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1. Streight's room;
2. Milroy's room; 3. Commandant's office; 4. Chickamauga room (upper); 5. Chickamauga room (lower); 11. East or “Rat Hell” cellar; 12. South side Canal street, ten feet lower than Carey street;
17. Shed; 18. Kerr's warehouse ; 19. Office James River Towing Co.:
bayonet, and thus made a trip to Rat Hell cessful escape of the Confederate General that nearly turned him white.
John Morgan and his companions from the Several circumstances at this time combined Columbus, Ohio, jail. Morgan had arrived in to make this escape peculiarly exasperating Richmond on the 8th of January, exactly a to the Confederates. In obedience to repeated month prior to the completion of the tunnel, appeals from the Richmond newspapers, iron and was still the lion of the Confederate bars had but recently been fixed in all the capital. prison windows for better security, and the At daylight a plank was seen suspended on guard had been considerably reënforced. The the outside of the east wall; this was fastened columns of these same journals had just been by a blanket-rope to one of the window-bars aglow with accounts of the daring and suc- and was, of course, a trick to mislead the Con
federates. General John H. Winder, then in charge of all the prisoners in the Confederacy with his headquarters in Richmond, was furious when the news reached him. After a careful external examination of the building and a talk, not of the politest kind, with Major Turner, he reached the conclusion that such an escape had but one explanation — the guards had been bribed. Accordingly, the sentinels on duty were marched off under arrest to Castle Thunder, where they were locked up and searched for “greenbacks." The thousand and more prisoners still in Libby were compensated, in a measure, for their failure to escape by the panic they saw among the “Rebs.” Messengers and dispatches were soon flying in all directions, and all the horse, foot, and dragoons of Richmond were in pursuit of the fugitives before noon. Only one man of the whole escaping party was retaken inside of
the city limits. Of the 109 who got out that A. Break in fire-place on floor above B. End of tunneli night 59 reached the Union lines, 48 were (abandoned Oct., '63); F. Lumber room; G. Office of James recaptured, and 2 were drowned. River Towing Company: HH. Gates; III. Doors; J. Cells for condemned prisoners; K. First tunnel (abandoned) ; L. Fence.
* Captain Gates, of the 33d Ohio.
und Wool Collar Carpenter
6. Dining rooin; 7. Carpenter's shop (middle cellar) : 8. Gettysburg room (upper); 9. Gettysburg room (lower) ; 10. Hospital room; 13. North side Carey street, ground sloping towards Canal; 14. Open lot; 15. Tunnel; 16. Fence; 20. Gate: 21. Prisoners escaping; 22. West cellar.
Colonel Streight and several other officers horses. Towards night he came cautiously who had been chosen by the diggers of the forth, and finding the Chickahominy fordable tunnel to follow them out, in accordance with within a few hundred yards, he succeeded in the agreement already referred to, lay con- wading across: the uneven bed of the river, cealed for a week in a vacant house, where however, led him into several deep holes, and they were fed by loyal friends, and escaped to before he reached the shore his scanty raithe Federal lines when the first excitement ment was thoroughly soaked. He trudged on had abated.
through the woods as fast as his stiffened After leaving Libby, Rose and Hamilton limbs would bear him, borne up by the hope turned northward and cautiously walked on a of early deliverance, and made a brave effort few squares, when suddenly they encountered to shake off the horrible ague. He had not some Confederates who were guarding a mili- gone far, however, when he found himself tary hospital. Hamilton retreated quickly and again close to some Confederate cavalry, and ran off to the east; but Rose, who was a little was compelled once more to seek a hidingin advance, walked boldly by on the opposite place. The day seemed of interminable length, walk and was not challenged, and thus the and he tried vainly in sleep to escape from huntwo friends separated.
ger and cold. His teeth chattered in his head, Hamilton, after several days of wandering and when he rose at dark to continue his and fearful exposure, came joyfully upon a journey his tattered clothes were frozen stiff. Union picket squad, and received the care he In this plight he pushed on resolutely, and painfully needed and was soon on his happy was obliged to wade to his waist for hundreds journey home.
of yards through one of those deep and treachRose passed out of the city of Richmond erous morasses that proved such deadly feverto the York River Railroad, and followed its pools for McClellan's army in the campaign track to the Chickahominy bridge. Finding of 1862. Finally he reached the high ground, this guarded, he turned to the right, and, as and as the severe exertion had set his blood the day was breaking, he came upon a camp again in motion and loosened his limbs, he of Confederate cavalry. His blue uniform was making better progress, when suddenly made it exceedingly dangerous to travel in he found himself near a Confederate picket. daylight in this region; and seeing a large This picket he easily avoided, and, keeping sycamore log that was hollow, he crawled into well in the shadow of the forest and shunit. The February air was keen and biting, but ning the roads, he pressed forward with inhe kept his cramped position until late in the creasing hopes of success. He had secured a afternoon, and all day he could hear the loud box of matches before leaving Libby; and as talk in the camp and the neighing of the the cold night came on and he felt that he was really in danger of freezing to death, he pene- plunged through a laurel thicket, and had no trated into the center of the cedar grove and sooner emerged than he saw the Confederates built a fire in a small and secluded hollow. deploying around it in confidence that their He felt that this was hazardous, but the neces- game was bagged. He dashed on as fast as sity was desperate, since with his stiffened limbs his injured foot would let him, and entered a he could no longer move along fast enough to tract of heavily timbered land that rose to keep the warmth of life in his body. To add the east of this thicket. At the border of the to his trouble, his foot, which had been broken grove he found another picket post, and barein Tennessee previous to his capture, was now ly escaped the notice of several of the men. giving him great pain, and threatened to crip- The only chance of escape lay through a wide, ple him wholly; indeed, it would stiffen and clear field before him, and even this was in disable the best of limbs to compass the jour- full view from the grove that bordered it, and ney he had made in darkness over strange, this he knew would soon swarm with his puruneven, and hard-frozen ground, and through suers. rivers, creeks, and bogs, and this without food Across the center of this open field, which or warmth.
was fully half a mile wide, a ditch ran, which, The fire was so welcome that he slept although but a shallow gully, afforded a parsoundly - so soundly that waking in the early tial concealment. Rose, who could now hear morning he found his boot-legs and half his the voices of the Confederates nearer and nearuniform burned up, the ice on the rest of it er, dove into the ditch as the only chance, and probably having prevented its total destruc- dropping on his hands and knees crept swifttion.
ly forward to the eastward. In this cramped Resuming his journey much refreshed, he position his progress was extremely painful, reached Crump's cross-roads, where he suc- and his hands were torn by the briers and cessfully avoided another picket. He trav- stones; but forward he dashed, fully expecting eled all day, taking occasional short rests, and a shower of bullets every minute. At last he before dark had reached New Kent Court reached the other end of the half-mile ditch, House. Here again he saw some pickets, but breathless and half-dead, but without having by cautious flanking managed to pass them; once raised his head above the gully. but in crossing an open space a little farther Emerging from this field he found himself on he was seen by a cavalryman, who at once in the Williamsburg road, and bordering the put spurs to his horse and rode up to Rose, opposite side was an extensive tract thickly and, saluting him, inquired if he belonged to the covered with pines. As he crossed and enNew Kent Cavalry. Rose had on a gray cap, tered this tract he looked back and could see and seeing that he had a stupid sort of fellow his enemies, whose movements showed that to deal with, instantly answered," Yes," where they were greatly puzzled and off the scent. upon the trooper turned his horse and rode When at a safe distance he sought a hidingback. A very few moments were enough to place and took a needed rest of several hours. show Rose that the cavalryman's report had He then resumed his journey and followed failed to satisfy his comrades, whom he could the direction of the Williamsburg road, which see making movements for his capture. He he found picketed at various points, so that it
was necessary to avoid open spaces. Several In spite of appearances a vague suspicion times during the day he saw squads of Con- forced itself upon Rose, who however obeyed federate cavalry, passing along the road so the summons and continued to approach the near that he could hear their talk. Near party, who now watched him with fixed attennightfall he reached Diasen Bridge, where tion. As he came closer to the group, the he successfully passed another picket. He brave but unfortunate soldier saw that he was kept on until nearly midnight, when he lay lost. down by a great tree and, cold as he was, For the first time the three seemed to be slept soundly until daylight. He now made a made aware of the approach of the Federals, careful reconnoissance and found near the road and to show consequent alarm and haste. The the ruins of an old building, which, he after- unhappy Rose saw before the men spoke that wards learned, was called “ Burnt Ordinary.” their blue uniform was a disguise, and the
He now found himself almost unable to discovery brought a savage expression to his walk with his injured foot, but, nerved by the lips. He hoped and tried to convince his capyet bright hope of liberty, he once more went tors that he was a Confederate, but all in vain; his weary way in the direction of Williams- they retained him as their prisoner, and now burg. Finally he came to a place where there told him that they were Confederates. Rose, were some smoking fagots and a number of in the first bitter moment of his misfortune, tracks, indicating it to have been a picket post thought seriously of breaking away to his of the previous night. He was now nearing friends so temptingly near; but his poor Williamsburg, which, he was inclined to be broken foot and the slender chance of escaplieve, from such meager information as had ing three bullets at a few yards made this suireached Libby before his departure, was incide, and he decided to wait for a better chance, possession of the Union forces. Still, he knew and this came sooner than he expected. that this was territory that was frequently One of the men appeared to be an officer, changing hands, and was therefore likely to who detailed one of his companions to conduct be under a close watch. From this on he Rose to the rear in the direction of Richmond. avoided the roads wholly and kept under cover The prisoner went quietly with his guard, as much as it was possible; and if compelled the other two men tarried a little to watch to cross an open field at all, he did so in a the advancing Federals, and now Rose began stooping position. He was now moving in a to limp like a man who was unable to go farsouth-easterly direction, and coming again to ther. Presently the ridge shut them off from the margin of a wide opening, he saw, to his the view of the others. Rose, who had slyly unutterable joy, a body of Union troops ad- been staggering closer and closer to the guard, vancing to the road towards him.
suddenly sprang upon the man, and before he Thoroughly worn out, Rose, believing that had time to wink had twisted his gun from his deliverers were at hand, sat down to await his grasp, discharged it into the air, flung it their approach. His pleasant reverie was dis- down, and ran off as fast as his poor foot would turbed by a sound behind and near him, let him towards the east and so as to avoid and turning quickly he was startled to see the rest of the Confederates. The disarmed three soldiers in the road along which the Confederate made no attempt at pursuit, nor troops first seen were advancing. The fact that indeed did the other two, who were now seen these men had not been noticed before gave retreating at a run across the adjacent fields. Rose some uneasiness for a moment, but, as Rose's heart bounded with new hope, for they wore blue uniforms, and moreover seemed he felt that he would be with his advancing to take no note of the approaching Federal comrades in a few minutes at most. All at troops, all things seemed to indicate that they once a squad of Confederates, hitherto unseen, were simply an advanced detail of the same rose up in his very path, and beat him down body. This seemed to be further confirmed with the butts of their muskets. All hands by the fact that the trio were now moving now rushed around and secured him, and one down the road, apparently with the intent of of the men called out excitedly, “Hurry up, joining the larger body; and as the ground to boys; the Yankees are right here." They the east rose to a crest, both of the bodies rushed their prisoner into the wooded ravine, were a minute later shut off from Rose's view. and here they were joined by the man whom
In the full confidence that all was right he Rose had just disarmed. He was in a savage rose to his feet and walked towards the crest, mood, and declared it to be his particular deto get a better view of everything and greet sire to fill Rose full of Confederate lead. The his comrades of the loyal blue. A walk of a officer in charge rebuked the man, however, hundred yards brought him again in sight of and compelled him to cool down, and he went the three men, who now noticed and chal- along with an injured air that excited the lenged him.
merriment of his comrades. VOL. XXXV.- 108.
The party continued its retreat to Bar- nel, four are dead, viz. : Fitzsimmons, Gallahamsville, thence to the White House on the gher, Garbett, and McDonald. Captain W.S. Pamunkey River, and finally to Richmond, B. Randall lives at Hillsboro, Highland Counwhere Rose was again restored to Libby, and, ty, Ohio; Colonel Terrance Clark at Paris, like the writer, was confined for a number of Edgar County, Illinois; Captain Eli Foster at days in a narrow and loathsome cell. On the Chicago; Colonel N. S. McKean at Collins30th of April his exchange was effected for a ville, Madison County, Illinois; and Captain Confederate colonel, and on the 6th of July, J. C. Fislar at Lewiston, I. T. The addresses 1864, he rejoined his regiment, in which he of Captains Lucas, Simpson, and Mitchell are served with conspicuous gallantry to the close unknown at this writing. of the war.
Colonel Rose has served faithfully almost As already stated, Hamilton reached the since the end of the war with the 16th United Union lines safely after many vicissitudes, and States Infantry, in which command he holds did brave service in the closing scenes of the a captain's commission; and no one meeting rebellion. He is now a resident of Reedyville, him in these peaceful days would hear from Kentucky. Johnson, whose enforced confine- his reticent lips, or read in the placid face of ment in Rat Hell gave him a unique fame in the veteran, the thrilling story that links his Libby, also made good his escape, and now name in so remarkable a manner with the lives at North Pleasantville, Kentucky. history of the famous Bastile of the ConfedOfthe fifteen men who dug the successful tun- eracy.
Frank E. Moran.
What is there left? The arid way,
Some spirits wander till they die, The chilling height, whence all the world With shattered thoughts and trembling hands; Looks little, and each radiant day,
What jarred their natures hopelessly
There is no goal,
Whatever end they make;
Though prayers each trusting step control,
They win mistake.
Its force until our hopes are old,
In the great plans that shake
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop.