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[144] many prisons—prisoners have been known to saw through a heavy stockade. In one instance, at City Point, a North Carolinian sawed through a wall six inches thick and made a hole. He and a number of his companions had provided canteens which they had tightly corked for use as floats. All in the secret passed through the hole and into the waters of the bay, except the man who had sawed the hole, who, waiting courteously until all his friends had passed, found that some one had appropriated the floats which he had prepared. As he could swim but imperfectly, he was unwilling to venture into the bay without some support.

Desperate prisoners constantly attempted to escape from the old penitentiary at Alton, Illinois, and were sometimes successful. Once they set the prison on fire, and in the confusion several got over the wall. The most remarkable escape from this prison, however, was that of Colonel Ebenezer Magoffin, of Missouri, and thirty-five companions, on the night of July 24, 1862.

The investigations of the court of inquiry showed that the prisoners had climbed to the top of some unused brick ovens under a shed in the yard, had cut through the top, and then down through eight feet of masonry. The tunnel was excavated three feet below the surface for a distance of fifty feet, cutting through on the way the solid limestone foundation of the outer wall of the prison, at that point three feet thick. Only eight of the industrious burrowers were recaptured. The tools were an old spade and some knives abstracted from the mess-kitchen.

The Confederate prison at Salisbury was never very secure, and many interesting stories of escape come from there. On one occasion, one of a squad of prisoners sent out under guard as a burial party was an amateur ventriloquist. When a corpse had been put in the ground and the first shovelful of earth had been thrown into the grave, apparently the corpse began to protest indignantly. The guards were so frightened

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