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[352] the hunger of the siege. When Grant passed us, and the boys cheered, the curiosity of the rebels was extreme; and I was told that at one point they even joined in the shouts that welcomed him.

In September, I was allowed a short leave of absence to visit my home in the far West. As I went down to the docks, the boat on which I was to have had passage blew up, killing many soldiers and negroes. Later, I got on another steamer, which on our way up the river stuck on a sand-bar for days. My leave was for but a month, and in this vexing way was the time so precious to me being lost. At last I got home, saw my friends, and after eight days there, the only time spent at home during the whole four years war, I hurried back to join my corps, which was then on its march to Chattanooga. There I saw Grant, the last time for many months, preparing for the great battles of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. I was under Sherman now, and joining in the charge made by a part of Smith's Division, on the right wing of Bragg's army, was surrounded and captured. It was the last battle of my life. I saw my sword, and pistols, and purse divided among a corporal and two privates, who came near shooting each other on account of the trophies captured from the young Yankee. I also saw, however, from the top of Mission Ridge, the flying enemy, and the grand advance of Thomas' and Sherman's armies. I was a prisoner!

What I experienced during more than fifteen months in the prisons of Libby, Columbia, Charleston, and elsewhere, will not be related here. In September, 1864, the Libby prisoners, seven hundred in number, and all officers, were transferred from Charleston to a camp in the woods, on the Congaree river, near Columbia, South Carolina. There seemed but one outlook ahead for us, and that was a lingering death, unless hastened by some attempt to escape. I had got away twice, for a few days at a time, but was recaptured, and my position made even worse than before. In December, Sherman had made that brilliant march to the sea, and in February was engaged in that still more arduous campaign through the Carolinas to Richmond. I learned that his army was approaching Columbia, and for the third time attempted to get away. I escaped the guards, and, aided by an old slave, secreted myself in Columbia, and witnessed the evacuation by the rebels, and the grand entry of Sherman's army. Sherman, with his characteristic kindness, sought out myself and others who had been prisoners, and who had escaped, and cared for the wants of all. I was given, for the time, a place on his staff. What a change it was, from the

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