By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: The Bright Side of Prison Life - Experience, In Prison and Out, of an Involuntary Soujouner in Rebellion
Author: Swiggett, Samuel A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bright Side of Prison Life - Experience, In Prison and Out, of an Involuntary Soujouner in Rebellion" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: CAPT. S. A. SWIGGETT.]

  The Bright Side of Prison Life.

  Experiences, In Prison and Out, of an Involuntary
  Sojourner in Rebeldom.


  PRICE $1.25.

  Press of

  Copyright, 1897,


The author's name and reputation may sell this book--miracles have
happened; but he does not intend to permit the possible deception of a
confiding public into the belief that they cannot exist without reading
it. The possible purchaser is hereby warned that it is different from
any other book he ever read. It is without plot, moral, historical
value, mystery, romance, horrors and murderous scenes. The best excuse
to be offered for its existence is the fact that the author's numerous
friends have repeatedly urged him to print what they call an interesting
and unusual series of incidents. The responsibility for any injury to
the public must rest upon the heads of these friends, the author not
holding himself accountable for anything except the truth of the
narration. My friends being pleased with this publication, it may be
safe for others to try it, but they must not blame me for any lack of
appreciation. Trusting that this warning will prevent the unsuspecting
from buying the book solely on account of the author's literary
reputation, the result is awaited with fear and trembling.


_March_, 1895.



  CHAPTER I. Preliminaries                                9

  CHAPTER II. The Capture                                18

  CHAPTER III. On the March                              27

  CHAPTER IV. Bright Spots                               39

  CHAPTER V. The Stockade                                44

  CHAPTER VI. Incidents                                  53

  CHAPTER VII. Events                                    61

  CHAPTER VIII. An Escape                                69

  CHAPTER IX. On the Tramp                               77

  CHAPTER X. Recaptured                                  85

  CHAPTER XI. The Back Track                             93

  CHAPTER XII. The Return to the Stockade               103

  CHAPTER XIII. Incidents, and Another Escape           109

  CHAPTER XIV. Tramps Once More                         120

  CHAPTER XV. Diplomacy                                 129

  CHAPTER XVI. Making Progress                          139

  CHAPTER XVII. A Puzzle, and Incidents                 148

  CHAPTER XVIII. Experiences                            158

  CHAPTER XIX. Good Luck and Bad                        169

  CHAPTER XX. In the Toils                              177

  CHAPTER XXI. Another Return Trip                      186

  CHAPTER XXII. Foraging, and a New Prison              196

  CHAPTER XXIII. To Camp Ford and Joy                   207

  CHAPTER XXIV. Liberty at Last                         219


  Captain S. A. Swiggett,                     Frontispiece.

  General F. M. Drake,                                   18

  Lieutenant Walter S. Johnson,                          39

  Adjutant S. K. Mahon,                                  69

  Captain J. B. Gedney,                                  79

  Captain Thomas M. Fee,                                 89

  Captain Charles Burnbaum,                              94

  Captain J. P. Rummel,                                 115

  Captain B. F. Miller,                                 167

  Sergeant E. B. Rocket,                                189

The Bright Side of Prison Life.



My first appearance in the United States was made on the 19th of May,
A. D. 1834. I have no recollection of this important event, but am
reliably informed that the given date is correct, and that Dorchester
county, Maryland, was the locality. At that time I had no premonition of
my future life in a rebel prison, and if anyone had told me of the
fourteen months which were to be spent mostly in such a manner I should
have paid no attention whatever.

The year 1855 found me in Blakesburg, Iowa, after having lived in
Indiana during the three years following my removal from Maryland.

In 1856 occurred my marriage to Miss Eliza H. Van Cleve, and no man
could be more happily wedded. For thirty-eight years, until her recent
death, on April 13, 1894, our life was as much of a honeymoon as it is
possible for a well-mated couple to make it.

I had learned the trade of a tailor, but other employment offered more
inducements, and, on August 8, 1862, my occupation was that of
postmaster at Blakesburg, Iowa, keeping a small general store in
connection with the postoffice. On this date I enlisted with others, and
we were sworn in at our place.

Our company was organized at Ottumwa, where we went for the purpose, and
my election as first lieutenant gave me much pleasure. Here we spent
about two weeks at squad drill, having the usual experience of

Many of the town girls had lovers, brothers and relatives in our
company, and we had many fair critics present at our drills on the south
bank of the Des Moines river. The excitement was great at the time, and
everybody seemed to be interested very much in our company. For a while
we received the criticisms of our fair guests with equanimity, but at
last we conceived the idea of turning the tables, and soon had an
opposition company so interested in their own drill that the girls gave
us some peace. Two of the boys afterwards married members of the
competing company.

We rendezvoused at Keokuk, where the 36th Iowa Infantry was finally
organized and mustered into the service of the United States on October
4, 1862, Col. Charles W. Kitredge commanding. Our boys were designated
Company B.

About November 1 the regiment went to Benton Barracks, near St. Louis,
and remained until December 20. After we were ordered to go south all
was bustle till we embarked on two steamboats and started on our voyage.

The boats were loaded to the guards with soldiers, hard tack and
coffins, the last being piled up in all available space. Said Pat Riley,
a member of our company: "Holy Jasus, byes, luk! Luk at that! Hev us ter
kerry thim ter hev 'em handy loike?"

The mute suggestion of the many coffins was not pleasant, but our boys
were hopeful, and many jokes were bandied about in consequence of their

That sail down the mighty river will never be forgotten. None knew where
we were going, and the conflict between hope and fear was in many a
breast--hope of success and glory, and distrust of the issue. On board
all was confusion; oaths, laughter, witty remarks, hoarse orders, din in
general. Looking inboard, one could forget all save the immediate
present, and hope was predominant. Looking up at the sky, with its
sweeping clouds, like vast billows of dark, stormy sea, rushing on and
tumbling over each other in mad haste, one felt the immensity of the
universe and the littleness of man, despite his thunders of war.
Listening to the asthmatic breathing of the "scape" pipes, and watching
the shores gliding by, one half fancied a flight in the grasp of some
huge monster that was bearing away its prey. Looking over the side and
hearing the sob and swash of the seething water under the guards, one
could imagine a restraining hand on the huge mass, the panting breath of
exertion, and a moan of regret because of ineffectual effort to keep
back the floating giant that was carrying so many human beings away to
death and disaster. Fear of the future now became the paramount feeling.

We were halted at Memphis by a signal from shore, and found that the
citizens and military authorities were in fear of an attack by Forrest.
That night we slept on our arms in Jackson Square.

The next day some mule sheds were emptied of their living contents, and
our boys were quartered in the vacated premises. We were then detailed
for guard duty at Fort Pickering, which service we performed for several
days, still having the privilege of enjoying our commodious quarters. It
was hardly fair to turn the mules out into the cold to give shelter to a
regiment of new recruits, but as the mules made no "kick" at this
change, why should we object?

The spare hours of my first night as officer of the guard were spent in
trying to get some sleep on the ground. It was raining hard, and it
seemed impossible to find any spots which were not hollows; at any rate,
I could not lie down without finding myself in a pool of water when I
awoke. My reflections and comments need not be recorded.

Christmas passed with scarcely a knowledge of the fact, and about the
first of the year we were sent to Helena, Ark., where General Prentiss
had about 20,000 men.

We were landed, had tents issued to us, and camped on the river bank for
several days. No stoves were to be had, and the damp, cold weather made
fires a luxury. How to have shelter and warmth at the same time was a

Spurred on by the emergency, my thoughts ran very fast, until they were
brought to a stop and concentrated upon one idea. All my hunting about
the neighborhood failed to result in finding any bricks. Some old pieces
lay about, and these were gathered up, together with some old camp
kettles. The latter were battered as nearly flat as possible, and then a
trench was dug from just inside the front of my tent to and under the
rear end. The sides of the trench were built up a few inches, the old
kettles placed across, and the whole heaped over with sand. We built a
sort of chimney upon the outside end of the long tunnel thus made, and a
fire was then started at the inner end of the opening. The draught drew
the smoke and heat through the extemporized radiator, and before long we
had the sand giving out a very satisfactory degree of warmth. Many
pleasant hours were spent in spinning yarns while warming out feet on
this product of necessity.

The 47th Indiana was soon ordered away on a campaign, and we were moved
into the permanent quarters which they had occupied at Fort Curtis. They
had left a portable bakery, all their cooking and heating stoves, as
well as many smaller conveniences, and of these we took possession, thus
finding compensation for some of our hardships.

It is an unwritten military law--at least it was so decided by our
general at the time--that property abandoned in quarters becomes the
property of the next occupants, by right of possession.

In about ten days after our removal to the cabin I was awakened one
morning by a captain in the regiment recently moved out. He announced
the fact that they had returned and were in camp on the hill, about half
a mile distant. The courteous manners of the man, my realization of what
it then meant to be in a dog-tent without fire, and my confidence in my
own ability to find a substitute, induced me to give him my stove,
formerly his. A little later he came back with some of his men, and was
about to take away all the other stoves and things left behind. The
company was turned out under arms to resist, but the warfare was
confined to words, and the dispute was settled by the decision

It is pertinent to state here that I was in command of my company at the
time, owing to the absence of our chief on other duty, and that his
promotion shortly after gave me my rank as captain.

When the dispute was settled it again became necessary to find some
means of warming my hut. With regrets for having been so good-natured, I
set about devising another substitute for a stove. More scraps of bricks
could not be found, and stones were as scarce. Finally, an old piece of
machinery was discovered, which gave some hopes of success. It was a
hollow tube, about two feet long and ten inches in diameter, with a
small hole quite close to one of the open ends, and this was planted
upright upon the earthen floor of my cabin. We procured an old soup
kettle, cut a hole in the bottom for a pipe and capped the cylinder with
it; but the question of a stove-pipe was a more serious matter. Not a
piece was to be found. The next morning my stove had a pipe, and a fire
was merrily burning within the old tube, sending out a heat which made
me glad that the stove had been given up. The only trouble with the new
arrangement was that one had to lift the pipe and top in order to build
or replenish a fire. Sometimes I have a vague impression of someone's
having climbed to the top of a distant cabin in the gloom of the night,
and when this thought comes to me I seem to see a man standing, in bare
feet and scanty clothing, upon the top of that cabin, with the moon
trying in vain to secure a good look at him through the thick clouds,
and tremble with the fear that he may awaken the sleepers within as he
cautiously uplifts their stove-pipe through its hole in the roof. The
vision comes like a recollection of a dream, and I often wonder whether
the man who secured my stove-pipe for me did not tell me where he got
it, and that in so vivid a manner as to leave me with a memory of it
like unto that of one who was present.

In February our regiment went with a boat expedition. The object of the
trip was unknown to us, but we were stopped by a fort at the head waters
of the Yazoo, and returned to camp at Helena after an absence of about
forty days. During this time my company was detailed for boat duty up
the river, and we had a sharp fight with some rebels on shore, till we
landed, drove them off and burned some cabins. No one was seriously
hurt. The casualties of the expedition were not large, and the most
serious resulted from the guerilla warfare of the rebels along the banks
of the rivers, which was finally stopped by landing and burning a few

We were assigned to provost duty when we returned, and this continued
until the latter part of May, when our quarters were moved to the river

Now commenced a system of constant drill for all the troops, which
almost caused a mutiny. Daylight each morning found us in line of
battle, and the work was laborious. This was continued till the 4th of
July, when the battle of Helena occurred.

This battle is a matter of history, and with its details we have nothing
to do in this narrative. Suffice it to say that there is little question
in the minds of those who were there as to what saved the day for us. We
were, as was usual, in line of battle at daybreak when the attack was

The command of our troops was transferred to General Steele soon after
the battle, and in September we were moved on the fall campaign to
Little Rock, which place was occupied without much trouble, and there we
remained for the winter.

Minor skirmishes and battles in which Company B was engaged have not
been noticed, as the object is to chronicle only the principal events
which led up to the prison life and efforts to escape.

In February we started on the slow march to join Banks at Shreveport,
and reached Camden about April 1.



Three weeks later our brigade was ordered to escort an empty supply
train from Camden to Pine Bluff, and we started on April 22, 1864, about
1300 strong, the force consisting of the 43d Indiana, 36th Iowa, 77th
Ohio, one section of the 3d Missouri Battery, and a detachment of the
1st Indiana Cavalry under Major McCauly, the whole commanded by Gen. F.
M. Drake, now Governor of Iowa.

Crossing the Washita river, we camped for the night about three miles
out. The following two days were Saturday and Sunday, and we advanced
little by little, being frequently beset by the enemy, and having
constant skirmishing, until about 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon, when we
reached Moro river bottom, and camped until the pioneer corps had
completed repairs on the road ahead.

This stream could scarcely be called a river, and yet, when high, it
flooded quite a district. At the time of our crossing it was hard to
tell where the real channel lay, the whole bottom being one vast marsh,
across which was an old corduroy road, or rather a broken line of logs,
some visible and some not. Water was to be seen only in spots, and
there was nothing which had even the appearance of a river, but when one
stepped off the apology for a road he soon found that the earth was
saturated with water, which oozed up like the liquid out of a full
sponge when stepped upon.

[Illustration: GEN. F. M. DRAKE.]

The teamsters were contrary, and would not move until the road was in a
decent condition. They had light wagons, and a little effort on their
part would have enabled us to cross over into the Saline bottom that
night, when the after-events would have been avoided. But the road was
in a bad condition, and it was Sunday afternoon; so we lay there.

Everyone in camp felt a foreboding of evil to come, and when we arose on
Monday morning it was with a feeling of keen apprehension and distrust.

We crossed at will, my company being at the head of the second regiment.

On reaching the solid ground beyond the bog we were met by an aid,
coming back from the leading regiment, and he called out excitedly to
Maj. A. H. Hamilton, who was at the head of our column: "Move your
regiment forward, Major, as fast as possible. The rebs have appeared,
fully 2000 strong."

We hastened on, and, as we gained the higher ground, the rapid shots of
a fierce engagement came to our ears from just over the ridge.

The fight was in the woods, and a hot one. We moved up, and were
deployed, but soon all was confusion. The rebels seemed to be
everywhere, and, after a brief struggle, it became every man for
himself. We had but forty rounds of ammunition with us, and that was
soon exhausted, when we learned that we were cut off from our train in
the rear.

Sergeant John S. Wood and I were standing near a tree, with Private
Jasper Barker between us, and Barker was shot down. We could see that we
were largely outnumbered and that there was no well-regulated fight.
About twenty-three of the fifty-six men in Company B had been killed or
disabled and the rest had no more ammunition. The men on our flanks were
melting away by death and retreat, and we finally gave it up and sought
safety in the rear; but there was no escape, for we were completely

Dodging around, and losing men by capture at every turn, the few of us
left at last had to surrender to a little squad under Sergeant Davis.
They rode down on us, yelling wildly and flourishing their sabres, but
we gave up, with no casualties save the serious injury of Annan L.
Silvey, who broke his gun across a tree when called upon to give it up,
and who received a sabre stroke for his pains. Most of the others had
done the same thing before the rebs came up, when it had been seen that
capture was certain.

The sergeant let me keep my sword, but it was taken away later on.

We were marched along toward a corral which the rebels had made for
their prisoners, and on the way we had to submit to involuntary trades
with our captors for what they chose to give us in return for anything
of ours which they saw and fancied.

One fellow made a grab for my hat, but his grasp was eluded with a quick
motion and a "No you don't," but the latter remark had scarcely been
uttered when an enormous fellow, who wore a big, greasy sombrero with
flapping rim, reached out a hand that seemed as large as a small ham,
with "By God, Yank, _I_ will!"

And he did, his great, broad-rimmed hat being forced down over my ears
with a force which made my head ache--at least I think it was the force,
but my head ached steadily until that hat had been exchanged for

A rebel major came up, and, seeing our captors taking from the prisoners
all personal property of value, remonstrated with the offenders, in many
cases causing the purloined goods to be returned. He then offered to
receive in trust any articles which any officer might see fit to deposit
with him for safe keeping, and to give his receipt for them. This offer
seemed to be so kind that a general rush was made to take advantage of
it, and the major was soon loaded up with a general assortment of
personal effects. There can be no doubt as to the safe keeping of the
valuables, for they are still in his possession so far as known to the

The sergeant had not interfered with the promiscuous plundering, but he
was inclined to be friendly, and we learned that the force that had
captured us was a young army of 7000 mounted infantry that had been sent
by Kirby Smith, after his defeat of Banks, to help in the effort to
gather in General Steele.

Had we crossed the river on Sunday they would have missed us. As it was,
we simply marched right into their open arms, and were enfolded as
gracefully and fraternally as could have been expected under the

Further talk drew from our captor that he had a mother living in
Missouri, where Confederate money was no good, and that he was anxious
to send her some greenbacks. Knowing that we were booked for a rebel
prison, Davis was enabled to supply his mother with the desired funds by
an exchange with some of our boys, who brought forth greenbacks from
various hiding places when the object was made known, and the man did us
several kindnesses in return. We became quite well acquainted before our

Reaching the corral, or bull pen, as it was more generally called, I
recovered from the sorrow and despair which only my efforts to get on
the right side of our captors had kept from weighing me down, when I
found that it was a most general "round-up." Very few of the command had
escaped. Of Company B we counted thirty-five, two of whom were wounded.
Nearly all the others had had a similar experience, and it soon became
apparent that the proper thing to do was to make the best of a bad job
and to watch for a chance to get away.

Company B had ten pairs of brothers on the rolls, of whom eight pairs
were separated by death; but we will not dwell upon the dark side of
matters. Most of our captors had cloaked their robbery of us with a
pretense of trading, but in nearly every case the article offered for
exchange was of no comparative value.

Some of us began joking each other about our losses, some accepting the
jokes in good part, some being angry, and some too dispirited to care
what was going on.

It always has been a principle of mine to look at the bright side of
matters, and to find it if none such appeared on the surface. Several
others were of the same mind, and we had considerable fun--at least I
had--until one of the party began questioning me too closely.

Our lieutenant had bought a horse just before the fight, and in the
morning, as we had started on our march, I had offered to give him my
watch for the animal. He had agreed to this, and I had then given one
of my men, who was marching in his bare feet, an opportunity to ride.
Soon after, we had found a pair of boots lying just off the road, and
the rider once more had his feet encased in a proper covering. When we
had gone into action this man had ridden up and taken his place in the
line. Having the horse on my hands, and seeing one of our general's
black servants standing behind us, I had turned the horse over to him,
giving instructions that he should be kept out of the way of harm. Both
horse and rider had disappeared, and had kept out of harm, and further,
sight as well. There could be no doubt but what my horse was gone for
good, either to the rebels or elsewhere. My claim that the rebels had
not taken my watch was soon explained by cross-questioning. When I had
to admit this, I suddenly remembered that a friend of mine in one of the
other regiments had not shown up, and I went off to look for him. Those
fellows had no appreciation of humor, anyway, unless someone else was
the object of remarks!

The prisoners were herded together and counted, checked off and then
recounted. All the male negroes among our troops and with the train had
been killed, and the women and children were huddled in with us.

There had been several citizens with the escort, mostly cotton
speculators. Two of the latter, with whom I had talked while en route,
were now close to me in the counting, and I learned that one had been
forced to give up $140,000 in cash to rebel soldiers, who had traded
boots with him and had given him a pair so much too short as to
necessitate the cutting out of the toes in order to give room to the
toes of his feet. He now stood next to me, the most disconsolate-looking
person imaginable, with his long toes sticking out of his boots so far
as to enable him to touch the ground with them by slight effort. The
other had had $120,000 with him, but had buried it during the fight,
marking the spot. As we have no more to do with these men, it may be
said here that the latter recovered his money later, going for it under
the flag of truce while the dead were being buried.

The only event of the day which had the power to overcome the resolution
I had made to be cheerful, despite all the horror and disaster, occurred
while we were quietly standing there, awaiting the final count, when we
suddenly caught sight of an approaching body of rebels bearing a lot of
captured flags, among which I recognized our own, all torn and
disfigured as it was, the very scars enabling the recognition.

We can talk lightly of a flag as being only a distinguishing mark or
emblem, but its true emblematic character is not realized until some
occasion arises to impress upon us what is meant by the flag of our

When my gaze rested upon that shot-torn flag all the memories of its
associations flashed through my mind in an instant, as well as the full
realization of what its possession would mean to us and what its absence
signified. Words cannot express my feelings. I looked around me for a
moment, and, meeting the eye of one of our men looking at me, his
countenance twitching and his eyes filled with tears, I broke down
completely and sobbed like a child for a few minutes.

O ye men, who have only looked upon our country's flag as a pretty
emblem! You, who only think of it as a necessary distinguishing mark
among nations! And the many who never think of it as anything except a
piece of bunting! Be ye once in a position where inability to possess
that strip of colored fabric means privation, loss of liberty,
separation from home and friends, possibly death, and you will then
realize what it means to you as no language can depict!



After the rebels had paraded and counted us to their entire
satisfaction, the prisoners were started on a march to the Washita
river. The start was made late in the day, and we were marched fifty-two
miles before a halt was ordered on the bank of the river, at a one-wagon
ferry, about 4 o'clock the next afternoon. The commander of the forces
in charge of the prisoners was a genial, plausible colonel named Hill,
who was possessed of a red head and the ability to hold us together by
assuring us of our parole when we arrived at our destination. He and his
men were very friendly and treated us well; so we marched along, in high
hopes of a parole and with excuses for the lack of food during our
journey. The prisoners were ferried across the river that night, and we
burrowed in the sand on the river bank for sleeping accommodations until
morning, but were awakened about 11 o'clock by a call for dinner. We had
received nothing to eat up to this time, and had no objections to the
hour selected, but we were regaled with cornmeal mush, the quantity
apparently being determined upon with a due regard for the supposed
ill-effect of too much food in the case of men who were extremely
hungry. The negroes who accompanied us were more hungry than we, and the
rebels were so careful of them as to give them nothing to eat at this

I found out afterwards that their apparent fear of overloading hungry
stomachs developed in an exact proportion to the scarcity of food among
the rebels, and it is but justice to say that they exhibited the same
regard for their own health that they did for ours.

The next morning we breakfasted upon the memories of our meal of the
previous night, and at this time I noticed a pitiful scene. Several
negro children, scarcely old enough to talk, were going from fire to
fire and poking among the ashes with sticks, their great eyes rolling
around at us as if they were committing some depredation. On closer
observation, it was found that ears of corn had in some way gotten into
the possession of some of us, and that they had been roasted in some of
the fires. The children were hunting for the stray kernels of corn left
in the ashes, and were greedily eating them when found.

While waiting here for the wagon train to cross the river, several of us
went down to bathe. The lack of blankets and clothing among us had been
a hardship, and seeing the wagons crossing put an idea into my head.
Determining to test the scheme, I took one of my companions with me and
hunted around until we found Colonel Hill. He was as busy as a bee,
here, there and everywhere, and practically doing all the work himself.
Awaiting a favorable moment, we approached him, I assuming a
matter-of-fact manner, and, in a business-like way, saying:

"Colonel, our blankets and things are in one of those captured wagons
and we need them. Can you not send us under guard to look for them?"

"Certainly, certainly. Here, sergeant, send a couple of men with these
gentlemen, to help search the wagons and get their stuff for them," and
he was off in a rush to hurry up the crossing of the train.

Two men were detailed to accompany us, with instructions to help us to
get our things, and we started.

Going down the road into a strip of woods, and beyond a convenient
curve, we waited until a wagon reached us from the ferry boat.

Our guards halted the lumbering vehicle, which was heavily loaded with
captured goods of all kinds, and told me to get up and see if I could
find our stuff. The driver cursed and swore, but the leveled guns of our
escort brought him to terms, and he got down.

I entered the wagon, and found a miscellaneous assortment of personal
property, of which I appropriated all the blankets and clothing, as
well as a number of small articles, throwing them out in a heap at the
side of the road. In starting the thing my plan had been simply to get
some few blankets and a coat or two, but the ready permission and able
support had caused me to see the possibilities of the case, and I was
now prepared for a wholesale business.

Dismounting, I said to the guards:

"It isn't all here, boys; we had a big lot. These little things we don't
want as prisoners, so will just keep the blankets and clothes, and you
can have the rest. Here comes the next wagon; there may be more of our
stuff in it, so this fellow should be ordered to go on."

The two guards looked at me, then at the heap of plunder, then at each
other, and broke into broad grins of appreciation and delight. The
driver was ordered to move on, which he finally did, with many oaths and
threats, but our escort was now as much interested as we, and we took
our pick of the things in several wagons, until twenty blankets and
numerous articles of clothing lay piled up beside a heap of small
luxuries. We could have plundered the whole train so far as our guards
were concerned, but there was a blanket for each two of my men, and,
while the wagons were forced on ahead as fast as we finished inspecting
them, it was becoming more and more likely that some officer would ride
up from the ferry; so we desisted.

One of my appropriations was a very long linen coat, with a huge collar,
enormous cuffs, and large flaps over the pockets, a relic of former
days. This, and a large Confederate hat, I donned as we returned with
our captured goods, and my appearance was the source of much amusement
to the boys and wonderment to others. Until this attire was discarded I
passed for a citizen prisoner, and many questioning remarks of an
amusing character were overheard as I walked to and fro.

Late in the afternoon we were marched about three miles out in the
country, and there we camped for the night, being well fed for the first
time, but it being the first opportunity of the rebels to feed us well.
Our meal was of ash cakes, made of dough rolled in leaves and baked in
the ashes of the fires by the negroes. This was the first food given to
the negroes with us, and, during the march, I saw a colored woman
walking painfully along with a child in her arms and two small ones
holding to her skirts, the fear of being killed if they fell behind
having kept them up.

The next morning we were separated from the negroes and marched to
Camden, which place, in the meantime, had been evacuated by General
Steele, reaching there on Saturday morning.

Several days were spent here in arranging for a guard and in registering
the prisoners.

The soldiers were all sent to an old cotton press, and there were
robbed of what few things the admirable effort already made in this
direction had allowed to remain in their hands, or, rather, concealed in
their clothing.

Colonel Polk was provost marshal, and the officers and citizens were
taken before him for registration. He asked the names, regiment, etc.,
of each, entering the replies in a large book. At last he came to a
tall, fine-looking fellow, who stood on my right, and this young man
gave his name--"J. J. Jennings, 5th Kansas Cavalry."

Colonel Polk laid down his pen and looked up, with a flushed face and
swelling veins, blurting out:

"You're one of the d--d gang that burned my house and cleaned out my
plantation; I've a notion to hang--no, you're a prisoner. Next!"

He resumed his pen and returned to his writing, but one could see that
he harbored much resentment for a legitimate act of warfare which had
happened to come home to him.

After we had been duly examined and registered we were sent to the
cotton press, where the men were, and here we remained for several days,
our promised parole not being forthcoming.

Finally, a sufficient guard was secured, and we were started off for
Shreveport, the talk of the parole, having served its purpose, now being

The march to Shreveport occupied about a week, and attempts to escape
were numerous. Each night several men would get away by having comrades
cover them up with leaves so that they would be left behind in the
morning. I devised a scheme to capture our guards and liberate ourselves
in a body, but most of the men were fearful of failure, and sufficient
co-operation could not be secured.

One night, four men dug a hole beside the road and concealed themselves
in it, being covered over with leaves and brush. The guards had missed
so many by this time that they had resolved to investigate; so, when we
had marched just clear of our camp, we were halted, and a couple of
officers went back, with drawn swords, and commenced prodding all piles
of leaves and likely places of concealment. Soon the point of a sword
penetrated through the boughs and leaves over the hole and to the fleshy
portion of the anatomy of a man beneath them. A smothered yell and a
convulsive spring revealed the place of concealment, and the poor
fellows were hauled out and escorted with scant ceremony back to the
crowd. Not a man of us but who wished that they had escaped; but the
desire to forget our own misery was too great for our sympathy, and the
crestfallen men were greeted with shouts, yells, laughter and all sorts
of jokes. The guards viewed these attempts good-naturedly, but they had
their duty to perform, and their vigilance put a stop to further
attempts of this sort. Just before we reached the Red River a young
fellow suddenly made a magnificent leap, clearing the fence by the side
of the road, and ran like a deer toward a neighboring clump of timber
and underbrush. Several shots were fired at him, but he dashed on and
gained the timber, two guards following him into it. A short time after
the guards came back and said they had killed him, but I afterwards
learned of his escape and return to his home.

It is worthy of note that I had become rather popular with our rebel
guards, and that by an apparently strange method.

When we were first captured I had made up my mind to make the best of a
bad job, and had, therefore, lost no opportunity to be sociable with our
captors, while my natural tendencies led me into conversations of
raillery and criticism whenever a chance was offered. The desire to
forget unpleasant reflections increased both my desire to talk and my
ability to do so, and, during the march, I was constantly moving about
among the prisoners, interviewing the guards, finding out all I could
learn and discussing the situation of the country with every rebel who
would talk to me. It had soon become apparent to me that nearly all our
guards were not only sociably inclined, but rather disposed to enjoy my
comments upon the Confederacy, and the daily talks and discussions, in
which I freely gave vent to my ideas, were at once the cause of many
fears for my safety, among my comrades, and of increasing popularity
among the rebels. The boys held their breath on many occasions,
expecting me to be shot for my impudence and candor, reproving me for it
as they had a chance; but, whether because the rebels liked criticism,
or liked the way in which it was made, I was sought out by them and
encouraged in my talks, receiving many tokens of friendship.

One day, as we were wearily plodding along, a strange-looking figure
rode up beside me and opened up a conversation. The rider was an
ungainly, poorly-dressed, ugly specimen of a country doctor, and his
mount was one of the sorriest-looking steeds to be seen in a day's
journey among many poor specimens of horseflesh. This man rode along the
line, examining the prisoners with an air and look which were gall and
wormwood to us. For some reason best known to himself he selected me as
his intended victim, and, as he rode up beside me, I was saluted with
some remark about d----d Yankees, which brought forth a tirade of
raillery from me, in which I expatiated very fully upon stay-at-homes,
and negro equality as I knew it to exist in the South. The man was
furious, but the several guards within hearing nodded and grinned when I
looked toward them, and one of them got close enough to murmur:

"Go it, Yank! Give him h----l!"

The man finally rode off, and I forgot all about the matter, until at
noon, when we halted, and one of my fellow-captains came up to me, in a
flutter of excitement, and gave me the pleasant intelligence that he had
heard them talking of hanging me to the next tree. I did not believe it,
and, as the next tree was out of sight ahead, my reception of the
information was of a careless nature. It turned out later that the
doctor had demanded that I should be hung as one of the blackest-hearted
villains he had ever heard talk, and that an investigation had caused
him to be sent about his business. This is mentioned as an illustration
of the fact that our guards were not looking for chances to shoot

We finally reached the Red river, on the bank of which we stood in the
rain for over two hours before we were ferried across, and marched
through the main street of Shreveport on an old plank road. The whole
town turned out to see us, but we were a hard-looking crowd to put on
exhibition, yet they halted us for a much longer time than was
desirable, while the citizens satisfied their curiosity about Yankee

Here I met a rebel major, Lazwell, _from Iowa_.

After our inspection by the natives we were marched beyond the town to a
place called Four Mile Springs, where we camped for the night in the
rain, and rested as well as we could upon the soil of white clay, which
ornamented our persons and showed many evidences of attachment.

When we again started it was with the knowledge that our destination was
a stockade at Tyler, Texas, and all hopes vanished save those based upon
the prospect of a long imprisonment.

During the march all our boys were constantly regretting that we had
made no attempt to escape, and calling themselves idiots for being
hoodwinked by the clever Colonel Hill and his talk of parole.

To show the current ideas of Confederate money it will be appropriate to
relate an incident of this journey to Tyler:

One day, while we were halted for rest and water, two rebel officers
commenced to talk "hoss swap." After each had made a careful examination
of the other's horse, one said: "Well, Captain, you'll have to boot me."
"All right, Kunnel," said the captain; "how much do you want?" The
"kunnel's" answer made me gasp for breath. "Give me a thousand dollars,
Captain, and it's a go." "No, that's too much," said the captain; "I
will give you five hundred." "All right," said the "kunnel," who
evidently thought five hundred "dollars" a small matter of difference in
a "hoss swap," "strip your hoss." In the meantime I, with others, had
looked the horses over with considerable care and could see but little
difference in value between them; they were both very much alike--stout,
pony-built sorrels, and in Iowa would have sold for from $75 to $80 in

Just at this time a rebel officer rode by on a beautiful little dapple
"dun" pony; he was pacing along at a fine rate, and called forth many
expressions of admiration. One of the officers remarked: "The kunnel got
a big bargain in that hoss; he done paid only $5000 for him." This horse
may have been worth $100 in greenbacks. I had never seen the relative
values of the two moneys so well illustrated before.




Lieut. Walter S. Johnson, of Company I, my regiment, now of Lincoln,
Neb., was captured with me, and was one of our number on the march from
Mark's Mills, Arkansas, the scene of our undoing, to Tyler, Texas. He
was afterwards one of my comrades in an attempt to escape. A couple of
his experiences are well worthy of record here, and, while one of them
occurred during our absence without leave from the stockade, it is
related in this chapter because neither incident came to my knowledge
until a recent date, and, both being illustrative of kind treatment
received, it seems right to place them in a chapter which may be said to
be Lieutenant Johnson's, especially as neither of them otherwise needs
particular location in my narrative.

The balance of this chapter is to be understood, without quotation
marks, as coming from my comrade:

After we had been on our weary march for a number of days, a man came
among the prisoners for the purpose of buying up all greenbacks that
were for sale. He did not need much help to carry off his purchases, as
we had been previously interviewed by others on the same subject, but
without the offer to give an equivalent or even the courtesy to ask
whether we had a superfluous quantity. This man, therefore, made a
favorable impression, and we became curious to learn his object. He was
a genteel, unassuming fellow, and spent two or three days with us,
talking to individuals as the opportunity offered. At last I asked him
why he was giving $5 of Confederate money for one of ours, when he told
me frankly that he expected to go to Vicksburg--then within our
lines--to buy medicine for the use of their army.

"Do you think it possible to do this?" I asked.

"Oh, yes," he responded; "I have done so several times already, and
there is no trouble about it."

In a moment it flashed across my mind that here was a chance to get a
letter through to my loved ones at home, and I said to him:

"Would you have the kindness to take a letter through for me and mail it
to my wife when you get to Vicksburg?"

"Oh, certainly," he said; "I can do that just as well as not."

With bounding heart I tore a leaf out of my pocket diary and wrote a few
lines to my wife, saying that I was all right, telling her to keep up
her courage and that all would yet be well.

I gave the precious scrap of paper to the gentleman--without an
envelope, as a matter of necessity--_and my wife received it all right_
from Vicksburg, where it had been enclosed in an envelope and mailed.

I remember this kind-hearted gentleman with much gratitude, and, as the
receipt of the letter would indicate that he got through as expected,
the fact has always been to me a source of satisfaction beyond that of
personal benefit.

This experience, as well as the one to follow, is recorded all the more
readily because the kindnesses received during our sojourn in Rebeldom
were not expected, at least by me.

On our return to the stockade, after an escape elsewhere described, an
incident occurred which gave me greater faith in human nature than I had
possessed up to that time.

We were pretty well used up by our constant traveling, were having
little to eat, and I was not feeling very well; perhaps looking even
worse than I felt.

Thinking that a cup of milk would be at once a benefit and a positive
luxury to me, one morning, just after daylight and before we had broken
camp for the day's march under our guards, I made up my mind to visit a
house near our resting place and ask for the drink to which my palate
had been a stranger for about two years. I was scarcely a presentable
object, being barefooted, my pants frayed out up to my knees and hanging
in shreds below, my coat-tails cut off at the waist, my feet wrapped in
the detached fragments of my coat, and I wore a white wool hat, given me
by the "Johnnies," as the best they had, that drooped so much as to
necessitate doubling it up like a "turnover" pie. In this plight I
mustered up the courage to present myself at the house, after having
secured permission from the guards. Knocking at the door, with some
misgivings, I was answered by a sad-looking, yet sweet-faced,
middle-aged lady, whose appearance so confused me that I could only
stammer my request.

She, with a calm, gentle demeanor, so mother-like that the tears almost
started from my eyes, invited me to a seat in a neat and tidy, yet
comparatively bare room. This courtesy I acknowledged and declined as
respectfully as I knew how, thinking I would only be there a moment. She
retired at once to an adjoining room.

The minutes kept slipping away, until I feared that our kind guards
would have their patience tried and their suspicions aroused to an
extent which would invite an investigation of my whereabouts, especially
as we were to move before long. Just as I was beginning to think myself
forsaken by the old lady, and was trying to forget the imaginary taste
of that expected milk, she reappeared, when, to my surprise and almost
consternation, she invited me _to breakfast_ with the family in the next
room, where the table was ready and bountifully loaded with a
substantial meal.

Oh, that breakfast! The sight fairly took my breath for a moment, and I
no longer regretted the delay as I feasted my eyes upon the clean and
inviting table, with its plentiful supply of creamy biscuit, golden
yellow butter, ham and eggs, baked potatoes and steaming coffee; but, as
I gazed, even though hungry, worn out and reduced in flesh, a full sense
of the kindness exhibited almost caused me to break down utterly and my
appetite failed me for the moment. However, my kind hostess, in her
gentle, unassuming manner, quietly motioned me to a seat and bade me
make myself at home. With the family of four persons I sat at the table
throughout the meal. Very few words were spoken. My eyes kept filling
with tears and my heart was too full to permit my saying more than
"Thank you, and may heaven bless you."

Even at this late day the remembrance of the unpretentious kindness of
that dear old lady brings the tears to my eyes.

Such acts in this world of selfishness and coldness are the shade and
water in the desert of life, and the longer I live the more I am
convinced that nothing short of love for Him in the heart will produce
such works.



In about six days we reached our place of abode, which was about four
miles distant from the town of Tyler, in a northeast direction, and on
the side of the main road to Marshall. The stockade was called Camp
Ford, and was situated in the midst of a section thickly covered with a
growth of pine timber, the enclosure consisting of about six or seven
acres in a comparatively open space, where the trees had been cut off.
The trunks of from one foot to eighteen inches in diameter had been
split in two, and cut so that they were about nine feet long. These had
been sunk in the ground about three feet and one-half to make the fence
around the prison, and the tops of these slabs were about the height of
an ordinary man's eyes from the ground.

The enclosure had been recently enlarged, and there were no buildings in
it except in the old portion, and these now stood in the northwest
corner, where there was a beautiful spring, which gave an abundance of
clear and good water.

The stockade had two gates, the main entrance being on the north side
and the other through the eastern fence or wall. The guardhouse was
opposite the main gate, the headquarters of the rebels in a house over
100 yards down the road toward Tyler, and the hospital about 300 yards

We stood for over an hour, in all our glory, before the stockade, while
the rebels looked us over and checked us off; then we were marched by
details into our attractive future home.

My company was directed to the southwest corner of the enclosure, and
assigned to quarters consisting of tree stumps, tangled oaks and scrubby
pine brush.

Who can adequately describe the feelings which possess a man at such a

The remembrance of the patriotic inspiration, and hopes of glory, which
actuated the enlistment; the recollection of how the desire for the
comforts of life and the pleasures of home associations was suppressed
in order that the country's need might be served; feelings of
thankfulness that death in battle had not been the result; and then a
self-questioning as to whether death would not be preferable to a long,
dreary imprisonment; all combine to make one realize the extent of such
a misfortune: but a man becomes more miserable when nursing his
miseries, and the active employment of mind and body in attempts to
remedy present evils is the best means of avoiding depressing
influences; so most of us turned our attention to making the best of our

The next morning we held a council, and at once set about laying out a
town within the enclosure. Before night the place, if one could have
lost sight of the enclosing fence, looked like a very young prairie
town. We had regular streets laid out, including a boulevard, and the
discussions as to names were as serious as if our town had been a future
city. In the southeast corner of the stockade we reserved ground for a
public square, where hundreds of men could be seen promenading each
pleasant evening. On the south side of this square the sinks were

There was an unfinished cabin quite near us, which was partly occupied
by old pioneers, and we bought a half interest in the structure. It had
two rooms, one low side, and a shed roof. By patching up, one side of
this desirable flat was made habitable, and several of us moved in and
took possession. We got poles and some oak staves, which sufficed to
make rough bunks. Our party consisted of seven officers of the 36th
Iowa, and Lieut. John H. Hager, of the 120th New York, who was my
berthmate. By the way, I think Lieutenant Hager was the most contented
prisoner of the entire lot. He could sleep night and day.
Notwithstanding the flies would swarm on him so thick that you could
scarcely recognize him, still he would sleep, undisturbed except by
sweet dreams.

The ground was staked out for the different companies and allotted to
them, all being made as comfortable as possible.

Our party built a porch to our flat, the occupants of the other side
joining with us. We got out, under guard, for the purpose of getting the
material, and we soon had a protection from the sun before our

I had had malaria for some time before being captured, and a chill every
other day for about six months previous to the time of our unwilling
visit to the Confederacy, but no chill had I felt since the day of our
disaster. Account for it as you will, the facts remain. I was still very
weak, however, and our long march had not helped my recovery. I remember
that in building the porch to our abode I was scarcely able to carry my
share of the brush. While the march had helped to weaken me, the
excitement of it had sustained me, but I went to pieces when it was

The commander of the stockade at that time was a Colonel Allen, an
ex-United States regular, and he was disposed to be as kind as possible
to his prisoners. The first protection for the men was such as could be
had quickly by throwing up bowers of brush and tree limbs, but Colonel
Allen allowed us to go out under guard and cut timber for cabins, and in
about six weeks we had completed cabins for all, thus being fairly well

It is needless to say that all the prisoners had the fever of escape,
but the chances were very few. Major McCauley, who lived next door to
me, succeeded in getting away in a manner which will be spoken of later

Our town was soon one of 4000 or 5000 population and built like a
Western boom city, avenues and streets being carefully laid off and
appropriately named. We had lots of fun in naming some of these streets,
and the lots were bought and sold in regulation style. We had a solid
business street and efficient police regulations.

Before he left, my friend, Major McCauley, together with Jack Armstrong,
a captain in a Kansas colored regiment, and several others, including
myself, used to sit under our front porch spinning yarns, devising plans
of escape and cracking the backs of a species of bug with a hard shell,
which used to be prevalent about our quarters in those days. We planned
a good many escapes, but could not hit upon the right method of getting

Colonel Allen and his wife were very nice people, and did what they
could for us, but it was his business to keep us there, and, while many
escaped from the stockade, very few got away.

In policing our enclosure they used a dump cart, which would drive in,
be filled with leaves and other litter lying around and then be taken
to a ravine outside and dumped.

We conceived the idea of using the cart as a means of escape, and
forthwith set about carrying out the scheme. There were some prisoners
among us from a Zouave regiment, and one of them was an innocent-looking
boy. We enlisted his services, and he soon had the confidence of the
cart-driver and was allowed to drive the cart around within the
enclosure while it was being loaded. Selecting a favorable opportunity,
Major McCauley and Captain Armstrong were laid in the cart and covered
with leaves. The major's legs were too long, and, in drawing them within
the limits of space allowed, his knees reared themselves so high that,
when we had covered them as well as we could, there was very little
covering on top. The captain was inclined to be corpulent and was
full-blooded, so that, when the leaves covered him, he breathed heavily,
and a close observer could notice a regular upheaving of the mass of
leaves. We hoped for the best, however, and watched the progress of
events with keen interest.

The cart finally started for the exit, and several of us made our way to
a good point of observation.

By the time the vehicle had reached the gate the jolting over the rough
ground, and the captain's breathing, had settled the leaves until, like
the ostrich, the occupants felt secure with their heads covered, but
were exposing telltale signs of their presence. McCauley's knees
appeared above the leaves like mountain peaks above the timber, while
the captain's stomach just showed, like the back of a porpoise above the
water as he plunges.

An officer at the gate surveyed the cart, and we expected to see our
friends hauled out, but he only smiled grimly and said not a word, while
the cart proceeded on its way to the ravine.

We looked at each other in astonishment, and we could see the captain's
stomach give an extra heave, evidently with a sigh of relief.

Our astonishment was soon changed to amusement as the officer spurred
his horse toward the cart, and then stood quietly by, with a smile on
his face, as the driver backed up to the ravine and prepared to dump the
cart. A creak, a rush, a cloud of leaves and dust, a glimpse of two
tumbling figures, and we saw our friends sitting in the bottom of the
ravine, looking up wonderingly at the smiling officer on the bank, who
said to them:

"Well, boys, where are you going?"

"To Camp Ford," replied Armstrong; "will you be kind enough to show us
the way?"

"Certainly; will you ride or walk?" said the officer, pointing to the
waiting cart and the grinning driver.

"Thank you, but we'll walk if it is not too far," was the answer, and
the two men limped back to the stockade, good-naturedly smiling at the
laughter and jokes which greeted them from such of the inmates as had
witnessed the escapade.

For some little time past I had been feeling miserable, my limbs
swelling as if with dropsy and my appetite being very poor. I had begun
to fear that I was likely to die, when Hiram Pratt, one of the members
of my company, proposed a course of treatment which he claimed to have
seen used with success in similar cases. After deciding to try his
remedy, I was helped to the spring, disrobed and had the cold spring
water poured slowly on my back for a few minutes. Almost instantly I
felt some relief, and, with a daily repetition of the treatment, I soon
became myself again. The cure was so complete that for fourteen months I
was entirely free from all signs of the trouble.

Among the many schemes devised for escape from our prison were
innumerable tunnel devices, and many of these were planned and worked
upon, but nearly all the various workings were discovered in one way or
another, and but one was a success, although many men escaped at
different times in other ways.

The stockade was full of rumors about probable parole, and these
stories, evidently prompted and encouraged by our captors to prevent
attempts to escape, kept many of us from risking recapture, and
possible death, by uncertain attempts to regain our freedom.

The Fourth of July was soon near at hand, and we asked permission to
celebrate the day within the stockade. The consent being given, a number
of us went out under guard and cut poles and brush, with which we built
a large bower in our public square, as well as a grand stand. When
finished we had shelter for over 500, and an enthusiastic crowd gathered
about the stand on the Fourth. Colonel Leek had prepared an oration, and
Colonel Dugan had written an original poem for the occasion. We
applauded both oration and poem; when several speeches were made by
those among us who were gifted and inclined that way. Long before we had
finished one of the men on the outside of the crowd got so excited that
he took off his red shirt and raised it on a pole, amid the cheers,
hoots and yells of those about him. Our captors promptly marched a squad
of soldiers into the stockade and broke up our gathering, giving as a
reason that we had flown the American flag. This was not so. We had
several flags among us, but were very careful to keep them out of sight.

While we had several flags, we knew that any display on our part of the
stars and stripes would cause appropriation, and we possessed our souls
with the knowledge that Old Glory was in no danger while kept in hiding.



It was the custom of our captors to bring in guards and count us daily.
Our town was divided into wards, and the men of each ward fell in at a
certain place to be counted, several guards being assigned to each ward
to do the counting, which was done by roll-call. We worked this
roll-call in various ways to facilitate exchanges, having some man
impersonate another who was dead and whose chances of exchange had been
good, and covering up escapes by answering to names of those not
present. I personally know of one case where a resemblance caused a
living man to become dead and buried on the records, while he was
carried on the rolls and subsequently exchanged under the name of the
man who had actually died. Several men escaped whose names were answered
in person afterward by others, who took their place in line and then
slipped back to their own places to respond to their own names. In this
way a number of men were exchanged under the names of those who had
escaped and whose absence had been covered up. This was possible, owing
to the roll-call and the few guards who handled large numbers of men,
but it was afterwards stopped by a numerical count when a few cases of
doubt had occurred.

When the rebels started the new system of counting we used to bother
them all we could by causing disappearances. One of the first attempts
we made at this was to secrete about 150 men in the lofts and corners of
the various buildings which then existed, as well as above the lower
weight poles on the roofs of our cabins; the usual custom of hanging
blankets to air on the eaves of our quarters enabling us to cover the
men who were hidden there.

There was a great excitement and furore when the count showed the
shortage and apparent escape. Dogs and searching parties were sent out
in all directions without avail, and the next morning it was more
excitement when the count was in excess of the required number. We did
this constantly, in a small way, although our fun was spoiled after the
first large discrepancy, but it served to increase chances of escape by
making the rebels pay less attention to a small shortage. They would not
attempt to hunt through the stockade for a few men, and after a few
cases of finding the missing ones at the next or the following count
they could not be sure of an escape until too late to follow with any
chance of success.

Exchanges at this time were considerably delayed by the trouble which
resulted from the paroles given to the large number of prisoners at
Vicksburg. These men were tired of fighting, had no desire to serve the
Confederacy again, and not only refrained from again carrying arms
against the United States, until regularly exchanged, but sought to
avoid doing it at all by keeping out of the way of exchange.

In one of the boat fights on the Red river the rebels captured an army
paymaster in citizen's clothes. He was sent to our stockade, was
exchanged in due time and sent home, and I learned years after that he
had had $150,000 of government money concealed on his person, which he
had succeeded in saving and taking back with him.

In this day, when men seem to think it right to get all you can and keep
what you get, you will find few like this paymaster.

There were all sorts of trades constantly going on between the prisoners
and with outsiders. One of the most amusing scenes I ever witnessed
occurred in the case of a farmer who bought a load of assorted truck to
sell to the men in the stockade. He had a dilapidated old wagon and a
sorry-looking specimen of a mule team, which he drove up to the
enclosure and left in charge of his negro boy while he went to
headquarters for a guard to escort him inside of our camp and protect
him while selling his goods.

The rebels were too busy to give the desired attention to him as soon as
he wanted it, and while he was waiting for the detail the guards at the
stockade began helping themselves to the contents of his wagon, the
negro driver, who was only about fourteen years old, having no ability
to prevent the plundering. This made the owner furious, as he witnessed
it from a distance, and he came over to the wagon, asking Adjutant
McCann for permission to go in without a guard, saying that the
prisoners would not steal as much as would the men who should protect
him, and expressing his willingness to take his chances alone.

All this conversation was within the hearing of both prisoners and
guards, and the adjutant, with a wink at the crowd, ordered the gate
guard to permit the passage of the outfit.

A broad grin of satisfaction spread over the faces of all as the large
gate swung open, and the crowd of about 500 prisoners that usually stood
about the main entrance opened ranks to permit the passage of the wagon,
the negro boy driving and his master, with an unmistakable air of
triumph, standing erect beside him.

When inside of the enclosure the wagon was driven up our Broadway, the
crowd closing in behind and following, and when the merchant and his rig
made a stand on Market street he had a crowd of from 1000 to 1500
customers around him, and trade opened up quite briskly, he exchanging
his stuff for cash and such available trinkets as were possessed by the
boys, putting his own price upon both the goods sold and the articles
taken in trade. He was selling out at a rate which caused the money
fairly to pour into his hands, and all went smoothly until he made the
mistake of raising prices and getting too independent, when his troubles

When his talk and manners had given offense to many of the prisoners,
and his unjustifiable prices had caused the disapprobation of all, some
of the men began slyly to help themselves to small articles. Discovering
this, he struck at one of them with his cane, which was snatched from
him, whereupon he drew his revolver and swore he would shoot the first
man who took anything more.

His lone pistol could not intimidate so large a crowd, and there was
something so absurd about the idea that the men laughed in derision,
daring him to shoot and promising faithfully to kill him and put him out
of his misery if he did.

The poor little negro boy who held the reins was so badly scared that he
almost turned white.

After a few exchanges of courtesy, during which the man was so impolitic
as to arouse the anger of the crowd at his littleness and bravado, the
linch-pins were quietly removed from the axles of his wagon, somebody
started his mules, and, in a minute, he and part of his load had been
dumped on the ground, amid the yells and shouts of the now excited men,
and in less time than it takes to tell it his entire wagon and load had
disappeared piecemeal, carried off to various parts of the enclosure and
secreted, and he was left standing in the midst of a crowd that had only
laughter and sarcasms for his tirade of abuse.

Finally, he became too personal, and then he was violently taken in
hand. They took away his revolver, smashed his ancient plug hat,
plundered his pockets of his receipts and generally maltreated him.

During the fracas some silver coins were scattered about in the crowd,
and a general scramble took place for their possession, during which
several heads were ornamented by other than the usual bumps.

When the crowd at last let the merchant depart he was the most
bedraggled specimen of humanity that I ever saw.

The guard came in and dispersed the crowd, but there was not enough of
his wagon to be found to be of any use, and he slowly and painfully
walked out of the enclosure, leading one of his mules, while his boy
followed close behind with the other, the master shaking his fist at us
and indulging in a forcible, if not elegant, flow of language.

He got more from the boys than his whole outfit was worth before he
began to overcharge and put on airs, so that no one felt sorry for him,
while all enjoyed the scene of his downfall and spoliation.

After the trader had gotten outside of the stockade the rebel guards
took up the matter, joking him severely and laughing at his troubles,
consoling him with:

"You can go in without a guard whenever you please. The pris'ners 'lnot
steal any more from you than we will!"

Colonel Allen, who, up to this time, had been in charge of our stockade
and given us all the attention and comfort possible, was now removed,
and a Colonel Borders sent to take care of us. We much regretted the
removal of Colonel Allen.

Among the prisoners were a number of steamboat men, who lived by
themselves and were called the steamboat squad. They were an unruly
crowd and caused much annoyance. The 5th Kansas boys had a row with some
of them, and one day the steamboat squad got together and came up to
clean out the 5th. At once there was great excitement and we all feared
a riot. The leader of the steamboat men was a big Irishman, and his
loud-mouthed threats, together with the rough appearance of his crowd,
seemed to indicate a hard time for the boys, while no one cared to
interfere personally. The 5th was drawn up in line, armed with clubs, to
receive the attack, but an officer proposed to settle the dispute by a
single stick fight with the steamboat leader, which was hailed with
delight by all hands. I do not propose to describe this battle, but
everyone who witnessed it was surprised to see the big Irishman receive,
in short order, an unmerciful drubbing, which settled what would
probably have been a general fight if the two factions had come
together; and thus we had some keen excitement to vary the monotony,
while disastrous consequences were fortunately avoided by the presence
of mind of one man, or, rather, by his skill with the single stick.



A noteworthy and impressive feature of our stockade life should not be
overlooked. I refer to the religious services held regularly by many of
the prisoners. On every Sunday morning a crowd would gather in one
corner of the stockade, and men representing numerous religious creeds
would meet in unison to worship Him.

Much religious enthusiasm was frequently manifested at these meetings.
Many professed conversion, and a number of backsliders were reclaimed.
The experiences related by those who had been raised amid Christian
influences were particularly interesting. With tears in their eyes men
would relate how they had received the parting blessings of pastor,
wife, parents and other loved ones, only to come to the army and be
surrounded by irreverent comrades. They would tell how hard it had
seemed, to be deprived of the help and consolation of regular and
customary religious services in the midst of such surroundings, and how
much harder the trial had been when the change to prison life had taken
place and the separation from home had become total; the recital, an
earnest assurance that religious faith was a great consolation in time
of adversity, and a stirring appeal to others to have faith that He did
all things well, being sufficient to awaken dormant feelings in some, to
inspire new thoughts and resolutions in many and to cause all to feel
more resigned. No doubt as to the support and consolation afforded by
religious faith could have existed in the mind of anyone observing the
earnestness and fervor of the leaders in these gatherings.

The religious exercises were not sufficient, however, to suppress the
natural inclinations of most of the prisoners to gamble on the slightest
provocation; in fact, the confinement and the necessity for doing
something to kill time were the means of increasing the ordinary
tendencies in this direction.

In ordinary army life it was a common thing, during most any halt, to
see "keno" and "chuck-luck" games going on. The halt would scarcely be
called before "chuck-luck" boards would begin to appear from knapsacks
here and there and rubber ponchos be spread for "keno" games. Five
minutes later one could scarcely look in any direction without seeing
games of chance in full blast. The prison certainly witnessed more of
this in proportion, as the dealers were not reformed in the least, and
the gullible ones were as numerous as ever, while the victims of the
mania for trying to gain much for little, with the chances all in favor
of losing more, were increased by the causes mentioned and from the
rebel guards who were allowed to remain within the stockade. After
roll-call each morning a dozen or more games would be called in as many
different parts of the prison, and an interested crowd would soon be
gathered around each game in the open air to watch the betting, which
would, at times, cause quite an excitement.

Lieutenant and Adjutant McCann, of the prison guards, always took a
lively hand in these games, and he could be seen almost every morning
squatting down or sitting flat on the ground, where he could partake of
the excitement of "bucking a sure-thing game." One morning, while he was
intently engaged in this occupation, some waggish prisoners quietly
appropriated his revolvers without his being aware of the transaction;
to slip them from the belt being an easy matter when he was in such a
posture and so much interested in trying to "break the bank."

When McCann "went broke" himself he left the stockade, still without
noticing his loss, but it was not long before he became aware of the
theft and indulged in some righteous indignation. He gathered a detail
of guards and returned to the stockade, demanding the return of his
pistols. Of course, no one had seen them, and not a soul in the
enclosure knew anything of them.

The suggestions and remarks, together with the adjutant's ire on this
occasion, made the scene an amusing one, but it soon took a serious
turn. One of the prisoners would suggest that the officer had lost his
"guns" in the woods before entering the stockade; another would remark
that his own men were no better than others, and that some of them had
probably "cramped" the weapons; the next would suggest that he might
find the pistols in his own quarters if he looked more carefully; and
the men kept this up until the officer became nearly frantic with anger.
He made numerous threats, but they were insufficient to cause the
surrender of the lost revolvers, and no suspicion of any particular
parties could well exist under the circumstances, as any one of the 6000
prisoners might have been the malefactor.

The fact that two good revolvers were in the hands of the prisoners was
not one calculated to cause indifference on the part of the rebels, as
untold trouble might result; so, after a council of war at headquarters,
it was decided that cutting off the rations of the entire crowd within
the stockade until the missing articles were found would probably
inspire the prisoners with better sight, and we were informed that
unless the pistols were surrendered within twenty-four hours we should
have no more to eat after that time until we discovered and returned the
adjutant's armory.

This action was regarded as a "bluff" by the prisoners, and, after a
general discussion, it was decided that our sight could not be improved
by such methods; but when we had fasted for twenty-four hours, and the
beef and meal wagons had failed to put in an appearance at the regular
time, we concluded that the rebels meant business, and it was not long
until someone discovered the lost revolvers, when our guards were
advised as to where the weapons could be found.

The surrender of the adjutant's arsenal put an end to an amusing and
exciting episode, but it also ended the "keno" and "chuck-luck" games,
so far as the guards were concerned, for their commander forbade any of
them remaining within the stockade after roll-call. The adjutant never
recovered his lost temper--that is, while we knew him, and was a cross
officer after this occurrence. Whenever he would enter the stockade,
subsequent to his disarmament, someone would shout "keno," and the cry
would be taken up by a thousand voices. This did not help him to forget
the revolver incident, and, naturally, did not improve his temper.

"Keno" was also a watchword to notify anyone engaged in tunnel-digging
or other contraband work that it was hazardous to proceed at the time,
and by the time any officers or guards entering the stockade could reach
any suspected point all unlawful actions would be stopped and any traces

We had a tunnel started in a cabin, the mouth of the hole being sunk in
the fireplace. Whenever the watchword, "keno," would sound the digger
would hurry out, a false bottom would be set in the fireplace and
hurriedly covered with ashes and burning wood, and all evidences of the
work effectually hidden from sight.

This tunnel-digging was slow work, as a case-knife was the most
effective tool which we possessed, and all the labor of shaping the hole
had to be done with this inappropriate implement. Our method of removing
the dirt could not be called primitive, inasmuch as the means employed
were of neither ancient make nor style, but the device certainly was not
of the time-saving kind. A cigar-box, with a string attached, was the
vehicle for conveying the dirt from the interior of the works to the
surface of the ground, and every ounce of dirt that was loosened by our
improvised excavator had to be removed by this apology for a tram car.
When the loaded car came to the mouth of the tunnel it was carefully
conveyed to some old hole in the neighborhood and there dumped, light
dirt sweepings from the ground being scattered over the fresh soil from
the tunnel. The lack of speed in the work was offset by the
corresponding amount of care that was taken in doing it.

There was every reason in the world for believing that our tunnel would
become a success, and it would have done so had it not been for the
action of some traitorous prisoner, whose identity never was discovered.
This man, whoever he was, had good reason to thank his lucky stars that
we were not able to locate him.

Some miserable coward informed the rebels of our work, and, after
repeated surveys, they managed to swamp the enterprise, catching the
digger, who then happened to be Abel Crow, in the tunnel. Crow was taken
outside and made to mark time for hours in the effort to compel his
betrayal of the others interested with him in the work. When the guards
thought he was about tired out they would question him as to who were
his helpers, but he was true blue. He stuttered a good deal under
ordinary circumstances, and, when excited, could scarcely be understood
by anyone not used to his manner of speech. His uniform reply to the
questions asked was:

"M-m-m-my n-n-n-na-na-n-na-name is A-a-a-ab-a-ab-el-Abel
Cro-cro-cro-Crow, and I d-d-do-do-don't kn-know anyb-b-bod-y else."

The rebels tried to get this man to say more, and they kept at him until
forced to give up the attempt as a bad job, when they complimented him
upon his grit and sent him inside without further punishment.

The tunnel had reached fully thirty feet beyond the fence and picket
line when the work was stopped, and Abel told one of the guards who were
assisting him to mark time during the attempt to learn the names of his
co-workers that he could stop work in the tunnel and plainly hear the
guard's "One o'clock and all's well," which he knew to be a d----d lie,
further informing his listeners that if they had not been in such a
d----d big hurry the job would have been finished in about two more days
and nights and many of the prisoners would have handed in their

The statements of Crow to the guard were made in his own stammering way,
which must be imagined by the reader, with the assistance of the
illustration given of Abel's ability for speech-making, and his
combination of frankness and reticence made him no enemies.

Of the disappointment consequent upon the failure of this tunnel to
reach the outer world at the proper time and place little need be said.
It was only one of many failures, and while the progress made had
encouraged a very strong hope, if not expectation, of success, the
result was not so exceptional as to cause despair. All who had had
confidence in the success of the scheme were naturally a little
crestfallen, but we still continued to nourish hopes of a different
result in some other case.

[Illustration: ADJUTANT S. K. MAHON.]



About the first of August our remaining officers decided that parole or
exchange was very unlikely, and we concluded to attempt an escape.
Captains Miller and Lambert, with Major Hamilton, had already gone. They
had slipped out of the stockade and had finally succeeded in getting
home, but the hardships of the journey caused the death of two and
nearly killed Hamilton. The result, of course, we did not know at the
time, so Captains J. B. Gedney and Thomas M. Fee, Lieutenants Charles
Burnbaum and Walter S. Johnson, Adjutant S. K. Mahon and myself made our
plans to follow their example.

After considerable diplomatic work we finally closed a deal with one of
our guards to secure us an opportunity to get out, for $150 in
Confederate money, and he picked out a couple of his companions to help
him. We watched and studied the methods of guard-mounting, and selected
what seemed to be the most favorable point for our egress. We then
informed our friend the guard of the time and place decided upon and
instructed him how to have himself and friends fall in at guard-mount,
so that they would get the posts which covered our chosen ground.

When the appointed time came we were all nervous and somewhat excited,
for we could not tell whether our guards would prove true to us or not,
but we were determined, and we made our preparations with the utmost
secrecy. We had secured some provisions and an axe, and when we finally
started Captain Gedney led the way as pioneer, carrying the axe. I came
next, with a pail containing our provisions, on top of which was a large
boiled ox heart, and the others followed. As we approached the stockade
our hearts beat quickly, and we were in a state of dreadful suspense
until we saw that the nearest guard was aware of our presence and found
that he was not disposed to see us. We had picked out a spot where the
soil was loose, and, when we found that our guard was sincere, it was
the work of a very short time to work and separate two slabs of the
stockade so that we could squeeze through.

The night was dark and rainy, and fitful flashes of lightning but partly
illuminated the scene, yet caused us to crouch close to the ground to
avoid discovery. I shall never forget the interval of dread, hope and
nervous excitement consequent upon our delay at the fence while forcing
an outlet, although it could not have been more than a very few minutes.
Between the rumblings of thunder we could hear the low sough and moan
of the wind in the trees outside of the stockade, like the suppressed
wail of human beings in pain; then would come a flare of flickering
lightning through the clouds, like the striking of a match that would
not burn, at which we would flatten out against the fence or on the
ground, with our hearts in our mouths; then, with the darkness, would
come the low roar of distant thunder, like the anathemas of a
disappointed match-striker, and we would desperately renew our efforts
for fear the successful match would be struck before we got away, our
fears being heightened by the evident approach of the worst of the
storm. My similes may not be poetic or grand, but it is a fact that it
seemed to us as if each flash of lightning was an attempt to find us and
each roll of thunder the growls of our captors at the failure.

At last we got through the fence, and at once struck a pace for the
woods, which would have carried us to Iowa in short order if we could
have kept it up.

We had scarcely started before there came what seemed to me to be the
greatest flash of lightning that I had ever seen. For an instant you
could have seen to read in the open spot across which we were making all
the speed of which we were capable, and then came a yell from one of the
guards, the roar of a musket and a rattle of thunder that fairly caused
us to become frantic in our efforts to put a proper distance between
ourselves and that stockade. In the darkness which followed the glare I
plunged head over heels into a small ravine, hugging my bucket of food
desperately, but when I arose and hastened on my ox heart had
disappeared. We had no time to bewail the loss, however, for our danger
of recapture was more serious, and we fairly flew along.

Just what efforts were made to overtake us I do not know, but we finally
reached a place where we could hide and take a breathing spell, and no
sounds of pursuit disturbed us.

After a time the storm passed over and the moon began to peep through
the clouds now and then, when we started again on our journey. The
country was what can be best described as an open-timber country, that
is, timbered thinly without much underbrush. We walked all night,
selecting our course as best as we could, having occasional periods of
partial moonlight, then a cloudy spell, and again a thunderstorm. When
daylight at last appeared we sought a ravine and a dense thicket and
stowed ourselves away.

It cleared off with the rising sun, and we spent the day in hiding,
drying our clothes in the sun as best we could. We had no idea where we
were, and could only locate directions in a general way; so we talked
over the situation and decided to travel by night, going as near north
as possible, and to take turns as leader or guide, holding each leader
responsible for keeping our course.

When night came it was decided that it was my lead, and I prepared to
guide the party north in a country of which I knew nothing, my only
support being the consciousness that I knew as much about our
surroundings as the others.

We started, and proceeded in a very satisfactory manner until we struck
what we took for a bayou. There was a path along the bank, so we turned
and followed it for quite a distance, expecting it to lead us to a
crossing, but finally concluded that we should wade the stream. I picked
out a good place and started in. We walked until tired, sometimes up to
our knees in water and again up to our waists, but there seemed to be no
other side, and by the time we concluded that we had a swamp to deal
with instead of a bayou we knew just about as well how to find the spot
we had left as how to reach the other side. After a standing committee
of the whole had discussed--and cussed--the situation, in water up to
our waists, we decided that it was better to go on than to try retracing
our steps, as we would be bound to reach the other side or some side if
we only kept on long enough. So I picked out a northerly direction as
well as I could and we floundered on.

The silence was not oppressive, as the croaking of innumerable frogs,
the buzzing of several million mosquitoes and the splash of the water
did not permit such a thing to exist, while exclamations, some partially
suppressed and some emphatic, frequently silenced the frogs and startled
the mosquitoes, as one or another of the party stepped into a hole or
stumbled over a root. At last we struck a place where the water was
quite deep, the bottom soft and the bullrushes so thick that we could
scarcely wade through them.

When we got where the bullrushes waved over our heads, while the mud was
nearly to our knees and the water up to our armpits, the rest of the
party stopped and mildly remonstrated, one of them suggesting that my
ability as guide was not being displayed in finding the most convenient
way to go north, even while I might be going the most direct way, and
that there was room for an argument as to whether our most material
progress was not toward a place located in another direction.

At this I suggested that as I was their Moses to lead them out of the
wilderness I could scarcely be blamed for a visit to my birthplace while
the opportunity offered.

Captain Gedney was so exhausted that we were compelled to grope around
until we found a place where he could sit down. Before it was found he
was so completely fagged out that we had to support him, and, when at
last we found where he could sit with his mouth and nose just above
water, the situation had become serious.

Then we appointed a committee of one to explore the neighborhood and
find, is possible, a place where we could sit down conveniently.
Lieutenant Johnson, being the tallest, was selected for this delicate
duty, and we rested (!) for a time while he departed on his quest. We
had several reports from him in the next few minutes, but they had no
bearing upon the object of his mission and are omitted, and then his
voice grew fainter and fainter very rapidly. At last we heard him shout
to come on, and we went toward his locality in as good order as
possible. After some worse floundering than any we had yet had we began
to find hard bottom and more shallow water, and in a short time we
joined him on a bare space around the roots of a big tree, where we all
sat down and awaited daylight, after voting thanks to Johnson for his
timely help in the hour of need. We figured out that we must have walked
at least ten miles through that swamp, and even today I can hear those
frogs and the dismal splash of the water when I allow my mind to dwell
upon that night's experience.

Despite our worn-out and exhausted condition, and the drowsy feeling
which came to us as the result, we were unable to sleep soundly. The
myriads of mosquitoes were not slow to discover our half-stupid
condition, and they took a mean advantage of our partial helplessness. I
have never been able to decide how much of our exhaustion on the
following morning was due to our exertions and how much to the loss of
blood which resulted from the attacks of our musical enemies.



With the coming of light we discovered solid ground in the near
distance, and we very quickly reached it. Most of our provisions and
nearly all our matches had been ruined by the water, so we had a scant
breakfast in our wet clothes.

About the time when we finished breakfast we discovered a dog
skirmishing about among the brush, and an investigation developed the
fact that a colored gentleman was passing by us not very far away. We
withdrew to better cover, and I undertook to capture the dog and make
friends with him, fearing that otherwise he might discover us to his

The capture of the animal was effected with the aid of my suspenders and
a few honeyed words, and we quickly became quite friendly, his master
loudly calling and whistling for him, while we caressed and fondled him
to distract his attention and prevent his barking in reply. When we
finally concluded that it was best to get rid of our new companion he
was loath to leave us, so Lieutenant Johnson was detailed to lead him
off in the swamp and kill him. Just as he was about to start on his
mission a deer ran through the woods, quite close to us, and the dog
became so excited that we released him, when he at once started on the
trail of the deer, and we saw no more of him or his master.

When night came, our clothes had been partially dried by the heat of our
bodies and what little sunlight was available, and we started again in
high hopes, finding a good road after a short walk. Following this road
for an hour or two, we saw a fire ahead of us, and at the same time
heard some cattle being driven toward us from the rear. We at once filed
out of the road, lying down to await their passing. Just as they got to
us a man came riding down the road and headed them off into the woods,
and the whole bunch passed right over our bodies, fortunately without
stepping upon any of us, although Burnbaum had a very narrow escape; he
could have touched the horse ridden by the man. After this incident we
concluded to retire for the night, and sought a secluded place, where we
made the best beds we could and had a sleep.

In the morning we held a consultation, and decided that we could now
travel by daylight if we exercised reasonable caution. Our provisions
were now all gone, and we were pretty hungry, so we kept a good lookout
for a chance to replenish our larder as we proceeded on our way.

[Illustration: CAPT. J. B. GEDNEY.]

During the day we followed the road, which led us nearly north, avoiding
observation by frequently taking to the woods and by keeping a
skirmisher well ahead to observe all curves in the road. Several
cornfields were honored by our making them our headquarters for a time,
and we satisfied our hunger and filled up our larder with corn and green
watermelons. We made good time, and at night found a good place and
slept soundly, having succeeded in getting thoroughly dried.

The next day we resumed our tramp, taking each available opportunity of
lolling in the streams of water which we had to cross, thus refreshing
ourselves very much.

Seeing a lot of pigs in an open road, near a cornfield, where we had
gone for a repast, we vainly sought to catch one. Our affection for
those pigs was something moving in its character, at least it kept us
moving in a very lively manner for a time. Those pigs were deaf to all
our blandishments, and both vigorously and effectually prevented us from
embracing what seemed at times to be a good opportunity for a dinner of
pork. When it seemed hopeless to expect that any of the animals would
listen to reason, Captain Gedney suddenly thought of the axe, which he
had laid down until the capture of the pig should have been
accomplished. Soon the axe and numerous expletives were being hurled
promiscuously at the animals, but his remarks seemed to have no more
effect than the axe. All of a sudden the captain changed his tactics,
and, instead of hurling the axe first and the wordy missiles after the
axe had missed its mark, he savagely directed certain forcible remarks
toward an animal that had repeatedly escaped the axe, and then hurled
the latter in the same direction. Whether as a result of the preliminary
remarks or not, the pig suddenly stopped and looked at his assailant,
when the axe, which had previously missed the animal by falling short or
passing across his wake, struck him in the loin, and he fell to the
ground, a victim of the evil passions of man and his keen appreciation
of roast pig.

Our matches had been ruined, and we had become tired of trying to light
a fire with the damp articles, but the exigency of this case again
caused us to go hopelessly over our stock in a very careful manner. Our
joy may be imagined when Lieutenant Mahon found a few stray matches
secreted in his vest lining, where, by some mistake, they had escaped a
wetting sufficient to ruin them, and we soon had our prize over a fire
in a secluded nook, later enjoying such a meal as we had not had in a
good while.

The executioner received a vote of thanks for his devotion to our cause,
and numerous congratulations upon his proficiency in the art of stopping
and killing a pig were showered upon him. He bore his honors meekly,
merely remarking that it did him more good to kill that pig than it did
to eat him; but while his veracity was never before doubted, the manner
in which he devoured his share of that animal, and the quantity which he
ate, caused the rest of us to conclude that he found more joy in
possession than in pursuit.

Captain Gedney's feet had been troubling him considerably, and the next
day we stopped for a rest and to doctor his feet. We used the grease of
the pig as a salve, and made him a pair of moccasins out of an old shirt
and the tail of his blouse. Late in the day we made a start, and slipped
along slowly. Finding no running water, we were forced to drink from
pools at the roadside, but we made good progress on our way.

On the seventh day out, as we were marching along through a
highly-timbered country that was thickly covered with underbrush, with
an extremely hot sun overhead and scarcely a breath of air stirring to
relieve the stifling oppression in the atmosphere, Captain Fee had a
sunstroke, and we were alarmed, but he quickly recovered and we

So far we had seen no one to whom we wanted to speak, and no one not
easily avoided.

On the eighth day our few matches had all been used, and our food supply
again exhausted. We found some field beans, which we ate raw until we
had satisfied our appetites, and then filled our bucket.

We were wearing Confederate shoes made of poorly-tanned leather, and
they had become as hard as iron, wearing off our toenails to the quick
and causing us much pain. We had to stop frequently to wrap our toes
with rags, and our lack of proper food was beginning to tell upon us, so
that our condition was not one to occasion much joyfulness.

On this afternoon we heard the sound of wood-chopping off in the woods,
and we went over to investigate, Gedney and myself being appointed as a
diplomatic committee to wait upon the unknown parties and see what we
could do in the way of negotiating for some provender.

Leaving our companions, we crept slowly and carefully toward the
workers, and at last found them to be negroes, a man and a boy, stark
naked, whom we surrounded before introducing ourselves.

The result of our mission was that the man directed us where to hide in
the bottom, agreeing to come to us after dark and lead us out of the
bottom to a better hiding place, when he would secure and bring, as soon
as possible, some food to the party from a neighboring house. We
conversed with him a short time, and then left to report progress to our
comrades and conduct them to the appointed place of meeting.

We waited with considerable impatience and some anxiety until long after
the time set by the negro for his coming, and had begun to fear that he
was faithless in the matter, when we heard the footsteps of the man and
the boy, and they soon appeared, giving as their reason for being so
late the fact that they were compelled to cut a certain number of rails
that week, and, this being Saturday night, it had been necessary to work
quite late to complete their task.

They now led us out of the bottom and secreted us in some underbrush on
the high land near the planter's house, then going away to look after
our promised provisions, and taking with them the bucket of raw beans
which we had carried with us, saying they would have them cooked.

This time we waited until fully 11 P. M., when we became conscious of
the approach of several people, and the man soon appeared, followed by a
troop of darkeys. They all seemed glad to see us, and had brought us all
that we could reasonably have asked. The delay had been caused by
stopping to cook some biscuits and steal some sweet potatoes, as well as
to boil our bucket of beans. In addition to these luxuries, they had
brought us a chicken, cooked with the beans, and they all sat around and
talked while we ate a hearty meal, and stowed away what was left for
future use.

We now learned for the first time our exact location, and were directed
how best to proceed.

Mahon had some spare clothes with him, and we made a requisition upon
him for them, that we might trade with our friends for some shoes,
which we did. Having no matches, we tried to secure some, but could
not. A young negro boy said he could fix us better, and produced a
tinder-box made of an old gourd handle and some charred cotton, showing
us how to get fire with a flint and a jack-knife. He got fire so easily
with it that we were enthusiastic, and at once appointed Captain Fee, at
his own earnest request, to be chief of the fire department, the negro
boy turning over to him the flint and tinder-box, which he stowed away

After a long and enjoyable talk with these negroes, during which we
became convinced that we could rely upon their people for help whenever
we met them, we separated from our friends and went on our way, with
light hearts and full stomachs.



Our first objective point after leaving our negro friends was a ferry on
the Sulphur Fork of Red River, to which we had been directed by them.

We had reached the plain, direct road to the place, and were journeying
along quite happily, in single file, about 2 o'clock A. M. on Sunday,
our ninth day out, when we suddenly met and passed a negro man. Our
recent experience prompted me to interview him, and my comrades halted
in the brush by the roadside while I retraced my steps to overtake the
man and learn what we had to expect as we advanced.

He stopped readily as I caught up with him and called out, proving to be
a very intelligent darkey, who was on his way home after having been to
see his best girl. We had a long and satisfactory talk, and I took him
to where my companions were waiting. We found that he was well posted on
army matters and the general situation of the country, and he seemed
quite anxious to help us all he could, informing us of our near
proximity to the ferry, which we might have trouble to cross without

By the advice of our new friend, whose name was George, and with his
guidance, we removed to a secure hiding place in a ravine, while he
agreed to see a friend of his who worked for the ferryman and endeavor
to arrange with him for our trip across the river. Our hiding place was
perfectly secure against anything except the mosquitoes and gnats, and
we were soon discovered by large numbers of these companionable insects.
George was to see us again in the afternoon, and we tried to pass away
the time by sleeping, but our attempts were not successful. We arranged
to sleep in turns, one sitting up to keep off the flies and mosquitoes,
but it was more than one could do to keep the tormentors away from his
own face and hands; so each of us had to sit up for himself, and
sleeping was impossible.

At the appointed time George brought us some food and informed us that
we could cross the ferry that night, which we did, his friend ferrying
us without charge. The interest of the negroes in us was very great, and
they could not do enough for us.

When we left the ferry it was dark and muddy, and we lost our way in the
river bottom. After wandering around for a time we blundered into a
brier patch and stuck fast in the thorns. The work of our knives, with
the assistance of considerable emphatic language, finally released us,
and we eventually stumbled into the road again, completely exhausted.
Lying down in the mud at the side of the road, we got what sleep we
could until daylight dawned.

Our breakfast consisted of biscuits and sow belly, the latter not being
remarkable for its freshness.

Proceeding on our way, we came to a huckleberry swamp, into the recesses
of which we retired to avoid ferry passengers and to eat our fill of the
fruit, which we did at our leisure.

Later in the day we emerged from the swamp and soon came to the high
road, which we crossed in a hurry. Coming to a good camping place, we
stopped to light a fire and try to cook some sweet potatoes.

Our fire department was called upon to furnish us with a light, and we
crowded about him to witness the operation.

The gallant chief produced the apparatus with a confident air, and I
loaned him my jack-knife for a steel. He held the gourd handle between
his knees, as he had seen the negro boy hold it, carefully placing the
charred cotton therein, and then, with all the apparent assurance
imaginable, he took the flint and steel in his hands, as his instructor
had directed, and struck a careless blow with the knife. Not a spark
responded to his call, and he looked up at us inquiringly. One of us
suggested that it might be necessary to strike a more careful blow on
the edge of the flint, and the captain struck such a blow, the result
being a shower of sparks that flew all around, but not into the gourd
handle. Several more blows followed, with a like result, when three
careful attempts were made to catch one of the many sparks which he now
had no trouble in producing, the failure causing another inquiring look.
I suggested that possibly this was a case for a general alarm and more
help, and Johnson hinted delicately that our chief was not sufficiently
well trained in his business. These comments caused an invitation to be
extended for us to try it ourselves, but we were all modest and

[Illustration: CAPT. THOMAS M. FEE.]

The chief now made one or two more unsuccessful attempts to catch a
spark in the cotton, and each effort produced a laugh from us and an
inelegant remark from the captain. The expression upon his face and the
glare in his eye caused us to move farther away before offering any
further advice, when I suggested that he should stop this fooling and
strike a light. His reception of my remark was decidedly ungracious, and
I retired behind a log, while he made another attempt. This time he
caused a spark to alight on the charred cotton, but he forgot to blow it
while he looked around with a smile of triumph on his face, and when he
looked back at the spark there was none there. The mutterings and
suppressed laughter of the rest of us caused the chief to make some
emphatic remarks of a lurid nature, and, when I remarked that we
would wait while he went back to find the negro boy, he grew furious in
his denunciation of such ancient methods of procuring fire. Then I
suggested that the potatoes would spoil if he did not hurry up, dodging
down behind my log as he looked at me with anything but a loving glance.
He now made several careful attempts to locate another spark in the
tinder, but history did not repeat itself, and he got up, exclaiming,

"I'll be everlastingly d----d if I know as much as a 10-year-old

Glaring around him, he caught sight of my head above the log, striving
to suppress my laughter enough to utter some words of consolation, when
he violently threw the whole fire department at my head, saying:

"Damn you, Swiggett; I suppose I'll never hear the end of this!" and he
walked off by himself.

We ate our sweet potatoes raw, as no one cared to risk further failure
with the fire apparatus, and after a time our crestfallen chief came
back and joined us. Several remarks by the others about the delicacy of
baked sweet potatoes were noted by him, and a wild glare at the speakers
was the result. I remarked to Captain Gedney that the niggers were very
kindly, but that their education was sadly neglected, and that a man who
had not as much sense as a 10-year-old negro boy was not a remarkable

"You fellows want to let up, or I'll kill some of you," remarked Fee,
and then, after the subject had been dropped for a time:

"Say, boys, what will you take to keep mum about this?"

After some bargaining, we finally agreed to keep his experience a
secret, and peace was restored; but we had not agreed to drop the
matter, and as long as we were together the captain would occasionally
see one of us sit down in a confident way and go through a pantomime in
which were reproduced his expressions and actions while trying to run
our fire department.

The same afternoon, while we were peacefully resting, in seeming
security, on the sunny side of the sloping bank of a little creek, we
discovered a man on horseback. He was not far off, and carried a gun on
his shoulder, being engaged in following the slow trail of a hound, and
evidently on our tracks.

We could not run, as he was too near to allow of hope for escape from
his gun, and the surrounding country was too open for successful
concealment; so we contented ourselves with such protection as the
available logs and trees afforded, more because he might shoot when he
discovered us than in hope of evading him.

The discovery soon came, when he halted, gazed upon us with a
frightened stare, and screamed out:

"Come, boys; here they are!"

In a moment two other horsemen galloped up, being armed with
double-barreled shotguns. They seemed to be worse scared than we were,
for their hunt was for runaway negroes, and here they had found six
white men, who might be armed.

A deathlike stillness prevailed for some minutes, when it became
apparent that they, who were undoubtedly our captors if they wished to
be, were afraid of us. Seeing this, I crawled from behind my friendly
log and stepped in their direction across the little creek, intending to
discuss the matter of letting them go about their business while we went
about our own, but the leader suddenly wheeled his horse, brought his
gun to a level and commanded me to come no closer. I mildly suggested
that an unarmed man could not harm them, but he responded by repeating
his command and ordering us under arrest.

Being without weapons, and the situation becoming serious, we had no
choice but to submit, for argument was now dangerous.

As we made our captors no trouble, they became comparatively friendly
after we had surrendered, and we then learned, as we had before
surmised, that they were looking for some runaway negroes. They had
found our tracks, where we had slept by the roadside the night before,
and in the huckleberry patch, where we had done much foraging, and had
seen that one of the tracks showed a shoe much run over at the side,
which tallied with that worn by old Ned, one of the escaped darkeys.
This track was left by my shoe, and I was at once dubbed "Old Ned" by my
companions, Captain Fee remarking that the title was appropriate in
several ways.

Despite all our efforts to tell a satisfactory story about ourselves,
and to appear careless and independent, our interviewers evidently
suspected us to be what we were, and they plied us with questions,
finally accusing us of being escaped prisoners, refusing to listen to
reason, and ordering us to fall in and move on ahead of them toward the
nearest headquarters. Then we pleaded and made all sorts of future
promises if they would let us go on about our business, but they were
obdurate, and we sadly filed off toward the road, being promised a dose
of lead if we tried to run.

Our reflections were now far from pleasant, and for a time we were much
depressed, but there was no use of crying, and so we gradually recovered
our spirits and hoped for the best.



The location of our recapture was about ten miles from Boston, Texas,
and our captors were taking us to that place.

On the way we stopped at a farmhouse to get a drink, and I begged the
woman for some thread with which to mend my clothes. She searched around
and found a ball, giving me several lengths of thread from it. I then
asked her for some patches, and she hunted up a pair of old pants of
very small size, evidently a boy's pair. They were corduroy, and it
seemed a shame to cut them up, but she said it was all she could do.
While she had been gone for the pants I had stolen a ball of thread,
which had been left within reach, and I felt some qualms of conscience
over it, but necessity had urged me to do it, and I left the matter for
necessity to settle with conscience. The pants were carefully stowed
away for future use.

Proceeding on our way, we killed time and enlivened our weary tramp by
telling stories. One of our captors developed a capacity for lying which
was simply astounding. He was not a graceful, elegant liar, telling
stories that you might doubt, but could not dispute, but was one of the
class of liars who distort facts that are well known and calmly make
statements which you know are false. His stories were all upon the
subject of eating and big eaters. We stood it until he told a story in
which he claimed that he knew a man who had cooked and eaten, at one
meal, a rock fish weighing thirty-six pounds, clinching the matter by
asserting that he knew it to be a fact, inasmuch as he had seen it done.
Then we concluded to shut the mouth of such an egregious and palpable

Burnbaum asked me about my friend down in Baltimore, who was such an
enormous eater, and, after some persuasion, I told the following story:

A colored man, called Eating Tom, stopped at a dining stall kept by a
widow in Marsh Market one fine morning, and asked the charge for
breakfast. The woman kept a table set for twelve, and had provisions
cooked and ready for a like number. Being told that twenty-five cents
was the price, Tom paid the quarter and took his seat, calling for
everything in sight, until he had eaten all the cooked victuals the poor
woman had, when he demanded more food or the return of his money, saying
that he had paid for his breakfast and had not had enough. At this, the
widow began to cry, which attracted the attention of a fat, burly
policeman, who ordered the gluttonous brute to leave. Tom and the
policeman soon got into a dispute as to what constituted a meal, and
the negro offered to bet his opponent a guinea that he was yet
sufficiently hungry to be able to eat a bundle of hay as large around as
the fat policeman's body. The money was put up in my hands, the
policeman procured the hay--the nastiest salt marsh hay that he could
find--and compressed it to the required size by means of a strap. By
this time quite a crowd had gathered. The strap was cut and the hay
expanded so that it looked like a wagon-load, but the negro, with a
broad grin and without hesitation, commenced his task with apparent
relish, and soon ate up every particle of the hay. Being the
stakeholder, and an eye-witness, I was compelled to pay over the money
to Tom.


Our other two guards saw the point of this story and fairly roared with
laughter, but the liar did not seem to appreciate it. However, it
accomplished its object, and we heard no more fish or other stories from
guard number three while we were together.

We reached Boston about dark and were lodged in a room of the
courthouse, on the ground floor, the jail having been recently burned.
The town was soon all excitement over our capture, and we had many
callers, who were admitted to see and talk with us, while very many more
wanted to see us, but could not. We enjoyed a sumptuous meal of bacon
and white bread, which was brought to us by citizens, and during our
repast we were holding a genuine reception, the citizens taking us in
turn and asking many questions about ourselves, the war, our opinions of
the situation and future, and, in short, acting as if we were a bureau
of information about the outside world. Our guards introduced us, and I
heard one of them telling a small crowd about the fish and hay stories.
We could not have been treated better if we had been guests instead of

Seeing a boy standing near the door and watching us, with his eyes and
mouth wide open, I went up to him and asked if he could not go out and
get us some buttermilk. He grinned and disappeared like a shot,
returning shortly with a quantity of the desired article, and it was
keenly relished. Having full stomachs and comfortable quarters, we were
all in good humor and laughed and joked with our friends until late at

The town was a hard place, and shooting scrapes and rows were numerous,
but they were regarded as a matter of course, while our coming was a
novelty; so our stay was a source of interest and entertainment to the
people, while a matter of good living and comfort to ourselves. Boston
was then the county-seat of Union county, but the name did not suit the
people, and the title of the county was changed to Davis.

Late at night we retired, making our beds on the soft sides of several
bundles of sole leather which were stored in the room, and slept soundly
until we were called for breakfast by the guards. This was the first
decent sleep we had had since our escape, and we could not have put in
our time to better advantage had our resting places been feather beds.

Our breakfast was plentiful and substantial, although plain. The
citizens began to gather around before we got started with our meal,
and, when we sat down to eat, the room was filled with a curious crowd.
Just as we began to eat, the enrolling officer, Captain Payne, came in
to see us. He was a typical Southerner, of the long, lean, affable and
insincere species, and he approached us with great dignity, rubbing his
hands and smiling blandly, exclaiming in an unctuous tone:

"Good morning, gentlemen. I hope your breakfast is satisfactory. What!
dry bread! Really, gentlemen, if I had known this before I left my house
I would have brought you some molasses. Sorry; very sorry."

Now, molasses was a rare luxury in those days in that section of the
country, and I sized the man up in an instant as a smooth liar, who said
what he did partly to aggravate us and partly for effect; so I promptly
arose and replied, with a bow:

"Captain, your courtesy is overwhelming. This breakfast stands
adjourned until you can send one of these niggers to your house for that

He turned all colors of the rainbow, and several smothered laughs were
heard in the crowd, but he could not well back down, and so we had
molasses for breakfast.

The molasses incident seemed to make me popular with many of the rebels,
and I was the recipient of many attentions. During the day one of them
asked permission to take me out, and our guards permitted me to go in
his charge. He took me all over the town, introduced me to many people,
insisted upon my getting shaved at his expense, and in every way treated
me right royally. Everyone I met seemed curious to learn all he could of
the Yankees, and I was questioned and cross-questioned as to all
imaginable views of the situation and prospects of the Confederacy. My
replies were very frank, and I made no attempt to conceal my thoughts,
but they were clothed in good-natured raillery, and my hearers seemed to
like my plain speaking. I have very pleasant recollections of that day
in Boston, and I scarcely realized that I was a prisoner until it became
time for me to return to our quarters.

We had another jolly evening, and it may as well be said here that
during our stay of several days in the town we duly entertained scores
of callers, from the most aristocratic citizens to the lowest, and were
kept in almost constant conversation from early morning until late at

The guards were compelled to move the crowd away at times, and then,
after having talked to us for hours, we could hear them on the outside
of the building, discussing the Yankees and their views, all crediting
us with being honest in speaking our sentiments.

The next day it developed that we were likely to be delayed several
days, on account of the fact that there was no competent person
available to take charge of us and the necessary guard.

During the day we were much entertained by the appearance of an outfit
in which we became much interested. An old wagon was driven up and
stopped before our quarters, and before long everybody knew all that was
to be known about it. The owner was a young man in a Confederate
uniform, and he claimed to be a captain on leave of absence because of a
wound. One of his feet was bandaged and he limped badly. He said that he
belonged to a Georgia company, and had been shot through the ankle in a
skirmish. His wagon was loaded with Confederate hats, which he had
brought to Boston for sale, and he had a carpet-sack full of Confederate
money, while his principal companion was a five-gallon demijohn full of
"pine-top" whiskey. A second companion was a negro boy, named Joe, who
was evidently very much afraid of his master. The officer and the
demijohn were seen to be inseparable, as he kept up a continuous drain
upon its capacity for entertainment, the result being that he was as
near drunk all the time as a man can be who seems to have no limit to
his capacity for stowing away liquor. The efforts of the man to seem
entirely sober and business-like, and his evident dependence upon Joe,
caused much amusement to all.

In the course of four or five days, during which time our confinement
was uncertain as to duration, this young man disposed of his hats, and,
professing a desire for such service as he could perform, he volunteered
to take charge of the guard which might be detailed to take us back to
our prison.

We were not over-anxious to go on, as our stay in Boston had been as
pleasant as it could be for prisoners, but this offer was accepted, and
the time was fixed for our departure.

After necessary preparation, we made a start for the first station,
about thirty miles distant.

On the day following our farewell to Boston we stopped for dinner in an
open spot adjoining a farmhouse.

Our friend, the captain, was, as usual, on the verge of being blind
drunk, and yet so far from actually being so as to be able to know, in a
general sort of way, about what he was doing. While eating our meal our
leader learned that I was a Marylander. He swore that I ought to be shot
for being a Yankee, and that my comrades were deserving of a like
treatment, saying that he would do the job himself if he had not
promised to treat us as prisoners of war. I ridiculed the idea of his
shooting anybody, especially as several of his prisoners were Masons
like himself, and told him that he did not dare to shoot one of them. He
swore that they were not Masons whom he would recognize, but that there
was his carpet-sack, out of which we could help ourselves to what money
we needed.

The negro servant had been sent for a pail of water, and he now returned
with it from the nearest farmhouse. The water was not cool enough to
suit the captain, and he made the boy throw it out and go for some more.
When Joe brought the second supply he received an artistic cursing
because he could not bring it quickly enough to avoid a rise in its
temperature. Between the bibulous officer and Joe, who was a
good-natured fellow, we were provided with considerable amusement during
the lunch hour.

During the next afternoon we reached a combined church and schoolhouse,
called "Kasseder" by the natives, where was kept a courier station.

The corn which had been wasted in feeding the horses had attracted the
hogs owned by the proprietor of the neighboring farmhouse, and they came
within a short distance of us, when the captain called for a gun, which
was handed to him by one of the guards. The aim of the half-drunken man
was very uncertain, and, as the gun was pointed by him in the direction
of the hogs, its muzzle swept over a space occupied by several guards
and the prisoners, who scattered in a hurry as the threatening
instrument swayed to and fro in a hesitating way, at which the officer
dropped the gun and laughed boisterously, calling for Joe and his
demijohn. Sitting in the door of the church, our inebriated leader
interviewed his friend the demijohn, and then ordered Joe to "round up
them d----d hogs and shoo them" in his direction, threatening to shoot
the first hog that attempted to bite his wounded ankle. Joe laughingly

Again partaking of some liquid refreshments, the captain took up the
gun, following the hogs in their movements, with an uncertain aim, which
again and again caused a scattering among us and much amusement to him.
Finally the gun went off in an apparently accidental way, but the finest
hog in the lot was killed, and we had roast pork for supper. The farmer
did not learn of his loss until one of the guards was sent up to the
house to report the death of the hog and ask for some salt. The guards
being fearful of punishment for such foraging, the slayer of the animal
sent word that we would pay for the hog, but Mr. Floyd, the owner,
refused to receive pay, and he furnished the salt to make the pork



Our leader had been half sick when he left Boston, and he now became
quite ill, soon becoming so much worse that we thought he would die. The
drinks which had preceded the killing of the hog had been about the last
left in the demijohn, and he had emptied it before the pig was dressed.
The march in the intense heat, with the bad whiskey, seemed to have a
bad effect, and the next morning we halted to see what the result would
be. Seeing that the man would surely die if not relieved, I got
permission to hunt up a wagon and take the captain to a doctor, who, as
I learned by inquiry, lived a few miles away.

Most of the men were "down upon" their commander, and all were
indifferent to his sufferings, simply doing what he asked of them, and
that, for the most part, with reluctance.

I got him in the wagon, and, with a guard to accompany me, took him to
the doctor, who gave him medicine and got a neighboring farmer to take
him into his house.

The sick man stuck to his carpet-sack throughout the trip, and, when he
was taken to the house, he had his money with him. After he was put to
bed, he pointed to his bank and told me to help myself, seeming to be
very grateful for what I had done. Of course, I could not take money for
any such service, and he would not have offered it had I not been a
prisoner and in a position where the possession of money might avoid
much hardship. He told the doctor that he would have died if it had not
been for that d----d Yankee, and that he was very glad he had kept his
promise by not killing us. He dwelt on the idea that, being a
Marylander, I should not have forgotten myself so far as to be found on
the wrong side.

We saw no more of the captain, but learned from the doctor that he was
improving and would be all right as soon as the effects of the
"pine-top" whiskey had been neutralized.

We were delayed for several days, and I got permission to go where I
pleased, on the promise that I would not run away.

There was something inviting about the house near our camp, the home of
the man named Floyd, whose hog our leader had killed, and one day
Captain Fee and I went up to see if we could get some buttermilk. Our
personal appearance was not prepossessing, as the entire apparel of each
consisted of an old hat, a shirt which was much the worse for wear, a
ragged pair of trousers and a well-worn pair of shoes. We had dressed up
as well as we could, by washing our faces and hands, before starting
for the house, but a modern tramp would have disdained our society, and
the young girl who came to the door of the house in response to my knock
was inclined to shut the door in our faces. We soon convinced her that
we were harmless, and she then invited us to take our seats on the back
porch in company with a crippled Confederate soldier, Mrs. Floyd and
herself. We spent about half an hour in pleasant conversation, when we
made known our errand.

Mrs. Floyd promptly offered to fill our canteens with buttermilk,
requesting us to enter the parlor in the meantime and talk to her
husband, who was confined to the room by sickness. This we did gladly,
and found that Mr. Floyd had been a very sick man, but was now

The sick man was quite glad to see us and hear what we had to say. The
visit was being enjoyed very much when, looking through the open window,
he saw the doctor coming, and advised us to leave the room and not let
it be known that we had talked together, the doctor being a very strong
Southerner and he a Union man. Accordingly, we slipped out of the back
door as the doctor approached the front entrance.

The next day the wounded Confederate soldier came down to our camp with
a bundle and a note from the young lady. The bundle contained a couple
of shirts, and the note read as follows:

"These two shirts are from a friend, and are to be worn by the two who
are the most destitute."

It is perhaps superfluous to add that I appropriated one of the
garments, but the shirt was not superfluous.

The next day one of our guards, a boy about fifteen years of age,
entered into conversation with me. After talking some time, he invited
me to go with him to his father's house for dinner. Securing permission,
I went.

His father's name was McMichael, and again I found a Union man, who was
forced to be a Confederate or lose all he had in the world. We had a
good dinner and an enjoyable chat. I learned that he had three boys in
the Confederate service, the youngest, who had given me the invitation
to dine, being in the home guard. His daughter was a school-teacher. The
wife and this girl ate with us, and all seemed very anxious and joyous
to learn of the successes of the Union forces, although the mother's
eyes frequently filled with tears as something was said which recalled
to her mind the risk run by her boys at the front. I cannot recall the
memory of a meal which I enjoyed any better than the one I ate in that
old farmhouse with those agreeable people.

While at dinner the parents seemed disturbed by thoughts of the
possibility that their last boy would also be sent to the front, and it
was then and there agreed between us that if such should be the case he
would desert at the first opportunity and go to my home at Blakesburg,
Iowa, where he should attend school until the war was ended. The
proposal affected the parents and sister strongly when I made it, and in
agreeing to it they united in thanking and blessing me for the happy
thought and accompanying offer.

When the time came for me to leave it seemed like a parting with dear
friends, and I often recall and see again that dear old lady's face, as,
with tears in her eyes, she bade me "Godspeed."

By the time our march was resumed we had become very familiar with our
guards, and, in fact, it was more of a picnic excursion than a march of
guards with their prisoners.

Each of us slept at night with one of the soldiers, and we went on
several midnight expeditions in company. One night we raided a farmhouse
and stole a sack of sweet potatoes, sitting up half the night to roast
them. Another night we confiscated a beehive and secured some delicious
honey. We were continually playing jokes upon each other, and all hands
were sorry when the time came to separate.

We fooled along, taking things very easily, and finally reached Camp
Ford about thirty days after leaving Boston.

Our reception by the boys in the stockade was characteristic of men
continually seeking to find something to do which would serve to kill
time and prevent despondency.

When we were marched up to the gates we were recognized by many in the
enclosure, and were hailed by shouts, jeers, sarcastic questionings and
all sorts of welcomes.

"How are things up North? How did you leave the folks? Got any mail?
Can't you stay awhile?" and many other similar queries were fairly
showered upon us.

When we finally entered the enclosure the crowd was drawn up in line,
like a lot of hackmen in front of a railroad station in a large city,
and, amid much laughter and many jokes, we were hailed with:

"This way to the Palace Hotel!" "Have a cab?" "Cab or carriage, gents?"
"_This_ way, gents, to the Ebbitt House, the best in the city!"

Our own men gathered about us, and soon dragged us off to our old
quarters, where we were plied with question after question, and had to
relate all our experiences in detail.

We now took up the stockade life once more, and there was but little
variation in its routine.



I soon became a stockholder in a tunnel enterprise which was prosecuted
vigorously and gave many hopes of success. We started the tunnel inside
of an old cabin, using various expedients to conceal the work and get
rid of the dirt, all of which were successful. A survey was made to
locate the exit in a clump of bushes quite a distance from the stockade,
and all was ready for the final move. Quite a number of men were taken
into the scheme, and the greatest danger of discovery, that of being
"peached" upon by someone on the inside who was more anxious to curry
favor with our captors than to be true to his comrades, had been

The night set for the escape should have been dark, according to
calculation, but it turned out to be a clear, starlight night, and some
of us were for postponing the enterprise, but the eager spirits
prevailed, and the attempt was made. Over a hundred men silently
gathered in the neighborhood of the cabin, and the leaders, who had been
chosen beforehand, went into the tunnel, followed closely by many

A sentinel paced his beat about fifty yards from the clump of bushes in
which our tunnel was to come up, and as he slowly walked up and down,
probably thinking of home and friends and wishing for his relief, he was
suddenly startled by the sight of several dark forms springing
apparently from the bowels of the earth. The tunnel had been
miscalculated, and the men emerged several feet from the bushes, in full
view of the sentry. He was so astounded that he stood stock still for
several minutes without uttering a sound, during which time about fifty
men had climbed out of the tunnel and made a streak for liberty.
Suddenly the sentry came to his senses, fired his gun, called loudly for
the guard, and ran to the mouth of the tunnel, with his bayonet ready
for action.

Those who had not entered the tunnel concluded that they did not want to
escape that night, and we returned to our quarters in the stockade.

Over fifty got out and away, but the guards put the dogs after them, and
nearly all were brought back in the course of a few days.

The most amusing feature of this abortive attempt to escape occurred at
the exit of the tunnel after it was blockaded by the sentinel.

The narrow passage was full of men when the bayonet of the sentry
prevented further egress, and those inside could not turn back, while
none save the leader knew the cause of the halt. The rest were kept in
ignorance and suspense until the guards, who quickly gathered around on
the outside, had come to their senses and begun to permit the boys to
come out of the hole one by one. As the guards would call out, "Next!"
and let another unfortunate creep out, only to find himself still a
prisoner, the remarks to be heard were decidedly mirth-provoking, even
while the situation had its pathetic aspect.

A day or two after this event one of the officers, a captain in another
regiment, came to me and asked if I knew where he could get a pair of
pants. His own were a sight to behold, and I told him that I had a spare
pair with which I did not wish to part, but that I hated to see him in
such a plight. He at once offered me some trinkets for them, and
proposed to pay me a big value if he ever got back home. I told him that
they would be too small for him, and appeared reluctant to sell. A crowd
had gathered, as the smallest things were of interest to the prisoners,
and when I thought he was sufficiently eager for the trade, I went into
our cabin and brought out the pair given to me by the woman whom I had
asked for patches while on my return to the stockade. When the pants
were produced, and it was seen that they were intended for a small boy,
having all conveniences, a shout of laughter went up from the crowd,
which brought all the other prisoners in the stockade to see what it
meant. The captain was half inclined to be angry at first, but he
quickly put his ill-humor aside and joined in the merriment. It is
needless to say that the trade was declared off.

A few days later about thirty men of the guard, known as Sweet's men,
deserted, and there was trouble in the rebel camp.

The desertion was one of the coolest things I ever saw. This portion of
the guard was a cavalry detachment. They had just mounted guard on
horseback, about 9 o'clock in the morning, when, apparently by common
consent, one man, as leader, gave the signal, and all raised their hats
politely, saying, "Good-bye, gentlemen; we are going to Mexico," and
rode off. No one dared to follow, as they were well armed.

A new guard was sent, and the balance of the old guard relieved. It was
said that these men had been sent to this distant duty on account of
doubts as to their loyalty to the Confederacy.

We changed our quarters to a deserted cabin nearer to the gate, and were
thereby much better prepared for the coming winter, the move being made
because it now seemed certain that we were destined to remain in prison
until spring, unless we should be able to effect an escape.

Almost all the prisoners were in need of clothing, and we had been
informed that a lot had been shipped to us, but that it was delayed

We were all on the lookout for that clothing, and when at last we heard
that it had arrived we were joyous until we were informed that,
allowing one garment apiece, there would be clothing for only
three-fourths of the men. As some men needed shirts, some coats and some
pants this promised to be quite a problem to solve, and all the officers
were instructed to find out the needs of their men, so as to simplify
the matter as much as possible.

When the time came for distribution the clothing allotted to our
regiment was turned over to the officers, and we got together to divide
it. The men of all the companies except my own were crowding about us
and clamoring for what they wanted, but not a man of Company B was on
hand. This mute expression of their confidence in my willingness and
ability to look out for them was one which I appreciated highly,
although they had had several evidences of my willingness and
determination to secure for them at least all to which they were

The number of men not being the same in the different companies, it was
hard to divide satisfactorily, and it happened that there was an odd
garment of each sort. As the odd men were unequally divided, and
fractions were necessarily eliminated, we decided to draw lots for the
odd articles. I was the lucky man in the lottery, and Company B had the
best of matters.

After the division had been made the neighborhood was a scene of
confusion, many quarrels and some fights, until all the clothing had
been as fairly distributed as was possible. My company kept away from
the crowd and in their own quarters, where I had our allowance conveyed.
The men were drawn up in line, and my first sergeant and myself
proceeded to allot the garments as seemed most fair. Only one murmur of
discontent was heard, and that from a man better clothed than any of his
comrades, the men being practically unanimous in their wish that I
should decide who needed clothing most and what was most needed.

This incident is related principally to show my appreciation of the
conduct of my men, and because I think that I may be pardoned for
feeling proud of their confidence in me.

The next three weeks were fully employed by all in making log cabins and
in filling up all chinks, as the winter was fast approaching.

During this time I was informed by one of my men that a guard, who had
seen me almost every day taking part with the men of my company in some
amusement, had been asking questions about me and had sent me word that
he wanted to see me. After learning when I could see him, I approached
his post at night, when, after he had satisfied himself that I was the
right man, he directed the guard on the inside, who was one of the line
placed within the stockade when the sentries were doubled each night, to
stand aside so that he could talk to me. We leaned against the fence and
had a long and interesting conversation, during which he stated that
he had frequently noticed the interest manifested by me in my company,
and desired to do me a favor because of the attachment he felt for me in
consequence, intimating that he was disposed to help me make my escape
if I so wished.

[Illustration: CAPT. J. P. RUMMEL.]

Before I left him he had volunteered to let me out, give me a horse,
saddle and bridle, inform me as to names and locations of different
rebel regiments and furnish me with an expired furlough. I was not
inclined to be friendly to the horse idea, although I could see the ease
and celerity of my escape if all went well, for I knew that it would be
sure death to be discovered as an escaped prisoner with a horse and
equipments in my possession; but the guard was so enthusiastic over the
matter that I promised to think it over, after thanking him heartily for
his kindness.

When I explained the plan to some of my former companions in escape they
tried to discourage the idea of escape altogether, saying that we would
soon be exchanged, and that another failure would keep us from exchange
when the time came. I had no hope of release before the end of the war,
and so I sought other companionship, believing that the guard could be
induced to help more than one of us.

Capt. J. B. Rummel, of the 120th Ohio, had impressed me as a man of the
right sort, and I approached him on the subject. He was ready and
willing to try an escape, but he confirmed my own impression about the
risk of trying it with horses, and we finally concluded to devise a
scheme and try it on foot. He suggested that we take Capt. B. F. Miller,
of the same regiment, and we decided to do so, after finding that Miller
was as anxious to go as we were to have him do so.

When I saw our friend the guard, he was mad because we would not adopt
his scheme, but he showed his desire to help us get away by agreeing to
let us out when we got ready, even while insisting that the safest and
best way would be to take horses. He said:

"Why, man alive, you can start early in the evening, and the horses will
not be missed until late the next day. Then if the stable-door is left
open they will not dream that prisoners have taken the horses--at least
until you are missed from the stockade. By that time you will be so far
away that they can't possibly catch you before you reach the Federal
lines on the lower Red River."

I was too timid, however, to risk my life in this way, as I considered
the chance of suspicion and apprehension too great, and regarded it as
certain death to be caught with a stolen horse. Notwithstanding the
risk, I can now see that the guard proposed the plan most likely to
insure a successful result.

We determined to try it on foot, but, while we were preparing for a
start, another opportunity presented itself, and we took advantage of it
rather than risk getting our guard or ourselves into trouble.

Miller, being a turner, manufactured a rude lathe and made numerous
articles likely to be purchased, chessmen being the principal of these,
being the most salable. We realized some cash from the demand for just
such novelties.

Having some flour, we bought some meat on the outside, made some bread,
jerked the meat, and thus had provisions and a little money for our

We sent out the provisions, little by little, and had them taken to the
hospital and concealed until such time as we were ready to start.

Captain Fee was in the hospital at the time, just recovering from an
attack of illness, and the day before we were ready to start he came in
to see us, on a pass. As we were talking together, I asked to see his
pass, and read as follows, on a rough scrap of paper:

"Pass Capt. Fee in and out of stockade, with soap. McCANN, Adjutant."

I was a very good imitator of handwriting, although I had never been
guilty of using my gift for unlawful purposes, and, as I read this pass,
the manner of our escape was settled, all being fair in war.

After some little effort on my part, Rummel, Miller and myself were each
provided with a pass similar to the one on which Fee had been admitted
to the stockade. We told no one of our intentions, but decided to leave
the next evening, it being understood that I was to go out just before
the change of guards at the gate, and that Miller and Rummel should
follow a little later, after the change, in order to avoid the
presentation of too many passes to one guard.

At the appointed time, after much mental bracing up, I walked quietly to
the gate and presented my pass for inspection. The guard looked it over
in a hasty manner and silently opened the gate. As I passed out I saw
that several hundred men were watching me, and I concluded that in some
way our scheme had become known. The colonel and some other officers
were sitting on the porch at headquarters when I passed, and I coolly
saluted him, saying:

"Good evening, Colonel."

He responded politely, and I walked on to our meeting place at the

My comrades waited until the guards had been changed, and then, with
inward tremor and a bold, confident exterior, they walked in a
business-like way to the entrance and submitted their authority for
departure, which was duly acknowledged without a question. They soon
joined me, in high spirits over the ease with which the departure had
been accomplished.

We had $4 in greenbacks between us, and felt quite wealthy. Securing our
provisions as soon as darkness came, we quietly slipped over into the
woods, thence to the road, and went on our way rejoicing, full of hope
and with bright thoughts of home and dear ones.



The date of my second escape was the 23d of December, 1864.

We met one solitary horseman in the early part of the night, and we
avoided him by having a skirmisher out ahead, who saw the rider in time
for us to get out of sight in the woods without being seen, the traveler
being a white man, and to be avoided for that reason.

About midnight we met a negro and learned that we were on the Shreveport
road instead of the Gilmore road, which latter we wanted to follow. The
darkey sized us up correctly in short order, but, as usual with the
negroes, the fact that we were escaped prisoners only seemed to make him
the more eager to help us, and he asked us if we would not "accommodate"
_him_ by allowing him to show us a short cut through the woods to the
Gilmore road.

We were in a very accommodating mood just then, and we cheerfully
allowed him to lead the way. He guided us for what seemed to be a very
long distance over a rough piece of wooded country, and finally led us
into a broad, well-traveled road and informed us that we were now on
the right track.

The darkey was so voluble in his expressions of gratitude for the honor
of being "accommodated" that I had half a notion of presenting him with
a bill for services rendered, but we let him off easy by allowing him to
thank us profusely, and he seemed to be entirely satisfied, while we did
not complain.

We trudged along all night without any incident worthy of mention to
break the monotony of our tedious tramp, and at daylight we went off
from the road to secure retreat in the woods, and camped for the day.

After a comfortable sleep, we ate sparingly of our provisions and
started again at dusk for the North and liberty.

Again we traveled monotonously most of the night, seeing only the stars
above us and the weird shadows and forms of silent things about.
Occasionally one of us would speak, but it was in a low tone, and only
when necessary, for our thoughts were far away, and the solemn stillness
of the night impressed us with a keen sense of the danger which at any
moment might mean recapture or possibly death.

In the very early hours of the morning we reached the Sabine river and
the problem of how to get across. It was dark in the river bottom, but
the stream was wide enough to let the starlight and the sheen of the
water give a fair amount of illumination on the river.

Miller could not swim, and was afraid to trust to our support; so that
means of crossing was out of the question.

We could see a canoe fast to the bank on the opposite side, but we could
not call up anyone to bring it over and thus take chances of discovery
and betrayal.

Miller would not risk a log, although we explained to him how easily we
could push him across upon it. If he could have mounted the log and
ridden over it would have been all right, but he would not trust himself
in the water unless he had to do so, and we, therefore, retired to the
brush for a consultation.

We found a thick clump of trees and bushes just a little way up stream,
and pushed our way into them until we stopped in alarm at the greatest
racket, it seemed, that we had ever heard. It was a minute or two before
we realized what it meant, and then it was all we could do to keep our
laughter within proper bounds, despite the fact that we feared the noise
about us would alarm the people who, we knew, must be upon the other
bank of the river. We had walked into a place which was apparently a
roosting spot for all the pigeons in Texas, and our entrance had caused
a racket in that still night which would have to be heard to be

We were so startled by the unexpected noise that we were well scared
until we learned its cause, and then we quietly stole away to a spot on
the river bank where our presence would be no intrusion.

While sitting down, discussing the chances for getting across the river
and securing the canoe on the opposite side, Rummel and I drew lots to
see who should swim over and borrow it, and the pleasure of so doing was
thereby allotted to him. He secured a log, to prevent any accident,
straddled it, and in due time reached the canoe and brought it over to
us. The carrying capacity of the vessel was limited, and, in fact, it
was doubtful whether all three could cross in her at once, but we
decided to try it.

Miller was fussy and nervous, as he had had no experience in canoe
navigation, and this particular canoe did not have an appearance
calculated to inspire confidence in one unused to boats and afraid of
the water.

We drew the boat along the bank to a low place, where Rummel and I
seated ourselves carefully in the canoe, instructing Miller how to enter
and sit down without upsetting our calculations and ourselves, but he
was too painstaking and careful. He got both feet into the canoe, but
that was all. In being exceedingly careful to place his feet in the
proper place he forgot about the perpendicular necessities of the case,
and about the time his second foot touched the bottom of the boat his
head struck the water.

We reached the bank in safety, pulling Miller after us, but the canoe
was then a good distance away.

All desire to censure poor Miller for his awkwardness passed away, as he
ruefully asked:

"How in thunder do you expect a man to walk a tight-rope in the dark?"

Remembrances of our own first attempt to keep a canoe under us came to
our minds, and the tone in which our friend spoke caused a convulsion of
laughter which threatened to betray our presence to any persons within
rifle range.

We now drew off to a safe place and built a fire to dry our clothes, a
few of our matches, that were in a safe place, not having been entirely

After we had thoroughly dried out, we recollected our pigeons, and
concluded to go back and gather in a few for a feast. It was no trouble
to locate them, as they were still keeping up their clatter in a jerky
sort of way, partially quieting down for a few minutes and then breaking
out again as some disquieted bird would sound a new alarm. The
difficulty was to catch some, and we exhausted our ingenuity, patience
and vocabulary without being able to bag a pigeon, even though the trees
and bushes were fairly loaded with them. Dark as it was, they seemed to
see us before we could see them, and would fly away just in time to
avoid us, with a total absence of regard for our feelings in the matter.

As the day dawned it turned colder, and a breeze sprang up which had a
very prominent "edge" to it.

We discussed the situation, and organized for the coming campaign by
electing Rummel as guide of the expedition, Miller as man of all work
and myself as minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary for all
cases requiring diplomacy.

This day was Christmas, as we discovered by accident, Rummel remarking
that he intended to make a note of the date of our baptism, and asking
what day of the month it was.

There was no Christmas for us, however, and we banished all thoughts of
roast turkey or pigeons and of home comforts by taking up the
all-absorbing question of how to cross the river.

Rummel suggested that Miller should be made to cross on a log in tow of
ourselves, inasmuch as he had shown a greater fondness for the water
than he had professed, but we decided to walk a short distance up stream
in an effort to find a ford before trying to swim the river.

About half a mile beyond the scene of our upset we found a riffle, and I
was appointed to investigate the character of the bottom and find the
best place to cross.

Divesting myself of my clothes, and leaving them to be brought over by
my companions after I should have picked out a course for them, I
entered the cold water and proceeded to investigate. At almost the first
step I slipped from a smooth rock into a pool and went in over my head.
As I came up, Miller remarked that I need make no report on that
locality, and I tried a little farther down. This time I struck a
straight course in a depth varying from my knees to my armpits, and
reached the opposite shore, after a struggle to keep my feet at the
points where the water was deepest.

When I emerged from the water the keen wind nearly took my breath away,
as its cold was made more intense by my recent immersion. Hastily
getting under the lee of a big tree on the bank, I shouted for my
companions to come over, and be lively about it, but they were engaged
in a discussion, and I could see that Miller was hanging back.

My teeth were now chattering and I was shaking as if with the ague; so I
yelled spasmodically to Rummel to come on and bring my clothes if he did
not want to see me lose all my teeth.

Rummel undressed and started, carrying his clothes and mine above his
head, and Miller followed when he saw that he was to be left behind.
Both got over in safety and without wetting the clothing, but I was so
cold when they arrived that it took over an hour for me to get over my
shivering fit.

Captain Miller was in many respects one of the finest characters I ever
knew, and I liked him more as I knew more of him, but he was the most
apprehensive individual imaginable. He was more afraid of a river than
of the whole Confederate army, and was continually imagining all sorts
of possible contingencies, trying to decide in advance what was to be
done in each case, and losing sight of the fact that we could not
foresee any of the surrounding conditions of a probable contingency, and
hence could not meet the emergency until it and all its phases could be
clearly seen. He bothered me half to death at times by his questions as
to what I would do if such and such a thing occurred, and when I told
him that I could not tell until it happened he would look as serious as
if we were in immediate danger.

I never could make a success of trying to anticipate details, for I
always found that my action turned upon some unforeseen thing, and I
never worried about such things, having found that the proper action for
an emergency always suggested itself to me when I stood face to face
with the necessity for doing something.

As we proceeded on our way we came to a bayou, which we waded, and a
little later we reached one which was too deep to be forded. We seemed
to be in a section cut up by a network of these streams, and we
concluded that by a little extra walking we could probably dodge around
bends in the streams so as to preserve our general course without
recourse to the swimming which Miller so dreaded. We could see no signs
of a curve in this bayou, and it was a question of luck as to whether we
went right or wrong in our first attempt to get around the obstruction.

Rummel was our guide, and we would have followed his lead had he started
off, but he hesitated so long, and did so much guessing, that I started
off to the left, saying that one way was as good as the other when we
had nothing to point out the best course. Of course, Miller now wanted
to go the other way, and we came as near having a row as we ever did in
all our acquaintance. After some sarcasm and heated comments, we started
off, finally, in the direction which I had chosen, and a few minutes'
walking proved that I had by accident chosen correctly, as we saw a
curve ahead of us which subsequently proved to be a bend in the bayou.
Our passage around the curve opened up a good stretch of country ahead
of us, and I could not help reminding Miller that we had lost more time
in discussion than it would have taken to prove the case one way or the
other. This was our only dispute, and it was not serious.



We had a rubber poncho and three blankets with us, and the country
through which we had passed had seemed so sparsely settled that we were
traveling by day and sleeping at night, getting our scarce and poor food
as occasion offered and living upon anything but a generous diet.

About dusk on the day of our little difference we were looking for a
safe place to camp, when we saw the figure of a man on the opposite side
of an open space. He was evidently surveying us intently, as he stood
stock still, and his appearance was not rendered more attractive to us
by the fact that he held a gun in the hollow of his left arm.

We sank gracefully to the ground and waited for some hail which would
announce to us the intentions of our friend. None coming, we concluded
that he was as much afraid of us as we were of him, and I crawled to a
spot where I could see, without rising, what had become of him. He still
stood there, evidently awaiting our next move, and I slunk back to my

We decided that the quickest way to learn who and what he was would be
to approach him, and that he certainly would not shoot if we held up our
hands. Accordingly we stood up, held up our hands, and stepped boldly
out into the clearing, I calling out:

"We are unarmed and are friends."

Not a move did he make, but we fancied we could see the gun move a
little, and we quickly halted, Rummel exclaiming:

"Don't shoot! we are unarmed and peaceable citizens."

As he said this, Miller burst into a loud laugh, and quickly ran toward
the figure. We instantly comprehended the situation and followed him,
arriving at the fantastic stump of a burned tree, to be saluted by
Miller with:

"Would you unarmed and peaceable citizens kindly recollect this event
when you are inclined to joke me about that canoe?"

We had nothing to say.

The next day we met a negro, who gave us our course for Dangerfield,
describing a corner of the square in the town, from which a plain road
led to a ferry across the Sulphur Fork of Red River.

This was the 27th of December, and we reached the outskirts of the town
late in the afternoon, hiding in some bushes until night.

When it was late enough we started boldly through the town, found the
corner described, and took the road at a rapid gait.

Just as the east was beginning to show signs of approaching day we
struck what we took to be another bayou.

Miller was anxious to show that he could brave the water in some cases,
so he pulled off his pants, handed them to me for safe keeping, and
started right in to wade the stream. He took two steps and disappeared
from view. We fished him out and concluded that we would wait for
daylight before proceeding farther.

When day broke we found that we must have made better time from
Dangerfield than we had expected, for this was certainly a river, and
could be no other than Sulphur Fork. It was high, and running swiftly in
the middle, the water being far above the banks and out into the woods
on both sides, so that it must have been fully two miles and one-half
across. No signs of a ferry were to be seen, and we hunted a good place
for a camp in which to lay over until the river should subside or
something turn up to decide us as to a way of crossing.

In building a fire I strained my instep by kicking a limb from a log,
and it became quite sore before the day was over.

The next day the river was as high as ever, and my foot was so sore that
I could scarcely step upon it. We lay over all day, as I could not
walk, and there seemed to be no prospect of crossing the turbulent

On the following morning my foot was much swollen, but I could limp
around, and the river seemed to be falling, so I insisted upon some
action, and started off to look around a little, leaving my companions
to await my return. They both wanted to go in my place, but we agreed
that it was best for me to go, so far as the chance of having to deal
with an emergency was concerned.

I hunted around for a while, but found nothing, and returned to my
companions. Just as I reached them we heard a pounding in the opposite
direction from which I had gone.

Rummel sneaked off, and soon returned with the report that he had seen a
horse a short distance down the road.

Again I started to investigate our surroundings. The horse was soon
found. He was hobbled, and close to him, in the woods, were two others.
It was a certainty that we had neighbors, but I could see nothing of
them, and, concluding that the owners had gone down to the river, I
walked boldly toward the animals to discover by their trappings what I
could about the riders. I had not proceeded more than a few yards before
I came to a thick clump of bushes, and, in skirting around the edge of
them, almost stumbled over three rebel soldiers, who were stretched out
comfortably on their blankets for a nap.

They looked up inquiringly at me as I suddenly halted and gave
involuntary utterance to an exclamation of surprise.

To say that I was scared would but feebly express my feelings. The cold
chills ran up and down my back, and I could not speak for an instant.
However, I quickly recovered myself, before they had a chance to speak,
and said to them:

"Hello, boys! I knew you were somewhere about, for I saw your horses and
was looking for you, but I was not expecting to find you so near at
hand, and I must confess that you startled me. How can a fellow get
across this infernal river?"

They informed me that they had been pounding to attract the attention of
the ferryman, who was on the other side, but they could not get near the
river bank, and could not see the ferry-boat, so had concluded to take a

Without giving them time to question me, I plied them with questions,
which developed the fact that they were members of General Gano's
command, and were despatch-bearers from Kirby Smith to General Magruder.
They expressed a strong desire to cross the river in a hurry, and
threatened to take forcible possession of the boat if the ferryman did
not make another trip that afternoon.

I then informed them that two comrades were with me, that they were in
camp a short distance back from the river, that we would join in
capturing the ferry-boat, and that if they had no objections to offer I
would go up and get the boys, so that we could cross and travel

They told me to go ahead and I went; but, after walking easily along
until out of sight in the opposite direction from where my companions
were I broke into a run, skirted around through the woods, joined Rummel
and Miller, told them the facts, and we at once broke camp, running
around the river bank a mile or more, and secreting ourselves on the top
of the bank in a thick clump of bushes and timber, right alongside of
the road, where they would not be likely to look for us if they wondered
at my failure to return.

From the moment when my eyes had rested upon the figures of those three
soldiers I had forgotten my sore foot altogether, and never felt it
during my run and our subsequent movements. The strangest part of this
incident of my injured foot is the fact that I never afterward felt
soreness or a twinge of pain in it. I leave it for others to explain. I
simply state the facts.

After we had settled down in our hiding place we saw a number of people
coming up the road, evidently from the ferry, and our three soldiers
were among them. From their talk as they passed us we gathered that the
ferry-boat had come over, but would not go back again before morning,
and we concluded that the three soldiers were going to some place to
stay over night.

After these people had passed, I set out to hunt up some negro who could
help us get over the river. As I crossed the road I saw a darkey driving
a wagon toward the ferry, and I stopped to speak to him. Before I had a
chance to say more than a few words the man's master rode into view, and
I had to go on talking to avoid casting suspicion by sudden

When the master rode up I talked with him, telling him what I had told
the soldiers, and saying that we had given up seeing the boat until we
had seen the people coming up from the ferry, when I had left my
friends, to see if we could cross that evening.

We all traveled down the road together, and the negro's master showed me
where the ferryman lived, a little way off the road, and went up to the
house with me. He and the ferryman were acquainted, and, while they
talked, I went coolly up on the piazza of the house and sat down,
turning over in my mind the question of what I should tell that

If I stuck to my story, as told to the soldiers, I had no excuse for a
special crossing, which I wanted to urge, and we should run great risk
of discovery if we waited and crossed with the others. As I studied the
face of the ferryman I decided upon my course of action, and when the
old gentleman who was talking to him had left to arrange for the care of
his wagon and animals for the night I gave the ferryman no chance to
think or question, but took him around to the side of the house, where
we could not be overheard by anyone in the building, and transfixed him
by saying:

"I am an escaped Yankee prisoner from Camp Ford, Texas, and have been
water-bound on the river for two days. I have come to have you either
ferry me over the river or capture me."

The man seemed to be dumbfounded, and he stared at me in perfect
amazement, without speaking a word.

I told him that I had no honeyed promises to make, that the only
inducement there had been for me to attempt such a hazardous trip in the
dead of winter was my intense longing to see my wife and children in
Iowa, who did not know whether I was alive or dead, and had not known
since my capture on the 25th of the previous April, and that, after
seeing them, I expected to return to my regiment and remain until the
war ended, if I was not sooner killed. Keeping up this line of
conversation, I completely magnetized the ferryman, either by my nerve
or the apparent confidence I had in his disposition to let his humanity
instead of war's inhumanity control his actions.

The first words uttered by him were:

"Well, all I ask is for you to pay your fare and take your chances. The
boat is loaded at each trip, and you may be suspected by the passengers.
The fare is five dollars in Confederate, or a dollar and a-half in
Federal money."

After he had recovered from his surprise sufficiently to agree to this,
I told him that I had two companions with me, when he exclaimed:

"Oh, h----l But d----d if I don't help you fellows anyhow. I can't
understand why I agreed to help you, for I'm as rank a rebel as they
make, and if I am caught at it, and you give me away, I'll be shot, sure
as h----l."

I promptly declared that I would submit to being hung myself before I
would give him away, and this seemed fully to reconcile him to his
undertaking, for he replied:

"D----d if I don't believe you, young man."

We had but $4 in greenbacks, which I told him, together with the fact
that we wanted some bread, and we compromised by my giving him $3 for
our fare across the river and $1 for a supply of corn bread.

He would not make a special trip that night, as it might get him into
trouble if we were discovered, but he agreed to put us over the river in
the morning, do the best he could for us, and keep his mouth shut about

I returned to my companions to report progress, and it would have been
hard to find two happier men than Rummel and Miller; they were simply
delighted with the result of my mission.

After a meal upon the corn bread bought from the ferryman, we turned in
for the night.



At an early hour the next morning we were on hand at the boatman's

When we reached the boat we found our friend with the wagon and negro
driver, together with several other parties, already there, and I was
much relieved to see that the three soldiers had not arrived.

The ferryman told us to go to the bow of the boat and avoid questioning,
which we did.

Just as we had shoved off, and were being hauled along through the trees
to the river bank where the ferry wire was tied, we heard a shout, and,
looking back, saw three horsemen approaching on a gallop. The ferryman
did not stop, and one of the riders yelled out fiercely, and fired his
gun to show that they would make us stop if we did not choose to do so,
whereupon the boat was stopped and slowly pushed back to the water's

Our relief can be imagined when I discovered that the riders were not
our soldier friends.

As we emerged from the trees into the river channel the current was very
strong, and the heavy load seemed too much for the ferryman and his

This helper was an old man of an inquisitive nature and appearance, and
I was afraid that he might say or ask something which would attract more
attention to us than was necessary for our comfort or desire for
prominence; so I got up and went over to him, taking hold of the rope
and helping him with the boat, while I plied him with questions so thick
and fast that he only got the opportunity to ask me two questions, both
of which were easily answered.

As we reached the farther shore we had to pull and push the boat among
the trees for nearly half a mile before we reached the ground, and my
old friend was anxious that my friends and myself should be assisted
over the marshy bottom, which extended for some distance, by riding
behind the three horsemen.

He proposed this to the riders, but the visible reluctance of these
gentlemen enabled me to get out of this disagreeable situation with
credit to ourselves, and we struck off through the swamp on our own
hook, after hearing the following remark of the ferryman, made as one of
the riders offered to pay him with a $5 bill of an issue which the
Confederacy had recalled, with a notice that they would not be redeemed
by exchange or otherwise after the coming 1st of January:

"My God, man! I would as soon have a notch on one of them trees as one
of them bills."

After a short walk through the swampy bottom, we struck what was then an
island, and on which were camped about 150 refugees from Missouri. They
had their live stock and all belongings with them.

These people had been too friendly to the South, when Price was in their
State, to make it healthy there for them after he had been driven out,
and they had come to Texas and were living as best they could. From them
we learned that Price's army was at Spring Hill, and we told them that
we were members of his "walking company," as the rebels called Price's

As our feet were wet from our walk through the marsh, we got away from
this crowd as soon as possible and went over to the camp of an old woman
for the purpose of getting permission to dry our clothes and shoes. The
favor was granted on application, and we sat there chatting with the
woman and her sons until we were thoroughly dried out. During this talk
we learned that these refugees were disposed to be quite bitter toward
the Texans for the lack of sympathy and hospitality which they thought
should be forthcoming on account of the abuse and persecution which they
had suffered for their Southern sympathies.

After we had dried ourselves sufficiently, we borrowed a brand from the
fire and went off to make a camp of our own.

On our way to a choice spot we met a sick soldier, who was on a furlough
and who had a canoe. He offered to take us with him across the balance
of the swamp, but we declined, because we did not wish to cultivate his
acquaintance and because of our friend Miller.

We waded into the swamp and went at least a mile before we found dry
land, when we picked out a secluded spot, lit a fire and again dried
ourselves thoroughly, going off to some tangled oaks for a sleep while
we waited for night.

Our location was now about ten miles from Boston, and I knew the road;
so we dozed off, in the confidence of apparent security.

I was awakened by a sound which startled me, and as I listened, it
proved to be a rustle in the underbrush, heard at intervals, and the
sound of a bell. The others were called by me, and we hid more securely,
as the footsteps of a man were now to be heard. Soon we saw a most
cadaverous, tall and poverty-stricken looking individual approaching in
an erratic manner, and we could now hear his low-toned mutterings as he
darted here and there. As the lower portion of his body came into view
we saw that he was driving an old sow, with a bell attached to her neck,
and that he carried an old rifle, with its stock tied on with strings.
He seemed to be one of the refugees who had been after his stray hog,
and we arose from our concealment and approached him.

He was literally dressed in rags, and was inclined to be scared at our
appearance, but we soon pacified him, and had an interesting
conversation, during which we learned his whole history.

The interest in this incident exists in the fact that, although I had
seen many Southern men with Northern sympathies, this was the first out
and out rebel I had seen who talked "lost cause."

When night came, we made our way to Boston and passed through the town
in the silence of the deserted streets, the hour being that of very
early morn. The fact that I had spent so many days here, after having
been recaptured on my previous runaway trip, made the spot interesting
to both my companions and myself, and I pointed out to them all the
various points of note. Had we had any chalk with us I should certainly
have left my card, in the shape of some notes, on various doors; but, as
it was, we passed through and on. We went about five miles beyond the
town and camped for the day.

The next night we proceeded without interruption or incident worthy of
note, and reached a deserted cabin about daylight, in which we slept
soundly all day, lying on a few boards in the loft, close to the eaves,
where we were securely hidden. The hut had been used by sheep for
shelter, and it was not excessively clean, but the weather was cold and
threatening when we turned in, and we were not sticklers about trifles
like that.

Our pants were all wet from crossing "slues" and watercourses during the
night, and we were too tired to sit up and dry them out before going to
sleep. When we awoke they were frozen stiff and we were chilled through.

I was awakened by hearing a woman singing as she passed by the old hut,
and as we lay there, rubbing our limbs to restore the circulation, we
heard a splashing and squealing near the hut, which had awakened my
companions and now caused me to go outside to investigate, when it was
found that an enormous rat had tumbled into an old, abandoned well at
the corner of the house. We put him out of his misery and took a run
down a ravine, where we built a good fire and got thoroughly warmed up.

After a scanty meal, we again took to the road and tramped all night,
meeting with no mishaps and making good progress.

In the morning we profited by experience, and went into a ravine, built
a fire and dried out before turning in for the day.

The next night we came to a bayou, about 11 o'clock, and crossed on
logs. Finding a bad road beyond, we sought a retired spot and turned in
to wait for daylight.

In the morning we skirmished around for something to eat, and found it
in the cabin of an old negro, whom we nearly scared to death as we took
possession of his hut. From him we learned that we were in the Red River
bottom, and he directed us how to proceed on our course, telling us to
turn to the right at a certain point, which he described.

After eating heartily of our corn bread and sow belly, we started off in
high spirits, and soon found the spot where we were to turn to the
right, which direction we followed out until the road turned into a
cow-path and finally led us to the bars of a fence across the road at
the edge of a thick wood.

We knew that we were lost and had come a long distance since taking the
right (?) direction. Knowing that we had obeyed the instructions given
us, we were inclined to be wrathy, and we sat down for greater ease and
support while we cussed that nigger "up hill and down." Rummel and I did
the cussing, while Miller watched for a chance to break in upon our
monopoly of the conversation, when he mildly suggested that, as the
nigger was standing with his face to us when he told us how to proceed,
and as we were facing in the direction which we were to take, it was
likely that the darkey had meant his right and not ours, which plausible
explanation only made us the more wrathy, because the nigger had been
stupid instead of having willfully misled us, as we had taken it for
granted he had.

When we had vented our spleen and rested up, we struck out, at a
venture, in preference to retracing our steps. After a tedious struggle
through the underbrush and a thorough wetting in the bayou we had to
cross we at length came upon a large field in which about 100 negroes
were burning stumps and clearing ground. Selecting a hiding place, we
lay in wait to single out some darkey who could be entrusted with our
management until we could cross the Red River and again get started on
our way.

After some little time spent in a study of the various faces which came
near enough to be seen plainly, I selected two men who walked together
and seemed to be brothers. It took a good deal of patience to await a
chance to see them alone, and we talked over all sorts of schemes for
securing a private interview with these darkeys. About the time when we
gave up all scheming and decided to trust to chance, the question was
settled for us by the two men starting off in our direction, with an
evident intention of leaving the field.

In my capacity of diplomat I was sent to waylay them at a proper spot
and negotiate for what we needed in the way of food and assistance. By a
little manoeuvring the darkeys were intercepted at a suitable spot,
and I found them to be very intelligent men, who were only too glad to
help us all they could. They were slaves on a plantation located on the
banks of the Red River, of which the field was a portion, and they were
on their way to the outbuildings, near at hand, for some tools. They
left me, to get the articles needed in the field, and soon returned,
bringing with them a liberal portion of their day's allowance of food,
which they gave to me. Before returning to the field they gave me
explicit directions how to find the river bank after night at the proper
place, where they agreed to meet us and set us across the river. They
gave their names as Taylor and Sam Jeans, and promised to bring us some
more provisions when they met us as agreed.

I returned to Rummel and Miller, and we had a hearty meal, watching the
negroes at work while we ate, and continuing to watch them until they
quit work and went home.



When the appointed time drew near we broke camp and proceeded to the
designated spot on the river bank, which we found without much trouble.
We waited and waited, but no negroes appeared. It was now nearly
midnight, and a bright moon began to illuminate our surroundings with
the ghostly light that proceeds from a combination of the moon's rays
with the darkness and shadows of a timbered river bottom. We waited
until we could no longer hear a sound from the plantation houses in the
distance and for at least an hour after total silence reigned all about
us. Then we began to fear that the negroes had forgotten us, and I was
despatched to see what I could find.

Now comes a part of my story which I must leave to wiser heads than mine
for explanation. I simply state the facts as they occurred and leave the
reader to satisfy himself or herself as to the controlling influence
which prompted my actions. I cannot satisfactorily explain them to

I did not know a single foot of the ground over which I was to travel,
and my only guide as to where I wanted to go was the remembrance of the
direction in which we had heard the sounds of plantation life in the
early evening.

I started off through a field and came upon a narrow road on the other
side, evidently a cross road. Down this I turned, in a direction which
did not accord with my memory of the proper course, and yet I seemed to
be impelled that way. I soon came to a turnstile in the fence on one
side, and through this I passed without a moment's hesitation, although
there was nothing in sight except a narrow path. Some distance down the
path I came to a double row of negro cabins, about twenty on each side
of a narrow street, facing each other. I did not know what I was to do,
and to find a particular negro in that array of cabins without arousing
the whole outfit was a problem beyond me, yet, without any
consideration, doubt or even a halt, I passed across the end of the
street to the rear of the farther row of cabins, and down the back of
that row until I reached the nearest corner of the next to the last
house. Here I halted and stood still. Why, I do not know, but I did, and
it was my first halt since I had left my companions. Shortly after I
halted I heard a voice that I recognized say:

"Lay over dar, you Taylor!"

Here I was, right where I wished to be, and in a very short time I had
aroused the sleeping darkeys, to learn that they had lain down to rest
until the time appointed for the meeting, naturally falling fast
asleep. They reproached themselves for their neglect, and we were soon
on our way to the river bank, with a plentiful supply of food.

They asked me how I had found them, and I truthfully replied that I did
not know, at which they rolled their eyes and looked at me in a peculiar
manner, when I added that I was walking around the cabins in the hope of
finding someone awake, and heard Sam tell Taylor to roll over. This
satisfied them, but it has never satisfied me, for, while I heard the
voice almost as soon as I halted, I could have passed the cabin in the
short interval had I kept on, and in such event I could not have heard
what I did.

My going directly to the cabins may be attributed to the instinct which
sometimes leads men, and my passing to the rear of the farther cabins
first to an accident of direction, but I never could account, on any
theory of chance or instinct, for the coincidence of my halt at the
proper place at the only instant in which I could have heard the call of
Sam to Taylor.

We reached Rummel and Miller in so short a time after my departure from
them as to cause an inquiry from them as to how I had managed to find
the darkeys so quickly. I postponed explanation until later, and we
proceeded to business.

The negroes had cooked us a goodly amount of hog meat and a pone of
corn bread, but the meat was only such as they could procure in a hurry,
and consisted of the livers, lights, noses and such portions of the
animal as would not be used by the planter and his family.

The skiff of the darkeys had been lodged, during high water, behind a
tree, and when we got it down and afloat it looked like a sieve. We
caulked it as best we could with leaves and some old rags, but the thing
was a failure, and none of us cared to risk it.

Sam offered to pilot us to Little Rock himself, crossing the river lower
down and then going across the country, but this offer we declined,
because of the almost certainty of death if runaway prisoners were
caught with a runaway negro. Sam still insisted, however, saying that he
had a rifle and seven rounds of ammunition, and that we could fight if
we had to, but we positively refused to take him with us, and the man
was actually inclined to be angry. The matter was settled by Taylor
giving us directions to follow the river down stream until we found a
cabin in a certain spot, which he described, and we set off in high
glee, Taylor further informing us that his name would make everything
right with the owners of the cabin, and that we would find a willing and
able ferryman there.

It was now nearly morning, and we hastened on our way; but, when we came
to the spot where Taylor had told us we would find a path to the cabin,
we found that a large force of cavalry had recently been camped there,
and all signs of any regular path were completely obliterated by the
trampled condition of the ground and the many trails leading in all
directions, while an immense quantity of corn shucks were strewn all
about the place.

We made a circuit of the camp, and finally struck off on a path which
looked as if it might be the one meant by Taylor, but we had not gone a
great ways when it became a blind lead, and we were soon lost in the
canebrake. The cane made it too dark to proceed farther, and we went
into camp.

When daylight came we found ourselves in a great bend of the river, and
a little feeling around showed us a number of cavalry horses turned
loose. We therefore kept quiet, in a part of the bottom where the cane
was so thick that we once heard a man rounding up the horses without our
being able to see him. As Rummel expressed it, "We couldn't have found a
cow right there if we had had hold of her tail."

After a while we stole out to where we could see without being seen, and
discovered a tent and big fire not far away, while in the distance was a
band of music moving away with an escort of rebel cavalry. Around the
tent and fire were a lot of men and cavalry horses, and we concluded to

After a long search through the cane we found a road and started off,
keeping a sharp lookout.

We had gone but a short distance down the road when we almost ran into
another cavalry camp, and we had to swallow our hearts to keep them in
their proper position, while we hastily executed a flank movement to
avoid the soldiers. We succeeded in passing around them without being
discovered, and again went on our way in peace for a time, but soon had
another scare.

It was now nearly evening, and as we reached the river bank we heard
some men approaching. It was a close shave, as we barely had time to
conceal ourselves before they came out of the woods on the opposite side
of the road and started for the camp we had just passed.

As soon as they had disappeared we started to follow the river bank, and
as we proceeded down stream, with the timber on our right and the river
on our left, we had not gone far when some men were heard coming in our
direction. Dodging into the brush for concealment, we lay there until
several men and their dogs had passed. They turned into the wood not far
from us and began cutting down a tree in which they had located a coon.
The tree was soon felled, and then occurred a lively skirmish between
men, dogs, clubs and coon, in which the coon finally got the worst of

When the battle was over and the coon-hunters had gone, we crawled out
of our hiding place and started down the river again.

In less than a mile, and about 12 o'clock, we came upon another lot of
soldiers, camped in the road on the river bank and apparently sound
asleep, our evidence of the latter fact being the unmusical sounds
proceeding from them.

The situation was rather on the critical order, but it was light enough
for us to see any movement of the enemy. We made a careful movement by
the right flank, and were soon around them, fortunately without

Proceeding on our way, we would have felt quite happy had Miller been
less miserable, but he could not forget that we had not as yet crossed
the river, and it was impossible for him to be comfortable while on the
wrong side of a stream of water.

Coming to an opening in the timber on our right we saw a plantation. A
high fence was built along the road in front of it. Just as we had
gotten fairly started away from the timber and in front of this fence
the sounds of a horse galloping in our direction caused us to make a
sudden choice between an unwise meeting and a slide down the steep river
bank. We slid.

The horsemen reined up in front of the farmhouse, just abreast of where
we were hugging the slippery bank, and we heard him call out some inmate
of the house and ask the way to Rondo, where, it seemed, they were
having a dance.

The danger to result from meeting with undesirable people was
considerable, and we had quite a scare on account of our narrow margin
of time for evading this fast rider, but we soon became glad of the
forced tumble over the river bank.

As soon as we were recovered from our scare and momentary confusion we
found that our slide down the bank had landed us within easy reach of a
canoe, the very thing most needed by us at that time. In fact, if we had
gone down the bank with more momentum either the canoe or the water
under it would have stopped our descent.

This discovery seemed providential, and we regarded it as a good omen of
our success.

An investigation proved the canoe to be a poor affair, but we concluded
that we could cross two at a time, and Rummel and Miller started, I
keeping pace with them on the bank as the canoe carried them down. They
got over all right, and Miller landed, Rummel coming back for me. Both
Miller and myself now walked down stream, as the canoe made as much
distance that way as across, and when Rummel had finally picked me up
and landed me we met Miller at least a mile down stream from where we
had started the movement.

During this operation Miller and I had to keep close to the river in
order that we might not lose sight of each other or the canoe, and, by
thus being unable to choose the best places for a convenient walk, we
were pretty well scratched by the briers and other impediments that
seemed to exist in profusion just where we had to go.

Having no further use for the canoe, we upset it and let it go. Then we
started across the river bottom.

We had no trouble until we struck a bayou, which the moonlight showed to
be quite wide. We could not tell how deep it was, but we found that it
had a soft bottom, and we did not venture to wade the sluggish stream.
After a long search up and down the edge, during which we got tangled up
in some brush and made a row which started up some dogs in the
neighborhood, we found a fence which crossed the bayou. I shall never
forget the sight of Miller and Rummel "cooning" that fence.

The moon shone down through the gathering clouds with a dim light, and
when we reached the fence we could see that it was built clear across
the water in our front; so I mounted it at once and was soon on the
other side. My companions had a discussion as to who should go first,
both hanging back, for the fence looked frail and the top rails were
sharp. When I got over and turned around to look, Rummel was just making
a start.

The fence had not been used as a bridge, and some of the rails were
rotten, while most were slippery.

I had had some vexatious experiences myself in crossing, and I was in a
position to enjoy keenly the sight of the others going through the same
experiences; so I stood in the moonlight, encouraging my friends and
laughing heartily as a slip on a broken rail caused suppressed comments
or grotesque contortions on the part of the fence-riders. They finally
got across, and we soon found the main road, but our troubles were not
yet ended, for the soil was "gumbo" of the meanest kind, and we soon had
to camp and rest up, while to add to our cheer and comfort it began to

We spent the balance of the night in the rain and "gumbo," praying for
daylight and sunshine.



The next morning we started on our way and had a routine march for
several days, with no incidents worth mentioning until we began to meet
a stray soldier now and then. Our growing confidence in ourselves made
it easy for us to tell a satisfactory story in each case, and we learned
from these men that we were approaching Washington, where Magruder had
his headquarters.

From some negroes we got a full description of the town and a complete
line of directions as to what course to pursue in order to avoid
undesirable observation.

We had to be very careful, but boldness was an essential part of the
policy of being careful, and we walked through the outskirts of the town
as if we owned it, avoiding the traveled streets, but being as free and
as easy as possible.

It was impossible for Miller to be free and easy at any time in anything
partaking of deception, as he was too conscious and conscientious. No
amount of successful evasion of difficulties could make him forget for a
moment that we were escaped prisoners and should be locked up--from the
standpoint of the rebels; so he was continually imagining that he saw
detection in the eye of every person we met.

We were all nervous, but, with the exception of Miller, we made a fair
show of being self-possessed and independent. We walked through the town
as if traveling on eggs; every sound made him start; every person we saw
gave him a shock of dread and uncertainty, and if we had met anyone of a
suspicious nature we should have been closely questioned, at least. As
it was, we finally skirted the town and got into the main road again,
beyond, but we had to pass right through the soldiers' quarters to do
it. We went on the principle that they were ignorant as to us, and would
have no suspicions unless we created them by our actions, but only good
luck in not being observed closely saved us from capture, for poor
Miller scarcely touched the ground, and showed his effort at restraint
so plainly that anyone with half an eye would have known that he was
doing something wrong. We "herded" him between us as best we could, and,
not being critically surveyed, succeeded in passing on our way.

The next night we came to a blacksmith shop, where we had to take refuge
on account of a heavy rain. This shop was one of those old-fashioned
country forges, built by the roadside near some farmer's house, where he
or his neighbors tried their hands at smith work as occasion demanded.
The building was an old "shack," with a leaky roof, but it gave some
shelter, although we had to sleep on the forge as best we could, to keep
out of the puddles and mud on the earthen floor.

I know of no word better than _excruciating_, to describe the comforts
of that night. The forge was large, and we could lie upon it after
cleaning it off, but we had to squeeze together. The edges were rough
stones, and our feet hung over. If my readers will take the first
opportunity afforded them to occupy a similar position for several hours
they will appreciate my use of the above word. To enjoy fully the
situation, aside from the pains thereof, they should have a friend stand
by with some cold water and occasionally let fall a drop, or succession
of them, upon the face, neck or ears of the victim. As a choice of two
evils it was an admirable selection; as a matter of comfort it was a

We were not awakened by the daylight, for we were already awake, and,
when we could see that the rain had turned to snow, we started off
again, preferring the snow and mud in daylight. Coming to an open piece
of woods, and seeing a large tree which had been felled, we went to it
and found what protection we could in its thick top for the balance of
the day, the monotony of the stay being relieved by exchange from snow
to rain and from rain to snow every now and then.

Just before dark it cleared up, and we once more started on our way,
meeting with no obstacle until we reached the Little Missouri River
bottom, which was crossed by an old corduroy road, and then we had some
more fun.

For two miles and a half we blundered along on this road, in a gloomy
darkness, every few minutes coming to a spot where one or the other of
us would slip through between the logs and sink up to our knees in the
mud and water, which fact was generally communicated to the others by
harsh criticisms upon the efficiency of the county commissioners.

When we reached the river we were about as tired as men can be and stand
up, but we found that the ferry-boat was on the other side, and we had
to seek some place in which to rest for the night and await daylight.
Going back a short distance from the river we found an open space where
there were signs of a former camp, and we tried to build a fire.
Everything was soaking wet, and all our efforts ended in smoke, except a
few sulphurous remarks. There was no shelter to be had; we had to sleep
in the open, and the ground was too wet to be comfortable. After some
discussion, we decided to try standing up, which means of rest we
enjoyed for the balance of the night.

Did you ever try to find a place to rest when everything upon which you
could possibly sit or lie was soaking wet? If so, you can understand
why we chose to stand up. Did you ever try to sleep in a standing
posture, or to rest in like position for any length of time? If so, you
will appreciate the following:

Throwing my blanket over my head, I braced myself firmly against a tree,
closed my eyes, and--the next thing I knew I was in a heap on the wet
ground, wildly struggling with my blanket, my knees having relaxed as I
became unconscious. Now fully awake, I took a walk around to find a
better spot, but soon came back to my first location and tried it again.
This time I remained awake long enough to realize, by the time that the
comfortable feelings of drowsiness were again stealing over me, that the
air inside of my blanket was not pleasant to breathe, and, in throwing
the covering from my head, I became wide awake again. After another
interval of wakefulness, during which I realized keenly how tired my
limbs were, and after quietly enjoying some of the experiences of my
neighbors, the demands of nature again became paramount, and I dozed
off. With a sudden sense of a harsh scraping along the back of my head,
and a dim realization of the fact that my knees had again refused duty,
I came to myself just in time to keep from sitting on the ground, this
time sliding down the tree instead of pitching forward. After a walk
down to the river to view the situation again, I returned to my tree,
adjusted my position, to guard as well as I could against former
experiences, and gradually dozed off in the belief that I was this time
scientifically and safely propped. Suddenly I realized that I was
falling, and became conscious enough to make three or four rapid steps
forward, to save myself, before I stumbled over a log and went head
first to the ground. After this, I never went to sleep during the
balance of the night, but I contented myself with a succession of nods
between the intervals of knee-bendings and losses of balance. Try it and
see how it works.

I have slept on the wet ground--slept soundly, and never taken cold from
it, but not in a boggy location such as that was on that night, and we
all stood up in preference, again a choice of the lesser evil.

It might be asked why we did not go back to the high ground instead of
remaining in the bottom. No one who has ever tramped over such a
miserable road as that by which we had reached the bottom--for two and a
half miles in the dark--will be likely to question why we preferred to
stay where we were. It is doubtful whether we would have undertaken to
retrace our steps over the corduroy road even if we had known in advance
just what our night's experience was to be.

The next morning when we went down to the river we found that it had
risen several feet during the night.

The road reached the river at a point of land which projected some
distance, and where the road had been comparatively dry the night
before, behind the point, we now had to wade in order to reach the ferry

It was useless to attempt hailing the ferry-boat, so we went back to our
stamping ground and breakfasted upon what corn we could pick out of the
ground around the spot where former campers had tarried. This corn was
the scaled or wasted kernels left by horses at their feeding places.

While eating we heard a noise of men talking on the river, and at once
assumed that the boat was coming over. We had no money with which to pay
for crossing, and my companions, Miller especially, were very much
excited over the question of what we were to do. Miller had a ring which
he wanted me to take for the purpose of paying the ferryman, but I would
not take it, and we nearly had a quarrel in consequence. My desire was
to go to the ferry and be governed by circumstances as to what we should
do, but the others wanted to have it all mapped out beforehand.

"What will you tell him, Swiggett?" asked Miller.

"How can I tell?" was my reply.

"But suppose he asks for money or is suspicious?"

"When he does or is I will meet him; but, boys, how on earth can you
tell what to do or say till you know what you have to overcome? Let's go
down there in a natural way and do what seems best when we get there.
Come on!"

We went, my companions following me reluctantly, and Miller all in a
flutter of nervous apprehension.

Reaching the landing, we found the boat nearly across, but the ferryman
had all he could do to make any progress. The rise in the river had made
a strong current along our shore. It was a hand ferry, and the rope was
fastened in a poor line for ease in ferrying at that stage of the river.

Calling out to the man, I got in a good position to jump aboard, and
said to my companions:

"Come on, boys! Can't you see that the man has his hands full? Let's
jump aboard and help."

Hearing this, the fellow increased his efforts, the boat approached
nearer, we made a big jump and got aboard, helping to haul the boat to
the land. Then we learned that he had come over to shift the rope, and
we helped him do this, after which he took us across.

Arriving on the other side I put my hand in my pocket as confidently as
if I had had a roll of greenbacks at my command, and asked the ferryman
how much we owed him. As I expected, he would not take a cent, but
thanked us heartily for our assistance, and we went on our way

It is a fact worthy of note that the response of this man to my offer of
pay was almost as well known to me before he made it as after. Not on
the principle of natural results from given causes, as many men would
have asked either all or part pay. Nor was it from any particular
judgment of the individual, as I was unable to form any satisfactory
idea of his inclination from what could be seen of him. I simply _felt_
and _knew_ that he would refuse pay. Whether this was due to intuition,
instinct or some subtle principle of mind communication, I do not
profess to know and I do not say, but the fact was that I did not think
or believe--I _knew_, and those inclined to account for the fact will
find this point of interest to them.

"What would you have said, Swiggett, if he had named a price?" asked

"But he didn't, Miller," I responded; "and he wasn't suspicious."

"But if he had been?"

"How can I tell? It would have depended on circumstances. My experience
is that one can never, or very seldom, carry out imaginary conversation,
and I never try to hamper myself unnecessarily by pre-arranged ideas."

[Illustration: CAPT. B. F. MILLER.]

These conversations are related simply to show how easy it is to
overcome many seeming difficulties. We can figure and calculate all
we will in advance, but it almost invariably happens that the details of
our plans must be changed on the scene of action, either to surmount
unexpected obstacles or to take the shortest and surest road to success.
The best way to dispose of obstacles is to go at them. Many and most
disappear before you reach them, while those which really have to be
surmounted are usually ridden over on lines suggested at the time of

In crossing the river we had given the ferryman no time to ask
questions, even had he been disposed to do so, and I had asked the way
to Arkadelphia, learning the direction to take and that the distance was
fifty-two miles, on a plain road.

As usual, after the river was crossed, Miller was jubilant and happy
until he had time to begin worrying about the next river, which he soon
did. If my friend worries as much about crossing the final river as he
did about crossing earthly rivers in our travels together it may be that
he will have to cross much sooner than he otherwise would.

It must not be understood that my illustrations of Miller's
peculiarities are made in disparagement of the man. We all have our own
peculiar traits of character, and it merely happened that this journey
developed in Miller some phases of a disposition that in other things
would have had more than compensating merits. He was simply more
cautious than is usual in men, and so exceedingly honest that it was
impossible for him to dissimulate. A tall, fine-looking gentleman, with
dignified bearing, and the very embodiment of honor and
conscientiousness, one to whom recapture was certain if lies were
necessary to avoid it; this was Miller.



We were soon out of the river bottom, and then came the question as to
whether we should keep or avoid the road. We decided to remain upon it,
because of the fact that the ferryman would probably ask the first comer
if he had met us, and a negative reply might cause questions and
suspicions; so we trudged along, in hopes of a successful issue to our

Soon we saw an approaching horseman, and again our friend Miller became
agitated. When a nearer view developed the fact that the rider was a
rebel officer, we had hard work to keep Miller from throwing up his
hands or running, we being entirely unarmed, but he calmed down and
behaved nicely as the officer rode up and we saw that he was a major.

We saluted, said good morning, and passed on in a matter-of-fact way,
while the officer gave us scarcely a look as he returned our salute and
rode by; so Miller had a respite.

Having thus met somebody to report us at the ferry, we now left the road
and went into the woods to lay up, taking pains to go a good mile from
the road in order to avoid any possible notice.

Finding a good, thick top of a felled tree, we sought the seclusion of
its branches and indulged in a good sleep.

We were awakened along in the afternoon by a crunching sound like that
of horses walking on gravel, and, when we realized what it was, the
horses were so close to us that we fairly hugged the ground and
trembled, feeling that it must be some people looking for us.

The sound passing by, we got out to investigate, and we had not gone
fifteen paces through some bushes till we stopped and looked at each
other quizzically. There was another road, evidently more traveled than
the one we had taken such pains to avoid. As the joke was on all, we had
nothing to say.

We were now out of provisions again, and, in prospecting around, we
found that the two roads came together a short distance below.

The country in our neighborhood was a farming district, but it was now
barren. The houses and buildings were deserted, the fences down and
everything dilapidated. We could find nothing to eat, and again took to
the road.

To show how run down and deserted that section was I state as a fact
that we ransacked every stable, corn crib and vacant house in our path
that night for a distance of about fifteen miles without seeing a soul
or finding anything eatable. But few houses appeared to be inhabited,
and these were avoided.

Just before daybreak we came across an old stable, where we found some
corn in the mangers--that is, the small kernels left on the ends of the
cobs by horses when they eat. Of this we made a fairly good meal.

A little farther on we came to a corn crib which had in it about 150
bushels of corn, and here we had a feast, building a fire and parching
the corn.

While we were eating we saw a cow coming toward the corn crib, and we
welcomed her heartily, giving her some corn shucks to feed upon while we
milked her and regaled ourselves.

We now proceeded with little or no trouble, making far better time than
we had expected to make, and we felt almost as if at home when we came
to a finger-board bearing the inscription: "2-1/2 miles to Arkadelphia."

I had been in this place with our army on our way to Camden the spring
before, and it now seemed as if we must soon meet some blue uniforms.

We passed on around the town to the Caddo river, which empties into the
Washita four miles above Arkadelphia.

When we reached the river there were no signs of a ferry, and we walked
up and down the river bank for about two miles each way before we found
any chance to cross. There seemed to be no ferry, and the chance of
crossing was based solely upon the fact that we finally discovered a
house on the farther bank, and a skiff tied to a tree near by.

We built our hopes on that skiff, but there was no way to get it at
present, and we decided to drop down the river to a secluded place in
the bottom and await developments.

Finding the desired place, we went into camp, building a fire, parching
some corn, warming up well and getting a good sleep.

In the morning we again went over the ground, but found no better chance
to cross, concluding that the owner of the skiff must be the ferryman.

We could not build a raft, as there were no logs lying about which were
suitable for the purpose. The river was too deep to wade, and the water
was so cold that we were afraid to risk an effort to swim over,
especially on account of Miller's aversion to the element, and the
necessity of towing him over on a log if we tried this method of
crossing; so, after sizing up the situation in all its aspects, we
decided to keep quiet until about sundown and then go boldly down to the
water's edge at the road and hail the ferryman, taking our chances of

Accordingly we again sought our hiding place, and passed the day in
sleeping and conversation, neither hearing nor seeing anything
throughout the day.

At the proper time we emerged boldly from our secluded nook and sought
the road, without any attempt at secrecy, having been all over the
ground both in the morning and the night before, and having heard
nothing since.

A short distance from the road we saw a man on the river bank, and kept
right on, taking him to be some stray individual looking for a chance to
cross the river, but we had not gone twenty paces after seeing him until
we walked right into a picket post of nine men, or, rather, right into
plain view of them, they being about fifty yards distant.

There was no help for it but to put on a bold front, and we walked right
along about our business. Seeing them watching us, I broke the silence
by addressing them and asking the way to the ferry.

They answered, and asked where we were going, to which I responded by
saying that we had been hunting for the ferry for an hour or more and
were going to cross, walking along in a business-like manner while

The corporal in charge of the picket guard now called to us to come into
camp, but we did not hear him, and kept on without hurrying. Then we got
a peremptory order in a tone which meant business, and we concluded
instantaneously to hear and heed this; so we stopped and asked what they
wanted, and walked slowly into camp when the corporal repeated his
order, remonstrating against the delay as we did so.

Miller was now so nervous that he scarcely knew on which end he stood,
but he quieted down in appearance when I asked him to keep cool, let me
do the talking, and back me up.

We were now asked to show our papers, but we had none to show, and by
rapid questioning I learned that these men had been guarding the river
at this point for some time, but had left the river bank for better
quarters when the high water came, and had just camped again when we
came up.

Asking the corporal his name, I learned that it was Ed. Rocket, and I
then told him that we lived in Rockport, Hot Springs county, and were
going home, being soldiers in Captain Stewart's Company A, of the 15th
Arkansas, and having come from Magruder's headquarters at Washington.

He then asked for our passes, and I told him that he was too old a
soldier not to know that we could not possibly have a pass, it being all
that a captain's commission was worth to give leave of absence in those
days, stating to him, in explanation of our absence from our command,
that we had been in service for over two years without any leave; that
when we had begged our captain to let us go home when it was so close he
had told us that we could simply slip off, if we would promise to be
back in ten days, and he would not report us absent unless that time
elapsed before our return, and that we had taken chances on his word,
because we wanted to get home so badly.

This seemed to satisfy Rocket that it was all right, and he hesitated
for a few minutes before he answered that he would gladly let us go on,
but that his orders were positive to let _nobody_ cross the river
without a pass or proper papers.

I again remonstrated at the delay and annoyance, and he sympathized with
us, but was firm in his unwillingness to disobey positive orders which
left no discretion. He finally said he would take us over to
headquarters at Arkadelphia and do what he could to get necessary
permission for us to cross the river.

There being no other course to pursue, we thanked him heartily and at
once fraternized with him and his men.

They had just cooked supper, and we invited ourselves to eat with them,
saying that we were almighty hungry, but that they would have to put up
with it, inasmuch as we were not exactly willing guests.

We were quite hungry, and we demonstrated the fact by eating the entire
quantity of food which the nine men had prepared for their meal, talking
and chatting the while, with the party looking on with open-mouthed
amazement at our appetites, as they waited for two of their number to
prepare an additional supply, the extra quantity being increased as
they proceeded, until they really cooked as much more as they had at
first prepared for themselves.

Once, while we were eating, Miller inadvertently called me captain, and
asked me to pass him something. Fortunately he did not speak loud, as he
was close by my side, but I gave him a look which spoke volumes, and he
kept silent thereafter.

After our hosts had finished their supper we started for Arkadelphia,
and, while on the road, we learned that the object of guarding the river
had been to catch refugee "Arkansaw" people and to head off such natives
as might be en route to join the 3d and 4th Arkansas Cavalry, then being
organized in Little Rock.

This was our twenty-first night out since leaving the stockade, and we
were now 275 miles from Tyler, Texas, and fifty miles from Little
Rock--"so near and yet so far."



On reaching Arkadelphia we were taken to the provost marshal's office,
which was located in a two-room house in the centre of the town, and
there we found a lieutenant at the desk in one of the rooms, while
fourteen or fifteen men were gathered around an old-fashioned fireplace,
telling stories and spending a pleasant evening. Some of these men were
soldiers and some were not.

I shall never forget that little room in that old house. It was about
twelve feet by sixteen, the walls were bare, the ceiling was low and
smoke-stained, the floor was without covering, and the only furniture
was the old table which served as a desk for the lieutenant, a number of
more or less rickety chairs and the two huge old-fashioned andirons
which supported the blazing logs in the enormous, ancient fireplace.

Rocket took the lieutenant aside and told him our story, the evident
impression being that it was all right. He then left us.

They had a lot of cooking utensils, bedding, etc., in the second room,
and soldiers were passing in and out of the rooms at intervals.

As we stood awaiting the termination of the interview between Rocket and
the lieutenant, I thought I recognized several of the men in the room,
and I was certain as to two of them. It is needless to say that I
avoided observation as much as possible, without seeming to do so, and I
was not recognized.

As Rocket left, the lieutenant came up to us, and, evidently thinking it
necessary, as a matter of form, began asking questions.

I told the same story that I had told to Rocket, while Miller and Rummel
got into the crowd before the fireplace, adding that we were from
Northern Missouri in the first place, that my wife was the sister of my
two companions, that their name was Miller and mine Swiggett, and that
we had had to leave Missouri when it had gotten hot up there, coming to
"Arkansaw" and joining the 15th "Arkansaw."

While telling this story, which I did in response to questions asked, I
could hear comments on the side between the men sitting around, and
heard one say that Rockport was not in Hot Springs county, and then
another say that it was and that I was right.

These comments disturbed Miller so much that he could not keep quiet to
save his soul, and I nearly laughed out aloud as I got a side look at
him and saw him shifting nervously from one foot to the other, now
rubbing his hands together spasmodically, and then recollecting himself
enough to hold them out to the fire as an excuse for the rubbing, every
second or two casting a "sheep's glance" over his shoulder at the
lieutenant and myself.

His actions evidently excited suspicions, for, just as I was certain
that the lieutenant was satisfied, and felt confident that all was well,
he asked me whom I knew up around Rockport, and then commenced going
back over the same ground again in a cross-questioning sort of way.

I told him that I knew no one up that way except our own folks, and, as
I heard a side comment of "Damned strange," I turned on the speaker and
said emphatically:

"No, it isn't 'damned strange,' if you will let me tell my own story,
and not try to put words in my mouth."

"Well, go on," said one fellow, and I continued:

"When we left Missouri and joined the regiment we left our families
behind in Northern Missouri. They were ostracized and misused because we
had gone off and joined the rebels, and life became a burden to them.
So, when Price made his last raid into Missouri, they were only too glad
to come with him and take chances of starving among friends in
preference to accepting the grudging charity of the Yankees. They were
compelled to stop in Hot Springs county, five miles southeast of
Rockport. We have never been in Hot Springs county ourselves, and have
not seen our families since we left them in Northern Missouri."

The lieutenant now asked me if I had no papers at all.

Quick as a flash I said "Yes," and produced from my pocket a newspaper
published in Washington the day before, which I had picked up on the
road as we came in.

He looked at it, laughed, and said that he did not mean that sort of
paper, but a pass or something to prove our identity.

I said that we would not be there if we had any pass, and that I did not
see why he doubted a straight statement in accordance with facts.

He now led me into the next room and tried to coax me into confidence
with him, but I stuck to my text, and could see that I had him on the
run, so to speak, although he had apparently suspected us of being
Arkansas Federals.

As we walked back to the office room I saw that poor Miller was as
fidgety as a nervous man could possibly be, and his actions, as he
quickly held out his hands to the fire and as quickly withdrew them to
rub them together in an absent-minded way, caused the lieutenant to look
at me sharply and again ask to what regiment we belonged.

This made me mad, and I answered shortly:

"The 15th Arkansaw, as I have told you three times before."

"What brigade?" now followed quickly.

"Thompson's," was the prompt reply.

"What division?"


At this time we had been under fire for nearly an hour and a half
without giving anything tangible on which the lieutenant could hang
suspicion, but here he thought he had me, and he quickly responded:

"There are no Arkansaw troops in Molyneux's division."

Without an instant's hesitation, I came back at him with:

"If you know more about this thing than I do, perhaps you had better
tell the story. I'm in the 15th Arkansaw, and Molyneux is our division

The principle upon which I went in this examination was that these men
were most likely as ignorant as myself about matters not of general
importance, and I knew that they could only go on hearsay as to minor
matters, such as what troops made up a division at a certain time when
that division was widely scattered, and I therefore stood on my dignity
and was positive.

My reply plainly staggered the lieutenant, and he fell back on what was
apparently his last ground of argument, as he looked at our dress and
asked how we came by our blue blouses and breeches.

I laughed carelessly, and looked over the crowd in a quizzical way as I

"If you fellows had been chasing Steele's army all summer as we have
you would be wearing them too."

Then, turning to the lieutenant again, I said:

"Now, see here, Lieutenant, you know that there is no such thing as a
leave of absence to be had in our army nowadays; we wouldn't have any
army if there was; and when men have been in hard service for over two
years without a chance to see their folks, it's blamed tough to keep
them standing around answering fool questions when they have only ten
days in which to go home and get back."

I saw in the lieutenant's face that our case was won, but, as he opened
his mouth to say the words which would set us free, I heard the question
from behind:

"Where was your regiment raised?"

Turning, I saw that it had proceeded from a bright-looking young fellow
of about sixteen or seventeen, who sat near Miller and was looking up at
him with a quizzled glance. My heart sank within me, but I answered

"In Clar--"

"Hold on, there! I didn't ask you," interrupted the young fellow; "I
haven't a bit of doubt but that you can tell every township that
furnished a man, and probably name every man in the regiment if
necessary; but you have had to do a lot of talking for your crowd, and I
would like to hear this man answer the question."

I now knew that we were caught, and I almost laughed, even in my
misery, at the picture before me.

Miller was almost paralyzed. He hemmed and hawed an instant and looked
inquiringly at the lieutenant and myself.

"Answer the question," sharply said that worthy, as he at once caught
the drift of the young fellow's remarks and had all his old suspicions
awakened again by the pitiful uncertainty of Miller's actions.

"In--In--In Clar--Hem! In Clar--Hem! Hem!--H-e-m! Really, gentlemen--"
he said, as he rubbed his hands and made all sorts of faces and turned
all colors, while vainly trying to recall some names that he might
safely use.

He finally stammered out:

"The adjoining counties to--to--in the northern part of the State."

His questioner then remarked quizzically:

"Well, I'll be ----, if here ain't a fellow that has been in the army
over three years and can't name the counties in which his regiment was

"Take these men to the jail," now ordered the lieutenant, and we were
led off to that place of abode, hearing, as we left the room, various
interesting comments and much laughter.

They put us in a cabin, which was lined throughout with sheet iron, and
which had no opening in it except the door. A pine torch furnished the
light. The floor was covered with filth, and we had not been in there
five minutes before the atmosphere had become almost unbearable.

I kicked loudly against the door, and soon a sergeant came to know what
was wanted. He was told that we wanted to see the lieutenant at once,
and he went away to call him.

When the officer came he was followed by a curious crowd, and, as they
opened the door, I stepped forward and asked pleasantly if that was the
way to treat Federal prisoners.

The lieutenant said that we were held as suspicious parties who could
not account for themselves, and who were probably endeavoring to join
the Yankee regiments now being organized in Little Rock, but that if we
could satisfy him that we were Federal prisoners he would let us out and
treat us as such.

Having made up our minds that our best course now was to be frank, we
told him who we really were, and that we had escaped from the stockade
at Tyler, Texas, and made our way so far north on foot.

As I told this I heard a remark in the crowd:

"Damned if they didn't deserve to get through."

The lieutenant turned, with a frown, and asked who made the remark, but
he had a smothered grin on his face as he turned back and invited us

This remark seemed to be the sentiment of the entire outfit, although
they now had to keep us, and intended to do so.

We were taken to a room in a neighboring house and a guard was placed
over us, but we held a regular levee until far into the night, the whole
town apparently coming to see and talk with us.

While we were chagrined and disappointed over our capture, we yet had
enough sense to make the best of it, and I cannot remember a night when
I had any more fun than that levee afforded.

The crowd ridiculed the lieutenant, praised the young fellow who had
shown us up, mimicked poor Miller until he was nearly frantic, laughed
and joked with us, asked us innumerable questions about ourselves, and
generally made us feel more like being out for a lark than in
confinement as prisoners.

During the evening we told them of our hard fare while en route, and
described our appropriation of the picket post's supper, at which they
all laughed. Then we suggested that we were even then quite hungry, and
asked for something to eat.

After some delay they brought us a kettle of cooked fresh pork and some
meal for a pone of bread. There was probably about four pounds of pork
in the mess, and a goodly supply of bread, but we ate it all before
bedtime, holding our informal reception meanwhile.



We remained at Arkadelphia for several days before we were moved to
Magruder's headquarters at Washington, and during this wait we were
treated more like guests than prisoners, excepting, of course, the being
under guard. I do not think that there was an able-bodied personage in
the place who did not come to see us, and there were several callers who
were not able-bodied.

All the people were curious to see us, because we were Yankees, and more
curious because of our successful escape to this point, while our almost
successful effort to get through at the last was the occasion of much
admiration, many jokes and friendly actions.

When we did not give ourselves time to think of our capture we really
enjoyed our stay.

In discourse of time the guards who had captured us were detailed to
take us back, and they were given a leave of twenty days in which to do
so, Rocket now being a sergeant.

Our start was made after a farewell that showed far more friendship than
enmity, and we made the fifty miles to Washington in four days, taking
it easy.

Of the nine men who composed this squad eight were positively disloyal
to the Confederacy, but were forced to fight for it because of their
homes and families.

Each one of the eight, at different times, talked very freely to me when
the others were not around, and each one told me that they would never
have held us at the river if the others could have been certainly
depended upon not to report the matter. We got to be very friendly with
these guards, and we were really sorry when it came time to part from

One of our guards was an old man whom his companions called Captain
Payne. He rode a sorry-looking specimen of a horse and was evidently
only a private. Wishing to be friendly, he offered to let me ride his
horse if I would allow him to hold the halter, which offer I promptly
accepted, informing him that he was welcome to hold the halter and the
horse's tail as well if he so desired. As an apology for the limitation
of my actions with his horse, he informed me that he had positive orders
to let us have no chance of escape, and to shoot us without notice if
such an attempt was made.

In the course of conversation I asked him why he was called captain
while being under orders of a sergeant. His reply was that he had been
elected captain of 500 men who had organized to resist the draft and
afterwards joined the Federal army; that they had been informed upon and
the scheme frustrated, he having been forced to compromise between his
neck and the halter by enlisting in the Confederate army as a private.

We were taken up behind on the horses of our guards during part of the
trip, and in one of these rides behind Sergeant Rocket I learned that he
had been in Missouri with Price, but had disliked the job very much, as
had most of his companions. When Price had commenced his retreat he had
simply broken ranks and ordered the men to fall in again at Boggy
Hollow. They had all been forced to shift for themselves, and for three
days he had had nothing to eat. After that they had lived almost
entirely on fresh meat, without salt, for twenty-four days, and the
organization had been largely broken up.

Rocket told me that most of the people in his part of the country would
hail with joy the approach of the Federal troops. He was married to the
daughter of a planter, who was a Union man, though a slaveholder, and
had joined the Confederate army to save his family. His father-in-law
lived on the road ten miles north from Washington, and he described the
location and gave directions so that I could find the house if I had
another chance to run away, saying that if I ever reached there and made
myself known I would certainly get to Little Rock in safety.

[Illustration: SERGEANT E. B. ROCKET.]

Captain Payne, also, gave me directions how to find the home of his
people, telling me how to find Dooley's ferry, in the neighborhood, and
how Dooley would know me, set me across the river and see that I reached
the right place. He also told me that a neighbor of theirs had three
sons in the Federal army at Little Rock, and that I could easily get
horses and guides to that place.

When we reached Washington, and Ed. Rocket bade us good-bye, he told me
that he had never been so sorry for anything in his life as that he had
been obliged to capture and hold us.

Ed. Rocket is now a poor Baptist preacher in Arkansas.

We were turned into a guardhouse that was about sixty by twenty feet in
size and so full that all could not lie down at once. It was far from
being pleasant.

The prisoners confined in this building were three spies and a large
number of Confederates, the latter being held for crimes ranging all the
way from chicken-stealing to murder, and in this agreeable society we
spent ten days.

We got acquainted with a good many of the prisoners, and had
considerable fun in various ways, but we were glad to leave.

Cornmeal was the only food served to us during our stay, but the rebel
prisoners were treated the same as the others, and we had an extra
allowance as officers--by purchase; so we could not complain of any
unfair distinctions.

There was one old skillet in the guardhouse, and all the cooking had to
be done with this one article. It was never cool. We took turns in its
use, and the call of "Next!" was as orderly and regular as in a barber

By common consent the Yankees were given the first turn with this
skillet, as preferred guests, and we thereby had our meals at ordinary
meal hours.

There were crowds coming in and going out of the guardhouse all the
time, as there was a regular system being carried out of securing
cavalry horses for other sections.

In this part of the country they had more cavalry than infantry, while
in other sections much of the veteran cavalry was dismounted for want of
horses. So they would put these cavalrymen under arrest for
chicken-stealing or any offense whenever possible and appropriate their
horses for service elsewhere. Infantrymen were let off for the same

One of the rebel officers in charge offered to let us out if we would
join his company, but we declined, with thanks.

There was plenty of money among the prisoners, and much poker-playing to
kill time.

I had a toothpick, made of bone and representing a woman, for which I
got fifty cents in silver. With this amount I bribed one of the guards
to get us four dozen eggs. Some of these we ate ourselves, but we sold
the most of them to the prisoners for $1 apiece in Confederate money.
These eggs were procured by the guard from some paroled Federal
prisoners on the outside.

On the day following our egg deal I got permission to go outside with a
guard for some water, and then secured permission to buy some supplies
and take them inside. After some hunting around we found a nigger who
had a lot of turnips, and I bought a bushel for $10 in Confederate
money, having a good margin left. We ate all the turnips we wanted, and
then got $1 apiece for the balance. Everything went at $1 a unit in
Confederate money. Keeping this thing up, we fed ourselves well during
our stay, and when we left we had $400 in Confederate money.

Two of the spies mentioned were named Honeycut and Masterson, and the
latter was kept in irons. They had money, and secured extra food from
the outside, of which we got a share.

Masterson had been captured with a lot of drugs in his possession, and
he had claimed to be from Georgia, to which part of the country he was
returning after having run the blockade with his drugs from the North,
but he had forgotten to make all his stories agree, and they had
arrested him as a spy and put leg-irons upon him. Later on, he joined
the Confederate army to save his neck.

Honeycut claimed to have been a Copperhead in Ohio, and that he had been
drafted and had furnished a substitute, but had then been drafted the
second time, when he had sworn that he would not stand it. He claimed to
have sent his family to Matamoras, and that he had gone to New York to
join them by steamer, but had been unable to get a passport. He had then
made his way to New Orleans, and had again failed to slip through. As a
last resort he had gone to Arkansas and secured a pony, with the
intention of riding through to Mexico, but had been captured and lost
the horse and his money.

The provost marshal, Colonel Province, was a very clever gentleman, and
he was kind to us in several ways. One of his courtesies was to grant us
a parole within the city limits.

When Magruder's chief of staff saw us on the street and learned of our
parole he ordered Colonel Province to return us immediately to prison.
The colonel pleaded for us, saying that he knew us to be gentlemen, and
that he felt easier in regard to us while we were on parole than he
would if we were in the insecure guardhouse, even while he knew that the
parole was contrary to orders, for the guardhouse was filthy and crowded
with criminals. This plea in our favor had no effect, and the colonel
received peremptory orders to place us in prison at once, under penalty
of being reported to Magruder for disobedience.

Three guards were sent to take us to the colonel's headquarters, where
he told us of his talk with the chief of staff, and expressed his regret
that he was compelled to obey, closing his remark with:

"But I want to tell you, gentlemen, I am an original rebel from South
Carolina, while that ---- ---- of a staff officer is from Chicago."

The colonel evidently thought that being a Northern man and a rebel
would account for most any kind of meanness.

While defeated in his good intentions in the matter of parole, the
colonel tried to make up for it in other ways. He gave me a pair of
shoes which had been given to him by the Yankees while he had been a
prisoner at Johnson's Island, and which I sold to Masterson for $250,
for the purchaser could not wear his boots and leg-irons at the same

Our stay at Washington was prolonged on account of a lack of provisions
to furnish the extra supply needed for a guard and ourselves on a
journey. When it seemed certain that provisions were not to be
forthcoming we were started off for Magnolia, Ark., which point we had
to make without any supplies save what we could gather as we went along.

When we left Washington we stopped in front of the provost marshal's
office, and Colonel Province came out to bid us good-bye and express
his regrets that he had been prevented from according us the same kind
treatment which he had received at Johnson's Island.

The first night out we reached Spring Hill, which was then a courier
station, and were confined in an old church. One of the soldiers killed
a hog, which proceeding was an outrageous violation of orders, as well
as of the rights of the owner, but we had to eat. A guard and myself
went to a neighboring house to get a kettle in which to cook the meat.

The difference between pork and beef in that country was about the same
in those days as the difference between greenbacks and Confederate

The guard found a negro woman in the house, and he asked for something
to eat. She gave us some beef and corn bread, but had no pork when asked
for it. In the course of the conversation the guard told her who I was
and about the escape of my companions and myself, when the darkey
remembered that there was some cold pork in an outhouse, and produced

We got the necessary kettle and cooked our meat before we went on our

After we had again started, the guards paroled us, and several of them
went home, appointing a meeting place and promising us more pork and
some biscuit when they returned, which promise they kept.

When we reached Magnolia we found a camp of about forty badly wounded
Federal prisoners there, who were the remnants of Steele's fight at
Jenkins' Ferry.

We were put in jail for several days to await a move of this camp to

When all were ready the convalescent cases were loaded on wagons and we



During this trip our rations were salt beef and corn bread, but the
latter was unfit to eat, and I refused all rations, preferring to take
the chances of foraging until we reached Shreveport.

On the first day out we made about twelve miles. At dusk it commenced to
rain, and we camped in an old church at a cross roads. The wounded men
and ourselves were placed in one end of the building, they on one side
and we on the other, while the other end was used by our guards. They
piled up all their equipments in one corner, and spread their blankets
in the vacant space, then going off to a stillhouse in the neighborhood,
where they got gloriously drunk, and leaving only a sentinel at the

When leaving Washington our party had been increased by three more
runaways, who bore the names of Robinson, Fenton and Stanton, so that we
were now six in all.

The guard at the door excited my envy, soon after his companions had
left, by coolly drawing from his haversack a lot of biscuits and the ham
of a shote. As he drew out his huge knife and began slicing off
tempting bits of lean meat my envy overcame any timidity I may have had,
and I determined to have some of that meat by fair means or foul.

Stanton came up to me as I came to this conclusion, and I remarked to
him that I was about to take supper with the rebel. His curiosity
spurred me on, and I walked out to the sentinel and asked if I could
have some of his meat and biscuit. Much to my surprise and pleasure he
promptly said: "Tub ber shure," and sliced off for me a liberal
allowance of ham, giving it to me with some biscuits. My success led
Stanton to follow suit, and we both had a fair meal with the generous

It was now getting dark, and the rain kept coming down. We had full
possession of the room, and as Stanton and myself walked back to our
companions, we saw Fenton eating. Inquiry developed the fact that he had
been plundering the piled-up haversacks while we had been outside, and
when we learned that there was a supply still unappropriated we promptly
set out to empty the haversacks of everything desirable. During our talk
together the sentinel had added his haversack to the pile, and the first
thing to which we came was the balance of the ham from which we had just
dined, together with fourteen biscuits. We felt awfully mean about it,
but "self-preservation is the first law of nature," and we cleaned that
bone, throwing it and the haversack behind the wainscoting.

This food was sufficient for our wants, and we would have been satisfied
but that we found Rummel on one side eating some light bread, which he
had purloined from another haversack. This made us ambitious again, so
we went back and took all the desirable stuff we could find in the pile
for future use.

We got a lot of light bread, about a pound and a half of butter and some
sweet potatoes.

The wounded men had a kettle for cooking, and I borrowed this, built a
fire in the stove and cooked our sweet potatoes.

About this time some of the guards came back, and one of them came to me
to borrow the kettle, saying that he had some sweet potatoes to cook.

I told the man that he would have to wait until our stuff was cooked,
and he sat down quietly and waited, chatting with us to pass away the
time. When our potatoes were cooked we gave him the utensil, which he
filled with water and put on the fire before he went for his potatoes.
Then there was a row, as his potatoes happened to be those boiled by us.

Of course he could not identify the property, and I was indifferent, but
to my surprise, instead of accusing us, he did not seem to suspect
anyone save his comrades, and his accusation against them caused the
rest to investigate on their own hook. The row that now ensued took a
direction which we had not calculated upon, and we finally got well
scared. The men were all more or less drunk, and their denunciations and
reproaches of each other caused a row among themselves. The rest of the
party came back, and there was more investigation, more row and much
confusion. There were two classes of men in this crowd. About half were
poor whites, of the ignorant, malicious sort, and the balance of a
better class.

The question finally settled down to a denunciation of us by the
first-named portion, and accusations against them by the others. At this
stage of the game they began to talk of searching us, and we got scared,
for we had too much on hand to be able to "bluff" them off in a general
search, and their condition of excitement would not give us much chance
for argument.

We now did what might seem to be a very mean thing, but it was done on
the principle that, while our conviction of the robbery might, in their
present state, mean death to us, they might curse and swear mightily,
but would not harm anyone if they found the balance of their stuff where
we put it--among the wounded men. We hid it around as best we could and
awaited developments with much interest, but the row finally quieted
down and we all went to sleep.

We were up very early in the morning, as we had to dispose of the
plunder in some way, and went to work, for it was work. We ate all we
possibly could, including the butter, and stuffed the remainder inside
of our shirts. I had a butter taste in my mouth for a week afterward,
and it was a good while before I could eat the article with my former

Our guards made a partial search before we started, but they did not
attempt to be too personal, and we evaded the discovery of any of the
purloined food. It was plainly to be seen that we were now suspected,
but they rather regarded the thing as a good joke, now that they were
sober, and the search was for something to eat rather than to prove

We now had several days of travel and similar scenes, but the robberies
were now joint expeditions against the potato holes on the line of our
road, where the surplus of the crop was stored for the winter, and the
guards and ourselves shared alike in the guilt and proceeds.

When we reached Shreveport, we were taken through the town to Four Miles
Springs, where I had been before, and here we were kept for six weeks.

A stockade and quarters had been built since my former visit, and things
were much more comfortable.

We soon built a comfortable cabin in partnership with some other
captured runaways who had just been brought to this stockade, and one of
these, Lieutenant Bushnell, of the 120th Illinois, became my berthmate
when lots were cast to see who should occupy the several rude bunks
erected in our mansion.

Sweet potatoes at this time were $10 a bushel in Confederate money, and
my supply of cash came in so handy that we were enabled to refuse all
rations and to live on the fat of the land; but we did not risk the gout
by so doing. The fat of the land in those days was so well streaked with
lean that everyone had to take much lean in order to get any fat, and
the rebels themselves did not live in luxury.

There were about 250 prisoners now at this point. The rations served to
them were brought in on a board. In order to get the privilege of doing
our own cooking we asked and obtained special permission to have our
rations served raw, and so we managed to have what we wanted.

There was a "greaser," from Mexico, on the outside, who made and sold
potato pies. I would get five for a $5 bill and give Bushnell two. At
the next pie meal he would reverse the order of things.

We made the acquaintance of a squad of men from the 16th Regiment of
Indiana Mounted Infantry, their leading spirit being a Captain Moore.

At roll-call the guards made the prisoners stand out in line, and Moore
was frequently prodded with a sword for hanging back and delaying

One day we made an excellent dummy from an old log and some clothes, and
carefully deposited it in Moore's bunk, covering it naturally with what
bedclothes we had. At next roll-call Moore was not to be found, and the
guards, after much swearing, went up to his cabin and found him,
apparently, in bed and asleep. After several calls and shakes,
accompanied by some artistic profanity, one of them prodded him gently
with his sword. A little harder punch followed, when he still slept, and
then a vicious one, when they threw back the covers and discovered the
deception. A crowd had followed them, and they were now well laughed at,
but they took it good-humoredly, only swearing at Moore for his
deviltry. When we went back to roll-call Moore was in his place in line,
and, as he gave a good excuse for absence and disclaimed all knowledge
of any joke, the guards had to be satisfied with some general cussing.

The rebel prisoners were also kept in this stockade--men who, as at
Washington, were imprisoned for various crimes and offenses.

One rebel prisoner complained of a theft. Moore hunted around, found a
suspect, convened a court-martial, had the man tried, found guilty and
sentenced to receive ten lashes, which were duly administered.

The court-martial and punishment are worthy of note. All the
preparations for the trial were made in due and ancient form, as
formally as if it had been ordered by the regularly-constituted
authorities in military life. The army (the prisoners) was well
represented by a judge-advocate, and the culprit by "learned counsel."
The offender was placed on the stand, and then witnesses for both sides
were thoroughly questioned and cross-questioned. Being found guilty in
usual form, the prisoner was sentenced as solemnly as if before a
regular court. The punishment was given by causing the thief to be bent
over a stump, with his hands and feet held by Confederate prisoners,
while the ten stripes were laid on with a halter strap in the hands of
another, who did not spare the victim. The rebel prisoners endorsed the
proceedings as being perfectly legal and just.

The feverish desire to escape was constantly present with every man in
the stockade, but there seemed to be little chance for getting away. We
were allowed to go out after wood, but there was a guard for each
prisoner when we went.

One rebel guard talked to me, and made a proposal. He was a rebel from
principle, he said, but had lost everything, and was now over forty
years old. What the outcome was to be he did not know, but he did know
that he wanted to make some money for himself and family, and had a
chance to do so if he had some help.

He told me of two steamboats, loaded with cotton, then lying tied up on
Red River, not over five miles away, and kept in readiness for a run up
some secluded bayou if the Yankees approached, calling my attention to
the fact that, as only two guards protected each vessel, the fires kept
in the furnaces made it a comparatively easy job to capture and get away
with one of the boats and its load. He said that he had contemplated the
capture of one boat for the purpose of taking it to New Orleans and
selling the cotton, but had given up the idea of trying it as originally
intended, fearing that the cotton and boat would be confiscated at New
Orleans, because he was a rebel, even if he succeeded in getting there.

The suggested scheme struck me as being a good one, and in several trips
made outside for wood with this man as my guard we perfected our plans
for making the attempt.

I was to select a pilot and crew from the prisoners, and he agreed to
arrange for our exit from the stockade. We kept up daily communication
with each other until all was in readiness.

I had found a pilot and crew to man the boat. The capture seemed an easy
job, as we would most likely find the guards asleep. We had accumulated
some rations for the trip, and it was settled as to what night the
start would be made.

The stockade was made with two-inch planks, twelve feet long, placed on
end on the ground and strongly braced. The soil was sandy.

When the appointed time came our party quietly went to the place which
had been selected for the work, and we were busily digging our way out,
under the fence, when someone _inside_ of the stockade reported us to
the sergeant at the gate, who yelled out:

"Sergeant of the guard! Prisoners escaping!"

The sentinel on whose beat we were to escape could do no less than fire
his gun, which he promptly did, and the bullet came through the fence at
about the proper distance above the ground to perforate the body of
anyone not lying down. It seemed almost a miracle that no one in our
party of eight was hit.

All was confusion in short order, and it is needless to say that our
party left for a better neighborhood. When a file of soldiers ultimately
appeared on the scene they found almost everyone up and asking
questions; but the parties who had drawn the fire of the sentry were
among those sleeping peacefully in their quarters and dreaming of a home
without rebel guards.

Added to the keen disappointment which we experienced over the
frustrated effort to escape, we had the usual regrets incident to the
failure of a business operation, for that boat and cargo in New Orleans
would have meant a snug little pile to divide, and in this respect my
own regrets were above the average felt by the crowd, for it had been
agreed upon by the party that the rebel manager and myself should have
an extra share of the spoils if the plan should be a success. By the law
of compensation, or of force, he and I now had the lion's share of the

With the sentinel a party to our escape and one of us as well, the thing
had seemed so easy that, speaking for myself at least, we had in
imagination seen ourselves, with bulging pockets, at home with our loved

Our feelings can better be imagined than described.

It was always one of the mysteries of life to me how any prisoner could
deliberately betray his comrades, and almost as much of a mystery how
schemes of escape became known to others.



While we were in Shreveport my regiment was exchanged, and marched
through on its way home. I tried very hard to be allowed to go with
them, but Captain Burchard, who was in charge, refused to allow it. I
had quite a row with him after pleadings and diplomacy had failed, but
nothing did any good. It was decided that I must go back to Tyler on
account of my two attempts to escape.

Shortly after this bitter disappointment the stockade got too full, and
a lot of us were sent to Tyler under a heavy guard, Captain Rummel being
left behind on account of sickness. These guards had special orders to
shoot me if I tried to escape, evidently the result of my row with
Captain Burchard. This fact was told to me by one of the guards, but I
joked about it and professed not to believe it.

One of the guards was a boy, who seemed more inclined to general
conversation than the rest. He walked and talked with me a good deal. In
one of our talks he mentioned that he was from "Kasseder," in Davis
county. As I knew several people in the place, having stopped there on
my former return to Tyler, I at once surprised him by airing my
knowledge. As I desired to amuse myself by quizzing him, I was
mysterious and non-committal. He was puzzled considerably, and went off
and told his captain.

The officer rode up to my side a little later and entered into a
conversation. I treated him the same as I had treated the boy, and when
he left me he was almost overpowered with curiosity.

I now discovered that one of the guards was the man whom I had met with
a wagon when we crossed the Sulphur Fork of Red River. We talked
together, but he did not recognize me. At first I claimed to have seen
him before, but he thought not. After bothering him to my heart's
content, I reminded him of our having crossed Sulphur Fork together,
when he said that he had been suspicious of us at the time. This was so
much of the "I-told-you-so" order that I had a good laugh at him for his

The other officers kept dropping back to interview me, and I got their
curiosity inflamed to a high degree by talking familiarly of different
places and of an imaginary plan of an underground railroad. This caused
the officers to become agitated, and I saw that they suspected me of
something serious. When a detail was finally sent to take me before the
officer in command I concluded that the matter had gone far enough, and,
when questioned, I explained how I had become acquainted, on a previous
runaway trip, with the people and places spoken of so familiarly. The
matter ended in much laughter and some jokes.

During the rest of the march I talked negro suffrage and equality, at
times nearly driving our captors wild by picturing the pleasures to come
to them when these liberties should prevail. They got mad at times, but
seemed to like hearing me talk, and evidently saw that I said more than
I meant in some ways; yet I told many truths--which made them mad--about
the actual practice by Southern whites of equality with negroes, as
evidenced by the thousands of mulattoes among them.

Another source of amusement to me was to bother the guard at night by
sleeping away from my companions and as near the guard line as I could.
The guards would remonstrate and get mad, but I would blarney them a
little and say that I had money on my person which I was afraid my
companions would steal, and that I wanted to keep close to them for
protection. They could not reasonably object to this, but it made them
keep an eye on me in particular, and the various characteristics of the
different men were a constant source of study and amusement.

My feelings on this journey were of a kind that kept me constantly on
the "_qui vive_" for something to divert my mind from reflections. To
have escaped twice and been recaptured each time was bad enough,
especially when one venture had been so nearly a success, and the
failure through treachery of the last attempt to get away had seemed to
cap the climax at the time; but to see all my regimental comrades file
before me on their way to home and friends, while I was sent back to
confinement, was the proverbial last straw--only, in this case, it did
not break the camel's back; but it was a close call.

I had no interests in Camp Ford that I was not entirely willing to
sacrifice for the sake of being at home or with my men, and the
Confederacy was welcome to my rations if they would dispense with my
presence; but, while my residence in Texas, with free board and lodging,
was insisted upon so strongly as being necessary for the good of the
country, I really could not leave the good people, not even for the sake
of personal pleasures.

Talking to myself in this way when reflections crowded upon me, and by
seizing every opportunity to amuse myself at the expense of the guards,
I got the camel's back in pretty fair shape again, and resigned myself
to the inevitable.

We finally reached the familiar stockade at Tyler, and about 250 of us
were in line when we fell in for roll-call. Each man entered the
stockade alone as his name was called.

As before described, the entrance of prisoners was a noisy occasion,
and one scene was very much like another; but, when I stepped into the
enclosure, there was a movement of surprise and then a dead silence.
Most of the men knew me, and their knowledge was communicated quickly to
the rest. Seeing me come in after my long absence, and after my regiment
had been exchanged, caused a sympathy that brought about silence almost
as if by command.

I was not feeling particularly joyful anyway, and had had hard work to
keep up my spirits on the road, so that this evidence of sympathy nearly
caused me to break down altogether.

Soon after my return to the stockade I gained the title of Exchange
Commissioner. I was familiar with the forms of all passes, furloughs,
etc., and, as before stated, I could imitate almost any handwriting. As
the new men in the place became acquainted with me and my
accomplishments I was besieged with requests for different papers that
would facilitate egress or escape.

The older prisoners were not as anxious for escape as the younger, or,
rather, newer ones, as they had seen so many failures and punishments
that they wanted a pretty sure thing before they risked an attempt.

Men even went so far as to ask me to get them out of the stockade, but I
told them that I would give any papers they wanted, leaving to them the
getting out.

My exchange or furlough business was conducted about as follows:

A man would come to me for the means of escape, or, rather, the means of
avoiding recapture after escape. I would make out a written application
from him to his captain for a leave of ten, twenty or thirty days, in
which was stated the necessity for his going home to Upshur county,
Texas, to procure clothing, which all Confederate soldiers then needed.
On the back of this application would appear the approval of his
captain, colonel and brigade commander, as well as the final and
effective endorsement of Kirby Smith's adjutant, General Boggs, all the
endorsements being made by me, except that of General Boggs, which was
completely counterfeited by the adjutant of the 77th Ohio. Thus being
fortified with legal authority to return to his regiment on an expired
furlough, the prisoner would endeavor to appear as a dutiful Confederate
soldier going to the front, get out as best he could, after receiving
careful instructions as to his route and actions, and take his chances
of success.

My escapes and experiences were talked over, and the men seemed to think
that I could do most anything desired, the accidental character of our
captures not being regarded as any reflection upon my ability in the
attempts to escape.

A Colonel Jamison was now the commander of the stockade, and the officer
who brought us in related to him some of my talks about negro suffrage
and equality, which amused him very much.

One day he sent for me to come to him in order that he might hear some
of my talk on these subjects. I evaded the topics as well as I could,
but made so good an impression upon him that he gave me a pass to go in
and out at will, with twenty men, upon my promise that I would not take
advantage of it to escape myself or let any of my companions do so. My
excuse for asking it was that we wanted to swim in the stream near by,
gather wild greens and take proper exercise.

A few days later, as ten men and myself were in swimming under this pass
in a creek about half a mile from the stockade we saw a couple of young
negro boys watching us. I told the men to go ahead with their fun while
I talked with the boys. One of these youngsters was about fourteen years
old and the other nineteen. They knew who I was and all about my
escapes, and were anxious to see me get away, urging me to break away
right then, as there was no guard around, but I told them that I was out
on parole and could not. They then told me that they had charge of the
horses of the major at headquarters, and that I could at any time have a
horse and uniform to help me get away, showing me the cabin where they
lived and where I could come for this assistance.

I told the boys that I would take the first chance I had to get out
without breaking parole, and they left me. I was greatly excited at the
prospect, for I now knew the country so well that I had little fear of
not being able to make my way to Little Rock with such assistance as I
knew I could get along the road.

When we went back to the stockade I prepared some despatches from Kirby
Smith to Gano, and planned the whole route and system which I would
follow in general. My plan was simply to get out at night, get my
uniform and horse, and ride for Dooley's Ferry despatch-bearer, taking
my chances on my presence of mind being sufficient to carry me through
in any emergency.

Recollecting all that had been said to me by Captain Payne--the guard
who had let me ride his horse just after leaving Arkadelphia on the
return trip--I figured that I could make Little Rock in about five days
by hard riding, stopping here and there on the way to feed and rest, and
having an easy time after reaching Dooley's Ferry.

The negro boy promised to keep the loss of the horse covered as long as
possible, by pretending that the animal had gotten loose and strayed
away, so that it was reasonable to assume that enough time would be
spent in hunting the animal to render futile any pursuit from the
stockade after my leave of absence became known to the guards. My
despatches should take care of any ordinary obstacle in my way to the
river, and, with my ability to "bluff" the average person or persons
likely to be met, I felt confident that only an accident or
extraordinary stoppage could upset my plans. Dooley would know me when I
referred to Captain Payne, and my passage of Red River was assured if I
reached that point, while he would also direct me to the captain's
place, some ten or fifteen miles away, where I would be certain of
concealment and assistance. The captain's neighbor, who had sons in the
Federal army, would find a way to get me within our lines, with the
assistance of horses from Payne's corral. Altogether, I could almost see
myself at home again.

The thing was feasible, and I was anxious to try it, scarcely being able
to sleep at nights for thinking about it.

The men about me all tried to dissuade me on account of the risk of
capture with a horse in my possession, and because Lee had surrendered
and the war could not last much longer, saying that I was foolish to
take any risks at such a time.

There was much talk at this time, among the rebels, of Kirby Smith's
holding out in the Southwest and being heavily reinforced by the
scattered remnants of other armies. This had an appearance of being
reasonable, as matters then looked to us, and I would listen to no
arguments against my proposed scheme; so a day was set for my
departure, and I fully intended to go.

When I was sufficiently well supplied with food and really ready to
start, my companions begged and pleaded with me so hard not to risk it
till we were more certain of continued imprisonment that I compromised
by postponing the date.

This thing went on for several weeks, I making postponement after
postponement, until I finally settled it decidedly that I would go on
such a day unless we got some favorable news.

Before the fixed time came around we saw Captain Burchard ride by the
stockade and go to headquarters. Knowing that he was after some more
prisoners for exchange, we sent out a man to learn who were to be the
favored ones. The messenger came back, all in a flutter of excitement,
and announced that all were to go.

The scene of confusion and excitement which ensued cannot be described.
The men simply went wild. For myself, I had to sit down to quiet my

The guards began to leave for home as soon as the news became known.
Twenty-four hours after Captain Burchard arrived there were no guards to
be seen anywhere, except the higher officers, and we could have broken
out any time after that. We were not silly enough to do this, however,
as it would have relieved the rebels too much, for they were bound to
feed and escort us if we stayed.

We were kept three days in the stockade, awaiting the arrival of
rations, and during this time we had no regular food, as the mill which
the rebels had used to grind grain had broken down just at a time when
they seemed to need it most.

The citizens flocked in to see us, and brought us food, or we should
have gone hungry during this interval. They came to trade for the things
which we would leave behind us, and we sold off the pots and kettles
belonging to the Confederacy, until the authorities learned the fact and
placed a guard at the gate to prevent any further depletion of their
stock of cooking utensils. As the prisoners now had nothing to cook,
they commenced to break up and throw into the cesspools all that was
left of the cooking outfit, and before long there was not a pot or
skillet to be found.

By this time the stockade was broken in several places, and we could
pass in and out at will, but it was more the desire to feel that we
could do so which prompted any egress than any desire to go anywhere, as
we were all anxious to get home, and did not want to go by ourselves
when all were going so soon.

An irrepressible Zouave prisoner got into the headquarters room one day,
and, filled with enthusiasm and the conviction that the Confederacy was
busted, nearly destroyed the records in the office before he was
discovered and kicked out.

Finally, the rations not coming, the rebels got an ox-team with which to
haul the sick men, and we made a start for Shreveport.

It is a matter of record that I was the last man to leave the stockade
on this occasion, and consequently the last prisoner confined in it. I
made it a point to see that every other human being was out of the
enclosure before I departed, and to have others know the fact. I will
not attempt to describe my feelings as the final exit was made; suffice
it to say that it was one of the happiest moments of my life.



On the second day out from the stockade, and before reaching Marshall,
we came to a house where a farmer was offering to trade for blankets.
Mine was on a horse at the head of the procession, but I had a ten-cent
"shinplaster," with which I bought some biscuits of the man. He had two
loads of blankets piled up close by, which he had already secured by
trading, and he had some wine in bottles for further use.

I was very anxious to possess some of that wine, and I hustled around
among the prisoners and borrowed a blanket from a young fellow who was
willing to take my word that I would return it or give him mine when we
caught up with the leaders of our band. I secured three bottles of wine
for the blanket, and we had some refreshments, eating the biscuits and
drinking the wine until there was no more left.

As we hurried on to catch up I saw a pile of blankets near the fence,
and I at once returned the boy's blanket to him in the shape of a better
one, taken from this pile.

The next morning I gave myself permission to leave the rest of the
outfit and forage on ahead, which I kept up till we reached Four Mile
Springs, where I arrived thirty-six hours ahead of the main body.

Here I found a lot of Smith's men who had deserted, and who were red hot
for Sherman to call for troops to go to Mexico for the purpose of
clearing out Maximilian, who was just then usurping authority. These men
were not nursing resentment against their opponents in our war, but
would have hailed with joy any enterprise in which Federals and
Confederates could stand shoulder to shoulder, for, as they expressed
it, "the combination would sweep the earth."

Going on to Shreveport, I found everything in a chaotic condition. There
were batteries without horses, officers without men, and most of the
stores had been looted by the departing troops.

We were two days about town, awaiting transportation, and saw that every
horse that came within range was confiscated by soldiers, even to
stopping wood wagons in the road and taking the animals away from them,
the soldiers then leaving for home.

There was much expectation of seeing some of the Union fleet come up the
river as transports, but they did not put in an appearance, and the
citizens of the town were nearly frantic in consequence, on account of
the plundering that was being done. During a conversation with several
gentlemen, who were eager to ascertain what was known of the possible
coming of the fleet, they told me that only the coming of the Federal
army could save them from total financial ruin. The actions of these men
were in accordance with their words, and, apparently, they voiced the
sentiments of the entire business community.

The Confederate soldiers, realizing that the war was practically over,
and being in need of nearly everything, made no apologies for the
liberties taken, but, on the principle that "might makes right,"
appropriated everything in sight that was likely to be of use to them in
solving the problem of how to live after peace had been declared. The
situation, while full of excitement for all, had its amusing aspect, and
I thought of it as another illustration of the fact that "those who
dance must pay the fiddler."

Early in our march from the stockade I had had my sympathy greatly
excited by the increasing illness of one of the sick men. His birthplace
and residence had been in Pennsylvania, but he had gone over the State
line and enlisted in the 3d Maryland. He had been sick for some time
previous to our departure from the stockade, and had grown rapidly worse
while on the road, despite the stimulation of being on his way to home
and friends. He had been so brave and cheerful, notwithstanding his
youthful age of only eighteen years, that I had become much interested
in him. While prostrated on his bed of cotton, he had talked to me of
his home and mother, and had spoken bravely of his chances of dying.
With a bright look on his face, he had said:

"I may pull through, Captain, and I may not; but I won't give up till I
have to, for mother needs me; only I want you to let her know if
anything happens."

I had done what I could for the boy, and on several occasion had gotten
him milk and other things. He had given me his mother's name and
address, but the absence of writing material at the time had prevented
the making of other than a mental memorandum, and the necessity for a
better record had been overlooked in the confusion and excitement of the
trip. When the main body of our command caught up with me at Shreveport
I was shocked to learn that he was dead. I had had doubts as to his
living to get home, but so early a death was a surprise and shock, which
latter was turned to self-reproach and sorrow when I found that I could
not recollect the name and address given to me.

Fifteen years afterward, during which time I frequently tried in vain to
recollect the data necessary to identify him, the name, address and
other knowledge suddenly came to me one day when I was not thinking
about it. At once I sat down and wrote to the mother, and in due time
received a beautiful letter in reply. My letter was the first word she
had received of the boy since he had last written to her in good health
and spirits, except that the books of his company bore his name, with an
"absent without leave" score against it. I recollected that he had told
me of his having slipped off to forage a little on his own account at
the time of his capture. Making an affidavit of the facts as I knew
them, I sent it to her, and the pension which she could not get upon the
records as they stood was promptly allowed her on the affidavit

After waiting for the Federal transports until tired, our guards placed
us on a couple of rebel boats, and we started down the river for the
Yankee fleet.

I was on the boat with Colonel Samansky, a Pole. He had been an officer
in his own country, had enlisted in the Confederate army, and had gained
the rank of Colonel. He lived in Texas and expected to remain there.
When he asked me how I had been treated, the only complaint that I could
consistently make against those having me in charge was that I had not
been exchanged with my regiment. I claimed to him that I had been of
more service to the Union as a prisoner than I could have been if I had
remained in the service, as I had kept, on an average, two men busy
watching me ever since I had been captured. I showed him some samples of
my work as exchange commissioner, and purposely magnified the matter. He
only laughed and complimented me upon my enterprise, he being the rebel
exchange commissioner.

At the mouth of the Red River we met some Federal boats coming up with
prisoners. While exchanging boats, all who desired it had a chance to
take a swim, and a number of us enjoyed the luxury. Possibly 500 men
were in the water at one time.

One notable feature of this occasion was the fact remarked by everyone
that you could tell a Yankee from a rebel as far as you could see him,
even without his clothes. The reason for this was that our confinement
in the open air had caused us to be burned brown by the sun, even
through our clothing, while the rebels were white from confinement
within walls.

We were taken down to New Orleans and housed there ten days in a cotton
press, arriving on Sunday afternoon in our prison garb. We were a rather
hard-looking crowd, but never was there a happier one.

The boys in New Orleans knew that we were coming, and Capt. S. H.
Harper, formerly a sergeant in my company, hunted me up and took me home
with him. He was there on a detail, and was delighted to see me. I was
fed on the best he had, and arrayed in a spare uniform of his. When I
went back to the cotton press the boys did not know me.

From the time of my capture to that of my arrival in New Orleans I had
only once been able to get word through to my wife, and I wrote to her
as soon as I had a chance to do so after reaching that place. My first
knowledge of her, after my capture, was acquired through Captain Harper,
who told me that she was well when he had heard from home the last time,
and also told me that she had heard of me through an escaped prisoner.

All the officers crowded about the paymaster's office in New Orleans,
trying to get some money, and he had quite a time with them, as, while
he believed what they told him of themselves, he could pay out no money
until some person known to him would vouch for the recipient.

Captain Harper satisfactorily identified me to the paymaster, and I drew
two months' pay. A proper voucher was now easily secured by as many of
the officers as were personally known to me, and all such received a
like amount.

While in New Orleans I met Honeycut on the street. I had left him in the
Washington guardhouse, confined as a spy. We spent the day together, and
I learned his later story, as follows:

"Two days after you left they started me off south alone, giving me
orders to report to Kirby Smith, but it didn't take me long to discover
that they had a spy on my track. When I reached Smith's headquarters and
told my story they allowed me to go on to Matamoras, but somebody would
overtake me every day and try to pump me. I bluffed 'em all off, and
kept on my way in a natural manner, getting through all right, but I
didn't lose any time, after I once got clear, in getting here by water
to report.

"Had a funny little experience on the way; worth telling. A woman I
know, up in Ohio, gave me the address of her brother in Texas before I
left, in case I got down that way. I hunted him up on my way down, and
told him a fairy story about my being the woman's husband and her being
in Matamoras, bringing in what I told you in Washington and spinning him
a long yarn about my treatment while trying to join my wife. Guess he
believed me--looked like it, anyhow, for he treated me royally and let
me have two hundred and fifty in gold."

When we left New Orleans we were put on a boat and started up the river
for Benton Barracks, St. Louis. When we landed at the mouth of White
river we were allowed to go on shore for an hour or two, and I then
learned that my regiment was up the river at Duval's Bluffs. I did not
go on board again, and the boat left without me.

After spending two days among the mosquitoes of that region I at last
secured transportation and started up the river to join my regiment. We
had to be convoyed by a gunboat.

When I reached Duval's Bluffs my company was doing guard duty. I found
all hands and had a great reception, learning all the home news. This
was the first positive information of a recent date, about home
matters, received by me since my capture.

After spending three or four days with the boys, I went home, and my
wife and myself renewed our acquaintance.

She had heard of me through an escaped prisoner, who had reported me as
being in the stockade, but she had received no other information
concerning me until the boys had gotten home after the exchange. My
letter from New Orleans had been a very welcome missive.

My friends at home flocked to see me, and I was kept busy telling my

Having gone through it all, I was disposed to drop the hardships from
the story, except when questioned, and to treat the thing as a huge
picnic. My natural disposition being to see the bright side only, the
hardships of which I had to tell were made to have another aspect than
the usual one presented of prison life. As a consequence of this fact,
my story differed considerably from that of a number who had been
prisoners with me.

Friends would come to me and hear my story, frequently saying:

"My! Swiggett, you do not seem to have had such a bad time of it. The
others tell such horrible stories that it is a relief to hear yours; and
yet you were in the same prison. How is it?"

I replied in such cases that most of my time as a prisoner had been
spent outside of the stockade, in one way or another, and that, aside
from the monotony and the separation from family, we did not see much
more hardship than comes in the every-day life of lots of people out of
prison, and that there was a bright side to it all.

"But you don't damn the rebels, Swiggett, like the others," they would
say, to which I would reply that the rebels had treated me as well as
they could under the circumstances, and that when people did the best
they could they should not be damned for what they failed to do,
especially as prison life was necessarily a hardship at its best.

There were cases of personal ill-treatment which came under my notice,
but they were the great exceptions, and, as a rule, the rebels of my
acquaintance did for their prisoners all that was possible with the
means in their power, and treated them as well as prisoners could expect
to be treated.

It may be of interest to the reader to learn that all the men who were
my companions in escape are still living, except Capt. J. B. Gedney and
Adjt. Stephen K. Mahon.

The rebels did not treat us as well as we might have been treated, as it
was possible for Jeff Davis to have invited us to Richmond, arrayed us
in his Sunday clothes, fed us at his own table and confined us in his
front parlor. It may have been only an oversight that he did not do so,
but it was not expected, and we harbored no ill-feelings because of the
neglect. On the other hand, we were not treated as badly as we might
have been, inasmuch as we were not deprived of companionship, and, as a
rule, were allowed to sleep when we pleased, to rest as much as we
desired, to be late for dinner if we wished, and to eat in our shirt
sleeves without protest. Many a man is deprived of these privileges in
his own home, and I have eaten food of a less nourishing character than
that given us by the rebels, even at the table of a newly-married
couple, where perfect bliss should reign supreme.

The war is over. Our foes had neither our resources nor our advantages
in its prosecution, and many things that were easy for us were
impossible for them. Abuse of authority is not a trait of man, but of
men, and those who are indirectly responsible should not be too harshly
censured for what they cannot altogether control. Incidents by the
thousand of heroic, heart-touching actions performed for humanity's sake
during our war by those on one side for those on the other reflect as
much credit upon rebels as upon Yankees, and I have always felt that, on
the whole, our antagonists did the best they could for their prisoners.



Brief Sketches of my Companions.


The parents of Governor Drake were John Adams Drake and Mrs. Harriet
O'Neil Drake. They were natives of the Old North State; removed to
Rushville, Ill., where the son, Francis Marion, was born December 30,
1830. From Rushville they removed to Fort Madison, Iowa, in the fall of
1837. The father was a merchant in Illinois, but served as judge of
probate of Lee county, Iowa, when a resident of Fort Madison, until the
spring of 1846. He then removed to Davis county, Iowa, and founded the
village of Drakeville. Francis Marion received his early education in
the common schools, and also acquired a knowledge of law.

When the gold excitement in California was at its height he crossed the
plains in 1852 with ox-teams, and again in 1854 with a drove of cattle.
On the first trip across, his company of sixteen men had a severe
engagement with the Pawnees at Shell Creek, Neb., in which they
encountered about 300 Indians, who were defeated with heavy loss and
driven across the Platte river. On his return from California, October
1, 1854, he was a passenger on the ill-fated steamer "Yankee Blade,"
which was wrecked and totally lost, and he was picked up five days later
on a barren coast which he had succeeded in reaching.

He had been successful in his California ventures, and on the 1st of
January, 1855, entered the mercantile business with his father, and
brother, J. H. Drake, under the firm name of Drake & Sons, at
Drakeville. In June, 1861, he enlisted as a private in the volunteer
service of the United States and served until the close of the war,
being promoted to captain, major, lieutenant-colonel and from
lieutenant-colonel to the rank of brigadier-general by brevet. He was in
many severe engagements, in one of which he was seriously, at first
thought mortally, wounded, and from which wound he has never entirely
recovered. His record for bravery and efficiency was universally
commended by his superior officers, and his military career is one of
which he may well be proud.

On resuming civil life, General Drake engaged in the practice of law, in
which he was eminently successful, for a period of three years, when he
entered the railroad business, organizing and building what is now known
as the Keokuk & Western Railroad. He resumed his law practice for
another period of three years, associated with Gen. A. J. Baker, who
became attorney-general of the State, when he again entered upon the
railroad business, and has organized and built by his own efforts over
400 miles of railroad, a large part of which he still controls, being
president of the Indiana, Illinois & Iowa, Albia & Centerville and
director in the Iowa Central and Keokuk & Western railroads. He has also
been successful as a banker, and is president of the Centerville
National Bank.

His material interests have not prevented him from taking an active
interest in educational matters and missionary work. He is president of
the board of trustees of Drake University, at Des Moines, named after
him, on account of his great liberality to that institution in its
building and endowment. He has also been a contributor to many other
educational institutions.

In 1895 he accepted the nomination of the republican party for Governor
of the State of Iowa, and was elected by a large majority, having
received the largest vote ever given for a candidate for Governor of the

On the 24th of December, 1855, he was married to Mary Jane Lord, who
died on the 22d day of June, 1883. He has six children, four daughters
and two sons. The daughters are Amelia, Jennie, Eva, and Mary Lord; the
sons, Frank Ellsworth and John Adams.

Amelia is the wife of T. P. Shonts, of Chicago, general manager of the
Indiana, Illinois & Iowa Railroad; Jennie is the wife of Dr. J. L.
Sawyers, of Centerville, Iowa; Eva is the wife of Henry Goss, wholesale
and retail boot and shoe merchant, of Centerville, Iowa; Mary Lord is
the wife of George W. Sturdivant, banker, at Moravia, Iowa. Frank
Ellsworth is president of the Centerville Block Coal Co., of
Centerville, Iowa; John Adams is secretary and treasurer of the Indiana,
Illinois & Iowa Railroad Co., of Chicago.

Governor Drake's photograph is inserted opposite page 18.


Thomas Milton Fee was born at Feesburg, Brown county, Ohio, on April 18,
1839. His father was Thomas J. Fee, who was of English ancestry and a
native of Virginia, and his mother's maiden name was Sarah Hastings, she
being of Irish descent and born in Pennsylvania. His father laid out the
town of Feesburg.

The son began an independent career at the age of nineteen, by finding
occupation as a school-teacher. In a short time he went to Ottumwa,
Iowa, and began to read law. Early in 1862 he was admitted to the bar,
and the following spring he located in Centerville, Iowa, and began the
practice of his profession. For two years, while reading law, he was
principal of city schools at Ottumwa.

In August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company G of the 36th Iowa
Infantry, and in October was the choice of his company for captain,
receiving his commission from Governor Stone. He served with his command
until captured at Marks' Mills with the writer and the rest of the
brigade, and was a prisoner at Tyler, Texas, for ten months, except
while absent without leave. After his exchange he was on detached
service; first as Assistant Inspector-General of the Trans-Mississippi
Department, and afterwards as Inspector of the Seventh Army Corps. When
discharged at the close of the war he returned to Centerville, Iowa, and
permanently entered upon the practice of law. In 1874 he was elected
District Attorney of the Second Judicial District of Iowa for the term
of four years, and Judge of the same district. He is a married man, and
has five living children, three sons and two daughters. His photograph
is inserted opposite page 89.


B. F. Miller was born in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland county,
Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1832, of native parents, but of English and
Scotch descent, his father being Benjamin Miller, and his mother's
maiden name being Martha Hemphill. His business was farming until four
years before the war, when he went west, spending two years of the four
in the Rocky Mountains.

Coming east again, he enlisted at Wooster, Ohio, in Company D of the
120th Ohio Infantry, and served as private, sergeant, first lieutenant
and captain. He was captured on May 3, 1864, at Shaggy Point, on the Red
River, in Louisiana, and was imprisoned at Camp Ford, Texas, except
during the attempt to escape, until exchanged on June 1, 1865. He was
mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, on June 30, 1865.

On September 26, 1865, he married Julia A., sister of L. S. Baumgardner,
of Toledo, Ohio, and farmed in that State until about three years ago,
when rheumatic afflictions caused his cessation of active work. He then
moved to Wooster, Ohio, where he now lives with his family, having but
one child, a daughter. It is unnecessary to say more of Captain Miller,
as he is mentioned frequently elsewhere. His photograph is inserted
opposite page 167.


J. P. Rummel was born in Worthington township, Richfield county, Ohio,
on February 7, 1840, and worked in the blacksmith shop of his father
until he was eighteen years of age. He was the son of Peter and Susanna
Rummel. Qualifying as a teacher, he began work as such in a district
school, and was so engaged when the first call was made for troops to
put down the rebellion.

He enlisted as a private in Company I of the 16th Ohio Infantry, was in
the first two engagements in Western Virginia, and was regularly
discharged on August 18 of the same year. He re-enlisted on August 4,
1862, in Company B of the 120th Ohio Infantry, and became a second
lieutenant before leaving camp. After the engagements at Chickasaw Bayou
and Arkansas Post he was promoted to a captaincy on March 14, 1863, and
was with his regiment in the campaign of Vicksburg and in part of the
Red River campaign, being captured in December, 1864, while en route up
the river with an expedition to reinforce General Banks at Alexandria.
He was sent to Camp Ford, Texas, for imprisonment, escaped with the
writer, as described elsewhere, was taken sick at Shreveport, La., after
being recaptured, and remained there until the close of the war, being
finally discharged from the army on June 29, 1865.

On his return home he became a clerk in a hardware store, and continued
at this occupation for about a year and a half, during which time he
married Miss Eva R. Redrup, of Mansfield, Ohio. In 1867 he engaged in
business for himself in Mansfield, and is now the principal proprietor
of a manufacturing establishment there. He has four living children. His
photograph is inserted opposite page 115.


Stephen Keith Mahon was born in Ireland on June 30, 1838. He was the son
of John and Sarah Mahon, and his father was a gentleman farmer and
merchant in the old country. The family came to the United States in
1849, living in Green County, Ohio, for five years, and then moving to
Ottumwa, Iowa. At the outbreak of the war Stephen was employed in a
general store at Blakesburg, Iowa.

He enlisted when the 36th Iowa Infantry was organized, was appointed
sergeant-major at the staff organization, and was commissioned adjutant
in August, 1863, in which capacity he served until mustered out at the
close of the war. He participated in all the skirmishes and battles of
his regiment up to the time of his capture with the writer at Marks'
Mills, having been breveted captain for gallantry in the battle of
Helena, Ark. His unsuccessful attempt to escape with the writer is
elsewhere recorded, and he remained a prisoner at Camp Ford until
regularly exchanged about the close of the war.

In February, 1866, he received a second lieutenant's commission in the
regular army, and was assigned to the 11th U. S. Infantry. In July, 1866,
he was promoted, and again in July, 1882, becoming a captain in the 16th
Infantry at the latter date. His services in Virginia, Mississippi and
Louisiana during the reconstruction period were highly creditable, and
he was at one time ordered by President Grant to Washington for personal
interview on reconstruction matters in Mississippi.

The hardships of prison life sowed the seeds of the disease which caused
his death, and in August, 1879, he was compelled to go home from Fort
Sill, Indian Territory, on a sick leave, which was extended until he was
placed as captain on the retired list of the army in 1883. He was a
great sufferer from the time of his sick leave until his death, which
occurred at his home on January 11, 1885. Even at the last he loved to
hear again and talk of the old stories of the camp.

Our adjutant never married. He was a brother of Maj. Samuel Mahon, of
Ottumwa, Iowa; Capt. William Mahon, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Mrs. Col.
C. W. Kittredge, of Trinidad, Col. Another sister lives in Ottumwa.
Adjutant Mahon was a high-minded, honorable gentleman and a true friend.
His picture is inserted opposite page 69.


Charles Burnbaum was born in Lockport, Ohio, on February 16, 1834, of
German parentage, his father having emigrated in 1824 and later married
a German lady in Ohio. Young Burnbaum started out for himself at the age
of sixteen, and learned the trade of harness-making at New Philadelphia,
Ohio. Later he moved to Eddyville, Iowa, where he engaged in
merchandising until the time of his enlistment in the army.

In 1862 he became a member of Company D of the 36th Iowa Infantry, and
was elected lieutenant. He participated in all the marches and
engagements of his company and his regiment until the time of his
capture with the writer at Marks' Mills, Arkansas, in 1864, and was a
prisoner at Camp Ford, Texas, except during the attempt to escape, until
regularly exchanged about the close of the war. He was made captain on
his return to his company.

After being mustered out in 1865 he located in Marshalltown, Iowa, and a
few years later moved to Chicago, becoming a commercial traveler. He
afterwards engaged in the hardware business at Milan, Mo., and in 1878
he married Miss Kate Gilmore. His present residence is Hot Springs,
Ark., where he is successfully engaged in the wholesale grocery
business. His photograph is inserted opposite page 94.


James B. Gedney was born in Dearborn county, Indiana, on December 10,
1825. In 1838 he removed to Lee county, Iowa, and there, in 1848, he
married Miss Sarah Linch. Five years later he removed to Appanoose
county, Iowa, and became one of its foremost citizens in every
enterprise for the good of the community, being one of the first
settlers in that section. In 1859, during the gold excitement, he made a
brief trip across the plains to what was then known as "the Pike's Peak

In 1862 he enlisted as a private, was elected captain, and he and his
comrades were assigned as Company I of the 36th Iowa Infantry. He
participated with his command in all its campaigns and engagements until
captured with the writer at Marks' Mills, and remained a prisoner at
Tyler, Texas, except during the attempt to escape, until regularly
exchanged about the close of the war.

On his return home after the war he again took up farming in Appanoose
county, keeping at this until 1890, when he bought property in
Centerville, the county-seat, and became a resident of that town.
Captain Gedney held many positions of honor and trust, serving five
years on the board of county supervisors and six years as president of
his county's agricultural association, besides having the confidence of
his neighbors in other ways.

The disease which caused his death was contracted in the army, and on
July 27, 1893, he died at the age of sixty-eight years, honored and
loved by all who knew him. His memory will live long in the hearts of
his comrades, because of the soldierly and manly qualities that endeared
him to all his associates. His photograph is inserted opposite page 79.


Walter S. Johnson was born in Union county, Indiana, near Liberty, on
May 24, 1835. His ancestors were orthodox Quakers, and were early
settlers near Lynchburg, Va., about 1690. About 1826 his grandparents
moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and a few years later to Liberty, Indiana.
When Walter was about fourteen the family located in Appanoose county,
Iowa, and at the age of eighteen he built the first store in the new
town of Cincinnati, Iowa, and began merchandising. In 1855 he married
Sarah B., daughter of James X. Gibson, and is now the father of five
living children.

On July 8, 1801, he enlisted in Company D of the 6th Iowa Infantry,
under the Hon. M. M. Walden, and was assigned to General Fremont's
command in Missouri. In July, 1862, he was discharged for disability
caused by hard marching and exposure while recovering from an attack of
the measles. The spirit of patriotism was too strong to permit
inactivity after his recovery, and he again enlisted on August 11, 1862,
reporting in person to Adjutant-General Baker with 100 men for duty, and
being assigned as Company I of the 36th Iowa Infantry. He served with
his command until captured with the writer, as elsewhere described.

While the regiment was at Camden, Ark., four days previous to the
capture, George W. Gibson, a brother of Lieutenant Johnson's wife, came
to Company I as a recruit, and was killed in the fight at Marks' Mills.

The lieutenant remained a prisoner, except as narrated elsewhere, until
regularly exchanged about the close of the war. After being mustered out
he returned home and resided on a farm of his until the fall of 1870,
when he was elected Clerk of the District Court of Appanoose county,
which position he filled for three terms. He was then elected Mayor of
Centerville, Iowa, after which he again engaged in merchandising until
the spring of 1890, when he moved to his present home in Lincoln, Neb.,
to be nearer his children. His photograph is inserted opposite page 39.


E. B. Rocket was born on July 14, 1841, in Jefferson county, Alabama,
and moved with his parents to Arkansas in 1852. In 1859 he married
Amanda, daughter of Absalom Holcombe.

In 1863 he enlisted in the Confederate army, and served until the close
of the war, gaining the rank of sergeant. He was a member of Company B,
Munson's regiment, Cobbles's brigade, Fagan's division, and was with his
company in all its marches and engagements.

His wife died in 1881, leaving five girls and one boy to the care of the
father. In 1885 he married Martha J. Davis, a widow, and four girls have
blessed this union. At the age of seventeen Rocket became a convert to
the tenets of the Missionary Baptist Church, to which he still adheres,
his present occupation being that of preacher in this church, with his
home in Center Point, Arkansas.

The writer's first meeting with Sergeant Rocket is fully described in
the body of this book, and, while the acquaintance was unsought, it
resulted in a lasting friendship, our captor proving to be a good
soldier and a Christian gentleman. His photograph is inserted opposite
page 189.

The following is a list of casualties among the officers and enlisted
men of the Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry at Marks' Mills, Arkansas, April
25, 1864:

  Colonel F. M. Drake, wounded and captured.
  Major A. H. Hamilton, captured.
  Surgeon Colin G. Strong, captured.
  Assistant Surgeon Patrick A. Smyth, captured.
  Adjutant Stephen K. Mahon, captured.
  Chaplain Michael H. Hare, captured.


  Quartermaster Sergeant Barton A. Ogle, captured.
  Commissary Sergeant David A. Stanton, captured.
  Pr. Mus. Joseph Peach, captured.


  Captain John M. Porter, captured.
  First Sergeant Davison P. Bay, captured.
  Sergeant Asa S. Baird, captured.
  Sergeant Thomas G. Robb, mortally wounded and captured.
  Corporal Charles S. Deyo, captured.
  Corporal James Nickol, wounded and captured.
  Corporal John Lucas, captured.
  Private Benjamin Bennett, killed.
  Private Peter Boyer, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Isaac Belles, killed.
  Private Hezekiah M. Chidester, captured.
  Private Thomas L. Castle, captured.
  Private George O. Catron, wounded and captured.
  Private William Castle, captured.
  Private John M. Connett, captured.
  Private John Dempsey, captured.
  Private William H. Dean, captured.
  Private Robert A. Dunn, captured.
  Private Alexander Elder, wounded and captured.
  Private John Foreman, captured.
  Private Albert Grimes, wounded and captured.
  Private George W. Grass, captured.
  Private Jacob Hendrix, captured.
  Private John Kritzer, captured.
  Private Francis G. Livingston, captured.
  Private George Lindsay, captured.
  Private Robert Martin, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Sylvester Mefford, killed.
  Private Joseph Madow, wounded and captured.
  Private James McKissick, wounded and captured.
  Private William E. McKissick, captured.
  Private Almond McNeil, captured.
  Private William Martin, captured.
  Private Samuel F. Noel, captured.
  Private David Parks, captured.
  Private Daniel Shepherd, killed.
  Private Darius Stacey, captured.
  Private Grandison F. Stephenson, captured.
  Private William F. Sperry, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private John C. Taylor, captured.
  Private Leander Tyrrel, captured.
  Private Robert B. Thompson, wounded and captured.
  Private Laurel H. Tyrrel, captured.
  Private William W. Wills, captured.


  Captain S. A. Swiggett, captured.
  Lieutenant Josiah H. McVay, captured.
  Sergeant John W. Woods, captured.
  Sergeant James Gandy, captured.
  Sergeant Thomas R. Cole, captured.
  Corporal Benjamin F. Chisman, captured.
  Private William I. Barker, killed.
  Private Lucius Bond, wounded and captured.
  Private John Barnes, captured.
  Private Henry C. Brown, wounded and captured.
  Private John N. Belles, captured.
  Private Isaac N. Belles, killed.
  Private Benjamin Carter, killed.
  Private Lorenzo H. Case, captured.
  Private Noyes Chisman, wounded and captured.
  Private John W. Clark, captured.
  Private Banion O. Custer, killed.
  Private Thomas W. Crandall, captured.
  Private Nelson Derby, captured.
  Private Jesse Dutton, captured.
  Private William C. Derby, captured.
  Private Samuel W. Fail, captured.
  Private James R. Fent, wounded and captured.
  Private James H. Finley, wounded and captured.
  Private Levi Gates, wounded and captured.
  Private Daniel Good, captured.
  Private Peter Good, wounded and captured.
  Private John Harsbarger, killed.
  Private Amos W. Kent, killed.
  Private Daniel W. Kirkpatrick, killed.
  Private Henry R. Kirkpatrick, captured.
  Private Thomas McCormick, wounded and captured.
  Private Josiah D. McVay, captured.
  Private James S. Major, captured.
  Private Richard W. Moore, captured.
  Private George W. Olney, captured.
  Private Hiram A. Pratt, captured.
  Private John Pence, wounded and captured.
  Private Israel H. Pollock, captured.
  Private William P. Riley, captured.
  Private John M. Rose, captured.
  Private John W. Rubel, wounded and captured.
  Private Charles W. Reece, captured.
  Private Madison E. S. Rubel, captured.
  Private Annon L. Silvey, captured.
  Private Mordecai Scaggs, captured.
  Private Albert Stevenson, captured.
  Private William H. H. Scott, captured.
  Private Eli A. Spain, captured.
  Private Calvin H. Smith, wounded and captured.
  Private Jacob West, captured.
  Private Sanford C. West, captured.
  Private Daniel W. Williams, wounded and captured.
  Private David E. Williams, wounded and captured.
  Private William West, captured.


  Captain Allen W. Miller, captured.
  Lieutenant W. F. Vermilyea, captured.
  Sergeant Marion H. Skinner, captured.
  Sergeant George W. Dean, wounded and captured.
  Sergeant Benjamin S. Vierling, wounded and captured.
  Corporal Jesse G. Dean, captured.
  Corporal William F. Patterson, wounded and captured.
  Corporal James H. Bovell, wounded and captured.
  Fifer Christopher D. Conrad, wounded and captured.
  Private Wilson Burris, captured.
  Private Nathan I. Bray, captured.
  Private Jesse Clark, wounded and captured.
  Private Eli Cummings, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private John P. Goodvin, wounded and captured.
  Private Jacob A. Grubb, killed.
  Private Cyrus S. Hedgecock, captured.
  Private Lucien B. Hudgins, captured.
  Private Samuel A. Hayes, wounded and captured.
  Private Joshua Jones, captured.
  Private Alexander Kennedy, wounded and captured.
  Private Uriah Link, wounded and captured.
  Private James Lamar, captured.
  Private James A. Miller, killed.
  Private William H. H. McKim, captured.
  Private Elias Mitchell, captured.
  Private Mathias McCoy, killed.
  Private George Matherly, captured.
  Private Jehu McCoy, wounded and captured.
  Private John W. Needham, killed.
  Private Thomas B. Porter, killed.
  Private Robert R. Polk, captured.
  Private Alexander P. Primm, captured.
  Private Thomas I. Robinson, captured.
  Private William H. Riggle, captured.
  Private Hugh G. W. Scott, captured.
  Private Daniel H. Sumner, captured.
  Private Isaac Smith, captured.
  Private Andrew J. Stansberry, captured.
  Private John A. Stansbury, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private James R. Sumner, captured.
  Private Cyrenias Thomas, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Michael K. Tedrow, captured.
  Private Epraim Vandoon, captured.


  Captain Thomas B. Hale, captured.
  Lieutenant Charles Burnbaum, captured.
  Sergeant Francis M. Eperson, captured.
  Sergeant Hiram Underwood, captured.
  Corporal Joseph Griffis, captured.
  Corporal William L. Palmer, captured.
  Corporal George W. Nicely, killed.
  Corporal Peter Stuber, mortally wounded and captured.
  Corporal Thomas West, captured.
  Corporal Francis M. Dofflemyer, captured.
  Fifer Joseph Peach, captured.
  Private William Amos, captured.
  Private James Anthony, captured.
  Private Howard R. Allen, captured.
  Private George W. Blair, captured.
  Private Moses R. Butler, captured.
  Private Watson W. Coder, wounded and captured.
  Private Jacob F. Coder, captured.
  Private Francis M. Crane, captured.
  Private Lafayette Campbell, captured.
  Private Andrew Crook, captured.
  Private John D. Dofflemeyer, captured.
  Private John S. Foster, captured.
  Private Benjamin F. Gordon, captured.
  Private John S. Gray, captured.
  Private David Gushwa, captured.
  Private William B. Griffis, captured.
  Private Sylvester Hendrix, captured.
  Private Anthony Jones, captured.
  Private Mervin T. Keran, captured.
  Private Leonard Knox, captured.
  Private James Kavanaugh, captured.
  Private Horace M. Lyman, killed.
  Private Charles L. Ladd, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Charles E. Little, captured.
  Private Abner W. Lyman, captured.
  Private Franze Marquardt, captured.
  Private William W. Mardis, captured.
  Private John H. Miller, captured.
  Private Hugh H. Miller, captured.
  Private Daniel Myers, captured.
  Private George Myers, captured.
  Private Curtis Moffat, captured.
  Private David F. Newsom, captured.
  Private Lucian L. Parker, captured.
  Private Henry Parish, captured.
  Private John W. Robinson, captured.
  Private David H. Robinson, captured.
  Private Philip Sinclair, captured.
  Private Christopher Sharon, captured.
  Private Henry G. True, captured.
  Private Abram Umbenhower, captured.
  Private Harmon Varner, captured.
  Private Andrew I. Willsey, captured.
  Private Joseph G. Williams, wounded and captured.
  Private Asberry Way, captured.
  Private Peter Warner, wounded and captured.


  No officer.
  First Sergeant Henry Slagle, captured.
  Sergeant Lewis Myers, Jr., mortally wounded and captured.
  Corporal Elias Parke, wounded and captured.
  Corporal Michael E. Jackson, wounded and captured.
  Corporal George W. Dennis, captured.
  Corporal Frederick Campbell, captured.
  Corporal Peter Shearer, captured.
  Corporal Edward C. Soper, captured.
  Fifer Thomas Skinner, captured.
  Private Henry Adcock, wounded and captured.
  Private James G. D. Aumack, captured.
  Private Joseph Bivin, captured.
  Private John I. Chance, captured.
  Private Carey N. Carson, captured.
  Private Samuel D. Cooper, captured.
  Private Samuel W. Campbell, captured.
  Private John H. Decker, captured.
  Private John Duffee, captured.
  Private Thomas W. Fenton, wounded and captured.
  Private Alonzo Garrison, captured.
  Private John Harness, wounded and captured.
  Private John Henderson, captured.
  Private Greenville Hale, captured.
  Private Hiram Hale, captured.
  Private Henry C. Hale, captured.
  Private Richard Jackson, captured.
  Private William W. Jackson, captured.
  Private Joseph Kigar, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Peter H. Loy, wounded and captured.
  Private Joseph Leslie, captured.
  Private William H. Leslie, captured.
  Private George L. McMahon, captured.
  Private Isaac Mathews, captured.
  Private Jonathan Nelson, captured.
  Private Joseph Peden, wounded and captured.
  Private George W. Phillips, wounded and captured.
  Private Frederick Rachke, captured.
  Private Benjamin F. Randall, captured.
  Private John C. Scully, captured.
  Private Andrew J. Stanton, captured.
  Private Elias Sheffer, captured.
  Private Jesse B. Skinner, captured.
  Private Charles A. Stadler, captured.
  Private John W. Stadler, captured.
  Private Jesse H. Thompson; captured.
  Private John A. Vermeulen, wounded.
  Private Francis M. Watkins, captured.
  Private George E. H. Ward, killed.
  Private David M. Wallace, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Thomas H. Wallace, wounded and captured.
  Private Woodson Wallace, captured.


  Captain William F. Vermillion, captured.
  Lieutenant John W. May, captured.
  Lieutenant John N. Wright, captured.
  First Sergeant Wm. R. Davenport, wounded and captured.
  Sergeant William R. Kemper, captured.
  Corporal Reuben D. Fouts, captured.
  Corporal William H. Shuterly, captured.
  Corporal John T. Sheeks, captured.
  Private David H. Barnhart, captured.
  Private William Bartlett, captured.
  Private John Clark, captured.
  Private George C. Carpenter, wounded and captured.
  Private John L. Clowser, captured.
  Private Joel Curtis, killed.
  Private John Davis, wounded and captured.
  Private Andrew J. Day, captured.
  Private Simon Ely, captured.
  Private John M. Elgin, wounded and captured.
  Private John Free, captured.
  Private Joseph Y. Funkhouser, captured.
  Private William H. Fuller, captured.
  Private Stephen A. D. Fenton, captured.
  Private Manoah Graham, wounded and captured.
  Private Thomas Galbraith, wounded and captured.
  Private Albert Gillman, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Henry Hontz, captured.
  Private David Howell, wounded and captured.
  Private James R. Huiatt, captured.
  Private Bial D. Kines, captured.
  Private Perry G. Luzader, wounded and captured.
  Private Charles B. Main, killed.
  Private Lewis Main, captured.
  Private Levi McHenry, captured.
  Private Ephraim Nicholson, wounded and captured.
  Private William K. Neel, captured.
  Private Greenberry Owen, wounded and captured.
  Private Thomas W. Patrick, captured.
  Private Wesley Perigo, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Daniel Peppers, captured.
  Private Charles W. Ryckman, captured.
  Private James H. Ryckman, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Samuel H. Smith, captured.
  Private Henry H. Swift, captured.
  Private David A. Stewart, wounded and captured.
  Private John Standley, wounded and captured.
  Private Barney S. Sullivan, wounded, and captured.
  Private John Whitset, captured.
  Private John Wafford, captured.
  Private Levi H. Zentz, captured.


  Captain Thomas M. Fee, captured.
  Lieutenant B. F. Pearson, captured.
  First Sergeant Andrew J. Boston, captured.
  Sergeant Nicholas Snedeker, captured.
  Sergeant Silas A. Snider, captured.
  Sergeant James S. Thompson, captured.
  Sergeant James Thompson, captured.
  Sergeant James A. Lowry, captured.
  Corporal Francis M. Snider, captured.
  Corporal Ezra Wade, killed.
  Corporal James Lowrey, captured.
  Corporal Willis Higgenbotham, captured.
  Private Martin Benge, wounded and captured.
  Private William I. Buck, captured.
  Private Smith Bowen, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Eli Bryant, wounded and captured.
  Private Isaac Beaman, captured.
  Private James Bridgeman, captured.
  Private Thomas Crage, captured.
  Private George T. Cavanah, captured.
  Private Michael Cridlebaugh, captured.
  Private Isaac Cross, captured.
  Private James G. Davison, captured.
  Private James A. Douglass, captured.
  Private William R. Fisk, wounded and captured.
  Private John Gilbert, wounded and captured.
  Private John R. Hodge, captured.
  Private Francis Hall, captured.
  Private Amos Hays, captured.
  Private John Herring, wounded and captured.
  Private M. W. Harney, wounded.
  Private Newton Kirby, captured.
  Private Simon Launtz, captured.
  Private Amos Moiril, captured.
  Private Enoch F. Mapes, captured.
  Private John J. Morrison, captured.
  Private William Morril, wounded and captured.
  Private Arloff Maring, captured.
  Private Harrison B. Masters, captured.
  Private Wesley Mansfield, captured.
  Private Robert B. Smith, captured.
  Private Charles A. Smith, captured.
  Private Samuel R. Shaw, captured.
  Private William Thomas, captured.
  Private William I. Zimmer, captured.


  Lieutenant James M. Thompson, captured.
  Corporal Darius T. Anderson, captured.
  Corporal David H. Conger, captured.
  Corporal Jacob Breon, captured.
  Corporal John Archibald, captured.
  Corporal Thomas Dyson, captured.
  Corporal Isaac W. Powell, wounded and captured.
  Corporal Levi Overman, wounded and captured.
  Private John E. Atwell, wounded and captured.
  Private William H. Atwell, wounded and captured.
  Private George Anderson, captured.
  Private John Breon, captured.
  Private Theodore S. Burns, wounded and captured.
  Private James M. Cooper, captured.
  Private Sylvester M. Carr, captured.
  Private John N. Davis, captured.
  Private Archibald S. Ervin, killed.
  Private John W. Fuller, captured.
  Private Solomon T. Holsey, captured.
  Private Enos Hockett, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private John T. Hobbs, captured.
  Private William Hamilton, wounded and captured.
  Private William H. Hudson, wounded and captured.
  Private Daniel King, captured.
  Private Francis M. Kitterman, captured.
  Private George W. Kitterman, wounded and captured.
  Private George Lowe, captured.
  Private James M. Lamb, captured.
  Private David Lowe, captured.
  Private John Marrow, captured.
  Private Thomas W. Moffatt, captured.
  Private James Moore, captured.
  Private James H. McCune, captured.
  Private James Morrison, captured.
  Private Samuel T. McFall, wounded and captured.
  Private Henry McKowan, captured.
  Private Horace O. Owen, captured.
  Private Jeremiah Padget, killed.
  Private William J. Powell, captured.
  Private John E. Richards, captured.
  Private Francis M. Scott, captured.
  Private Ferdinand Southard, captured.
  Private Marcus L. Spurlock, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private William Stinson, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private John P. Thomas, captured.
  Private James Wright, captured.
  Private Daniel C. Wolfe, wounded and captured.


  Captain Joseph B. Gedney, captured.
  Lieutenant George R. Houston, captured.
  Lieutenant Walter S. Johnson, captured.
  First Sergeant Henry Jaquiss, captured.
  Sergeant Henry Dodge, killed.
  Sergeant Oliver H. Perry, captured.
  Corporal James C. Hartly, wounded and captured.
  Corporal George Athey, captured.
  Corporal Truman E. Gilbert, wounded and captured.
  Corporal John B. Adamson, captured.
  Corporal James L. Stone, captured.
  Fifer James N. Hodges, captured.
  Wagoner George Holbrook, captured.
  Private Jacob A. Bower, captured.
  Private John C. Baggs, captured.
  Private Josephus Brown, wounded and captured.
  Private Andrew I. Braymen, killed.
  Private Simeon Baker, captured.
  Private James Baker, wounded and captured.
  Private Levi Copple, wounded and captured.
  Private David Conger, wounded and captured.
  Private Henry W. Davis, wounded and captured.
  Private James F. Denvon, captured.
  Private Reuben Faloner, captured.
  Private Isaac Frost, captured.
  Private Benjamin F. Guy, captured.
  Private Cyrus W. Gibson, wounded.
  Private George W. Gibson, killed.
  Private William M. Harvey, wounded and captured.
  Private Dillman Hutchison, wounded and captured.
  Private John H. Harris, killed.
  Private David John, captured.
  Private William Jarvis, captured.
  Private John Kingsberry, wounded and captured.
  Private Rozzel Lewis, captured.
  Private John W. Morgan, captured.
  Private William F. Marshall, captured.
  Private Isaac O. Medis, captured.
  Private James M. Odell, captured.
  Private Orin Parks, captured.
  Private Samuel E. Pugh, mortally wounded.
  Private Horace E. Park, wounded and captured.
  Private Edward Streepy, captured.
  Private Isaac Streepy, captured.
  Private Henry W. Stephenson, captured.
  Private George Sutton, captured.
  Private William H. Thompson, wounded and captured.


  Captain John Lambert, captured.
  Lieutenant John A. Hurlburt, captured.
  Sergeant Josiah T. Young, wounded and captured.
  Sergeant Eli Moak, captured.
  Corporal Benjamin Kimbrell, captured.
  Corporal James W. Taylor, captured.
  Corporal Edward Eads, captured.
  Corporal James Moneyhan, captured.
  Corporal Luther C. Bailey, wounded and captured.
  Fifer William B. A. Carter, captured.
  Private Henry H. Andrew, captured.
  Private Allen M. Bailey, captured.
  Private Wesley Banister, killed.
  Private Levi Banister, captured.
  Private George W. Brott, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Thomas Barker, captured.
  Private Samuel T. Boales, captured.
  Private Aaron A. Campbell, captured.
  Private Thomas H. Case, captured.
  Private Joseph Chambers, captured.
  Private Henry W. Cline, killed.
  Private William S. Collins, wounded.
  Private Nathan Hummel, killed.
  Private Jacob Hager, captured.
  Private William G. Jackson, captured.
  Private James D. Johnston, captured.
  Private William W. Keeling, captured.
  Private Elisha Kenworthy, captured.
  Private Conrad Kirkendall, wounded and captured.
  Private Joseph Morford, captured.
  Private Jackson Maxwell, wounded and captured.
  Private James A. Murphy, captured.
  Private Daniel Oneil, captured.
  Private Jacob G. Potts, captured.
  Private Jordan Pike, killed.
  Private Edwin Robins, captured.
  Private Byron Richmond, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private Charles B. Reed, captured.
  Private William Stephens, captured.
  Private Charles B. Smith, captured.
  Private Robert Turner, captured.
  Private James T. Thair, captured.
  Private Reuben M. Tharpe, captured.
  Private John Thomas, captured.
  Private George Wiggins, captured.
  Private Smith V. Walker, killed.
  Private Abraham P. Waugh, mortally wounded and captured.
  Private William J. Young, captured.

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "distinguishng" corrected to "distinguishing" (page 25)
  "cooly" corrected to "coolly" (page 118)
  "expresssions" corrected to "expressions" (page 121)
  "ganted" corrected to "granted" (page 141)
  "consistenly" corrected to "consistently" (page 223)
  "meeing" corrected to "meeting" (page 242)

Other than the corrections listed above, the original printing has been

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bright Side of Prison Life - Experience, In Prison and Out, of an Involuntary Soujouner in Rebellion" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.