 
to emerge into the cellar every few minutes to breathe. 
Rose could dig, but needed the light and air ; and Ham- 
ilton could not fan, and drag out and deposit the ex- 
cavated earth, and meantime keep a lookout. In fact, 
it was demonstrated that there was slim chance of suc- 
ceeding without more assistance, and it was decided to 
organize a party large enough for effective work by re- 
liefs. As a preliminary step, and to afford the means 
of more rapid communication with the cellar from the 
fireplace opening, the long rope obtained from Colonel 
White was formed by Hamilton into a rope-ladder with 
convenient wooden rungs. This alteration consider- 
ably increased its bulk, and added to Rose's difficulty in 
concealing it from curious eyes. 

He now made a careful selection of thirteen men 


besides himself aud Hamilton, and bound them by a 
solemn oath to secrecy aud strict obedience. To form 
this party as he wanted it required some diplomacy, as 
it was known that the Confederates had on more than 
one occasion sent cunning spies into Libby disguised 
as Union prisoners, for the detection of any contem- 
plated plan of escape. Unfortunately, the complete 
list of the names of the party now formed has not been 
preserved ; but among the party, besides Eose and Ham- 
ilton, were Captain John Sterling, 30th Indiana ; Cap- 
tain John Lucas, 5th Kentucky Cavalry ; Captain Isaac 
N. Johnson, 6th Kentucky Cavalry; and Lieutenant 
F. F. Bennett, 18th Regulars. 

The party, being now formed, were taken to E-at Hell 
and their several duties explained to them by Rose, 
who was invested with full authority over the work in 
hand. Work was begun in rear of the little kitchen- 
room previously abandoned at the southeast corner of 
the cellar. To systematize the labor, the party was 
divided into squads of five each, which gave the men 
one night on duty and two off. Rose assigning each 
man to the branch of work in which experiments 
proved him the most proficient. He was himself, by 
long odds, the best digger of the party ; while Hamil- 
ton had no equal for ingenious mechanical skill in con- 
triving helpful little devices to overcome or lessen the 
difficulties that beset almost every step of the party's 

The first plan was to dig down alongside the east 
wall and under it until it was passed, then turn south- 
ward and make for the large street sewer next the 
canal and into which Rose had before noticed work- 


men descending. This sewer was a large one, believed 
to be fully six feet high, and, if it could be gained, there 
could be little doubt that an adjacent opening to the 
canal would be found to the eastward. It was very 
soon revealed, however, that the lower side of Libby 
was built upon ponderous timbers, below which they 
could not hope to penetrate with their meager stock of 
tools — such, at least, was the opinion of nearly all the 
party. Rose nevertheless determined that the effort 
should be made, and they were soon at work with old 
penknives and case-knives hacked into saws. After 
infinite labor they at length cut through the great logs, 
only to be met by an unforeseen and still more for- 
midable barrier. Their tunnel, in fact, had penetrated 
below the level of the canal. Water began to filter in 
— feebly at first, but at last it broke in with a rush that 
came near drowning Rose, who barely had time to make 
his escape. This opening was therefore plugged up; 
and to do this rapidly and leave no dangerous traces 
put the party to their wit's end. 

An attempt was next made to dig into a small sewer 
that ran from the southeast corner of the prison into 
the main sewer. After a number of nights of hard 
labor, this opening was extended to a point below a 
brick furnace in which were incased several caldrons. 
The weight of this furnace caused a cave-in near the 
sentinel's path outside the prison wall. Next day, a 
group of officers were seen eying the break curiously. 
Rose, listening at a window above, heard the words 
" rats " repeated by them several times, and took com- 
fort. The next day he entered the cellar alone, feel- 
ing that if the suspicions of the Confederates were 


really awakened a trap would be set for him in Rat 
Hell, and determined, if such were really the case, 
that he would be the only victim caught. He therefore 
entered the little partitioned corner room with some 
anxiety, but there was no visible evidence of a visit 
by the guards, and his spirits again rose. 

The party now reassembled, and an effort was made 
to get into the small sewer that ran from the cook- 
room to the big sewer which Rose was so eager to 
reach ; but soon it was discovered, to the utter dismay 
of the weary party, that this wood-lined sewer was too 
small to let a man through it. Still it was hoped by 
Rose that by removing the plank with which it was 
lined the passage could be made. The spirits of the 
party were by this time considerably dashed by their 
repeated failures and sickening work ; but the un- 
daunted Rose, aided by Hamilton, persuaded the men 
to another effort, and soon the knives and toy saws 
were at work again with vigor. The work went on so 
swimmingly that it was confidently believed that an 
entrance to the main sewer would be gained on the 
night of January 26, 1864. 

On the night of the 25th two men had been left 
down in Rat Hell to cover any remaining traces of 
a tunnel, and when night came again it was expected 
that all would be ready for the escape between eight 
and nine o'clock. In the mean time, the two men 
were to enter and make careful examination of the 
main sewer and its adjacent outlets. The party, which 
was now in readiness for its march to the Federal 
camps, waited tidings from these two men all next day 
in tormenting anxiety, and the weary hours went by 


OD leaden wings. At last the sickening word came 
that the planks yet to be removed before they could 
enter the main sewer were of seasoned oak — hard as 
bone, and three inches thick. Their feeble tools were 
now worn out or broken ; they could no longer get air 
to work, or keep a light in the horrible pit, which was 
reeking with cold mud; in short, any attempt at 
further progress with the utensils at hand was foolish. 
Most of the party were now really ill from the foul 
stench in which they had lived so long. The visions 
of liberty that had first lured them to desperate efforts 
under the inspiration of Rose and Hamilton had at 
last faded, and one by one they lost heart and hope, 
and frankly told Colonel Rose that they could do no 
more. The party was therefore disbanded, and the yet 
sanguine leader, with Hamilton for his sole helper, 
continued the work alone. Up to this time thirty-nine 
nights had been spent in the work of excavation. 
The two men now made a careful examination of the 
northeast corner of the cellar, at which point the 
earth's surface outside the prison wall, being eight or 
nine feet higher than at the canal or south side, 
afforded a better place to dig than the latter, being 
free from water and with clay-top enough to support 
itself. The unfavorable feature of this point was that 
the only possible terminus of a tunnel was a yard be- 
tween the buildings beyond the vacant lot on the east 
of Libby. Another objection was that, even when 
the tunnel should be made to that point, the exit of 
any escaping party must be made through an arched 
wagon-way under the building that faced the street on 
the canal side, and every man must emerge on the 


sidewalk in sight of the sentinel on the south side of 
the prison, the intervening space being in the full 
glare of the gas-lamp. It was carefully noted, how- 
ever, by Rose, long before this, that the west end of 
the beat of the nearest sentinel was between fifty and 
sixty feet from the point of egress, and it was con- 
cluded that by walking aw^ay at the moment the sen- 
tinel commenced his pace westward, one would be far 
enough into the shadow to make it improbable that the 
color of his clothing could be made out by the sentinel 
when he faced about to return toward the eastern end 
of his beat, which terminated ten to fifteen feet east of 
the prison wall. It was further considered that as 
these sentinels had for their special duty the guarding 
of the prison, they would not be eager to burden them- 
selves with the duty of molesting persons seen in the 
vicinity outside of their jurisdiction, provided, of 
course, that the retreating forms — many of which they 
must certainly see — were not recognized as Yankees. 
All others they might properly leave for the challenge 
and usual examination of the provost guard who 
patrolled the streets of Richmond. 

The wall of that east cellar had to be broken in 
three places before a place was found where the earth 
was firm enough to support a tunnel. The two men 
worked on with stubborn patience, but their progress 
was painfully slow. Rose dug assiduously, and Hamil- 
ton alternately fanned air to his comrade and dragged 
out and hid the excavated dirt, but the old difficulty 
confronted him. The candle would not burn, the air 
could not be fanned fast enough with a hat, and the dirt 
hidden, without better contrivances or additional help. 


Rose now reassembled the party, and selected from 
them a number who were willing to renew the at- 
tempt/ Against the east wall stood a series of stone 
fenders abutting inward, and these, being at uniform 
intervals of about twenty feet, cast deep shadows that 
fell toward the prison front. In one of these dark re- 
cesses the wall was pierced, well up toward the Carey 
street end. The earth here has very densely com- 
pressed sand, that offered a strong resistance to the 
broad-bladed chisel, which was their only effective 
implement, and it was clear that a long turn of hard 
work must be done to penetrate under the fifty-foot 
lot to the objective point. The lower part of the 
tunnel was about six inches above the level of the cel- 
lar floor, and its top about two and a half feet. Ab- 
solute accuracy was of course impossible, either in 
giving the hole a perfectly horizontal direction or in 
preserving uniform dimensions ; but a fair level was 
preserved, and the average diameter of the tunnel was 
a little over two feet. Usually one man would dig, 
and fill the spittoon with earth ; upon the signal of a 
gentle pull, an assistant would drag the load into the 

1 The party now consisted of Col- 21st Illinois ; Lieutenant David Gar- 

onel Thomas E. Eose, 77th Penn- bett, 77th Pennsylvania; Lieutenant 

sylvania ; Major A. Gr. Hamilton, J. C. Fislar, 7th Indiana Artillery ; 

12th Kentucky; Captain Terrance Lieutenant John D. Simpson, 10th 

Clark, 79th Illinois ; Major George Indiana ; Lieutenant John Mitchell, 

H. Fitzsimmous, 30th Indiana : Cap- 79th Illinois ; and Lieutenant Eli 

tain John F.Gallagher, 2d Ohio: Cap- Foster, 30th Indiana. This party 

tain W. S. B. Randall, 2d Ohio ; was divided into three reliefs, as 

Captain John Lucas, 5th Kentucky ; before, and the work of breaking 

Captain I. N. Johnson, 6th Ken- the cellar wall was successfully done 

tucky ; Major B. B. McDonald, 101st the first night by McDonald and 

Ohio; Lieutenant N. S. McKean, Clark. 


cellar by the clothes-lines fastened to each side of this 
box, and then hide it under the straw; a third con- 
stantly fanned air into the tunnel with a rubber 
blanket stretched across a frame, the invention of the 
ingenious Hamilton ; a fourth would give occasional re- 
lief to the last two ; while a fifth would keep a lookout. 

The danger of discovery was continual, for the 
guards were under instructions from the prison com- 
mandant to make occasional visits to every accessible 
part of the building ; so that it was not unusual for a 
sergeant and several men to enter the south door of 
Rat Hell in the daytime, while the diggers were at 
labor in the dark north end. During these visits the 
digger would watch the intruders with his head stick- 
ing out of the tunnel, while the others would crouch 
behind the low stone fenders, or crawl quickly under 
the straw. This was, however, so uninviting a place 
that the Confederates made this visit as brief as a 
nominal compliance with their orders permitted, and 
they did not often venture into the dark north end. 
The work was fearfully monotonous, and the more so 
because absolute silence was commanded, the men 
moving about mutely in the dark. The darkness 
caused them frequently to become bewildered and 
lost ; and as Rose could not call out for them, he had 
often to hunt all over the big dungeon to gather them 
up and pilot them to their places. 

The difficulty of forcing air to the digger, whose 
body nearly filled the tunnel, increased as the hole was 
extended, and compelled the operator to back often 
into the cellar for air, and for air that was itself foul 
enough to sicken a strong man. 


But they were no longer harassed with the water 
and timbers that had impeded their progress at the 
south end. Moreover, experience was daily making 
ea(ih man more proficient in the work. Rose urged 
them on with cheery enthusiasm, and their hopes rose 
high, for already they had penetrated beyond the 
sentinel's beat and were n earing the goal. 

The party off duty kept a cautious lookout from the 
upper east windows for any indications of suspicion on 
the part of the Confederates. In this extreme caution 
was necessary, both to avert the curiosity of prisoners 
in those east rooms, and to keep out of the range of 
bullets from the guards, who were under a standing 
order to fire at a head if seen at a window, or at a 
hand if placed on the bars that secured them. A sen- 
tinel's bullet one day cut a hole in the ear of Lieuten- 
ant Hammond; another officer was wounded in the 
face by a bullet, which fortunately first splintered 
against one of the window-bars ; and a captain of an 
Ohio regiment was shot through the head and in- 
stantly killed while reading a newspaper. He was 
violating no rule whatever, and when shot was from 
eight to ten feet inside the window through which the 
bullet came. This was a wholly unprovoked and wan- 
ton murder ; the cowardly miscreant had fired the shot 
while he was off duty, and from the north sidewalk of 
Carey street. The guards (home guards they were) 
used, in fact, to gun for prisoners' heads from their 
posts below, pretty much after the fashion of boys 
after squirrels ; and the whizz of a bullet through the 
windows became too common an occurrence to occa- 
sion remark unless some one was shot. 


Under a standing rule, the twelve hundred prisoners 
were counted twice each day, the first count being made 
about nine in the morning, ^nd the last about four in 
the afternoon. This duty was habitually done by the 
clerk of the prison, E. W. Ross, a civilian employed by 
the commandant. He was christened "Little Ross"^ by 
the prisoners, because of his diminutive size. Ross was 
generally attended by either "Dick" Tui'ner, Adjutant 
Latouche, or Sergeant Gleorge Stansil, of the 18th Geor- 
gia, with a small guard to keep the prisoners in four 
closed ranks during the count. The commandant of 
the prison, Major Thomas P. Turner (no relative of 
Dick's), seldom came up-stairs. 

To conceal the absence of the five men who were daily 
at work at the tunnel, theii' comrades of the party off 
digging duty resorted, under Rose's supervision, to a 
device of "repeating." This scheme, which was of vital 
importance to hoodwink the Confederates and avert 
mischievous curiosity among the uninformed prisoners, 
was a hazardous business that severely taxed the in- 
genuity and strained the nerve of the leader and his 
coadjutors. The manner of the fraud varied with cir- 
cumstances, but in general it was worked by five of 
Rose's men, after being counted at or near the head of 
the line, stooping down and running toward the foot 
of the ranks, where a few moments later they were 
counted a second time, thus making Ross's book bal- 
ance. The whole five, however, could not always do 
this undiscovered, and perhaps but three of the num- 
ber could repeat. These occasional mishaps threatened 

1 "Little Ross" was burned to death, with other guests, at the Spots wood 
House, Richmond, in 1873. 



to dethrone the reason of the puzzled clerk ; but in the 
next count the "repeaters" would succeed in their 
game, and for the time all went well, until one day 
some of the prisoners took it into their heads, " just for 
the fun of the thing," to imitate the repeaters. Uncon- 
scious of the curses that the party were mentally hurl- 
ing at them, the meddlers' sole purpose was to make 
"Little Ross" mad. In this they certainly met with 
signal success, for the reason of the mystified clerk 
seemed to totter as he repeated the count over and over 
in the hope of finding out how one careful count would 
show that three prisoners were missing and the next 
an excess of fifteen. Finally Ross, lashed into un- 
controllable fury by the sarcastic remarks of his em- 
ployers and the heartless merriment of the grinning 
Yanks before him, poured forth his goaded soul as 
follows : 

" Now, gentlemen, look yere. I can count a hundred 
as good as any blank man in this yere town, but I '11 
be blank blanked if I can count a hundred of you 
blanked Yankees. Now, gentlemen, there 's one thing 
sho : there 's eight or ten of you-uns yere that ain't yere ! " 

This extraordinary accusation "brought down the 
house," and the Confederate ofiicers and guards, and 
finally Ross himself, were caught by the reF''stless 
contagion of laughter that shook the rafters of Libby. 

The of&cials somehow found a balance that day on 
the books, and the danger was for this once over, to the 
infinite relief of Rose and his anxious comrades. But 
the Confederates appeared dissatisfied with something, 
and came up-stairs next morning with more officers and 
with double the usual number of guards ; and some of 


these were now stationed about the room so as to make 
it next to impossible to work the repeating device suc- 
cessfully. On this day, for some reason, there were 
but two men in the cellar, and these were Major B. B. 
McDonald and Captain I. N. Johnson. 

The count began as usual, and despite the guard in 
rear, two of the party attempted the repeating device 
by forcing their way through the center of the ranks 
toward the left ; but the " fun of the thing " had now 
worn out with the unsuspecting meddlers, who re- 
sisted the passage of the two men. This drew the at- 
tention of the Confederate officers, and the repeaters 
were threatened with punishment. The result was in- 
evitable : the count showed two missing. It was care- 
fully repeated, with the same result. To the dismay of 
Rose and his little band, the prison register was now 
brought up-stairs and a long, tedious roll-call by name 
was endured, each man passing through a narrow door 
as his name was called, and between a line of guards. 

No stratagem that Rose could now invent could avert 
the discovery by the Confederates that McDonald and 
Johnson had disappeared, and the mystery of their de- 
parture would be almost certain to cause an inquiry 
and investigation that would put their plot in peril and 
probrMy reveal it. 

At last the "J's" were reached, and the name of 
I. N. Johnson was lustily shouted and repeated, with 
no response. The roll-call proceeded until the name 
of B. B. McDonald was reached. To the increasing 
amazement of everybody but the conspirators, he also 
had vanished. A careful note was taken of these two 
names by the Confederates, and a thousand tongues 


were now busy with the names of the missing men and 
their singular disappearance. 

The conspirators were in a tight place, and must 
choose between two things. One was for the men in 
the cellar to return that night and face the Confeder- 
ates with the most plausible explanation of their ab- 
sence that they could invent, and the other alternative 
was the revolting one of remaining in their horrible 
abode until the completion of the tunnel. 

When night came the fireplace was opened, and the 
unlucky pair were informed of the situation of affairs 
and asked to choose between the alternatives pre- 
sented. McDonald decided to return and face the 
music; but Johnson, doubtful if the Confederates 
would be hoodwinked by any explanation, voted to 
remain where he was and wait for the finish of the 

As was anticipated, McDonald's return awakened 
almost as much curiosity among the inhabitants of 
Libby as his disappearance, and he was soon called to 
account by the Confederates. He told them he had 
fallen asleep in an out-of-the-way place in the upper 
west room, where the guards must have overlooked 
him during the roll-call of the day before. McDonald 
was not further molested. The garrulous busybodies, 
who were Rose's chief dread, told the Confederate 
officials that they had certainly slept near Johnson the 
night before the day he was missed. Lieutenant J. C. 
Fislar (of the working party), who also slept next to 
Johnson, boldly declared this a case of mistaken iden- 
tity, and confidently expressed his belief to both Con- 
federates and Federals who gathered around him that 


Jolinson had escaped, and was by this time, no doubt, 
safe in the Union lines. To this he added the positive 
statement that Johnson had not been in his accus- 
tomed sleeping-place for a good many nights. The 
busybodies, who had indeed told the truth, looked at 
the speaker in speechless amazement, but reiterated 
their statements. Others of the conspirators, however, 
took Fislar's bold cue and stoutly corroborated him. 

Johnson was, of course, nightly fed by his compan- 
ions, and gave them such assistance as he could at the 
work ; but it soon became apparent that a man could 
not long exist in such a pestilential atmosphere. No 
tongue can tell how long were the days and nights the 
poor fellow passed among the squealing rats, — endur- 
ing the sickening air, the deathly chill, the horrible, 
interminable darkness. One day out of three was an 
ordeal for the workers, who at least had a rest of two 
days afterward. As a desperate measure of relief, it 
was arranged, with the utmost caution, that late each 
night Johnson should come up-stairs, when all was 
dark and the prison in slumber, and sleep among the 
prisoners until just before the time for closing the fire- 
place opening, about four o'clock each morning. As he 
spoke to no one and the room was dark, his presence 
was never known, even to those who lay next to 
him ; and indeed he listened to many earnest conversa- 
tions between his neighbors regarding his wonderful 

As a matter of course, the incidents above narrated 
made day-work on the tunnel too hazardous to be in- 

1 In a volume entitled "Four Months in Libby," Captain Jolinson lias 
related his experience at this time, and his subsequent escape. 


dulged in, on account of the increased dif&cnlty of 
accounting f oi' absentees ; but the party continued the 
night- work with unabated industry. 

When the opening had been extended nearly across 
the lot, some of the party believed they had entered 
under the yard which was the intended terminus ; and 
one night, when McDonald was the digger, so confident 
was he that the desired distance had been made, that 
he turned his direction upward, and soon broke 
through to the surface. A glance showed him his 
nearly fatal blunder, against which, indeed, he had 
been earnestly warned by Rose, who from the first 
had carefully estimated the intervening distance be- 
tween the east wall of Libby and the terminus. In 
fact, McDonald saw that he had broken through in the 
open lot which was all in full view of a sentinel who 
was dangerously close. Appalled by what he had done, 
he retreated to the cellar and reported the disaster 
to his companions. Believing that discovery was now 
certain, the jDarty sent one of their number up the rope 
to report to Rose, who was asleep. The hour was about 
midnight when the leader learned of the mischief. He 
quickly got up, went down cellar, entered the tunnel, 
and examined the break. It was not so near the sen- 
tinel's path as McDonald's excited report indicated, 
and fortunately the breach was at a point whence the 
surface sloped downward toward the east. He took off 
his blouse and stuffed it into the opening, pulling the 
dirt over it noiselessly, and in a few minutes there was 
little surface evidence of the hole. He then backed 
into the cellar in the usual crab fashion, and gave di- 
rections for the required depression of the tunnel and 


vigorous resumption of the work. The hole made in 
the roof of the tunnel was not much larger than a rat- 
hole, and could not be seen from the prison. But the 
next night Rose shoved an old shoe out of the hole, 
and the day afterward he looked down through the 
prison bars and saw the shoe lying where he had 
placed it, and judged from its position that he had 
better incline the direction of the tunnel slightly to 
the left. 

Meantime Captain Johnson was dragging out a 
wretched existence in Rat Hell, and for safety was 
obliged to confine himself by day to the dark north 
end, for the Confederates often came into the place 
very suddenly through the south entrance. When they 
ventured too close, Johnson would get into a pit that 
he had dug under the straw as a hiding-hole both for 
himself and the tunuelers' tools, and quickly cover him- 
self with a huge heap of short packing-straw. A score 
of times he came near being stepped upon by the Con- 
federates, and more than once the dust of the straw 
compelled him to sneeze in their very presence. 

On Saturday, February 6, a larger party than usual 
of the Confederates came into the cellar, walked by the 
very mouth of the tunnel, and seemed to be making a 
critical survey of the entire place. They remained an 
unusually long time and conversed in low tones; several 
of them even kicked the loose straw about ; and in fact 
everything seemed to indicate to Johnson — who was 
the only one of the working party now in the cellar — 
that the long-averted discovery had been made. That 
night he reported matters fully to Rose at the fireplace 


The tunnel was now nearly completed, and when 
Rose conveyed Johnson's message to the party it caused 
dismay. Even the stout-hearted Hamilton was for 
once excited, and the leader whose unflinching forti- 
tude had thus far inspired his little band had his brave 
spirits dashed. But his buoyant courage rose quickly 
to its high and natural level. He could not longer 
doubt that the suspicions of the Confederates were 
aroused, but he felt convinced that these suspicions 
had not as yet assumed such a definite shape as most 
of his companions thought; still, he had abundant 
reason to believe that the success of the tunnel abso- 
lutely demanded its speedy completion, and he now 
firmly resolved that a desperate effort should be made 
to that end. Remembering that the next day was Sun- 
day, and that it was not customary for the Confederates 
to visit the operating-cellar on that day, he determined 
to make the most in his power of the now precious 
time. He therefore caused all the party to remain up- 
stairs, directing them to keep a close watch upon the 
Confederates from all available points of observation, 
to' avoid being seen in whispering groups, — in short, to 
avoid all things calculated to excite the curiosity of 
friends or the suspicion of enemies, — and to await his 

Taking McDonald with him, he went down through 
the fireplace before daylight on Sunday morning, and, 
bidding Johnson to keep a vigilant watch for intruders 
and McDonald to fan air into him, he entered the tun- 
nel and began the forlorn hope. From this time for- 
ward he never once turned over the chisel to a relief. 

All day long he worked with the tireless patience of 


a beaver. When night came, even his single a flood 
who performed the double duty of fanning air and over 
ing the excavated earth, was ill from his hard, ivOut 
task and the deadly air of the cellar. Yet this was a& 
nothing compared with the fatigue of the duty that 
Rose had performed; and when at last, far into the 
night, he backed into the cellar, he had scarcely strength 
enough to stagger across to the rope-ladder. 

He had made more than double the distance that had 
been accomplished under the system of reliefs on any 
previous day, and the non-appearance of the Confeder- 
ates encouraged the hope that another day, without 
interruption, would see the work completed. He there- 
fore determined to refresh himself by a night's sleep for 
the finish. The drooping spirits of his party were re- 
vived by the report of his progress and his unalterable 

Monday morning dawned, and the great prison with 
its twelve hundred captives was again astir. The 
general crowd did not suspect the suppressed excite- 
ment and anxiety of the little party that waited through 
that interminable day, which they felt must determine 
the fate of their project. 

Rose had repeated the instructions of the day before, 
and again descended to Rat Hell with McDonald for 
his only helper. Johnson reported all quiet, and Mc- 
Donald taking up his former duties at the tunnel's 
mouth, Rose once more entered with his chisel. It was 
now the seventeenth day since the present tunnel was 
begun, and he resolved it should be the last. Hour 
after hour passed, and still the busy chisel was plied, 
and still the little wooden box with its freight of earth 


The tro monotonous trips from the digger to his 
Rose crde and back again. 

disp^rom the early morning of Monday, February 8, 
oj j64, until an hour after midnight the next morning, 
^ his work went on. As midnight approached, Rose was 
nearly a physical wreck : the perspii'ation dripi:>ed from 
every pore of his exhausted body ; food he could not 
have eaten if he had had it. His labors thus far had 
given him a somewhat exaggerated estimate of his 
physical powers. The sensation of fainting was strange 
to him, but his staggering senses warned him that to 
faint where he was meant at once his death and burial. 
He could scarcely inflate his lungs with the poisonous 
air of the pit; his muscles quivered with increasing 
weakness and the warning spasmodic tremor which 
their unnatural strain induced; his head swam like 
that of a drowning person. 

By midnight he had struck and passed beyond a post 
which he felt must be in the yard. During the last 
few minutes he had directed his course upward, and 
to relieve his cramped limbs he turned upon his back. 
His strength was nearly gone ; the feeble stream of air 
which his comrade was trying, with all his might, to 
send to him from a distance of fifty-three feet could 
no longer reach him through the deadly stench. His 
senses reeled; he had not breath or strength enough 
to move backward through his narrow grave. In the 
agony of suffocation he dropped the dull chisel and 
beat his two fists against the roof of his grave with the 
might of despair — when, blessed boon ! the crust gave 
way and the loosened earth showered upon his dripping 
face purple with agony ; his famished eye caught sight 



of a radiant star in the blue vault above him ; a flood 
of light and a volume of cool, delicious air poured over 
him. At that very instant the sentinel's cry rang out 
like a prophecy — " Half -past one, and all 's well ! " 

Recovering quickly under the inspiring aii', he 
dragged his body out of the hole and made a careful 


survey of the yard in which he found himself. He was 
under a shed, with a board fence between him and the 
east-side sentinels, and the gable end of Libby loomed 
grimly against the blue sky. He found the wagon-way 
under the south-side building closed from the street by 
a gate fastened by a swinging bar, which, after a good 
many efforts, he succeeded in opening. This was the 
only exit to the street. As soon as the nearest 
sentinel's back was turned he stepped out and walked 
quickly to the east. At the first corner he turned 
north, carefully avoiding the sentinels in front of the 
"Pemberton Buildings" (another military prison north- 


east of Libby), and at the corner above this he went 
westward, then south to the edge of the canal, and 
thus, by cautious moving, made a minute examination 
of Libby from all sides. 

Having satisfied his desires, he retraced his steps to 
the yard. He hunted up an old bit of heavy plank, 
crept back into the tunnel feet first, drew the plank 
over the opening to conceal it from the notice of any 
possible visitors to the place, and crawled back to Rat 
Hell. McDonald was overjoyed, and poor Johnson al- 
most wept with delight, as Rose handed one of them 
his victorious old chisel, and gave the other some trifle 
he had picked up in the outer world as a token that 
the Underground Railroad to Grod's Country was open. 

Rose now climbed the rope-ladder, drew it up, re- 
built the fireplace wall as usual, and, finding Hamilton, 
took him over near one of the windows and broke the 
news to him. The brave fellow was almost speechless 
with delight, and quickly hunting up the rest of the 
party, told them that Colonel Rose wanted to see them 
down in the dining-room. 

As they had been waiting news from their absent 
leader with feverish anxiety for what had seemed to 
them all the longest day in their lives, they instantly 
responded to the call, and flocked around Rose a few 
minutes later in the dark kitchen where he waited 
them. As yet they did not know what news he 
brought, and they could scarcely wait for him to speak 
out; and when he announced, " Boys, the tunnel is fin- 
ished," they could hardly repress a cheer. They wrung 
his hand again and again, and danced about with 
childish joy. 


It was now nearly three o'clock in the morning. Rose 
and Hamilton were ready to go out at once, and indeed 
were anxious to do so, since every day of late had 
brought some new peril to their plans. None of the 
rest, however, were ready; and all urged the advantage 
of having a whole night in which to escape through 
and beyond the Richmond fortifications, instead of the 
few hours of darkness which now preceded the day. 
To this proposition Rose and Hamilton somewhat re- 
luctantly assented. It was agreed that each man of 
the party should have the privilege of taking one 
friend into his confidence, and that the second party of 
fifteen thus formed should be obligated not to follow 
the working party out of the tunnel until an hour had 
elapsed. Colonel H. C. Hobart, of the 21st Wisconsin, 
was deputed to see that the program was observed. 
He was to draw up the rope-ladder, hide it, and rebuild 
the wall; and the next night was himself to lead out the 
second party, deputing some trustworthy leader to fol- 
low with still another party on the third night ; and 
thus it was to continue until as many as possible 
should escape. 

On Tuesday evening, February 9, at seven o'clock. 
Colonel Rose assembled his party in the kitchen, and, 
posting himself at the fireplace, which he opened, 
waited until the last man went down. He bade Colonel 
Hobart good-by, went down the hole, and waited until 
he had heard his comrade pull up the ladder, and 
finally heard him replace the bricks in the fireplace and 
depart. He now crossed Rat Hell to the entrance into 
the tunnel, and placed the party in the order in which 
they were to go out. He gave each a parting caution. 


thanked his brave comrades for thek faithful labors, 
and, feelingly shaking their hands, bade them Grod- 
speed and farewell. 

He entered the tunnel first, with Hamilton next, and 
was promptly followed by the whole party through the 
tunnel and into the yard. He opened the gate leading 
toward the canal, and signaled the party that all was 
clear. Stepping out on the sidewalk as soon as the 
nearest sentinel's back was turned, he walked briskly 
down the street to the east, and a square below was 
joined by Hamilton, The others followed at intervals 
of a few minutes, and disappeared in various directions 
in groups usually of three. 

The plan agreed upon between Colonels Rose and 
Hobart was frustrated by information of the party's 
departure leaking out; and before nine o'clock the know- 
ledge of the existence of the tunnel and of the departure 
of the first party was flashed over the crowded prison, 
which was soon a convention of excited and whispering 
men. Colonel Hobart made a brave effort to restore 
order, but the frenzied crowd that now fiercely strug- 
gled for precedence at the fireplace was beyond 
human control. 

Some of them had opened the fireplace and were 
jumping down like sheep into the cellar one after 
another. The colonel implored the maddened men at 
least to be quiet, and put the rope-ladder in position 
and escaped himself. 

My companion, Sprague, was already asleep when I 
lay down that night ; but my other companion, Duen- 
kel, who had been hunting for me, was very much 
awake, and, seizing me by the collar, he whispered ex- 


citedly the fact that Colonel Rose had gone out at the 
head of a party through a tunnel. For a brief moment 
the appalling suspicion that my friend's reason had 
been dethroned by illness and captivity swept over my 
mind ; but a glance toward the window at the east end 
showed a quiet but apparently excited group of men 
from other rooms, and I now observed that several of 
them were bundled up for a march. The hope of re- 
gaining liberty thrilled me like a current of electricity. 
Looking through the window, I could see the escaping 
men appear one by one on the sidewalk below, opposite 
the exit yard, and silently disappear, without hin- 
drance or challenge by the prison sentinels. While I 
was eagerly surveying this scene, I lost track of Duen- 
kel, who had gone in search of further information, but 
ran against Lieutenant Harry Wilcox, of the 1st New 
York, whom I knew, and who appeared to have the 
"tip" regarding the tunnel. Wilcox and I agreed to 
unite our fortunes in the escape. My shoes were nearly 
worn out, and my clothes were thin and ragged. I was 
ill prepared for a journey in midwinter through the 
enemy's country: happily I had my old overcoat, and 
this I put on. I had not a crumb of food saved up, as 
did those who were posted ; but as I was ill at the time, 
my appetite was feeble. 

Wilcox and I hurried to the kitchen, where we found 
several hundred men struggling to be first at the open- 
ing in the fireplace. We took our places behind them, 
and soon two hundred more closed us tightly in the 
mass. The room was pitch-dark, and the sentinel could 
be seen through the door- cracks, within a dozen feet of 
us. The fight for precedence was savage, though no one 


spoke; but now and then fainting men begged to be 
released. They begged in vain : certainly some of them 
must have been permanently injured. For my own 
part, when I neared the stove I was nearly suffocated; 
but I took heart when I saw but three more men be- 
tween me and the hole. At this moment a sound as of 
tramping feet was heard, and some idiot on the outer 
edge of the mob startled us with the cry, " The guards, 
the guards ! " A fearful panic ensued, and the entire 
crowd bounded toward the stairway leading up to 
their sleeping-quarters. The stairway was unbanis- 
tered, and some of the men were forced off the edge and 
fell on those beneath. I was among the lightest in 
that crowd; and when it broke and expanded I was 
taken off my feet, dashed to the floor senseless, my 
head and one of my hands bruised and cut, and my 
shoulder painfully injured by the boots of the men who 
rushed over me. When I gathered my swimming wits 
I was lying in a pool of water. The room seemed darker 
than before ; and, to my grateful surprise, I was alone. 
I was now convinced that it was a false alarm, and 
quickly resolved to avail myself of the advantage of 
having the whole place to myself. I entered the cavity 
feet first, but found it necessary to remove my overcoat 
and push it through the opening, and it fell in the 
darkness below. 

I had now no comrade, having lost Wilcox in the 
stampede. Eose and his party, being the first out, 
were several hours on their journey ; and I burned to 
be away, knowing well that my salvation depended on 
my passage beyond the city defenses before the pursu- 
ing guards were on our trail, when the inevitable dis- 


covery should come at roll-call. • The fact that I was 
alone I regretted ; but I had served with McClellan in 
the Peninsula campaign of 1862, I knew the country 
well from my frequent inspection of war maps, and the 
friendly north star gave me my bearings. The rope- 
ladder had either become broken or disarranged, but it 
afforded me a short hold at the top ; so I balanced my- 
self, trusted to fortune, and fell into Rat Hell, which 
was a rayless pit of darkness, swarming with squealing 
rats, several of which I must have killed in my fall. I 
felt a troop of them run over my face and hands be- 
fore I could regain my feet. Several times I put my 
hand on them, and once I flung one from my shoulder. 
Groping around, I found a stout stick or stave, put my 
back to the wall, and beat about me blindly but with 

In spite of the hurried instructions given me by 
Wilcox, I had a long and horrible hunt over the cold 
surface of the cellar walls in my efforts to find the 
entrance to the tunnel; and in two minutes after I 
began feeling my way with my hands I had no idea in 
what part of the place was the point where I had 
fallen : my bearings were completely lost, and I must 
have made the circuit of Rat Hell several times. At 
my entrance the rats seemed to receive me with cheers 
sufficiently hearty, I thought; but my vain efforts to 
find egress seemed to kindle anew their enthusiasm. 
They had received large reinforcements, and my 
march around was now received with deafening 
squeaks. Finally, my exploring hands fell upon a pair 
of heels which vanished at my touch. Here at last was 
the narrow road to freedom ! The heels proved to be 


the property of Lieutenant Charles H. Morgan, 21st 
Wisconsin, a Chickamauga prisoner. Just ahead of 
him in the tunnel was Lieutenant William L. Watson, 
of the same company and regiment. With my cut 





hand and bruised shoulder, the passage through the 
cold, narrow grave was indescribably horrible, and 
when I reached the terminus in the yard I was sick 
and faint. The passage seemed to me to be a mile 
long; but the crisp, pure air and the first glimpse 
of freedom, the sweet sense of being out of doors, and 
the realization that I had taken the first step toward 


liberty and home, had a magical effect in my restor- 

I have related before, in a published reminiscence,^ 
my experience and that of my two companions above 
named in the journey toward the Union lines, and our 
recapture; but the more important matter relating 
to the plot itself has never been published. This 
is the leading motive of this article, and therefore I 
will not intrude the details of my personal experience 
into the narrative. It is enough to say that it was 
a chapter of hairbreadth escapes, hunger, cold, suffer- 
ing, and, alas ! failure. We were run down and captured 
in a swamp several miles north of Charlottesville, and 
when we were taken our captors pointed out to us the 
smoke over a Federal outpost. We were brought back 
to Libby, and put in one of the dark, narrow dungeons. 
I was afterward confined in Macon, Georgia ; Charles- 
ton and Columbia, South Carolina; and in Charlotte, 
North Carolina. After a captivity of just a year and 
eight months, during which I had made five escapes 
and was each time retaken, I was at last released on 
March 1, 1865, at Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Great was the panic in Libby when the next morn- 
ing's roll revealed to the astounded Confederates that 
109 of their captives were missing; and as the fireplace 
had been rebuilt by some one and the opening of the 
hole in the yard had been covered by the last man who 
went out, no human trace guided the keepers toward 
a solution of the mystery. The Richmond papers hav- 
ing announced the " miraculous " escape of 109 Yankee 
officers from Libby, curious crowds flocked thither for 

1 "Philadelphia Times," October 28, 1882. 


several days, until some one, happening to remove the 
plank in the yard, revealed the tunnel. A terrified 
negro was driven into the hole at the point of the 
bayonet, and thus made a Irip to Rat Hell that nearly 
turned him white. H 

Several circumstances at this time combined to make 
this escape peculiarly exasperating to the Confederates. 
In obedience to repeated appeals from the Richmond 
newspapers, iron bars had but recently been fixed in all 
the prison windows for better security, and the guard 
had been considerably reinforced. The columns of 
these same journals had just been aglow with accounts 
of the daring and successful escape of the "Confederate 
General John Morgan and his companions from the 
Columbus (Ohio) jail. Morgan had arrived in Rich- 
mond on the 8th of January, exactly a month prior to 
the completion of the tunnel, and was still the lion of 
the Confederate capital. 

At daylight a plank was seen suspended on the out- 
side of the east wall; this was fastened by a blanket- 
rope to one of the window-bars^ and was, of course, a 
trick to mislead the Confederates. Gleneral John H. 
Winder, then in charge of all the prisoners in the Con- 
federacy, with his headquarters in Richmond, was 
furious w^en the news reached him. After a careful 
external examination of the building, and a talk, not of 
the politest kind, with Major Turner, he reached the 
conclusion that such an escape had but one explanation 
— the guards had been bribed. Accordingly the sen- 
tinels on duty were marched off under arrest to Castle 
Thunder, where they were locked ij^ and searched for 
" greenbacks." The thousand and more prisoners still 

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in Libby were compensated, in a measure, for their fail- 
ure to escape by the panic they saw among the "Rebs." 
Messengers and despatches were soon flying in all di- 
rections, and all the horse, foot, and dragoons of Rich- 
mond were in pursuit of the fugitives before noon. 
Only one man of the whole escaping party was retaken 
inside of the city limits.^ Of the 109 who got out that 
night, 59 reached the Union lines, 48 were recaptured, 
and 2 were drowned. 

Colonel Streight and several other officers who had 
been chosen by the diggers of the tunnel to follow them 
out, in accordance with the agreement already referred 
to, lay concealed for a week in a vacant house, where 
they were fed by loyal friends, and escaped to the 
Federal lines when the first excitement had abated. 

After leaving Libby, Rose and Hamilton turned 
northward and cautiously walked on a few squares, 
when suddenly they encountered some Confederates 
who were guarding a military hospital. Hamilton re- 
treated quickly and ran off to the east ; but Rose, who 
was a little in advance, walked boldly by on the op- 
posite walk, and was not challenged ; and thus the two 
friends separated. 

Hamilton, after several days of wandering and fearful 
exposui'e, came joyfully upon a Union picket squad, 
received the care he painfully needed, and was soon on 
his happy journey home. 

Rose passed out of the city of Richmond to the York 
River Railroad, and followed its track to the Chicka- 
hominy bridge. Finding this guarded, he turned to 
the right, and as the day was breaking he came upon 

1 Captain Gates, of the 33d Ohio. 



a camp of Confederate cavalry. His blue uniform made 
it exceedingly dangerous to travel in daylight in this 
region ; and seeing a large sycamore log that was hol- 
low, he crawled into it. The February air was keen 
and biting, but he kept his cramped position until late 
in the afternoon; and all day he could hear the loud 
talk in the camp and the neighing of the horses. 


CiEEY Street. 


A. Break in fireplace on floor above ; B. End of tiinnel ; CCC. Course 
of party escaping; D. Shed; E. Cook-room (abandoned Oct., '63); F. 
Lumber-room; G. Office of James River Towing Company; HH. Gates; 
III. Doors ; J. Cells for condemned prisoners ; K. First tunnel (aban- 
doned); L. Fence. 

Toward night he came cautiously forth, and finding 
the Chickahominy fordable within a few hundred 
yards, he succeeded in wading across. The uneven bed 
of the river, however, led him into several deep holes, 
and before he reached the shore his scanty raiment 
was thoroughly soaked. He trudged on through the 
woods as fast as his stiffened limbs would bear him. 


borne up by the hope of early deliverance, and made a 
brave effort to shake off the horrible ague. He had 
not gone far, however, when he found himself again 
close to some Confederate cavalry, and was compelled 
once more to seek a hiding-place. The day seemed 
of interminable length, and he tried vainly in sleep 
to escape from hunger and cold. His teeth chattered 
in his head, and when he rose at dark to continue his 
journey his tattered clothes were frozen stiff. In this 
plight he pushed on resolutely, and was obliged to 
wade to his waist for hundreds of yards through one 
of those deep and treacherous morasses that proved 
such deadly fever-pools for McClellan's army in the 
campaign of 1862. Finally he reached the high ground, 
and as the severe exertion had set his blood again in 
motion and loosened his limbs, he was making better 
progress, when suddenly he found himself near a Con- 
federate picket. This picket he easily avoided, and, 
keeping well in the shadow of the forest and shunning 
the roads, he pressed forward with increasing hopes of 
success. He had secured a box of matches before 
leaving Libby ; and as the cold night came on and he 
felt that he was really in danger of freezing to death, 
he penetrated into the center of the cedar grove and 
built a fire in a small and secluded hollow. He felt 
that this was hazardous, but the necessity was des- 
perate, since with his stiffened limbs he could no 
longer move along fast enough to keep the warmth of 
life in his body. To add to his trouble, his foot, which 
had been broken in Tennessee previous to his capture, 
was now giving him great pain, and threatened to 
cripple him wholly; indeed, it would stiffen and dis- 


able the best of limbs to compass the journey he had 
made in darkness over strange, uneven, and hard- 
frozen ground, and through rivers, creeks, and bogs, 
and this without food or warmth. 

The fire was so welcome that he slept soundly — so 
soundly that waking in the early morning he found his 
boot-legs and half his uniform burned up, the ice on 
the rest of it probably having prevented its total 

Resuming his journey much refreshed, he reached 
Crump's Cross-roads, where he successfully avoided 
another picket. He traveled all day, taking occasional 
short rests, and before dark had reached New Kent 
Court-house. Here again he saw some pickets, but by 
cautious flanking managed to pass them; but in crossing 
an open space a little farther on he was seen by a cav- 
alryman, who at once put spurs to his horse and rode 
up to Rose, and, saluting him, inquired if he belonged 
to the New Kent Cavalry. Rose had on a gray cap, 
and seeing that he had a stupid sort of fellow to deal 
with, instantly answered, "Yes," whereupon the trooper 
turned his horse and rode back. A very few moments 
were enough to show Rose that the cavalryman's re- 
port had failed to satisfy his comrades, whom he could 
see making movements for his capture. He plunged 
through a laurel thicket, and had no sooner emerged 
than he saw the Confederates deploying around it in 
confidence that their game was bagged. He dashed on 
as fast as his injured foot would let him, and entered 
a tract of heavily timbered land that rose to the east 
of this thicket. At the border of the grove he found 
another picket post, and barely escaped the notice of 


several of the men. The only chance of escape lay 
through a wide, clear field before him, and even this 
was in full view from the grove that bordered it, and 
this he knew would soon swarm with his pursuers. 

Across the center of this open field, which was fully 
half a mile wide, a ditch ran, which, although but a 
shallow gully, afforded a partial concealment. Rose, 
who could now hear the voices of the Confederates 
nearer and nearer, dove iuto the ditch as the only 
chance, and dropping on his hands and knees crept 
swiftly forward to the eastward. In this cramped po- 
sition his progress was extremely painful, and his 
hands were torn by the briers and stones ; but forward 
he dashed, fully expecting a shower of bullets every 
minute. At last he reached the other end of the 
half-mile ditch, breathless and half dead, but without 
having once raised his head above the gully. 

Emerging from this field, he found himself in the 
Williamsburg road, and bordering the opposite side 
was an extensive tract thickly covered with pines. As 
he crossed and entered this tract he looked back and 
could see his enemies, whose movements showed that 
they were greatly puzzled and off the scent. When at 
a safe distance he sought a hiding-place and took a 
needed rest of several hours. 

He then resumed his journej^, and followed the direc- 
tion of the Williamsburg road, which he found pick- 
eted at various points, so that it was necessary to 
avoid open spaces. Several times during the day he 
saw squads of Confederate cavalry passing along the 
road so near that he could hear their talk. Near night- 
fall he reached Diasen Bridge, where he successfully 


passed another picket. He kept on until nearly mid- 
night, when he lay down by a great tree and, cold as 
he was, slept soundly until daylight. He now made a 
careful reconnoissance, and found near the road the 
ruins of an old building which, he afterward learned, 
was called " Burnt Ordinary." 

He now found himself almost unable to walk with 
his injured foot, but, nerved by the yet bright hope of 
liberty, he once more went his weary way in the direc- 
tion of Williamsburg. Finally he came to a place where 
there were some smoking fagots and a number of tracks, 
indicating it to have been a picket post of the previous 
night. He was now nearing Williamsburg, which, he 
was inclined to believe from such meager information 
as had reached Libby before his departure, was in pos- 
session of the Union forces. Still, he knew that this 
was territory that was frequently changing hands, and 
was therefore likely to be under a close watch. From 
this on he avoided the roads wholly, and kept under 
cover as much as it was possible; and if compelled to 
cross an open field at all, he did so in a stooping posi- 
tion. He was now moving in a southeasterly direc- 
tion, and coming again to the margin of a wide opening, 
he saw, to his unutterable joy, a body of Union troops 
advancing along the road toward him. 

Thoroughly worn out. Rose, believing that his de- 
liverers were at hand, sat down to await their approach. 
His pleasant reverie was disturbed by a sound behind 
and near him, and turning quickly he was startled to 
see three soldiers in the road along which the troops 
first seen were advancing. The fact that these men 
had not been noticed before gave Rose some uneasiness 


for a moment; but as they wore blue uniforms, and 
moreover seemed to take no note of the approaching 
Federal troops, all things seemed to indicate that they 
were simply an advanced detail of the same body. This 
seemed to be further confirmed by the fact that the trio 
were now moving down the road, apparently with the 
intent of joining the larger body; and as the ground 
to the east rose to a crest, both of the bodies were a 
minute later shut off from Rose's view. 

In the full confidence that all was right he rose to 
his feet and walked toward the crest to get a better 
view of everything and greet his comrades of the loyal 
blue. A walk of a hundred yards brought him again 
in sight of the three men, who now noticed and 
challenged him. 

In spite of appearances a vague suspicion forced it- 
self upon Rose, who, however, obeyed the summons and 
continued to approach the party, who now watched 
him with fixed attention. As he came closer to the 
group, the brave but unfortunate soldier saw that he 
was lost. 

For the first time the three seemed to be made aware 
of the approach of the Federals, and to show conse- 
quent alarm and haste. The unhappy Rose saw before 
the men spoke that their blue uniform was a disguise, 
and the discovery brought a savage expression to his 
lips. He hoped and tried to convince his captors that 
he was a Confederate, but all in vain; they retained 
him as their prisoner, and now told him that they were 
Confederates. Rose, in the first bitter moment of his 
misfortune, thought seriously of breaking away to his 
friends so temptingly near ; but his poor broken foot 
and the slender chance of escaping three bullets at a 


few yards made this suicide, and he decided to wait for 
a better chance, and this came sooner than he expected. 

One of the men appeared to be an officer, who de- 
tailed one of his companions to conduct Rose to the rear 
in the direction of Richmond. The prisoner went 
quietly with his guard, the other two men tarried a 
little to watch the advancing Federals, and now Rose 
began to limp like a man who was unable to go farther. 
Presently the ridge shut them off from the view of 
the others. Rose, who had slyly been staggering closer 
and closer to the guard, suddenly sprang upon the man, 
and before he had time to wink had twisted his gun 
from his grasp, discharged it into the air, flung it down, 
and ran oif as fast as his poor foot would let him 
toward the east and so as to avoid the rest of the Con- 
federates. The disarmed Confederate made no attempt 
at pursuit, nor indeed did the other two, who were now 
seen retreating at a run across the adjacent fields. 

Rose's heart bounded with new hope, for he felt that 
he would be with his advancing comrades in a few 
minutes at most. All at once a squad of Confederates, 
hitherto unseen, rose up in his very path, and beat him 
down with the butts of theu' muskets. All hands now 
rushed around and secured him, and one of the men 
called out excitedly, "Hurry- up, boys; the Yankees 
are right here ! " They rushed theii* prisoner into the 
wooded ravine, and here they were joined by the man 
whom Rose had just disarmed. He was in a savage 
mood, and declared it to be his particular desire to fill 
Rose full of Confederate lead. The officer in charge 
rebuked the man, however, and compelled him to cool 
down, and he went along with an injured air that 
excited the merriment of his comrades. 


The party continued its retreat to Barliamsville, 
thence to the White House on the Pamunkey River, 
and finally to Richmond, where Rose was again re- 
stored to Libby, and, like the writer, was confined for 
a number of days in a narrow and loathsome cell. On 
the 30th of April his exchange was effected for a 
Confederate colonel, and on the 6th of July, 1864, 
he rejoined his regiment, in which he served with 
conspicuous gallantry to the close of the war. 

As already stated, Hamilton reached the Union lines 
safely after many vicissitudes, and did brave service in 
the closing scenes of the rebellion. He is now a resi- 
dent of Reedyville, Kentucky. Johnson, whose en- 
forced confinement in Rat Hell gave him a unique 
fame in Libby, also made good his escape, and now 
lives at North Pleasantville, Kentucky. 

Of the fifteen men who dug the successful tunnel, 
four are dead, viz. : Fitzsimmons, Gi-allagher, Garbett, 
and McDonald. Captain W. S. B. Randall lives at 
Hillsboro, Highland County, Ohio; Colonel Terrance 
Clark at Paris, Edgar County, Illinois; Captain Eli 
Foster at Chicago ; Colonel N. S. McKean at Collins- 
ville, Madison County, Illinois ; and Captain J. C. Fis- 
lar at Lewiston, I. T. The addresses of Captains Lucas, 
Simpson, and Mitchell are unknown at this writing. 

Colonel Rose has served faithfully almost since the 
end of the war with the 16th United States Infantry, 
in which he holds a captain's commission. No one 
meeting him now would hear from his reticent lips, or 
read in his placid face, the thrilling story that links 
his name in so remarkable a manner with the history 
of the famous Bastile of the Confederacy. 



IT was past noon of the first day of the bloody con- 
test in the Wilderness. The guns of the Fifth 
Corps, led by Battery D of the 1st New York Artillery, 
were halted along the Orange turnpike, by which we 
had made the fruitless campaign to Mine Run. The 
continuous roar of musketry in front and to the left 
indicated that the infantry was desperately engaged, 
while the great guns filling every wooded road leading 
up to the battle-field were silent. Our drivers were 
lounging about the horses, while the cannoneers lay on 
the green grass by the roadside or walked by the 
pieces. Down the line came an order for the center 
section, under my command, to advance and pass the 
right section, which lay in front of us. G-eneral War- 
ren, surrounded by his staff, sat on a gray horse at the 
right of the road where the woods bordered an open 
field dipping between two wooded ridges. The position 
we were leaving was admirable, while the one to which 
we were ordered, on the opposite side of the narrow 
field, was wholly impracticable. The captain had re- 
ceived his orders in person from General Warren, and 
Joined my command as we passed. 

We dashed down the road at a trot, the cannoneers 
running beside their pieces. At the center of the field 


we crossed by a wooden bridge over a deep, dry ditch, 
and came rapidly into position at the side of the turn- 
pike and facing the thicket. As the cannoneers were 
not all up, the cajDtain and I dismounted and lent a 
hand in swinging round the heavy trails. The air was 
full of Minie balls, some whistling by like mad hornets, 
and others, partly spent, humming like big nails. One 
of the latter struck my knee with force enough to 
wound the bone without penetrating the grained- 
leather boot-leg. In front of us the ground rose into 
the timber where our infantry was engaged. It was 
madness to continue firing here, for my shot must first 
plow through our own lines before reaching the en- 
emy. So after one discharge the captain ordered the 
limbers to the rear, and the section started back at a 
gallop. My horse was cut on the flanks, and his plung- 
ing, with my disabled knee, delayed me in mounting, 
and prevented my seeing why the carriages kept to 
the grass instead of getting upon the roadway. When 
I overtook the guns they had come to a forced halt at 
the dry ditch, now full of skulkers, an angle of which 
cut the way to the bridge. Brief as the interval had 
been, not a man of my command was in sight. The 
lead horse of the gun team at my side had been shot 
and was reeling in the harness. Slipping to the 
ground, I untoggled one trace at the collar to release 
him, and had placed my hand on the other when I 
heard the demand " Surrender ! " and turning found in 
my face two big pistols in the hands of an Alabama 
colonel. " Give me that sword," said he. I pressed the 
clasp and let it fall to the ground, where it remained. 
The colonel had taken me by the right arm, and as we 


turned toward the road I took in the whole situation 
at a glance. My chestnut horse and the captain's bald- 
faced brown were dashing frantically against the long, 
swaying gun teams. By the bridge stood a company 
of the 61st Alabama Infantry in butternut suits and 
slouch-hats, shooting straggling and wounded Zou- 
aves from a Pennsylvania brigade as they appeared 
in groups of two or three on the road in front. The col- 
onel as he handed me over to his men ordered his 
troops to take what prisoners they could and to cease 
firing. The guns which we were forced to abandon 
were a bone of contention until they were secured by 
the enemy on the third day, at which time but one of 
the twenty-four team horses was living. 

With a few other prisoners I was led by a short de- 
tour through the woods. In ten minutes we had 
turned the flank of both armies and reached the same 
turnpike in the rear of our enemy. A line of ambu- 
lances was moving back on the road, all filled with 
wounded, and when we saw a vacant seat beside a 
driver I was hoisted up to the place. The boy driver 
was in a high state of excitement. He said that two 
shells had come flying down this same road, and showed 
where the trace of the near mule had been cut by a 
piece of shell, for which I was directly responsible. 

The field hospital of Greneral Jubal Early's corps 
was near Locust Grove Tavern, where the wounded 
Yankees were in charge of Surgeon Donnelly of the 
Pennsylvania Reserves. No guard was established, as 
no one was supposed to be in condition to run away. 
At the end of a week, however, my leg had greatly im- 
proved, although I was still unable to use it. In our 


party was another lieutenant, an aide on the staff of 
General James C. Rice, whose horse had been shot 
under him while riding at full speed with despatches. 
Lieutenant Hadley had returned to consciousness to 
find himself a prisoner in hospital, somewhat bruised, 
and robbed of his valuables, but not otherwise dis- 
abled. We two concluded to start for Washington 
by way of Kelly's Ford. I traded my penknife for a 
haversack of corn-bread with one of the Confederate 
nurses, and a wounded officer, Colonel Miller of a New 
York regiment, gave us a pocket compass. I provided 
myself with a stout pole, which I used with both hands 
in lieu of my left foot. At 9 p. m. we set out, passing 
during the night the narrow field and the dry ditch 
where I had left my guns. Only a pile of dead horses 
marked the spot. 

On a grassy bank we captured a firefly and shut him 
in between the glass and the face of our pocket com- 
pass. With such a guide we shaped our course for the 
Rapidan. After traveling nearly all night we lay down 
exhausted upon a bluif within sound of the river, and 
slept until sunrise. Hastening to our feet again, we 
hurried down to the ford. Just before reaching the 
river we heard shouts behind us, and saw a man beck- 
oning and running after us. Believing the man an 
enemy, we dashed into the shallow water, and after 
crossing safely hobbled away up the other side as fast 
as a man with one leg and a pole could travel. I after- 
ward met this man, himself a prisoner, at Macon, 
Georgia. He was the officer of our pickets, and would 
have conducted us into our lines if we had permitted 
him to come up with us. As it was, we found a snug 


hidiug-place in a thicket of swamp growth, where we 
lay in concealment all day. After struggling on a few 
miles in a chilling rain, my leg became so painful that 
it was impossible to go farther. A house was near 
by, and we threw oui'selves on the mercy of the family. 
Good Mrs. Brandon had harbored the pickets of both 
armies again and again, and had luxuriated in real 
coffee and tea and priceless salt at the hands of our 
officers. She bore the Yankees only good- will, and after 
dressing my wound we sat down to breakfast with 
herself and daughters. 

After breakfast we were conducted to the second 
half -story, which was one unfinished room. There was 
a bed in one corner, where we were to sleep. Beyond 
the stairs was a pile of yellow ears of corn, and from 
the rafters and sills hung a variety of di'ied herbs and 
medicinal roots. Here our meals were served, and the 
girls brought us books and read aloud to pass away 
the long days. I was confined to the bed, and my 
companion never ventured below stairs except on one 
dark night, when at my earnest entreaty he set out for 
Kelly's Ford, but soon returned unable to make his 
way in the darkness. One day we heard the door open 
at the foot of the stairs, a tread of heavy boots on the 
steps, and a clank, clank that sounded very much 
like a saber. Out of the floor rose a gray slouch-hat 
with the yellow cord and tassel of a cavalryman, and 
in another moment there stood on the landing one of 
the most astonished troopers that ever was seen. 
"Coot" Brandon was one of "Jeb" Stuart's rangers, 
and came every day for corn for his horse. Heretofore 
the corn had been brought down for him, and he was 


as ignorant of our presence as we were of his existence. 
On this day no pretext could keep him from coming 
up to help himself. His mother worked on his sym- 
pathies, and he departed promising her that he would 
leave us undisturbed. But the very next morning he 
turned up again, this time accompanied by another 
ranger of sterner mold. A parole was exacted from my 
able-bodied companion, and we were left for another 
twenty-four hours, when I was considered in condi- 
tion to be moved. Mrs. Brandon gave us each a new 
blue overcoat from a plentiful store of Uncle Sam's 
clothing she had on hand, and I opened my heart 
and gave her my last twenty-dollar greenback — and 
wished I had it back again every day for the next 
ten months. 

I was mounted on a horse, and with Lieutenant Had- 
ley on foot we were marched under guard all day until 
we arrived at a field hospital established in the rear of 
Longstreet's corps, my companion being sent on to 
some prison for officers. Thence I was forwarded with 
a train-load of wounded to Lynchbm'g, on which Gen- 
eral Hunter was then marching, and we had good rea- 
son to hope for a speedy deliverance. On more than 
one day we heard his guns to the north, where there 
was no force but a few citizens with bird-guns to 
oppose the entrance of his command. The slaves were 
employed on a line of breastworks which there was no 
adequate force to hold. It was our opinion that one 
well-disciplined regiment could have captured and 
held the town. It was several days before a portion 
of Greneral Breckinridge's command arrived for the 
defense of Lynchburg. 


I had clung to my clean bed in the hospital just as 
long as my rapidly healing wound would permit, but 
was soon transferred to a prison where at night the 
sleepers — Yankees, Confederate deserters, and ne- 
groes — were so crowded upon the floor that some lay 
under the feet of the guards in the doorways. The at- 
mosphere was dreadful. I fell ill, and for three days 
lay with my head in the fireplace, more dead than 

A few days thereafter about three hundred prisoners 
were crowded into cattle-cars bound for Andersonville. 
We must have been a week on this railroad journey 
when an Irish lieutenant of a Rochester regiment and 
I, who had been allowed to ride in the baggage-car, 
were taken from the train at Macon, Georgia, where 
about sixteen hundred Union officers were confined at 
the fair-grounds. General Alexander Shaler, of Sedg- 
wick's corps, also captured at the Wilderness, was the 
ranking officer, and to him was accorded a sort of in- 
terior command of the camp. Before passing through 
the gate we expected to see a crowd bearing some out- 
ward semblance of respectability. Instead, we were 
instantly surrounded by several hundred ragged, bare- 
footed, frowzy-headed men shouting " Fresh fish ! " at 
the top of their voices and eagerly asking for news. 
With rare exceptions all were shabbily di'essed. There 
was, however, a little knot of naval officers who had 
been captured in the windings of the narrow Rappa- 
hannock by a force of cavalry, and who were the aristo- 
crats of the camp. They were housed in a substantial 
fair-building in the center of the grounds, and by some 
special terms of surrender must have brought their 


complete wardrobes along. On hot days they appeared 
in spotless white duck, which they were permitted to 
send outside to be laundered. Their mess was abun- 
dantly supplied with the fruits and vegetables of the 
season. The ripe red tomatoes they were daily seen to 
peel were the envy of the camp. I well remember that 
to me, at this time, a favorite occupation was to lie on 
my back with closed eyes and imagine the dinner I 
would order if I were in a first-class hotel. It was no 
unusual thing to see a dignified colonel washing his 
lower clothes in a pail, clad only in his uniform dress- 
coat. Ladies sometimes appeared on the guard-walk 
outside the top of the stockade, on which occasions the 
cleanest and best-dressed men turned out to see and be 
seen. I was quite proud to appear in a clean gray 
shirt, spotless white drawers, and moccasins made of 
blue overcoat cloth. 

On the Fourth of July, after the regular morning 
count, we repaired to the big central building and held 
an informal celebration. One ofiicer had brought into 
captivity, concealed on his person, a little silk national 
flag, which was carried up into the cross-beams of the 
building, and the sight of it created the wildest enthu- 
siasm. We cheered the flag and applauded the patri- 
otic speeches until a detachment of the guard succeeded 
in putting a stop to our proceedings. They tried to 
capture the flag, but in this they were not successful. 
We were informed that cannon were planted command- 
ing the camp, and would be opened on us if we renewed 
our demonstrations. 

Soon after this episode the fall of Atlanta and the 
subsequent movements of Greneral Sherman led to the 


breaking up of the camp at Macon, and to the transfer 
of half of us to a camp at Charleston, and half to Savan- 
nah. Late in September, by another transfer, we found 
ourselves together again at Columbia. We had no form 
of shelter, and there was no stockade around the camp, 
only a guard and a dead-line. During two hours of 
each morning an extra line of guards was stationed 
around an adjoining piece of pine woods, into which 
we were allowed to go and cut wood and timber to con- 
struct for ourselves huts for the approaching winter. 
Our ration at this time consisted of raw corn-meal and 
sorghum molasses, without salt or any provision of 
utensils for cooking. The camp took its name from 
our principal article of diet, and was by common con- 
sent known as " Camp Sorghum." A stream of clear 
water was accessible during the day by an extension of 
the guards, but at night the lines were so contracted as 
to leave the path leading to the water outside the guard. 
Lieutenant S. H. M. Byers, who had already written 
the well-known lyric " Sherman's March to the Sea," 
was sharing my tent, which consisted of a ragged 
blanket. We had been in the new camp but little more 
than a week when we determined to make an attempt at 
escape. Preparatory to starting we concealed two tin 
cups and two blankets in the pine woods to which we 
had access during the chopping hours, and here was to 
be our rendezvous in case we were separated in getting 
out. Covering my shoulders with an old gray blanket 
and providing myself with a stick, about the size of a 
gun, from the woodpile, I tried to smuggle myself into 
the relief guard when the line was contracted at six 
o'clock. Unfortunately an unexpected halt was called, 


and the soldier in front turned and discovered me. 
I was now more than ever determined on getting away. 
After a hurried conference with Lieutenant Byers, 
at which I promised to wait at our rendezvous in the 
woods until I heard the posting of the ten-o'clock 
relief, I proceeded alone up the side of the camp to a 
point where a group of low cedars grew close to the 
dead-line. Concealing myself in their dark shadow, I 
could observe at my leisure the movements of the sen- 
tinels. A full moon was just rising above the horizon 
to my left, and in the soft, misty light the guards were 
plainly visible for a long distance either way. An open 
field from which the small growth had been recently 
cut away lay beyond, and between the camp and the 
guard-line ran a broad road of soft sand — noiseless to 
cross, but so white in the moonlight that a leaf blown 
across it by the wind could scarcely escape a vigilant 
eye. The guards were bundled in their overcoats, and 
I soon observed that the two who met opposite to my 
place of concealment turned and walked their short 
beats without looking back. Waiting until they sepa- 
rated again, and regardless of the fact that I might with 
equal likelihood be seen by a dozen sentinels in either 
direction, I ran quickly across the soft sand road several 
yards into the open field, and threw myself down upon 
the uneven ground. First I dragged my body on my 
elbows for a few yards, then I crept on my knees, and 
so gradually gained in distance until I could rise to a 
standing position and get safely to the shelter of the 
trees. With some difficulty I found the cups and 
blankets we had concealed, and lay down to await the 
arrival of my companion. Soon I heard several shots 


which I uDderstood too well; and, as I afterward 
learned, two officers were shot dead for attempting the 
feat I had accomplished, and perhaps in emulation of 
my success. A third young officer, whom I knew, was 
also killed in camp by one of the shots fired at the 

At ten o'clock I set out alone and made my way 
across the fields to the bank of the Saluda, where a 
covered bridge crossed to Columbia. Hiding when it 
was light, wandering through fields and swamps by 
night, and venturing at last to seek food of negroes, I 
proceeded for thirteen days toward the sea. 

In general I had followed the Columbia turnpike ; at 
a quaint little chapel on the shore of Groose Creek, but 
a few miles out of Charleston, I turned to the north 
and bent my course for the coast above the city. 
About this time I learned that I should find no boats 
along the shore between Charleston and the mouth of 
the Santee, everj^thing able to float having been de- 
stroyed to prevent the escape of the negroes and the 
desertion of the soldiers. I was ferried over the Broad 
River by a crusty old darky who came paddling 
across in response to my cries of " 0-v-e-r," and who 
seemed so put out because I had no fare for him that I 
gave him my case-knife. The next evening I had the 
only taste of meat of this thirteen days' journey, which 
I got from an old negro whom I found alone in his 
cabin eating possum and rice. 

I had never seen the open sea-coast beaten by the 
surf, and after being satisfied that I had no hope of 
escape in that direction it was in part my curiosity that 
led me on, and partly a vague idea that I would get 


Confederate transportation back to Columbia and take a 
fresh start westward bound. The tide was out, and in 
a httle cove I found an abundance of oysters bedded in 
the mud, some of which I cracked with stones and ate. 
After satisfying my hunger, and finding the sea rather 
unexpectedly tame inside the line of islands which 
marked the eastern horizon, I bent my steps toward a 
fire, where I found a detachment of Confederate coast- 
guards, to whom I offered myself as a guest as coolly 
as if my whole toilsome journey had been prosecuted 
to that end. 

In the morning I was marched a few miles to Mount 
Pleasant, near Fort Moultrie, and taken thence in a 
sail-boat across the harbor to Charleston. At night I 
found myself again in the city jail, where with a large 
party of officers I had spent most of the month of Au- 
gust. My cell-mate was Lieutenant H. G. Dorr of the 
4th Massachusetts Cavalry, with whom I journeyed by 
rail back to Columbia, arriving at " Camp Sorghum " 
about the 1st of November. 

I rejoined the mess of Lieutenant Byers, and intro- 
duced to the others Lieutenant Dorr, whose cool as- 
surance was a prize that procured us all the blessings 
possible. He could borrow frying-pans from the 
guards, money from his brother Masons at headquar- 
ters, and I believe if we had asked him to secure us a 
gun he would have charmed it out of the hand of 
a sentinel on duty. 

Lieutenant Edward E. Sill, of General Daniel But- 
terfield's staff, whom I had met at Macon, during my 
absence had come to "Sorghum" from a fruitless trip 
to Macon for exchange, and I had promised to join him 





in an attempt to escape when he could secure a pair of 
shoes. On November 29 our mess had felled a big 
pine-tree and had rolled into camp a short section of 
the trunk, which a Tennessee officer was to split into 
shingles to complete our hut, a pretty good cabin with 
an earthen fireplace. While we were resting from our 
exertion, Sill appeared with his friend Lieutenant A. T. 
Lamson of the 104th New York Infantry, and reminded 
me of my promise. The prisoners always respected 
their parole on wood-chopping expeditions, and went 
out and came in at the main entrance. The guards 
were a particularly verdant body of back-country 
militia, and the confusion of the parole system enabled 
us to practise ruses. In our present difficulty we re- 
sorted to a new expedient and forged a parole. The 
next day all three of us were quietly walking down the 
guard-line on the outside. At the creek, where all the 
camp came for water, we found Dorr and Byers and 
West, and calling to one of them in the presence of the 
guard, asked for blankets to bring in spruce boughs for 
beds. When the blankets came they contained certain 
haversacks, cups, and little indispensable articles for 
the road. Falling back into the woods, we secured a 
safe hiding-place until after dark. Just beyond the 
village of Lexington we successfully evaded the first 
picket, being warned of its presence by the smoldering 
embers in the road. A few nights after this, having 
exposed ourselves and anticipating pursuit, we pushed 
on until we came to a stream crossing the road. Up 
this we waded for some distance, and secured a hiding- 
place on a neighboring hill. In the morning we looked 
out upon mounted men and dogs, at the very point 


where we had entered the stream, searching for our 
lost trail. We spent two days during a severe storm 
of rain and sleet in a farm-barn where the slaves were 
so drunk on applejack that they had forgotten us and 
left us with nothing to eat but raw turnips. One night, 
in our search for provisions, we met a party of negroes 
burning charcoal, who took us to their camp and sent 
out for a supply of food. While waiting a venerable 
" uncle " proposed to hold a prayer-meeting. So under 
the tall trees and by the light of the smoldering coal- 
pits the old man prayed long and fervently to the 
" bressed Lord and Massa Lincoln," and hearty amens 
echoed through the woods. Besides a few small pota- 
toes, one dried goat ham was all our zealous friends 
could procui'e. The next day, having made our camp 
in the secure depths of a diy swamp, we lighted the 
only fire we allowed ourselves between Columbia and 
the mountains. The ham, which was almost as light 
as cork, was riddled with worm-holes, and as hard as a 
petrified sponge. 

We avoided the towns, and after an endless variety 
of adventures approached the mountains, cold, hungry, 
ragged, and foot-sore. On the night of December 13 
we were grouped about a guide-post, at a fork in the 
road, earnestly contending as to which way we should 
proceed. Lieutenant Sill was for the right, I was 
for the left, and no amount of persuasion could in- 
duce Lieutenant Lamson to decide the controversy. I 
yielded, and we turned to the right. After walking a 
mile in a state of general uncertainty, we came to a 
low white farm-house standing very near the road. It 
was now close upon midnight, and the windows were 


all dark ; but from a house of logs, partly behind the 
other, gleamed a bright light. Judging this to be ser- 
vants' quarters, two of us remained back while Lieu- 
tenant Sill made a cautious approach. In due time a 
negro appeared, advancing stealthily, and, beckoning 
to my companion and me, conducted us in the shadow 
of a hedge to a side window, through which we clam- 
bered into the cabin. We were made very comfortable 
in the glow of a bright woodfire. Sweet potatoes were 
already roasting in the ashes, and a tin pot of barley 
coffee was steaming on the coals. Rain and sleet had 
begun to fall, and it was decided that after having been 
warmed and refreshed we should be concealed in the 
barn until the following night. Accordingly we were 
conducted thither and put to bed upon a pile of corn- 
shucks high up under the roof. Secure as this retreat 
seemed, it was deemed advisable in the morning to bur- 
row several feet down in the mow, so that the children, 
if by any chance they should climb so high, might 
romp unsuspecting over our heads. We could still 
look out through the cracks in the siding and get suffi- 
cient light whereby to study a map of the Southern 
States, which had been brought us with our breakfast. 
A luxurious repast was in preparation, to be eaten at 
the quarters before starting; but a frolic being in pro- 
gress, and a certain negro present of questionable 
fidelity, the banquet was transferred to the barn. The 
great barn doors were set open, and the cloth was 
spread on the floor by the light of the moon. Certainly 
we had partaken of no such substantial fare within the 
Confederacy. The central dish was a pork-pie, flanked 
by savory little patties of sausage. There were sweet 


potatoes, fleecy biscuits, a jug of sorghum, and a pitcher 
of sweet milk. Most delicious of all was a variety of 
corn-bread having tiny bits of fresh pork baked in it, 
like plums in a pudding/ 

Filling our haversacks with the fragments, we took 
grateful leave of our sable benefactors and resumed our 
journey, retracing our steps to the point of disagree- 
ment of the evening before. Long experience in night 
marching had taught us extreme caution. We had ad- 
vanced along the new road but a short way when we 
were startled by the barking of a house-dog. Appre- 
hending that something was moving in front of us, we 
instantly withdrew into the woods. We had scarcely 
concealed ourselves when two cavalrymen passed along, 
driving before them a prisoner. Aware that it was 
high time to betake ourselves to the cross-roads and 
describe a wide circle around the military station at 
Pickensville, we first sought information. A ray of 
light was visible from a hut in the woods, and believing 
from its humble appearance that it sheltered friends, 

1 Major Sill contributes the fol- home, was showing the photograph 

lowing evidence of the impression to his family when it caught the 

our trio made upon one, at least, of eye of a colored servant, who ex- 

the piccaninnies who looked on in claimed: "O Massa Bruce, I know 

the moonlight. The picture of Lieu- those gen'men. My father and 

tenants Sill and Lamson which ap- mother hid 'em in Massa's barn at 

pears on page 255 was enlarged from Pickensville and fed 'em ; there was 

a small photograph taken on their three of 'em ; I saw 'em." This ser- 

aiTival at Chattanooga, before di- vant was a child barely ten years old 

vesting themselves of the rags worn in 1864, and could have seen us only 

throughout the long jom-ney. Years through the barn door while we were 

afterward Major Sill gave one of eating our supper in the uncertain 

these pictures to Wallace Bruce of moonlight. Yet more than twenty 

Florida, at one time United States years thereafter he greeted the pho- 

consul at Glasgow. In the winter tograph of the ragged Yankee offi- 

of 1888-89 Mr. Bruce, at his Floiida cers with a flash of recognition. 


my companions lay down in concealment while I ad- 
vanced to reconnoiter. I gained the side of the house, 
and, looking through a crack in the boards, saw, to my 
surprise, a soldier lying on his back before the fire 
playing with a dog. I stole back with redoubled care. 
Thoroughly alarmed by the dangers we had already 
encountered, we decided to abandon the roads. Near 
midnight of December 16 we passed through a wooden 
gate on a level road leading into the forest. Believing 
that the lateness of the hour would secure us from 
further dangers, we resolved to press on with all speed, 
when two figures with lighted torches came suddenly 
into view. Knowing that we were yet unseen, we 
turned into the woods and concealed ourselves behind 
separate trees at no great distance from the path. 
Soon the advancing lights revealed two hunters, mere 
lads, but having at their heels a pack of mongrel dogs, 
with which they had probably been pursuing the coon or 
the possum. The boys would have passed unaware of 
our presence, but the dogs, scurrying along with their 
noses in the leaves, soon struck our trail, and were 
instantly yelping about us. We had possessed our- 
selves of the name of the commanding officer of the 
neighboring post at Pendleton, and advanced boldly, 
representing ourselves to be his soldiers. " Then where 
did you get them blue pantaloons?" they demanded, 
exchanging glances, which showed they were not 
ignorant of our true character. We Qoolly faced them 
down and resumed our march leisurely, while the boys 
still lingered undecided. When out of sight we aban- 
doned the road and fled at the top of our speed. We 
had covered a long distance through forest and field 


before we heard in our wake the faint yelping of the 
pack. Plunging into the first stream, we dashed for 
some distance along its bed. Emerging on the opposite 
bank, we sped on through marshy fields, skirting high 
hills and bounding down through dry watercourses, over 
shelving stones and accumulated barriers of driftwood; 
now panting up a steep ascent, and now resting for a 
moment to rub our shoes with the resinous needles 
of the pine ; always within hearing of the dogs, whose 
fitful cries varied in volume in accordance with the 
broken conformation of the intervening country. 
Knowing that in speed and endui-ance we were no 
match for our four-footed pursuers, we trusted to our 
precautions for throwing them off the scent, mindful 
that they were but an ill-bred kennel and the more 
easily to be disposed of. Physically we were capable 
of prolonged exertion. Fainter and less frequent came 
the cry of the dogs, until, ceasing altogether, we were 
assured of our escape. 

At Oconee, on Sunday, December 18, we met a negro 
well acquainted with the roads and passes into North 
Carolina, who furnished us information by which we 
traveled for two nights, recognizing on the second ob- 
jects which by his direction we avoided (like the house 
of Black Bill McKinney), and going directly to that of 
friendly old Tom Handcock. The first of these two 
nights we struggled up the foot-hills and outlying spurs 
of the mountains, through an uninhabited waste of 
rolling barrens, along an old stage road, long deserted, 
and in places impassable to a saddle-mule. Lying 
down before morning, high up on the side of the moun- 
tain, we fell asleep, to be awakened by thunder and 


lightning, and to find torrents of hail and sleet beating 
upon our blankets. Chilled to the bone, we ventured 
to build a small fire in a secluded place. After dark, 
and before abandoning our camp, we gathered quanti- 
ties- of wood, stacking it upon the fire, which when we 
left it was a wild tower of flame lighting up the whole 
mountain-side in the direction we had come, and seem- 
ing, in some sort, to atone for a long succession of 
shivering days in fireless bivouac. We followed the 
same stage road through the scattering settlement of 
Casher's Valley in Jackson County, North Carolina. A 
little farther on, two houses, of hewn logs, with veran- 
das and green blinds, just fitted the description we had 
received of the home of old Tom Handcock. Knock- 
ing boldly at the door of the farther one, we were soon 
in the presence of the loyal mountaineer. He and his 
wife had been sleeping on a bed spread upon the floor 
before the fire. Drawing this to one side, they heaped 
the chimney with green wood, and were soon listening 
with genuine delight to the story of our adventures. 

After breakfast next day, Tom, with his rifle, led us 
by a back road to the house of " 'Squire Larkin C. 
Hooper," a leading loyalist, whom we met on the way, 
and together we proceeded to his house. Ragged and 
forlorn, we were eagerly welcomed at his home by 
Hooper's invalid wife and daughters. For several 
days we enjoyed a hospitality given as freely to utter 
strangers as if we had been relatives of the family. 

Here we learned of a party about to start through 
the mountains for East Tennessee, guided by Emanuel 
Headen, who lived on the crest of the Blue Ridge. Our 
friend Tom was to be one of the party, and other 



refugees were coming over the Georgia border, where 
Headen, better known in the settlement as "Man 
Heady," was mustering his party. It now being near 
Christmas, and the squire's family in daily expectation 
of a relative, who was a captain in the Confederate 


army, it was deemed prudent for us to go on to Headen's 
under the guidance of Tom. Setting out at sunset on 
the 23d of December, it was late in the evening when 
we aiTived at our destination, having walked nine miles 
up the mountain trails over a light carpeting of snow. 
Pausing in front of a diminutive cabin, through the 
chinks of whose stone fireplace and stick chimney the 
whole interior seemed to be red hot like a fm'nace, our 
guide demanded, "Is Man Heady to hum ? " Receiving 


a sharp negative in reply, he continued, "Well, can 
Tom get to stay all night ? " At this the door flew open 
and a skinny woman appeared, her homespun frock 
pendent with tow-headed urchins. 

" In course you can," she cried, leading the way into 
the cabin. Never have I seen so unique a character as 
this voluble, hatched-faced, tireless woman. Her skin 
was like yellow parchment, and I doubt if she knew by 
experience what it was to be sick or weary. She had 
built the stake-and-cap fences that divided the fields, 
and she boasted of the acres she had plowed. The 
cabin was very small. Two bedsteads, with a narrow 
alleyway between, occupied half the interior. One was 
heaped with rubbish, and in the other slept the whole 
family, consisting of father, mother, a daughter of six- 
teen, and two little boys. When I add that the room 
contained a massive timber loom, a table, a spinning- 
wheel, and a variety of rude seats, it will be understood 
that we were crowded uncomfortably close to the fire. 
Shrinking back as far as possible from the blaze, we 
listened in amused wonder to the tongue of this seem- 
ingly untamed virago, who, nevertheless, proved to be 
the kindest-hearted of women. She cursed, in her high, 
pitched tones, for a pack of fools, the men who had 
brought on the war. Roderic Norton, who lived down 
the mountain, she expressed a profane desire to " stomp 
through the turnpike" because at some time he had 
stolen one of her hogs, marked, as to the ear, with 
" two smooth craps an' a slit in the left." Once only 
she had journeyed into the low country, where she had 
seen those twin marvels, steam cars and brick chim- 
neys. On this occasion she had driven a heifer to 


market, making a journey of forty miles, walking be- 
side her horse and wagon, which she took along to 
bring back the corn-meal received in payment for the 
animal. Charged by her husband to bring back the 
heifer bell, and being denied that musical instrument 
by the purchaser, it immediately assumed more impor- 
tance to her mind than horse, wagon, and corn-meal. 
Baffled at first, she proceeded to the pasture in the gi^ay 
of the morning, cornered the cow, and cut off the bell, 
and, in her own picturesque language, " walked through 
the streets of Walhalla cussin'." Rising at midnight 
she would fall to spinning with all her energy. To us, 
waked from sleep on the floor by the humming of the 
wheel, she seemed by the light of the low fire like a 
witch in a sunbonnet, darting forward and back. 

We remained there several days, sometimes at the 
cabin and sometimes at a cavern in the rocks such as 
abound throughout the mountains, and which are called 
by the natives "rock houses." Many of the men at 
that time were " outliers " — that is, they camped in the 
mountain fastnesses, receiving their food from some 
member of the family. Some of these men, as now, 
had their copper stills in the rock houses, while others, 
more wary of the recruiting sergeant, wandered from 
point to point, their only furniture a rifle and a bed- 
quilt. On December 29, we were joined at the cavern 
by Lieutenant Knapp and Captain Smith, Federal 
officers, who had also made their way from Columbia, 
and by three refugees from Greorgia, whom I remember 
as Old Man Tigue and the two Vincent boys. During 
the night our party was to start across the mountains 
for Tennessee. Tom Handcock was momentarily ex- 


pected to join us. Our guide was busy with prepara- 
tions for the journey. The night coming on icy cold, 
and a cutting wind driving the smoke of the fire into 
our granite house, we abandoned it at nine o'clock and 
descended to the cabin. Headen and his wife had gone 
to the mill for a supply of corn-meal. Although it was 
time for their return, we were in nowise alarmed by 
their absence, and formed a jovial circle about the roar- 
ing chimney. About midnight came a rap on the door. 
Thinking it was Tom Handcock and some of his com- 
panions, I threw it open with an eager " Come in, boys!" 
The boys began to come in, stamping the snow from 
their boots and rattling their muskets on the floor, 
until the house was full, and yet others were on guard 
without and crowding the porch. " Man Heady " and 
his wife were already prisoners at the mill, and the 
house had been picketed for some hours awaiting the 
arrival of the other refugees, who had discovered the 
plot just in time to keep out of the toils. Marshaled 
in some semblance of military array, we were marched 
down the mountain, over the frozen ground, to the 
house of old Roderic Norton. The Yankee officers 
were sent to an upper room, while the refugees were 
guarded below, under the immediate eyes of the 
soldiery. Making the best of our misfortune, our ori- 
ginal trio bounced promptly into a warm bed, which 
had been recently deserted by some members of the 
family, and secured a good night's rest. 

Lieutenant Knapp, who had imprudently indulged 
in frozen chestnuts on the mountain-side, was attacked 
with violent cramps, and kept the household below 
stairs in commotion all night humanely endeavoring 


to assuage his agony. In the morning, although quite 
recovered, he cunningly feigned a continuance of his 
pains, and was left behind in the keeping of two 
guards, who, having no suspicion of his deep designs, 
left their guns in the house and went out to the spring 
to wash. Knapp, instantly on the alert, possessed 
himself of the muskets, and breaking the lock of one, 
by a powerful effort he bent the barrel of the other, 
and dashed out through the garden. His keepers, 
returning from the spring, shouted and rushed indoors 
only to find their disabled pieces. They joined our 
party later in the day, rendering a chapfallen account 
of their detached service. 

We had but a moderate march to make to the head- 
quarters of the battalion, where we were to spend the 
night. Our guards we found kindly disposed toward 
us, but bitterly upbraiding the refugees, whom they 
saluted by the ancient name of Tories. Lieutenant 
Cogdill, in command of the expedition, privately in- 
formed us that his sympathies were entirely ours, but 
as a matter of duty he should guard us jealously while 
under his military charge. If we could effect our 
escape thereafter we had only to come to his mountain 
home and he would conceal us until such time as he 
could despatch us with safety over the borders. These 
mountain soldiers were mostly of two classes, both op- 
posed to the war, but doing home-guard duty in lieu of 
sterner service in the field. Numbers were of the out- 
lier class, who, wearied of continual hiding in the lau- 
rel brakes, had embraced this service as a compromise. 
Many were deserters, some of whom had coolly set 
at defiance the terms of their furloughs, while others 


had abandoned the camps in Virginia, and, versed in 
mountain craft, had made their way along the Blue 
Ridge and put in a heroic appearance in their native 

That night we arrived at a farm-house near the 
river, where we found Major Parker, commanding the 
battalion, with a small detachment billeted upon the 
family. The farmer was a gray-haired old loyalist, 
whom I shall always remember, leaning on his staff in 
the middle of the kitchen, barred out from his place in 
the chimney-corner by the noisy circle of his unbidden 
guests. Major Parker was a brisk little man, clad in 
brindle jeans of ancient cut, resplendent with brass 
buttons. Two small piercing eyes, deep-set beside a 
hawk's-beak nose, twinkled from under the rim of his 
brown straw hat, whose crown was defiantly sur- 
mounted by a cock's feather. But he was exceedingly 
jolly withal, and welcomed the Yankees with pompous 
good-humor, despatching a sergeant for a jug of apple- 
jack, which was doubtless as inexpensive to the major 
as his other hospitality. Having been a prisoner at 
Chicago, he prided himself on his knowledge of dun- 
geon etiquette and the military courtesies due to our 

We were awakened in the morning by high-pitched 
voices in the room below. Lieutenant Sill and I had 
passed the night in neighboring caverns of the same 
miraculous feather-bed. We recognized the voice of 
the major, informing some culprit that he had just ten 
minutes to live, and that if he wished to send any 
dying message to his wife or children then and there 
was his last opportunity ; and then followed the tramp- 


ing of the guards as they retired from his presence 
with their victim. Hastily dressing, we hurried down 
to find what was the matter. We were welcomed with 
a cheery good-morning from the major, who seemed to 
be in the sunniest of spirits. No sign of commotion 
was visible. " Step out to the branch, gentlemen ; 
your parole of honor is sufficient ; you '11 find towels — 
been a prisoner myself." And he restrained by a sign 
the sentinel who would have accompanied us. At the 
branch, in the yard, we found the other refugees trem- 
bling for their fate, and learned that Headen had gone 
to the orchard in the charge of a file of soldiers with a 
rope. While we were discussing the situation and 
endeavoring to calm the apprehensions of the Georgi- 
ans, the executioners returned from the orchard, our 
guide marching in advance and looking none the 
worse for the rough handling he had undergone. The 
brave fellow had confided his last message and been 
thrice drawn up toward the branch of an apple-tree, 
and as many times lowered for the information it was 
supposed he would give. Nothing was learned, and 
it is probable he had no secrets to disclose or conceal. 
Lieutenant Cogdill, with two soldiers, was detailed 
to conduct us to Quallatown, a Cherokee station at the 
foot of the Gi-reat Smoky Mountains. Two horses 
were allotted to the guard, and we set out in military 
order, the refugees two and two in advance, Headen 
and Old Man Tigue lashed together by the wrists, and 
the rear brought up by the troopers on horseback. It 
was the last day of the year,, and although a winter 
morning, the rare mountain air was as soft as spring. 
We struck the banks of the Tuckasegee directly oppo- 


site to a feathery waterfall, which, leaping over a crag 
of the opposite cliff, was dissipated in a glittering sheet 
of spray before reaching the tops of the trees below. 
As the morning advanced we fell into a more negligent 
order of marching. The beautiful river, a wide, swift 
current, flowing smoothly between thickly wooded 
banks, swept by on our left, and on the right wild, 
uninhabited mountains closed in the road. The two 
Vincents were strolling along far in advance. Some 
distance behind them were Headen and Tigue ; the re- 
mainder of us following in a general group, Sill 
mounted beside one of the guards. Advancing in this 
order, a cry from the front broke on the stillness of 
the woods, and we beheld Old Man Tigue gesticulating 
wildly in the center of the road and screaming, "He's 
gone ! He 's gone ! Catch him ! " Sure enough the 
old man was alone, the fragment of the parted strap 
dangling from his outstretched wrist. The guard, who 
was mounted, dashed off in pursuit, followed by the 
lieutenant on foot, but both soon returned, giving over 
the hopeless chase. Thoroughly frightened by the 
events of the morning, Headen^ had watched his op- 
portunity to make good his escape, and, as we after- 
ward learned, joined by Knapp and Tom Handcock, he 
conducted a party safely to Tennessee. 

At Webster, the court town of Jackson County, we 
were quartered for the night in the jail, but accom- 
panied Lieutenant Cogdill to a venison breakfast at the 

1 A short time ago the writer re- her mother. The old lady is blind, 
eeived the following letter : " Cash- Old man Norton (Eoderic), to whose 
er's Valley, May 28, 1890. Old Man- house you were taken as prisoner, has 
uel Headen and wife are living, but been dead for years. Old Tom Hand- 
separated. Julia Ann is living with cockisdead. — W. R. Hooper." 




parsonage with Mrs. Harris and her daughter, who had 
called on us the evening before. Snow had fallen dur- 
ing the night, and when we continued our rqarch it was 
with the half-frozen slush crushing in and out, at every 


step, through our broken shoes. Before the close of 
this dreary New- Year's day we came upon the scene of 
one of those wild tragedies which are still of too fre- 
quent occurrence in those remote regions, isolated from 
the strong arm of the law. Our road led down and 
around the mountain-side, which on our right was a 
barren, rocky waste, sloping gradually up from the in- 
ner curve of the arc we were describing. From this 
direction arose a low wailing sound, and a little farther 
on we came in view of a dismal group of men, women, 
and mules. In the center of the gathering lay the life- 
less remains of a father and his two sons ; seated upon 
the ground, swaying and weeping over their dead, were 
the mother and wives of the young men. A burial 
party, armed with spades and picks, waited by their 
mules, while at a respectful distance from the mourners 
stood a circle of neighbors and passers-by, some gazing 
in silent sympathy, and others not hesitating to express 
a quiet approval of the shocking tragedy. Between 
two families, the Hoopers and the Watsons, a bitter 
feud had long existed, and from time to time men of 
each clan had fallen by the rifles of the other. The 
Hoopers were loyal Union men, and if the Watsons 
yielded any loyalty it was to the State of North Carolina. 
On one occasion shortly before the final tragedy, when 
one of the young Hoopers was sitting quietly in his 
door, a light puff of smoke rose from the bushes and a 
rifle-ball plowed through his leg. The Hoopers resolved 
to begin the new year by wiping out their enemies, 
root and branch. Before light they had surrounded 
the log cabin of the Watsons and secured all the male 
inmates, except one who, wounded, escaped through a 


window. The latter afterward executed a singular re- 
venge by killing and skinning the dog of his enemies 
and elevating the carcass on a pole in front of their 

After a brief stay at Quail atown we set out for Ashe- 
ville, leaving behind our old and friendly guard. Be- 
sides the soldiers who now had us in charge, a Cherokee 
Indian was allotted to each prisoner, with instructions 
to keep his man constantly in view. To travel with an 
armed Indian, sullen and silent, trotting at your heels 
like a dog, with very explicit instructions to blow out 
your brains at the first attempt to escape, is neither 
cheerful nor ornamental, and we were a sorry-looking 
party plodding silently along the road. Detachments 
of prisoners were frequently passed over this route, 
and regular stopping-places were established for the 
nights. It was growing dusk when we arrived at the 
first cantonment, which was the wing of a great barren 
farm-house owned by Colonel Bryson. The place was 
already occupied by a party of refugees, and we were 
directed to a barn in the field beyond. We had brought 
with us uncooked rations, and while two of the soldiers 
went into the house for cooking utensils, the rest of the 
party, including the Indians, were leaning in a line 
upon the door-yard fence ; Sill and Lamson were at the 
end of the line, where the fence cornered with a hedge. 
Presently the two soldiers reappeared, one of them with 
an iron pot in which to cook our meat, and the other 
swinging in his hand a burning brand. In the wake of 
these guides we followed down to the barn, and had 
already started a fire when word came from the house 
that for fear of rain we had best return to the corn- 


barn. It was not until we were again in the road that 
I noticed the absence of Sill and Lamson. I hastened 
to Smith and confided the good news. The fugitives 
were missed almost simultaneously by the guards, who 
first beat up the vicinity of the barn, and then, after 
securing the remainder of us in a corn-crib, sent out 
the Indians in pursuit. Faithful dogs, as these Chero- 
kees had shown themselves during the day, they proved 
but poor hunters when the game was in the bush, and 
soon returned, giving over the chase. Half an hour 
later they were all back in camp, baking their hoecake 
in genuine aboriginal fashion, flattened on the surface 
of a board and inclined to the heat of the fire.^ 

That I was eager to follow goes without saying, but 
our keepers had learned our slippery character. All 
the way to Asheville, day and night, we were watched 
with sleepless vigilance. There we gave our parole. 
Smith and I, and secured thereby comfortable quarters 
in the court-house with freedom to stroll about the 
town. Old Man Tigue and the Vincents were com- 
mitted to the county jail. We were there a week, part 
of my spare time being employed in helping a Con- 
federate company officer make out a correct pay-roll. 

1 Sill and Lamson reached Lou- Hoopers. So near were they that 

don, Tennessee, in February. A they could distinguish a relative of 

few days after their escape from the the Watsons leading the sheriff's 

Indian guard they aii-ived at the party. One of the Hooper boys, 

house of "Shooting John Brown," with characteristic recklessness and 

who confided them to the care of to the consternation of the others, 

the young Hoopers and a party of stood boldly out on a great rock in 

their outlying companions. From plain sight of his pursuers (if they 

a rocky cliff overlooking the valley had chanced to look up), half 

of the Tuckasegee they could look resolved to try his rifle at the last 

down on the river roads dotted with of the Watsons, 
the sheriff's posse in pursuit of the 


When our diminished ranks had been recruited by 
four more officers from Columbia, who had been cap- 
tured near the frozen summit of the Grreat Smoky 
Mountains, we were started on a journey of sixty miles 
to Grreenville in South Carolina. The night before om' 
arrival we were quartered at a large farm-house. The 
prisoners, together with the privates of the guard, 
were allotted a comfortable room, which contained, 
however, but a single bed. The officer in charge had 
retired to enjoy the hospitality of the family. A flock 
of enormous white pullets were roosting in the yard. 
Procuring an iron kettle from the servants, who looked 
with grinning approval upon all forms of chicken 
stealing, we sallied forth to the capture. Twisting the 
precious necks of half a dozen, we left them to die in 
the grass while we pierced the side of a sweet-potato 
mound. Loaded with our booty we retreated to the 
house undiscovered, and spent the night in cooking 
in one pot instead of sleeping in one bed. The fowls 
were skinned instead of plucked, and, vandals that 
we were, dressed on the backs of the picture-frames 
taken down from the walls. 

At G-reenville we were lodged in the county jail to 
await the reconstruction of railway-bridges, when we 
were to be transported to Columbia. The jail was a 
stone structure, two stories in height, with halls 
through the center on both floors and square rooms 
on each side. The lock was turned on our little party 
of six in one of these upper rooms, having two grated 
windows looking down on the walk. Through the door 
which opened on the hall a square hole was cut as high 
as one's face and large enough to admit the passage of 


a plate. Aside from the rigor of our confinement we 
were treated with marked kindness. We had scarcely 
walked about our dungeon before the jailer's daughters 
were at the door with theii' autograph albums. In a 
few days we were playing draughts and reading Bul- 
wer, while the girls, without, were preparing our food 
and knitting for us warm new stockings. Notwith- 
standing all these attentions, we were ungratefully dis- 
contented. At the end of the first week we were joined 
by seven enlisted men, Ohio boys, who like ourselves 
had been found at large in the mountains. From one 
of these new arrivals we procured a case-knife and a 
gun screw-driver. Down on the hearth before the fire 
the screw-driver was placed on the thick edge of the 
knife and belabored with a beef bone until a few 
inches of its back were converted into a rude saw. 
The grate in the window was formed of cast-iron 
bars, passing perpendicularly through wrought-iron 
plates, bedded in the stone jambs. If one of these per- 
pendicular bars, an inch and a half square, could be 
cut through, the plates might be easily bent so as to 
permit the egress of a man. With this end in view 
we cautiously began operations. Outside of the bars a 
piece of carpet had been stretched to keep out the raw 
wind, and behind this we worked with safety. An 
hour's toil produced but a few feathery filings on the 
horizontal plate, but many hands make light work, 
and steadily the cut grew deeper. We recalled the 
adventures of Claude Duval, Dick Turpin, and Six- 
teen-string Jack, and sawed away. During the avail- 
able hours of three days and throughout one entire 
night the blade of steel was worrying, rasping, eating 




m.i ■ «;' 



"•Vjj^-T-^y ^/ J 


the iron bar. At last the grosser yielded to the tem- 
per and persistence of the finer metal. It was Satur- 
day night when the toilsome cut was completed, and 
preparations were already under way for a speedy de- 
parture. The jail had always been regarded as too 
secure to require a military guard, although soldiers 
were quartered in the town ; besides, the night was so 
cold that a crust had formed on the snow, and both 


citizens and soldiers, unused to such extreme weather, 
would be likely to remain indoors. For greater se- 
crecy of movement, we divided into small parties, aim- 
ing to traverse different roads. I was to go with my 
former companion,. Captain Smith. Lots were cast to 
determine the order of our going. First exit was 
allotted to four of the Ohio soldiers. Made fast to 
the grating outside were a bit of rope and strip of 
blanket, along which to descend. Our room was 
immediately over that of the jailer and his sleeping 
family, and beneath our opening was a window, which 
each man must pass in his descent. At eleven o'clock 
the exodus began. The first man was passed through 
the bars amid a suppressed buzz of whispered cau- 
tions. His boots were handed after him in a haver- 
sack. The rest of us, pressing our faces to the frosty 
grating, listened breathlessly for the success of the 
movement we could no longer see. Suddenly there 
was a crash, and in the midst of mutterings of anger 
we snatched in the rag ladder and restored the piece of 
carpeting to its place outside the bars. Our pioneer 
had hurt his hand against the rough stones, and, 
floundering in mid-air, had dashed his leg through 
sash and glass of the window below. We could see 
nothing of his further movements, but soon discov- 
ered the jailer standing in the door, looking up and 
down the street, seemingly in the dark as to where the 
crash came from. At last, wearied and worried and 
disappointed, we lay down in our blankets upon the 
hard floor. 

At daylight we were awakened by the voice of Miss 
Emma at the hole in the door. "Who got out last 


night ? " " Welty." " Well, you was fools you did n't 
all go ; pap would n't 'a' stopped you. If you '11 keep 
the break concealed until night we '11 let you all out." 
The secret of the extreme kindness of our keepers was 
explained. The jailer, a loyalist, retained his position 
as a civil detail, thus protecting himself and sons from 
conscription. Welty had been taken in the night be- 
fore, his bruises had been anointed, and he had been 
provisioned for the journey. 

We spent the day repairing our clothing and prepar- 
ing for the road. My long-heeled cowhides, "wife's 
shoes," for which I had exchanged a uniform waistcoat 
with a cotton-wooled old darky on the banks of the 
Saluda, were about parting soles from uppers, and I 
kept the twain together by winding my feet with stout 
cords. At supper an extra ration was given us. As 
soon as it was dark the old jailer appeared among us 
and gave us a minute description of the different roads 
leading west into the mountains, warning us of certain 
dangers. At eleven o'clock Miss Emma came with the 
great keys, and we followed her, in single file, down 
the stairs and out into the back yard of the jail. 
From the broken gratings in front, the bit of rope and 
strip of blanket were left dangling in the wind. 

We made short work of leave-taking. Captain Smith 
and I separating immediately from the rest, and push- 
ing hurriedly out of the sleeping town, by back streets, 
into the bitter cold of the country roads. We stopped 
once to warm at the pits of some negro charcoal-burn- 
ers, and before day dawned had traveled sixteen miles. 
We found a sheltered nook on the side of the moun- 
tain open to the sun, where we made a bed of dry 


leaves and remained for the day. At night we set out 
again, due west by the stars, but before we had gone 
far my companion, who claimed to know something of 
the country, insisted upon going to the left, and within 
a mile turned into another left-hand road. I protested, 
claiming that this course was leading us back. While 
we were yet contending, we came to a bridgeless creek 
whose dark waters barred our progress, and at the 
same moment, as if induced by the thought of the 
fording, the captain was seized with rheumatic pains 
in his knees, so that he walked with difficulty. We 
had just passed a house where lights were still show- 
ing, and to this we decided to return, hoping at least 
to find shelter for Smith. Leaving him at the gate, I 
went to a side porch and knocked at the door, which 
was opened by a woman who proved to be friendly to 
our cause, her husband being in the rebel army much 
against his will. We were soon seated to the right 
and left of her fireplace. Blazing pine-knots bril- 
liantly lighted the room, and a number of beds lined 
the walls. A trundle-bed before the fire was occupied 
by a very old woman, who was feebly moaning with 
rheumatism. Our hostess shouted into the old lady's 
ear, " Granny, them 's Yankees." " Be they ! " said she, 
peering at us with her poor old eyes. " Be ye sellin' 
tablecloths?" When it was explained that we were 
just from the war, she demanded, in an absent way, 
to know if we were Britishers. We slept in one of 
the comfortable beds, and, as a measure of prudence, 
passed the day in the woods, leaving at nightfall with 
well-filled haversacks. Captain Smith was again the 
victim of his rheumatism, and directing me to his 


friends at Caesar's Head, where I was to wait for him 
until Monday (it then being Tuesday), he returned to 
the house, little thinking that we were separating 

I traveled very rapidly all night, hoping to make the 
whole distance, but day was breaking when I reached 
the head waters of the Saluda. Following up the 
stream, I found a dam on which I crossed, and although 
the sun was rising and the voices of children mingled 
with the lowing of cattle in the frosty air, I ran across 
the fields and gained a secure hiding-place on the side 
of the mountain. It was a long, solitary day, and glad 
was I when it grew sufficiently dark to turn the little 
settlement and get into the main road up the mountain. 
It was six zigzag miles to the top, the road turning on 
log abutments, well anchored with stones, and not a 
habitation on the way until I should reach Bishop's 
house, on the crest of the divide. Half-way up I paused 
before a big summer hotel, looming up in the woods 
like the ghost of a deserted factory, its broken windows 
and rotting gateways redoubling the solitude of the 
bleak mountain-side. Shortly before reaching Bishop's, 
"wife's shoes" became quite unmanageable. One had 
climbed up my leg half-way to the knee, and I knocked 
at the door with the wreck of the other in my hand. 
My visit had been preceded but a day by a squad of 
, partizan raiders, who had carried away the bedding and 
driven oif the cattle of my new friends, and for this 
reason the most generous hospitality could offer no 
better couch than the hard floor. Stretched thereon in 
close proximity to the dying fire, the cold air coming 
up through the wide cracks between the hewn planks 


seemed to be cutting me in sections as with icy saws, 
so that I was forced to establish myself lengthwise on a 
broad puncheon at the side of the room and under the 

In this family " the gray mare was the better horse," 
and poor Bishop, an inoffensive man, and a cripple 
withal, was wedded to a regular Xantippe. It was 
evident that unpleasant thoughts were dominant in the 
woman's mind as she proceeded sullenly and vigorously 
with preparations for breakfast. The bitter bread of 
charity was being prepared with a vengeance for the 
unwelcome guest. Premonitions of the coming storm 
flashed now and then in lightning cuffs on the ears of 
the children, or crashed venomously among the pottery 
in the fireplace. At last the repast was spread, the 
table still standing against the wall, as is the custom 
among mountain housewives. The good-natured hus- 
band now advanced cheerfully to lend a hand in re- 
moving it into the middle of the room. It was when 
one of the table-legs overturned the swill-pail that the 
long pent-up storm burst in a torrent of invective. 
The prospect of spending several days here was a very 
gloomy outlook, and the relief was great when it was 
proposed to pay a visit to Neighbor Case, whose house 
was in the nearest valley, and with whose sons Captain 
Smith had lain in concealment for some weeks on a 
former visit to the mountains. I was curious to see his^ 
sons, who were famous outliers. From safe cover they 
delighted to pick off a recruiting officer or a tax-in- 
kind collector, or tumble out of their saddles the last 
drivers of a wagon-train. These lively young men had 
been in unusual demand of late, and their hiding-place 



was not known even to the faithful, so I was condemned 
to the society of an outlier of a less picturesque variety. 
Pink Bishop was a blacksmith, and just the man to 
forge me a set of shoes from the leather Neighbor Case 
had already provided. The little still-shed, concealed 


from the road only by a low hill, was considered an 
unsafe harbor, on account of a fresh fall of snow with 
its sensibility to tell-tale impressions. So we set up 
our shoe-factory in a deserted cabin, well back on the 
mountain and just astride of that imaginary line 
which divides the Carolinas. From the fireplace we dug 
away the corn-stalks, heaping the displaced bundles 


against broken windows and windy cracks, and other- 
wise secured our retreat against frost and enemies. 
Then ensued three days of primitive shoemaking. As 
may be inferred, the shoes made no pretension to 
style. I sewed the short seams at the sides, and split 
the pegs from a section of seasoned maple. Rudely 
constructed as these shoes were, they bore their wearer 
triumphantly into the promised land. 

I restrained my eagerness to be going until Monday 
night, the time agreed upon, when, my disabled com- 
panion not putting in an appearance, I set out for my 
old friend's in Casher's Valley. I got safely over a long 
wooden bridge within half a mile of a garrisoned town. 
I left the road, and turned, as I believed, away from 
the town; but I was absolutely lost in the darkness of a 
snow-storm, and forced to seek counsel as well as shel- 
ter. In this plight I pressed on toward a light glim- 
mering faintly through the blinding snow. It led me 
into the shelter of the porch to a small brown house, 
cut deeply beneath the low eaves, and protected at the 
sides by jflanking bedrooms. My knock was answered 
by a girlish voice, and from the ensuing parley, 
through the closed door, I learned that she was the 
daughter of a Baptist exhorter, and that she was alone 
in the house, her brother being away at the village, and 
her father, who preached the day before at some dis- 
tance, not being expected home until the next morning. 
Reassured by my civil-toned inquiries about the road, 
she unfastened the door and came out to the porch, 
where she proceeded to instruct me how to go on, which 
was just the thing I least desired to do. By this time 
I had discovered the political complexion of the family, 



and, making myseK known, was instantly invited in, 
with the assurance that her father would be gravely 

displeased if she permitted me to go on before he re- 
turned. I had interrupted my little benefactress in 


the act of writing a letter, on a sheet of foolscap, 
which lay on an old-fashioned stand in one corner of 
the room, beside the ink-bottle and the candlestick. 
In the diagonal corner stood a tall bookcase, the 
crowded volumes nestling lovingly behind the glass 
doors — the only collection of the sort that I saw at 
any time in the mountains. A feather-bed was spread 
upon the floor, the head raised by means of a turned- 
down chair, and here I was reposing comfortably when 
the brother arrived. It was late in the forenoon when 
the minister reached home, his rickety wagon creaking 
through the snow, and drawn at a snail's pace by a 
long-furred, knock-kneed horse. The tall but not very 
clerical figure was wrapped in a shawl and swathed 
round the throat with many turns of a woolen tippet. 
The daughter ran out with eagerness to greet her 
father and tell of the wonderful arrival. I was re- 
ceived with genuine delight. It was the enthusiasm 
of a patriot eager to find a sympathetic ear for his 
long-repressed views.^ 

When night came and no entreaties could prevail to 
detain me over another day, the minister conducted 
me some distance in person, passing me on with ample 

1 The Rev. James H. Duckworth, asked you, ' Have I ever seen you 
now postmaster of Brevard, Trau- before ? ' Just then I observed 
sylvania County, North Carolina, your uniform. *0h, yes,' said I; 
and in 1868 member of the State 'I know who it is now.' . . . This 
Constitutional Convention, in his daughter of whom you speak mar- 
letter of June 24, 1890, says: "I ried about a year after, and is liv- 
have not forgotten those things of ing in Morgantown, North Carolina, 
which you speak. I can almost see about one hundred miles from here, 
you (even in imagination) standing Hattie (for that is her name) is a 
at the fire when I drove up to the pious, religious woman." 
gate and went into the house and 


directions to another exhorter, who was located for that 
night at the house of a miller who kept a ferocious dog. 
I came first to the pond and then to the mill, and got 
into the house without encountering the dog. Aware 
of the necessity of arriving before bedtime, I had made 
such speed as to find the miller's family still lingering 
about the fireplace with preacher number two seated 
in the lay circle. That night I slept with the parson, 
who sat up in bed in the morning, and after disencum- 
bering himself of a striped extinguisher nightcap, elec- 
trified the other sleepers by announcing that this was 
the first time he had ever slept with a Yankee. After 
breakfast the parson, armed with staff and scrip, signi- 
fied his purpose to walk with me during the day, as it 
was no longer dangerous to move by daylight. We 
must have been traveling the regular Baptist road, 
for we lodged that night at the house of another lay 
brother. The minister continued with me a few miles 
in the morning, intending to put me in the company of 
a man who was going toward Casher's Valley on a hunt- 
ing expedition. When we reached his house, however, 
the hunter had gone ; so, after parting with my guide, 
I set forward through the woods, following the tracks 
of the hunter's horse. The shoe-prints were sometimes 
plainly impressed in the snow, and again for long dis- 
tances over dry leaves and bare ground but an occa- 
sional trace could be found. It was past noon when I 
arrived at the house where the hunters were assembled. 
Quite a number of men were gathered in and about the 
porch, just returned from the chase. Blinded by the 
snow over which I had been walking in the glare of the 
sun, I blundered up the steps, inquiring without much 


tact for the rider who had preceded me, and was no 
little alarmed at receiving a rude and gruff reception. 
I continued in suspense for some time, until my man 
found an opportunity to inform me that there were 
suspicious persons present, thus accounting for his 
unexpected manner. The explanation was made at a 
combination meal, serving for both dinner and supper, 
and consisting exclusively of beans. I set out at twi- 
light to make a walk of thirteen miles to the house of 
our old friend Esquire Hooper. Eager for the cordial 
welcome which I knew awaited me, and nerved by the 
frosty air, I sped over the level wood road, much of the 
way running instead of walking. Three times I came 
upon bends of the same broad rivulet. Taking off my 
shoes and stockings and rolling up my trousers above 
my knees, I tried the first passage. Flakes of broken 
ice were eddying against the banks, and before gaining 
the middle of the stream my feet and ankles ached with 
the cold, the sharp pain increasing at every step until 
I threw my blanket on the opposite bank and spring- 
ing upon it wrapped my feet in its dry folds. Rising a 
little knoll soon after making the third ford, I came 
suddenly upon the familiar stoj)ping-place of my former 
journey. It was scarcely more than nine o'clock, and 
the little hardships of the journey from Caesar's Head 
seemed but a cheap outlay for the joy of the meeting 
with friends so interested in the varied fortunes of my- 
self and my late companions. Together we rejoiced at 
the escape of Sill and Lamson, and made merry over 
the vicissitudes of my checkered career. Here I first 
learned of the safe arrival in Tennessee of Knapp, Man 
Heady, and old Tom Handcock. 


After a day's rest I climbed the mountains to the 
Headen cabin, now presided over by the heroine of the 
heifer-bell, in the absence of her fugitive husband. Sad- 
dling her horse, she took me the next evening to join a 
lad who was about starting for Shooting Creek. Young 
Green was awaiting my arrival, and after a brief delay 
we were off on a journey of something like sixty miles; 
the journey, however, was pushed to a successful ter- 
mination by the help of information gleaned by the 
way. It was at the close of the last night's march, 
which had been long and uneventful, except that we 
had surmounted no fewer than three snow-capped 
ridges, that my blacksmith's shoes, soaked to a pulp 
by the wet snow, gave out altogether. On the top of 
the last ridge I found myself panting in the yellow light 
of the rising sun, the sad wrecks of my two shoes dang- 
ling from my hands, a wilderness of beauty spread out 
before me, and a sparkling field of frosty forms beneath 
my tingling feet. Stretching far into the west toward 
the open country of East Tennessee was the limitless 
wilderness of mountains, drawn like mighty furrows 
across the toilsome way, the pale blue of the uttermost 
ridges fading into an imperceptible union with the sky. 
A log house was in sight down in the valley, a perpen- 
dicular column of smoke rising from its single chimney. 
Toward this we picked our way, I in my stocking feet, 
and my boy guide confidently predicting that we should 
find the required cobbler. Of course we found him in a 
country where every family makes its own shoes as 
much as its own bread, and he was ready to serve the 
traveler without pay. Notwithstanding our night's 
work, we tarried only for the necessary repairs, and 


just before sunset we looked down upon the scattering 
settlement of Shooting Creek. Standing on the bleak 
brow of " Chunky Grail " Mountain, my guide recog- 
nized the first familiar object on the trip, which was 
the roof of his uncle's house. At Shooting Creek I was 
the guest of the Widow Kitchen, whose house was the 
chief one in the settlement, and whose estate boasted 
two slaves. The husband had fallen by an anonymous 
bullet while salting his cattle on the mountain in an 
early year of the war. 

On the day following my arrival I was conducted 
over a ridge to another creek, where I met two profes- 
sional guides. Quince Edmonston and Mack Hooper. 
As I came upon the pair parting a thicket of laurel, 
with their long rifles at a shoulder, I instantly recog- 
nized the coat of the latter as the snuff -colored sack in 
which I had last seen Lieutenant Lamson. It had 
been given to the man at Chattanooga, where these 
same guides had conducted my former companions in 
safety a month before. Quince Edmonston, the elder, 
had led numerous parties of Yankee officers over the 
Wacheesa trail for a consideration of a hundred dol- 
lars, pledged to be paid by each officer at Chattanooga 
or Nashville. 

Two other officers were concealed near by, and a 
number of refugees, awaiting a convoy, and an ar- 
rangement was rapidly made with the guides. The 
swollen condition of the Valley River made it neces- 
sary to remain for several days at Shooting Creek be- 
fore setting out. Mack and I were staying at the 
house of Mrs. Kitchen. It was on the afternoon of a 
memorable Friday, the rain still falling in torrents 



without, that I sat before the fire poring over a small 
Sunday-school book, — the only printed book in the 

house, if not in the settlement. Mack Hooper was sit- 
ting by the door. Attracted by a rustling sound in 


his direction, I looked up just in time to see his heels 
disappearing under the nearest bed. Leaping to my 
feet with an instinctive impulse to do likewise, I was 
confronted in the doorway by a stalwart Confederate 
officer fully uniformed and armed. Behind him was 
his quartermaster-sergeant. This was a government 
party collecting the tax in kind, which at that time 
throughout the Confederacy was the tenth part of all 
crops and other farm productions. It was an ugly 
surprise. Seeing no escape, I ventured a remark on 
the weather : only a stare in reply. A plan of escape 
flashed through my mind like an inspiration. I seated 
mj^self quietly, and for an instant bent my eyes upon 
the printed pages. The two soldiers had advanced to 
the corner of the chimney nearest the door, inquiring 
for the head of the family, and keeping their eyes riv- 
eted on my hostile uniform. At this juncture I was 
seized with a severe fit of coughing. With one hand 
upon my chest, I walked slowly past the men, and laid 
my carefully opened book face down upon a chest. 
With another step or two I was in the porch, and 
bounding into the kitchen I sprang out through a 
window already opened by the women for my exit. 
Away I sped bareheaded through the pelting rain, now 
crashing through thick underbrush, now up to my 
waist in swollen streams, plunging on and on, only 
mindful to select a course that would baffle horsemen 
in pursuit. After some miles of running I took cover 
behind a stack, within view of the road which Mack 
must take in retreating to the other settlement; and 
sure enough here he was, coming down the road with 
my cap and haversack, which was already loaded for 


the western journey. Mack had remained undiscov- 
ered under the bed, an interested listener to the con- 
versation that ensued. The officer had been assured 
that I was a friendly scout ; but, convinced of the con- 
trary by my flight, he had departed swearing he would 
capture that Yankee before morning if he had to 
search the whole settlement. So alarmed were we for 
our safety that we crossed that night into a thii'd val- 
ley and slept in the loft of a horse-barn. 

On Sunday our expedition assembled on a hillside 
overlooking Shooting Creek, where our friends in the 
secret of the movement came up to bid us adieu. With 
guides we were a party of thirteen or fourteen, but only 
three of us officers who were to pay for our safe con- 
duct. Each man carried his supply of bread and meat 
and bedding. Some were wrapped in faded bed-quilts 
and some in tattered army blankets ; nearly all wore 
ragged clothes, broken shoes, and had unkempt beards. 
We arrived upon a mountain -side overlooking the set- 
tlement of Peach Tree, and were awaiting the friendly 
shades of night under which to descend to the house of 
the man who was to put us across Valley River. Pre- 
mature darkness was accompanied with toiTcnts of 
rain, through which we followed our now uncertain 
guides. At last the light of the cabin we were seeking 
gleamed humidly through the trees. Most of the family 
fled into the outhouses at our approach, some of them 
not reappearing until we were disposed for sleep in 
a half -circle before the fire. The last arrivals were 
two tall women in homespun dresses and calico sun- 
bonnets. They slid timidly in at the door, with averted 
faces, and then with a rush and a bounce covered 


themselves out of sight in a bed, where they had prob- 
ably been sleeping in the same clothing when we ap- 
proached the house. Here we learned that a cavalcade 
of four hundred Texan Rangers had advanced into 
Tennessee by the roads on the day before. Our guides, 
familiar with the movements of these dreaded troopers, 
calculated that with the day's delay enforced by the 
state of the river a blow would have been struck and 
the marauders would be in full retreat before we should 
arrive on the ground. We passed that day concealed 
in a stable, and as soon as it was sufficiently dark we 
proceeded in a body to the bank of the river, attended 
by a man and a horse. The stream was narrow, but 
the current was full and swift. The horse breasted the 
flood with difficulty, but he bore us all across one at a 
time, seated behind the farmer. 

We had now left behind us the last settlement, and 
before us lay only wild and uninhabited mountains. 
The trail we traveled was an Indian path extending for 
nearly seventy miles through an uninhabited wilder- 
ness. Instead of crossing the ridges it follows the trend 
of the range, winding for the most part along the crests 
of the divides. The occasional traveler, having once 
mounted to its level, pursues his solitary way with lit- 
tle climbing. 

Early in the morning of the fourth day our little 
party was assembled upon the last mountain overlook- 
ing the open country of East Tennessee. Some of us 
had been wandering in the mountains for the whole 
winter. We were returning to a half -forgotten world 
of farms and fences, roads and railways. Below us 
stretched the Tellico River away toward the line of 



towns marking the course of the Nashville and Chatta- 
nooga Railroad. One of the guides who had ventured 
down to the nearest house returned with information 


that the four hundred Texan Rangers had burned the 
depot at Philadelphia Station the day before, but were 
now thought to be out of the country. We could see 
the distant smoke arising from the ruins. Where the 
river flowed out of the mountains were extensive iron- 


works, the property of a loyal citizen, and in front of 
his house we halted for consultation. He regretted 
that we had shown ourselves so soon, as the rear-guard 
of the marauders had passed the night within sight of 
where we now stood. Our nearest pickets were at 
Loudon, thirty miles distant on the railway, and for 
this station we were advised to make all speed. 

For half a mile the road ran along the bank of the 
river, and then turned around a wooded bluff to the 
right. Opposite this bluff and accessible by a shal- 
low ford was another hill, where it was feared that 
some of the Rangers were still lingering about their 
camp. As we came to the turn in the road our com- 
pany was walking rapidly in Indian file, guide Edmon- 
ston and I at the front. Coming around the bluff from 
the opposite direction was a countryman mounted on 
a powerful gray mare. His overcoat was army blue, 
but he wore a bristling fur cap, and his rifle was slung 
on his back. At sight of us he turned in his saddle to 
shout to some one behind, and bringing his gun to 
bear came tearing and swearing down the road, spat- 
tering the gravel under the big hoofs of the gray. 
Close at his heels rode two officers in Confederate gray 
uniforms, and a motley crowd of riders closed up the 
road behind. In an instant the guide and I were sur- 
rounded, the whole cavalcade leveling their guns at 
the thicket and calling on our companions, who could 
be plainly heard crashing through the bushes, to halt. 
The dress of but few of our captors could be seen, 
nearly all being covered with rubber talmas ; but their 
mounts, including mules as well as horses, were 
equipped with every variety of bridle and saddle to be 


imagined. I knew at a glance that this was no body 
of our cavalry. If we were in the hands of the 
Rangers, the fate of the guides and refugees would be 
the hardest. I thought they might spare the lives of 
the officers. "Who are you? What are you doing 
here ? " demanded the commander, riding up to us and 
scrutinizing our rags. I hesitated a moment, and then, 
throwing off the blanket I wore over my shoulders, 
simply said, " You can see what I am." My rags were 
the rags of a uniform, and spoke for themselves. 

Our captors proved to be a company of the 2d Ohio 
Heavy Artillery, in pursuit of the marauders into 
whose clutches we thought we had fallen. The farmer 
on the gray mare was the guide of the expedition, and 
the two men uniformed as rebel officers were Union 
scouts. The irregular equipment of the animals, 
which had excited my suspicion most, as well as the 
animals themselves, had been hastily impressed from 
the country about the village of Loudon, where the 2d 
Ohio was stationed. On the following evening, which 
was the 4th of March, the day of the second inaugura- 
tion of President Lincoln, we walked into Loudon and 
gladly surrendered ourselves to the outposts of the 
Ohio Heavy Artillery. 



AS one of the aides of President Jefferson Davis, I 
Jl\. left Richmond with him and his cabinet on April 
2, 1865, the night of evacuation, and accompanied him 
through Virginia, the Carolinas, and Greorgia, until his 
capture. Except Lieutenant Barnwell, I was the only 
one of the party who escaped. After our surprise, I 
was guarded by a trooper, a German, who had appro- 
priated my horse and most of my belongings. I deter- 
mined, if possible, to escape ; but after witnessing Mr. 
Davis's unsuccessful attempt, I was doubtful of suc- 
cess. However, I consulted him, and he advised me 
to try. Taking my guard aside, I asked him, by signs 
(for he could speak little or no English), to accom- 
pany me outside the picket-line to the swamp, show- 
ing him at the same time a twenty-dollar gold piece. 
He took it, tried the weight of it in his hands, and put 
it between his teeth. Fully satisfied that it was not 
spurious, he escorted me with his carbine to the 
stream, the banks of which were lined with a few 
straggling alder-bushes and thick saw-grass. I mo- 
tioned him to return to camp, only a few rods distant. 
He shook his head, saying, " Nein, nein^ I gave him 
another twenty-dollar gold piece; he chinked them 
together, and held up two fingers. I turned my 


pockets inside out, and then, satisfied that I had no 
more, he left me. 

Creeping a little farther into the swamp, I lay con- 
cealed for about three hours in the most painful posi- 
tion, sometimes moving a few yards almost ventre a 
terre to escape notice ; for I was within hearing of the 
camps on each side of the stream, and often when the 
soldiers came down for water, or to water their horses, 
I was within a few yards of them. Some two hours 
or more passed thus before the party moved. The 
wagons left first, then the bugles sounded, and the 
president started on one of his carriage-horses, fol- 
lowed by his staff and a squadron of the enemy. 
Shortly after their departure I saw some one leading 
two abandoned horses into the swamp, and recognized 
Lieutenant Barnwell of our escort. Secreting the 
horses, we picked up from the debris of the camp parts 
of two saddles and bridles, and with some patching 
and tying fitted out our horses, as sad and war-worn 
animals as ever man bestrode. Though hungry and 
tired, we gave the remains of the camp provisions to 
a Mr. Fenn for dinner. He recommended us to Widow 
Paulk's, ten miles distant, an old lady rich in cattle 

The day after my escape, I met Judah P. Benjamin 
as M. Bonfals, a French gentleman traveling for in- 
formation, in a light wagon, with Colonel Leovie, who 
acted as interpreter. With goggles on, his beard grown, 
a hat well over his face, and a large cloak hiding his 
figure, no one would have recognized him as the late 
secretary of state of the Confederacy. I told him of 
the capture of Mr. Davis and his party, and made an 


engagement to meet him near Madison, Florida, and 
there decide upon our future movements. He was 
anxious to push on, and left us to follow more leisurely, 
passing as paroled soldiers returning home. For the 
next three days we traveled as fast as our poor horses 
would permit, leading or di'iving them ; for even if they 
had been strong enough, their backs were in such a 
condition that we could not ride. We held on to them 
simply in the hope that we might be able to dispose of 
them or exchange them to advantage ; but we finally 
were forced to abandon one. 

On the 13th we passed through Valdosta, the first 
place since leaving Washington, in upper Georgia, in 
which we were able to purchase anything. Here I 
secured two hickory shirts and a pair of socks, a most 
welcome addition to my outfit ; for, except what I stood 
in, I had left all my baggage behind. Near Valdosta 
we found Mr. Osborne Barnwell, an uncle of my young 
friend, a refugee from the coast of South Carolina, 
where he had lost a beautiful estate, surrounded with 
all the comforts and elegances which wealth and a 
refined taste could offer. Here in the pine forests, as 
far as possible from the paths of war, and almost out- 
side of civilization, he had brought his family of ladies 
and children, and with the aid of his servants, most of 
whom had followed him, had built with a few tools 
a rough log cabin with six or eight rooms, but without 
nails, screws, bolts, or glass — almost as primitive a 
building as Eobinson Crusoe's. But, in spite of all 
drawbacks, the ingenuity and deft hands of the ladies 
had given to the premises an air of comfort and refine- 
ment that was most refreshing. Here I rested two 


days, enjoying the company of this charming family, 
with whom Lieutenant Barnwell remained. On the 
15th I crossed into Florida, and rode to Greneral Finne- 
gan's, near Madison. Here I met General Breckinridge, 
the late secretary of war of the Confederacy, alias 
Colonel Cabell, and his aide, Colonel Wilson, — a pleasant 
encounter for both parties. Mr. Benjamin had been in 
the neighborhood, but, hearing that the enemy were in 
Madison, had gone off at a tangent. We were fully 
posted as to the different routes to the seaboard by 
Greneral Finnegan, and discussed with him the most 
feasible way of leaving the country. I inclined to the 
eastern coast, and this was decided on. I exchanged 
my remaining horse with General Finnegan for a better, 
giving him fifty dollars to boot. Leaving Madison, we 
crossed the Suwanee Eiver at Moody's Ferry, and took 
the old St. Augustine road, but seldom traveled in late 
years, as it leads through a pine wilderness, and there 
is one stretch of twenty miles with only water of bad 
quality, at the Diable Sinks. I rode out of my way 
some fifteen miles to Mr. Yulee's, formerly senator of 
the United States, and afterward Confederate senator, 
hoping to meet Mr. Benjamin ; but he was too wily to 
be found at the house of a friend. Mr. Yulee was ab- 
sent on my arrival, but Mrs. Yulee, a charming lady, 
and one of a noted family of beautiful women, wel- 
comed me heartily. Mr. Yulee returned during the 
night from Jacksonville, and gave me the first news of 
what was going on in the world that I had had for 
nearly a month, including the information that Mr. 
Davis and party had reached Hilton Head on their 
way north. 


Another day's ride brought us to the house of -the 
brothers William and Samuel Owens, two wealthy and 
hospitable gentlemen, near Orange Lake. Here I re- 
joined General Breckinridge, and we were advised to 
secure the services and experience of Captain Dickin- 
son. We sent to Waldo for him, and a most valuable 
friend he proved. During the war he had rendered 
notable services; among others he had surprised and 
captured the United States gunboat Columbine on the 
St. John's River, one of whose small boats he had re- 
tained, and kept concealed near the banks of the river. 
This boat with two of his best men he now put at our 
disposal, with orders to meet us on the upper St. John. 

We now passed through a much more interesting 
country than the two or three hundred miles of pines 
we had just traversed. It was better watered, the 
forests were more diversified with varied species, occa- 
sionally thickets or hummocks were met with, and later 
these gave place to swamps and everglades with a tropi- 
cal vegetation. The road led by Silver Spring, the clear 
and crystal waters of which show at the depth of 
hundreds of feet almost as distinctly as though seen 
through air. 

We traveled incognito, known only to good friends, 
who sent us stage by stage from one to another, and 
by all we were welcomed most kindly. Besides those 
mentioned, I recall with gratitude the names of Judge 
Dawkins, Mr. Mann, Colonel Summers, Major Stork, 
all of whom overwhelmed us with kindness, offering us 
of everything they had. Of money they were as bare 
as ourselves, for Confederate currency had disappeared 
as suddenly as snow before a warm sun, and green- 


backs were as yet unknown. Before leaving our 
friends, we laid in a three weeks' supply of stores; 
for we could not depend upon obtaining any further 

On May 25 we struck the St. John's Eiver at Fort 
Butler, opposite Volusia, where we met Russell and 
O'Toole, two of Dickinson's command, in charge of the 
boat; and two most valuable and trustworthy com- 
rades they proved to be, either in camp or in the boat, 
as hunters or fishermen. The boat was- a man-of-war's 
small four-oared gig ; her outfit was scanty, but what 
was necessary we rapidly improvised. Here Greneral 
Breckinridge and I gave our horses to our compan- 
ions, and thus ended my long ride of a thousand miles 
from Virginia. 

Stowing our supplies away, we bade good-by to our 
friends, and started up the river with a fair wind. 
Our party consisted of Greneral Breckinridge ; his aide, 
Colonel Wilson of Kentucky; the general's servant, 
Tom, who had been with him all through the war ; be- 
sides Russell, O'Toole, and I, — six in all. With our 
stores, arms, etc., it was a tight fit to get into the boat; 
there was no room to lie down or to stretch. At night 
we landed, and, like old campaigners, were soon com- 
fortable. But at midnight the rain came down in 
bucketfuls, and continued till nearly morning; and, 
notwithstanding every effort, a large portion of our 
supplies were soaked and rendered worthless, and, 
what was worse, some of oui* powder shared the same 

Morning broke on a thoroughly drenched and un- 
happy company; but a little rum and water, with a 


corn-dodger and the rising sun, soon stirred us, and 
with a fair wind we made a good day's run, — some 
thirty-five miles. Except the ruins of two huts, there 
was no sign that a human being had ever visited these 
waters; for the war and the occasional visit of a 
gunboat had driven off the few settlers. The river 
gradually became narrower and more tortuous as we 
approached its head waters. The banks are generally 
low, with a few sandy elevations, thickly wooded or 
swampy. Occasionally we passed a small opening, or 
savanna, on which were sometimes feeding a herd of 
wild cattle and deer ; at the latter we had several pot- 
shots, all wide. Alligators, as immovable as the logs 
on which they rested, could be counted by hundreds, 
and of all sizes up to twelve or fifteen feet. Occasion- 
ally, as we passed uncomfortably near, we could not 
resist, even with our scant supply of ammunition, giv- 
ing them a little cold lead between the head and shoul- 
ders, the only vulnerable place. With a fair vnind we 
sailed the twelve miles across Lake Monroe, a pretty 
sheet of water, the deserted huts of Enterprise and 
Mellonville on each side. Above the lake the river be- 
came still narrower and more tortuous, dividing some- 
times into numerous branches, most of which proved 
to be mere culs-de-sac. The long moss, reaching from 
the overhanging branches to the water, gave to the 
surroundings a most weird and funereal aspect. 

On May 29 we reached Lake Harney, whence we 
determined to make the portage to Indian Eiver. 
O'Toole was sent to look for some means of moving 
our boat. He returned next day with two small black 
bulls yoked to a pair of wheels such as are used by 


lumbermen. Their owner was a compound of Cauca- 
sian, African, and Indian, with the shrewdness of the 
white, the good temper of the negro, and the indolence 
of the red man. He was at first exorbitant in his de- 
mands; but a little money, some tobacco, and a spare 
fowling-piece made him happy, and he was ready to 
let us drive his beasts to the end of the peninsula. It 
required some skill to mount the boat securely on 
the wheels and to guard against any upsets or col- 
lisions, for our escape depended upon carrying it 
safely across. 

The next morning we made an early start. Om' 
course was an easterly one, through a roadless, flat, 
sandy pine-barren, with an occasional thicket and 
swamp. From the word " go " trouble with the bulls 
began. Their owner seemed to think that in furnish- 
ing them he had fulfilled his part of the contract. 
They would neither "gee" nor "haw"; if one started 
ahead, the other would go astern. If by accident they 
started ahead together, they would certainly bring up 
with their heads on each side of a tree. Occasionally 
they would lie down in a pool to get rid of the flies, 
and only by the most vigorous prodding could they be 
induced to move. 

Paul, the owner, would loiter in the rear, but was 
always on hand when we halted for meals. Finally we 
told him, " No work, no grub ; no drive bulls, no to- 
bacco." This roused him to help us. Two days were 
thus occupied in covering eighteen miles. It would 
have been less labor to have tied the beasts, put them 
into the boat, and hauled it across the portage. The 
weather was intensely hot, and our time was made 


miserable by day with sand-flies, and by night with 

The waters of Indian River were a most welcome 
sight, and we hoped that most of our troubles were 
over. Paul and his bulls of Bashan were gladly dis- 
missed to the wilderness. Our first care was to make 
good any defects in our boat: some leaks were 
stopped by a little calking and pitching. Already our 
supply of provisions began to give us anxiety : only 
bacon and sweet potatoes remained. The meal was 
wet and worthless, and, what was worse, all our salt 
had dissolved. However, with the waters alive with 
fish, and some game on shore, we hoped to pull 

"We reached Indian River, or lagoon, opposite Cape 
Carnaveral. It extends along nearly the entire eastern 
coast of Florida, varying in width from three to six 
miles, and is separated from the Atlantic by a narrow 
sand ridge, which is pierced at different points by 
shifting inlets. It is very shoal, so much so that we 
were obliged to haul our boat out nearly half a mile 
before she would float, and the water is teeming with 
stingarees, sword-fish, crabs, etc. But once afloat, we 
headed to the southward with a fair wind. 

For four days we continued to make good progress, 
taking advantage of every fair wind by night as well 
as by day. Here, as on the St. John's River, the same 
scene of desolation as far as human beings were con- 
cerned was presented. We passed a few deserted 
cabins, around which we were able to obtain a few 
cocoanuts and watermelons, a most welcome addi- 
tion to our slim commissariat. Unfortunately, oranges 



; \ 

were not in season. Whenever the breeze left us the 
heat was almost suffocating; there was no escape for 
it. If we landed, and sought any shade, the mosquitos 
would drive us at once to the glare of the sun. When 


sleeping on shore, the best protection was to bury our- 
selves in the sand, with cap drawn down over the head 
(my buckskin gauntlets proved invaluable) ; if in the 
boat, to wrap the sail or tarpaulin around us. Besides 
this plague, sand-flies, gnats, swamp-flies, ants, and 
other insects abounded. The little black ant is espe- 
cially bold and warlike. If, in making our beds in the 
sand, we disturbed one of their hives, they would rally 
in thousands to the attack, and the only safety was in 
a hasty shake and change of residence. Passing In- 
dian River inlet, the river broadens, and there is a 
thirty-mile straight-away course to Gilbert's Bar, or 
Old Inlet, now closed; then begin the Jupiter Nar- 
rows, where the channel is crooked, narrow, and often 
almost closed by the dense growth of mangroves, 
juniper, saw-grass, etc., making a jungle that only a 
water-snake could penetrate. Several times we lost 
our reckoning, and had to retreat and take a fresh 
start; an entire day was lost in these everglades, 
which extend across the entire peninsula. Finally, by 
good luck, we stumbled on a short " haulover " to the 
sea, and determined at once to take advantage of it, 
and to run our boat across and launch her in the At- 
lantic. A short half-mile over the sand-dunes, and we 
were clear of the swamps and marshes of Indian River, 
and were reveling in the Atlantic, free, at least for a 
time, from mosquitos, which had punctured and bled 
us for the last three weeks. 

On Sunday, June 4, we passed Jupiter Inlet, with 
nothing in sight. The lighthouse had been destroyed 
the first year of the war. From this point we had de- 
termined to cross Florida Channel to the Bahamas, 


about eighty miles; but the wind was ahead, and we 
could do nothing but work slowly to the southward, 
waiting for a slant. It was of course a desperate ven- 
ture to cross this distance in a small open boat, which 
even a moderate sea would swamp. Our provisions now 
became a very serious question. As I have said, we had 
lost all the meal, and the sweet potatoes, our next main- 
stay, were sufficient only for two days more. We had 
but little more ammunition than was necessary for our 
revolvers, and these we might be called upon to use at 
any time. Very fortunately for us, it was the time of 
the year when the green turtle deposits its eggs. Rus- 
sell and O'Toole were old beach-combers, and had 
hunted eggs before. Sharpening a stick, they pressed 
it into the sand as they walked along, and wherever it 
entered easily they would dig. After some hours' search 
we were successful in finding a nest which had not been 
destroyed, and I do not think prospectors were ever 
more gladdened by the sight of " the yellow " than we 
were at our find. The green turtle's egg is about the 
size of a walnut, with a white skin like parchment that 
you can tear, but not break. The yolk will cook hard, 
but the longer you boil the egg the softer the white be- 
comes. The flavor is not unpleasant, and for the first 
two days we enjoyed them ; but then we were glad to 
vary the fare with a few shell-fish and even with snails. 
From Cape Carnaveral to Cape Florida the coast 
trends nearly north and south in a straight line, so that 
we could see at a long distance anything going up or 
down the shore. Some distance to the southward of 
Jupiter Inlet we saw a steamer coming down, running 
close to the beach to avoid the three- and four-knot 


current of the stream. From her yards and general 
appearance I soon made her out to be a cruiser, so we 

hauled our boat well up on the sands, turned it over on 
its side, and went back among the palmettos. When 
abreast of us and not more than half a mile off, with 


colors flying, we could see the officei* of the deck and 
others closely scanning the shore. "We were in hopes 
they would look upon our boat as flotsam and jetsam, 
of which there was more or less strewn upon the beach. 
To our great relief, the cruiser passed us, and when she 
was two miles or more to the southward we ventured 
out and approached the boat, but the sharp lookout 
saw us, and, to our astonishment, the steamer came 
swinging about, and headed up the coast. The ques- 
tion at once arose. What was the best course to pursue? 
The general thought we had better take to the bush 
again, and leave the boat, hoping they would not dis- 
turb it. Colonel Wilson agreed with his chief. I told 
him that since we had been seen, the enemy would cer- 
tainly destroy or carry off the boat, and the loss meant, 
if not starvation, at least privation, and no hope of 
escaping from the country. Besides, the mosquitos 
would suck us as dry as Egyptian mummies. I pro- 
posed that we should meet them half-way, in company 
with Russell and O'Toole, who were paroled men, and 
fortunately had their papers with them, and I offered 
to row off and see what was wanted. He agreed, and, 
launching our boat and throwing in two buckets of 
eggs, we pulled out. By this time the steamer was \ 
abreast of us, and had lowered a boat which met us 
haK-way. I had one oar, and O'Toole the other. To 
the usual hail I paid no attention except to stop row- 
ing. A ten-oared cutter with a smart-looking crew 
dashed alongside. The sheen was not yet off the lace 
and buttons of the youngster in charge. With revolver 
in hand he asked us who we were, where we came 
from, and where we were going. " Cap'n," said I, 


"please put away that-ar pistol, — I don't like the looks 
of it, — and I '11 tell you all about us. We 've been rebs, 
and there ain't no use saying we were n't ; but it 's all up 
now, and we got home too late to put in a ci'op, so we 
just made up our minds to come down shore and see if 
we could n't find something. It 's all right, Cap'n; we 've 
got our papers. Want to see 'em f Got 'em fixed up at 
Jacksonville." O'Toole and Russell handed him their 
paroles, which he said were all right. He asked for 
mine. I turned my pockets out, looked in my hat, and 
said : " I must er dropped mine in camp, but 't is just 
the same as theirn." He asked who was ashore. I told 
him, "There's more of we-uns b'iling some turtle-eggs 
for dinner. Cap'n, I 'd like to swap some eggs for 
tobacco or bread." His crew soon produced from the 
slack of their frocks pieces of plug, which they passed 
on board in exchange for our eggs. I told the young- 
ster if he 'd come to camp we 'd give him as many as he 
could eat. Our hospitality was declined. Among other 
questions he asked if there were any batteries on shore 
— a battery on a beach where there was not a white 
man within a hundred miles ! "Up oars — let go for- 
ward — let fall — give 'way!" were all familiar orders; 
but never before had they sounded so welcome. As 
they shoved off, the coxswain said to the youngster, 
"That looks like a man-of-war's gig, sir"; but he paid 
no attention to him. We pulled leisurely ashore, watch- 
ing the cruiser. The boat went up to the davits at 
a run, and she started to the southward again. The 
general was very much relieved, for it was a narrow 
The wind still holding to the southward and east- 



ward, we could work only slowly to the southward, 
against wind and current. At times we suffered greatly 
for want of water; 
our usual resource 
was to dig for it, but 
often it was so brack- 
ish and warm that 
when extreme thirst 
forced its use the con- 
sequences were vio- 
lent pains and retch- 
ings. One morning 
we saw a few wig- 
wams ashore, and 
pulled in at once and 
landed. It was a 
party of Seminoles 
who had come out of 
the everglades like 
the bears to gather 
eggs. They received 
us kindly, and we 
devoured ravenously 
the remnants of their 
breakfast of fish and 
kountee. Only the old 
chief spoke a little 
English. Not more 
than two or three 
hundred of this once 

powerful and warlike tribe remain in Florida; they 
occupy some islands in this endless swamp to the 


southward of Lake Okeechobee. They have but 
little intercourse with the whites, and come out on 
the coast only at certain seasons to fish. We were 
very anxious to obtain some provisions from them, 
but excepting kountee they had nothing to spare. This 
is an esculent resembling arrowroot, which they dig, 
pulverize, and use as flour. Cooked in the ashes, it 
makes a palatable but tough cake, which we enjoyed 
after our long abstinence from bread. The old chief 
took advantage of our eagerness for supplies, and de- 
termined to replenish his powder-horn. Nothing else 
would do; not even an old coat, or fish-hooks, or a 
cavalry saber would tempt him. Powder only he would 
have for their long, heavy small-bore rifles with flint- 
locks, such as Davy Crockett used. We reluctantly 
divided with him our very scant supply in exchange for 
some of their flour. We parted good friends, after 
smoking the pipe of peace. 

On the 7th, off New River Inlet, we discovered a 
small sail standing to the northward. The breeze was 
very light, so we downed our sail, got out our oars, and 
gave chase. The stranger stood out to seaward, and 
endeavored to escape; but slowly we overhauled her, 
and finally a shot caused her mainsail to drop. As we 
pulled alongside I saw from the dress of the crew of 
three that they were man-of-war's men, and divined 
that they were deserters. They were thoroughly fright- 
ened at first, for our appearance was not calculated to 
impress them favorably. To our questions they re- 
turned evasive answers or were silent, and finally asked 
by what authority we had overhauled them. We told 
them that the war was not over so far as we were con- 



cerned; that they were our prisoners, and their boat 
our prize ; that they were both deserters and pirates, 
the punishment of which was death; but that under 
the circumstances we would not surrender them to the 


first cruiser we met, but would take their paroles and ex- 
change boats. To this they strenuously objected. They 
were well armed, and although we outnumbered them 
five to three (not counting Tom), still, if they could get 
the first bead on us the chances were about equal. 
They were desperate, and not disposed to surrender 
their boat without a tussle. The general and I stepped 
into their boat, and ordered the spokesman and leader 
to go forward. He hesitated a moment, and two re- 
volvers looked him in the face. Sullenly he obeyed 
our orders. The general said, "Wilson, disarm that 
man." The colonel, with pistol in hand, told him to hold 
up his hands. He did so while the colonel drew from 
his belt a navy revolver and a sheath-knife. The other 
two made no further show of resistance, but handed 
us their arms. The crew disposed of, I made an exami- 
nation of our capture. Unfortunately, her supply of 
provisions was very small — only some "salt-horse" 
and hardtack, with a breaker of fresh water, and we 
exchanged part of them for some of our kountee and 
turtles' eggs. But it was in our new boat that we were 
particularly fortunate: sloop-rigged, not much longer 
than our gig, but with more beam and plenty of free- 
board, decked over to the mast, and well found in sails 
and rigging. After our exj)erience in a boat the gun- 
wale of which was not more than eighteen inches out 
of water, we felt that we had a craft able to cross the 
Atlantic. Our prisoners, submitting to the inevitable, 
soon made themselves at home in their new boat, be- 
came more communicative, and wanted some informa- 
tion as to the best course by which to reach Jacksonville 
or Savannah. We were glad to give them the benefit 


of our experience, and on parting handed them their 
knives and two revolvers, for which they were very 

Later we were abreast of Green Turtle Key, with 
wind light and ahead; still, with all these drawbacks, 
we were able to make some progress. Our new craft 
worked and sailed well, after a little addition of ballast. 
Before leaving the coast, we found it would be neces- 
sary to call at Fort Dallas or some other point for sup- 
plies. It was running a great risk, for we did not know 
whom we should find there, whether friend or foe. But 
without at least four or five days' rations of some kind, 
it would not be safe to attempt the passage across the 
Gulf Stream. However, before venturing to do so, we 
determined to try to replenish our larder with eggs. 
Landing on the beach, we hunted industriously for 
some hours, literally scratching for a living; but the 
ground had evidently been most effectually gone over 
before, as the tracks of bears proved. A few onions, 
washed from some passing vessel, were eagerly de- 
voured. We scanned the washings along the strand in 
vain for anything that would satisfy hunger. Nothing 
remained but to make the venture of stopping at the 
fort. This fort, like many others, was established dur- 
ing the Seminole war, and at its close was abandoned. 
It is near the mouth of the Miami River, a small 
stream which serves as an outlet to the overflow of the 
everglades. Its banks are crowded to the water's edge 
with tropical verdure, with many flowering plants and 
creepers, all the colors of which are reflected in its 
clear waters. The old barracks were in sight as we 
slowly worked our way against the current. Located in 


a small clearing, with cocoanut-trees in the foreground, 
the white buildings made, with a backing of deep 
green, a very pretty picture. We approached cau- 
tiously, not knowing with what reception we should 
meet. As we neared the small wharf, we found wait- 
ing some twenty or thirty men, of all colors, from the 
pale Yankee to the ebony Congo, all armed: a more 
motley and villainous-looking crew never trod the 
deck of one of Captain Kidd's ships. We saw at once 
with whom we had to deal — deserters from the army 
and navy of both sides, with a mixture of Spaniards 
and Cubans, outlaws and renegades. A burly villain, 
towering head and shoulders above his companions, 
and whose shaggy black head scorned any covering, 
hailed us in broken English, and asked who we were. 
Wreckers, I replied; that we left our vessel outside, 
and had come in for water and provisions. He asked 
where we had left our vessel, and her name, evidently 
suspicious, which was not surprising, for our appear- 
ance was certainly against us. Our head-gear was 
unique: the general wore a straw hat that flapped over 
his head like the ears of an elephant ; Colonel Wilson, 
an old cavalry cap that had lost its visor ; another, a 
turban made of some number 4 duck canvas; and all 
were in our shirt-sleeves, the colors of which were as 
varied as Joseph's coat. I told him we had left her to 
the northward a few miles, that a gunboat had spoken 
us a few hours before, and had overhauled our pa- 
pers, and had found them all right. After a noisy 
powwow we were told to land, that our papers might 
be examined. I said no, but if a canoe were sent off, 
I would let one of our men go on shore and buy what 


we wanted. I was determined not to trust our boat 
within a hundred yards of the shore. Finally a canoe 
paddled by two negroes came off, and said no one but 
the captain would be permitted to land. O'Toole vol- 
unteered to go, but the boatmen would not take him, 
evidently having had their orders. I told them to tell 
their chief that we had intended to spend a few pieces 
of gold with them, but since he would not permit it, 
we would go elsewhere for supplies. We got out our 
sweeps, and moved slowly down the river, a light 
breeze helping us. The canoe returned to the shore, 
and soon some fifteen or twenty men crowded into 
four or five canoes and dugouts, and started for us. 
We prepared for action, determined to give them a 
warm reception. Even Tom looked after his carbine, 
putting on a fresh cap. 

Though outnumbered three to one, still we were well 
under cover in our boat, and could rake each canoe as 
it came up. We determined to take all the chances, 
and to open fire as soon as they came within range. I 
told Russell to try a shot at one some distance ahead 
of the others. He broke two paddles on one side and 
hit one man, not a bad beginning. This canoe dropped 
to the rear at once; the occupants of the others openM 
fire, but their shooting was wild from the motions of 
their small craft. The general tried and missed; Tom 
thought he could do better than his master, and made 
a good line shot, but short. The general advised hus- 
banding our ammunition until they came within easy 
range. Waiting a little while, Russell and the colonel 
fired together, and the bowman in the nearest canoe 
rolled over, nearly upsetting her. They were now evi- 


dently convinced that we were in earnest, and, after 
giving us an ineffectual volley, paddled together to 
hold a council of war. Soon a single canoe with three 
men started for us with a white flag. We hove to, and 
waited for them to approach. When within hail, I 
asked what was wanted. A white man, standing in 
the stern, with two negroes paddling, replied : 
" What did you fire on us for ? We are friends." 
" Friends do not give chase to friends." 
"We wanted to find out who you are." 
"I told you who we are; and if you are friends, sell 
us some provisions." 

" Come on shore, and you can get what you want." 
Our wants were urgent, and it was necessary, if pos- 
sible, to make some terms with them ; but it would not 
be safe to venture near their lair again. We told them 
that if they would bring us some supplies we would 
wait, and pay them well in gold. The promise of gold 
served as a bait to secure some concession. After some 
parleying it was agreed that O'Toole should go on shore 
in their canoe, be allowed to purchase some provisions, 
and return in two hours. The bucaneer thought the 
time too short, but I insisted that if O'Toole were not 
brought back in two hours, I would speak the first gun- 
boat I met, and return with her and have their nest of 
freebooters broken up. Time was important, for we 
had noticed soon after we had started down the river 
a black column of smoke ascending from near the fort, 
undoubtedly a signal to some of their craft in the 
vicinity to return, for I felt convinced that they had 
other craft besides canoes at their disposal ; hence their 
anxiety to detain us. O'Toole was told to be as dumb 


as an oyster as to ourselves, but wide awake as to the 
designs of our dubious friends. The general gave him 
five eagles for his purchase, tribute-money. He jumped 
into the canoe, and all returned to the fort. We dropped 
anchor underfoot to await his return, keeping a sharp 
lookout for any strange sail. The two hours passed in 
pleasant surmises as to what he would bring off; 
another half-hour passed, and no sign of his return; 
and we began to despair of our anticipated feast, and 
of O'Toole, a bright young Irishman, whose good quali- 
ties had endeared him to us all. The anchor was up, 
and slowly with a light breeze we drew away from the 
river, debating what should be our next move. The 
fort was shut in by a projecting point, and three or 
four miles had passed when the welcome sight of a 
canoe astern made us heave to. It was O'Toole with 
two negroes, a bag of hard bread, two hams, some rusty 
salt pork, sweet potatoes, fruit, and, most important 
of all, two breakers of water and a keg of New England 
rum. While O'Toole gave us his experience, a ham 
was cut, and a slice between two of hardtack, washed 
down with a jorum of rum and water, with a dessert of 
oranges and bananas, was a feast to us more enjoyable 
than any ever eaten at Delmonico's or the Cafe Riche. 
On his arrival on shore, our ambassador had been taken 
to the quarters of Major Valdez, who claimed to be an 
officer of the Federals, and by him he was thoroughly 
cross-examined. He had heard of the breaking up of 
the Confederacy, but not of the capture of Mr. Davis, 
and was evidently skeptical of our story as to being 
wreckers, and connected us in some way with the 
losing party, either as persons of note or a party es- 


caping with treasure. However, O'Toole baffled all his 
queries, and was proof against both blandishments and 
threats. He learned what he had expected, that they 
were looking for the return of a schooner; hence the 
smoke signal, and the anxiety to detain us as long as 
possible. It was only when he saw us leaving, after 
waiting over two hours, that the major permitted him 
to make a few purchases and rejoin us. 

Night, coming on, found us inside of Key Biscayne, 
the beginning of the system of innumerable keys, or 
small islands, extending from this point to the Tortu- 
gas, nearly two hundred miles east and west, at the ex- 
tremity of the peninsula. Of coral formation, as soon 
as it is built up to the surface of the water it crumbles 
under the action of the sea and sun. Sea-fowl rest 
upon it, dropping the seed of some marine plants, or 
the hard mangrove is washed ashore on it, and its all- 
embracing roots soon spread in every direction ; so are 
formed these keys. Darkness and shoal water warned 
us to anchor. We passed an unhappy night fighting 
mosquitos. As the sun rose, we saw to the eastward a 
schooner of thirty or forty tons standing down toward 
us with a light wind ; no doubt it was one from the fort 
sent in pursuit. Up anchor, up sail, out sweeps, and 
we headed down Biscayne Bay, a shoal sheet of water 
between the reefs and mainland. The wind rose with 
the sun, and, being to windward, the schooner had the 
benefit of it first, and was fast overhauling us. The 
water was shoaling, which I was not sorry to see, for 
our draft must have been from two to three feet less 
than that of our pursuer, and we recognized that our 
best chance of escape was by drawing him into shoal 


water, while keeping afloat ourselves. By the color 
and break of the water I saw that we were approaching 
a part of the bay where the shoals appeared to extend 
nearly across, with narrow channels between them hke 
the furrows in a plowed field, with occasional openings 
from one channel into another. Some of the shoals 
were just awash, others bare. Ahead was a reef on 
which there appeared but very little water. I could 
see no opening into the channel beyond. To attempt 
to haul by the wind on either tack would bring us in a 
few minutes under fire of the schooner now coming up 
hand over hand. I ordered the ballast to be thrown 
overboard, and determined, as our only chance, to at- 
tempt to force her over the reef. She was headed for 
what looked like a little breakwater on our port bow. 
As the ballast went overboard we watched the bottom 
anxiously; the water shoaled rapidly, and the grating of 
the keel over the coral, with that peculiar tremor most 
unpleasant to a seaman under any circumstances, told 
us our danger. As the last of the ballast went over- 
board she forged ahead, and then brought up. Together 
we went overboard, and sank to our waists in the black, 
pasty mud, through which at intervals branches of rot- 
ten coral projected, which only served to make the 
bottom more treacherous and difficult to work on. Re- 
lieved of a half-ton of our weight, our sloop forged 
ahead three or four lengths, and then brought up again. 
We pushed her forward some distance, but as the water 
lessened, notwithstanding our efforts, she stopped. 

Looking astern, we saw the schooner coming up 
wing and wing, not more than a mile distant. Cer- 
tainly the prospect was blue ; but one chance was left, 


to sacrifice everything in the boat. Without hesi- 
tation, overboard went the provisions except a few 
biscuits; the oars were made fast to the main-sheet 
alongside, and a breaker of water, the anchor and 
chain, all spare rope, indeed everything that weighed 
a pound, was dropped alongside, and then, three on 
each side, our shoulders under the boat's bilges, at the 
word we lifted together, and foot by foot moved her 
forward. Sometimes the water would deepen a little 
and relieve us; again it would shoal. Between the 
coral-branches we would sink at times to our necks in 
the slime and water, our limbs lacerated with the sharp 
projecting points. Fortunately, the wind helped us; 
keeping all sail on, thus for more than a hundred yards 
we toiled, until the water deepened and the reef was 
passed. Wet, foul, bleeding, with hardly strength 
enough to climb into the boat, we were safe at last for 
a time. As we cleared the shoal, the schooner hauled 
by the wind, and opened fire from a nine- or twelve- 
pounder; but we were at long range, and the firing 
was wild. With a fair wind we soon opened the dis- 
tance between us. 

General Breckinridge, thoroughly used up, threw 
himself down in the bottom of the boat; at which 
Tom, always on the lookout for his master's comfort, 
said, "Marse John, s'pose you take a little rum and 
water." This proposal stirred us all. The general 
rose, saying, " Yes, indeed, Tom, I will ; but where is 
the rum?" supposing it had been sacrificed with 
everything else. 

" I sees you pitchin' eberyt'ing away ; I jes put this 
jug in hyar, 'ca'se I 'lowed you 'd want some." 



Opening a locker in the transom, lie took out the 
jug. Never was a potion more grateful; we were faint 

and thirsty, and it acted like a charm, and, bringing 
up on another reef, we were ready for another tussle. 


Fortunately, this proved only a short lift. In the 
mean time the schooner had passed through the first 
reef by an opening, as her skipper was undoubtedly 
familiar with these waters. Still another shoal was 
ahead; instead of again lifting our sloop over it, I 
hauled by the wind, and stood for what looked like an 
opening to the eastward. Our pursuers were on the 
opposite tack and fast approaching ; a reef intervened, 
and when abeam, distant about half a mile, they 
opened fire both with their small arms and boat-gun. 
The second shot from the latter was well directed ; it 
grazed our mast and carried away the luff of the main- 
sail. Several Minie balls struck on our sides without 
penetrating; we did not reply, and kept under cover. 
When abreast of a break in the reef, we up helm, and 
again went off before the wind. The schooner was 
now satisfied that she could not overhaul us, and stood 
off to the northward. 

Free from our enemy, we were now able to take 
stock of our supplies and determine what to do. Our 
provisions consisted of about ten pounds of hard 
bread, a twenty-gallon breaker of water, two thirds 
full, and three gallons of rum. Really a fatality ap- 
peared to follow us as regards our commissariat. Be- 
ginning with our first drenching on the St. John's, 
every successive supply had been lost, and now what 
we had bought with so much trouble yesterday, the 
sellers compelled us to sacrifice to-day. But our first 
care was to ballast the sloop, for without it she was so 
crank as to be unseaworthy. This was not an easy 
task ; the shore of all the keys, as well as that of the 
mainland in sight, was low and swampy, and covered 


to the water's edge with a dense growth of mangroves. 
What made matters worse, we were without any 

At night we were up to EUiott's Key, and anchored by 
making fast to a sweep shoved into the muddy bottom 
like a shad-pole. When the wind went down, the mos- 
quitos came off in clouds. We wi'apped ourselves in 
the sails from head to feet, with only our nostrils ex- 
posed. At daylight we started again to the westward, 
looking for a dry spot where we might land, get ballast, 
and possibly some supplies. A few palm-trees rising 
from the mangroves indicated a spot where we might 
find a little terra fir ma. Going in as near as was pru- 
dent, we waded ashore, and found a small patch of 
sand and coral elevated a few feet above the everlast- 
ing swamp. Some six or eight cocoa-palms rose to the 
height of forty or fifty feet, and under their umbrella- 
like tops we could see the bunches of green fruit. It 
was a question how to get at it. Without saying 
a word, Tom went on board the boat, brought off a 
piece of canvas, cut a strip a yard long, tied the ends 
together, and made two holes for his big toes. The 
canvas, stretched between his feet, embraced the rough 
bark so that he rapidly ascended. He threw down the 
green nuts, and cutting through the thick shell, we 
found about half a pint of milk. The general suggested 
a little milk-punch. All the trees were stripped, and 
what we did not use we saved for sea-stores. 

To ballast our sloop was our next care. The jib was 
unbent, the sheet and head were brought together and 
made into a sack. This was filled with sand, and, slung 
on an oar, was shouldered by two and carried on board. 


Leaving us so engaged, the general started to try to 
knock over some of the numerous water-fowl in sight. 
He returned in an hour thoroughly used up from his 
struggles in the swamp, but with two pelicans and a 
white crane. In the stomach of one of the first were a 
dozen or more mullet, from six to nine inches in length, 
which had evidently just been swallowed. We cleaned 
them, and wrapping them in palmetto-leaves, roasted 
them in the ashes, and they proved delicious. Tom 
took the birds in hand, and as he was an old cam- 
paigner, who had cooked everything from a stalled ox 
to a crow, we had faith in his ability to make them 
palatable. He tried to pick them, but soon abandoned 
it, and skinned them. We looked on anxiously, ready 
after our first course of fish for something more sub- 
stantial. He broiled them, and with a flourish laid one 
before the general on a clean leaf, saying, " I 's 'feared, 
Marse John, it 's tough as an old muscovy drake." 

" Let me try it, Tom." 

After some exertion he cut off a mouthful, while we 
anxiously awaited the verdict. Without a word he 
rose and disappeared into the bushes. Eetui-ning in a 
few minutes, he told Tom to remove the game. His 
tone and expression satisfied us that pelican would not 
keep us from starving. The colonel thought the crane 
might be better, but a taste satisfied us that it was no 

Hungry and tired, it was nearly night before we 
were ready to move ; and, warned by our sanguinary 
experience of the previous night, we determined to 
haul off from the shore as far as possible, and get out- 
side the range of the mosquitos. It was now neces- 


sary to determine upon our future course. We had 
abandoned all hope of reaching the Bahamas, and the 
nearest foreign shore was that of Cuba, distant across 
the Grulf Stream from our present position about two 
hundred miles, or three or four days' sail, with the 
winds we might expect at this season. With the strict- 
est economy our provisions would not last so long. 
However, nearly a month in the swamps and among 
the keys of Florida, in the month of June, had pre- 
pared us to face almost any risk to escape from those 
shores, and it was determined to start in the morning 
for Cuba. Well out in the bay we hove to, and passed 
a fairly comfortable night ; next day early we started 
for Caesar's Canal, a passage between Elliott's Key and 
Key Largo. The channel was crooked and puzzling, 
leading through a labyrinth of mangrove islets, around 
which the current of the Grulf Stream was running like 
a sluice ; we repeatedly got aground, when we would 
jump overboard and push off. So we worked all day 
before we were clear of the keys and outside among the 
reefs, which extend three or four miles beyond. Wait- 
ing again for daylight, we threaded our way through 
them, and with a light breeze from the eastward steered 
south, thankful to feel again the pulsating motion of 
the ocean. 

Several sail and one steamer were in sight during 
the day, but all at a distance. Constant exposure had 
tanned us the color of mahogany, and our legs and feet 
were swollen and blistered from being so much in the 
salt water, and the action of the hot sun on them made 
them excessively painful. Fortunately, but little exer- 
tion was now necessary, and our only relief was in 


lying still, with an impromptu awning over us. General 
Breckinridge took charge of the water and rum, doling 
it out at regular intervals, a tot at a time, determined 
to make it last as long as possible. 

Toward evening the wind was hardly strong enough 
to enable us to hold our own against the stream. At 
ten, Carysfort Light was abeam, and soon after a dark 
bank of clouds rising in the eastern sky betokened a 
change of wind and weather. Everything was made 
snug and lashed securely, with two reefs in the main- 
sail, and the bonnet taken off the jib. I knew from ex- 
perience what we might expect from summer squalls in 
the straits of Florida. I took the helm, the general the 
sheet. Colonel Wilson was stationed by the halyards, 
Russell and O'Toole were prepared to bail. Tom, thor- 
oughly demoralized, was already sitting in the bottom 
of the boat, between the general's knees. The sky was 
soon completely overcast with dark lowering clouds; 
the darkness, which could almost be felt, was broken 
every few minutes by lurid streaks of lightning chasing 
one another through black abysses. Fitful gusts of 
wind were the heralds of the coming blast. Great drops 
of rain fell like the scattering fire of a skirmish-line, 
and with a roar like a thousand trumpets we heard the 
blast coming, giving us time only to lower everything 
and get the stern of the boat to it, for our only chance 
was to run with the storm until the rough edge was 
taken off, and then heave to. I cried, "All hands 
down ! " as the gale struck us with the force of a thun- 
derbolt, carrying a wall of white water with it which 
burst over us like a cataract. I thought we were 
swamped as I clung desperately to the tiller, though 



thrown violently against the boom. But after the 
shock, our brave little boat, though haK filled, rose and 

shook herself like a spaniel. The mast bent like a 
whip-stick, and I expected to see it blown out of her, 


but, gathering way, we flew with the wind. The sur- 
face was lashed into foam as white as the driven snow. 
The lightning and artillery of the heavens were inces- 
sant, blinding, and deafening ; involuntarily we bowed 
our heads, utterly helpless. Soon the heavens were 
opened, and the floods came down like a waterspout. I 
knew then that the worst of it had passed, and though 
one fierce squall succeeded another, each one was tamer. 
The deluge, too, helped to beat down the sea. To give 
an order was impossible, for I could not be heard; I 
could only, during the flashes, make signs to Russell 
and O'Toole to bail. Tying themselves and their buckets 
to the thwarts, they went to work and soon relieved her 
of a heavy load. 

From the general direction of the wind I knew with- 
out compass or any other guide that we were running 
to the westward, and, I feared, were gradually approach- 
ing the dreaded reefs, where in such a sea our boat 
would have been reduced to match-wood in a little 
while. Therefore, without waiting for the wind or sea 
to moderate, I determined to heave to, hazardous as 
it was to attempt anything of the kind. Giving the 
colonel the helm, I lashed the end of the gaff to the 
boom, and then loosed enough of the mainsail to goose- 
wing it, or make a leg-of-mutton sail of it. Then watch- 
ing for a lull or a smooth time, I told him to put the 
helm a-starboard and let her come to on the port tack, 
head to the southward, and at the same time I hoisted 
the sail. She came by the wind quickly without ship- 
ping a drop of water, but as I was securing the hal- 
yards the colonel gave her too much helm, bringing 
the wind on the other bow, the boom flew round and 


knocked my feet from under me, and overboard I went. 
Fortunately, her way was deadened, and as I came up 
I seized the sheet, and with the general's assistance 
scrambled on board. For twelve hours or more I did 
not trast the helm to any one. The storm passed over 
to the westward with many a departing growl and 
threat. But the wind still blew hoarsely from the east- 
ward with frequent gusts against the stream, making a 
heavy, sharp sea. In the trough of it the boat was be- 
calmed, but as she rose on the crest of the waves even 
the little sail set was as much as she could stand up 
under, and she had to be nursed carefully ; for if she 
had fallen off, one breaker would have swamped us, or 
any accident to sail or spar would have been fatal : but 
like a gull on the waters, our brave little craft rose and 
breasted every billow. 

By noon the next day the weather had moderated 
sufficiently to make more sail, and the sea went down 
at the same time. Then, hungry and thirsty, Tom was 
thought of. During the gale he had remained in the 
bottom of the boat as motionless as a log. As he was 
roused up, he asked : 

"Marse John, whar is you, and whar is you goin'? 
'Fore de Lord, I never want to see a boat again." 

" Come, Tom, get us something to drink, and see if 
there is anything left to eat," said the general. But 
Tom was helpless. 

The general served out a small ration of water and 
rum, every drop of which was precious. Our small 
store of bread was found soaked, but, laid in the sun, 
it partly dried, and was, if not palatable, at least a 
relief to hungry men. 


During the next few days the weather was moderate, 
and we stood to the southward ; several sail were in 
sight, but at a distance. We were anxious to speak 
one even at sonie risk, for our supplies were down to a 
pint of rum in water each day under a tropical sun, 
with two water-soaked biscuits. On the afternoon of 
the second day a brig drifted slowly down toward us; 
we made signals that we wished to speak her, and, get- 
ting out our sweeps, pulled for her. As we neared her, 
the captain hailed and ordered us to keep off. I replied 
that we were shipwrecked men, and only wanted some 
provisions. As we rounded to under his stern, we 
could see that he had all his crew of seven or eight 
men at quarters. He stood on the taff-rail with a re- 
volver in hand, his two mates with muskets, the cook 
with a huge tormentor, and the crew with handspikes. 

" I tell you again, keep off, or I '11 let fly." 

" Captain, we won't go on board if you will give us 
some provisions; we are starving." 

" Keep off, I tell you. Boys, make ready." 

One of the mates drew a bead on me ; our eyes met 
in a line over the sights on the barrel. I held up my 
right hand. 

" Will you fire on an unarmed man ? Captain, you 
are no sailor, or you would not refuse to help ship- 
wrecked men." 

"How do I know who you are? And I 've got no 
grub to spare." 

" Here is a passenger who is able to pay you," said I, 
pointing to the general. 

" Yes ; I will pay for anything you let us have." 

The captain now held a consultation with his offi- 


cers, and then said : " I '11 give you some water and 
bread. I 've got nothing else. But you must not 
come alongside." 

A small keg, or breaker, was thrown overboard and 
picked up, with a bag of fifteen or twenty pounds of 
hardtack. This was the reception given us by the 
brig Neptune of Bangor. But when the time and place 
are considered, we cannot wonder at the captain's pre- 
cautions, for a more piratical-looking party than we 
never sailed the Spanish main. General Breckinridge, 
bronzed the color of mahogany, unshaven, with long 
mustache, wearing a blue flannel shirt open at the 
neck, exposing his broad chest, with an old slouch hat, 
was a typical bucaneer. Thankful for what we had 
received, we parted company. Doubtless the captain 
reported on his arrival home a blood-curdling story of 
his encounter with pirates off the coast of Cuba. 

" Marse John, I thought the war was done. Why 
did n't you tell dem folks who you was ?" queried Tom. 
The general told Tom they were Yankees, and would 
not believe us. " Is dar any Yankees whar you goin' ? 
— 'ca'se if dar is, we best go back to old Kentucky." 
He was made easy on this point, and, with an increase 
in our larder, became quite perky. A change in the 
color of the water showed us that we were on sound- 
ings, and had crossed the Stream, and soon after we 
came in sight of some rocky islets, which I recognized 
as Double-Headed Shot Keys, thus fixing our position; 
for our chart, with the rest of our belongings, had dis- 
appeared, or had been destroyed by water, and as the 
heavens, by day and night, were our only guide, our 
navigation was necessarily very uncertain. For the 


next thirty miles our course to the southward took us 
over Salt Key Bank, where the soundings varied from 
three to five fathoms, but so clear was the water that 
it was hard to believe that the coral, the shells, and the 
marine flowers were not within arm's reach. Fishes of 
all sizes and colors darted by us in every direction. 
The bottom of the bank was a constantly varying ka- 
leidoscope of beauty. But to starving men, with not a 
mouthful in our grasp, this display of food was tanta- 
lizing. Russell, who was an expert swimmer, volun- 
teered to dive for some conchs and shell-fish; oysters 
there were none. Asking us to keep a sharp lookout on 
the surface of the water for sharks, which generally 
swim with the dorsal fin exposed, he went down and 
brought up a couple of live conchs about the size of 
a man's fist. Breaking the shell, we drew the quiver- 
ing body out. Without its coat it looked like a huge 
grub, and not more inviting. The general asked Tom 
to try it. 

" Glory, Marse John, I 'm mighty hungry, nebber so 
hungry sense we been in de almy, and I 'm just ready 
for ole mule, pole-cat, or anyt'iug 'cept dis worm." 

After repeated efforts to dissect it we agreed with 
Tom, and found it not more edible than a pickled foot- 
ball. However, Russell, diving again, brought up bi- 
valves with a very thin shell and beautiful colors, in 
shape like a large pea-pod. These we found tolerable ; 
they served to satisfy in some small degree our craving 
for food. The only drawback was that eating them 
produced great thirst, which is much more difficult to 
bear than hunger. We found partial relief in keeping 
our heads and bodies wet with salt water. 


On the sixth day from the Florida coast we crossed 
Nicholas Channel with fair wind. Soon after we made 
the Cuban coast, and stood to the westward, hoping to 
sight something which would determine our position. 
After a run of some hours just outside of the coral- 
reefs, we sighted in the distance some vessels at an- 
chor. As we approached, a large town was visible at 
the head of the bay, which proved to be Cardenas. We 
offered prayful thanks for our wonderful escape, and 
anchored just off the custom-house, and waited some 
time for the health officer to give us pratique. But as no 
one came off in answer to our signals, I went on shore 
to report at the custom-house. It was some time be- 
fore I could make them comprehend that we were from 
Florida, and anxious to land. Their astonishment was 
great at the size of om^ boat, and they could hardly be- 
lieve we had crossed in it. Our arrival produced as 
much sensation as would that of a liner. We might 
have been filibusters in disguise. The governor-gen- 
eral had to be telegraphed to ; numerous papers were 
made out and signed ; a register was made out for the 
sloop No Name ; then we had to make a visit to the 
governor before we were allowed to go to a hotel to 
get something to eat. After a cup of coffee and a light 
meal I had a warm bath, and donned some clean linen 
which our friends provided. 

We were overwhelmed with attentions, and when 
the governor-general telegraphed that G-eneral Breck- 
inridge was to be treated as one holding his position 
and rank, the officials became as obsequious as they 
had been overbearing and suspicious. The next day 
one of the governor-general's aides-de-camp arrived 


from Havana, with an iiivitation for the general and 
the party to visit him, which we accepted, and after 
two days' rest took the train for the capital. A 
special car was placed at our disposal, and on our 
arrival the general was received with all the honors. 
We were driven to the palace, had a long interview, 
and dined with Governor-General Concha. The tran- 
sition from a small open boat at sea, naked and starv- 
ing, to the luxuries and comforts of civilized life 
was as sudden as it was welcome and thoroughly 

At Havana our party separated. General Breckin- 
ridge and Colonel Wilson have since crossed the great 
river; Russell and O'Toole returned to Florida. I 
should be glad to know what has become of faithful