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[373] sewer running into the basin. This they proposed doing by commencing at a point in the cellar, near a chimney. This cellar was immediately under the hospital, and was the receptacle for refuse straw, thrown from the beds when they were changed, and for other refuse matter. Above the hospital was a room for officers, and above that, yet another room. The chimney ran through all these rooms, and the prisoners who were in the secret, improvised a rope, and night after night let working parties down, who successfully prosecuted their excavating operations.

The dirt was hid under the straw and other refuse matter under the cellar, and it was trampled down, so as not to present too great a bulk. When the working party had got to a considerable distance underground, it was found difficult to haul the dirt back by hand, and a spittoon, which had been furnished the officers in one of the rooms, was made to serve the purpose of a cart. A string was attached to it, and it was run in the tunnel, and, as soon as filled, was drawn out, and the dirt deposited under the straw. But, after hard work, and digging with finger-nails, knives, and chisels, a number of feet, the working party found themselves stopped by piles driven in the ground. These were at least a foot in diameter. But they were not discouraged. Penknives, or any other articles that would cut, were called for, and after chipping, chipping, chipping, for a long time, the piles were severed, and the tunnellers commenced again, and in a few minutes reached the sewer.

But here an unexpected obstacle met their further progress. The stench from the sewers and the flow of filthy water was so great that one of the party fainted, and was dragged out more dead than alive, and the project in that direction had to be abandoned. The failure was communicated to a few others besides those who had first thought of escape, and then a party of seventeen, after viewing the premises and surroundings, concluded to tunnel under Carey street. On the opposite side of this street, from the prison, was a sort of carriage-house or out-house, and the project was to dig under the street and emerge from under or near the house. There was a high fence around it, and the guard was outside of this fence. The prisoners then commenced to dig at the other side of the chimney, and, after a few handfuls of dirt had been removed, they found themselves stopped by a stone wall, which proved afterward to be three feet thick. The party were by no means daunted, and, with pen-knives and pocket-knives, they commenced operations upon the stone and mortar.

After nineteen days and nights' hard work, they again struck the earth beyond the wall, and pushed their work forward. Here, too, (after they had got some distance under ground,) the friendly spittoon was brought into requisition, and the dirt was hauled out in small quantities. After digging some days, the question arose whether they had not reached the point aimed at; and in order, if possible, to test the matter, Captain Gallagher, of the Second Ohio regiment, pretended that he had a box in the carriage-house over the way, and desired to search it out. This carriage-house, it is proper to state, was used as a receptacle for boxes and goods, sent to prisoners from the North, and the recipients were often allowed to go, under guard, across the street to secure their property. Captain Gallagher was granted permission to go there, and as he walked across under guard, he, as well as he could, paced off the distance, and concluded that the street was about fifty feet wide.

On the sixth or seventh of February, the working party supposed they had gone a sufficient distance, and commenced to dig upward. When near the surface, they heard the rebel guards talking above them, and discovered they were some two or three feet yet outside the fence.

The displacing of a stone made considerable noise, and one of the sentinels called to his comrade and asked him what the noise meant. The guards, after listening a few minutes, concluded that nothing was wrong, and returned to their beats. This hole was stopped up by inserting in the crevice a pair of old pantaloons filled with straw, and by bolstering the whole up with boards, which they secured from the floors, etc., of the prison. The tunnel was then continued some six or seven feet more, and when the working party supposed they were about ready to emerge to daylight, others in the prison were informed that there was a way now open for escape. One hundred and nine of the prisoners decided to make the attempt to get away. Others refused, fearing the consequences if they were recaptured; and others yet, (among whom was General Neal Dow,) declined to make the attempt, as (they said) they did not desire to have their Government back down from its enunciated policy of exchange. Colonel Rose, of New-York; Colonel Kendrick, of Tennessee; Captain Jones, Lieutenant Bradford, and others, informed General Dow that they could not see how making their escape would affect the policy of exchange. Their principle was that it was their personal right to escape if they could, and their duty to their Government to make the attempt.

About half-past 8 o'clock on the evening of the ninth, the prisoners started out, Colonel Rose, of New-York, leading the van. Before starting, the prisoners had divided themselves into squads of two, three, and four, and each squad was to take a different route, and after they were out, were to push for the Union lines as fast as possible. It was the understanding that the working party was to have an hour's start of the other prisoners, and consequently the rope-ladder in the cellar was drawn out. Before the expiration of the hour, however, the other prisoners became impatient, and were let down through the chimney successfully into the cellar.

Colonel W. P. Kendrick, of West-Tennessee; Captain D. J. Jones, of the First Kentucky cavalry, and Lieutenant R. Y. Bradford, of the Second West-Tennessee, were detailed as a rearguard, or rather to go out last; and from a window Colonel Kendrick and his companions could


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