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[146] that they scattered, and the entire detail of prisoners escaped. On several occasions, when smallpox was prevalent, prisoners thrust red-hot needles into their faces and hands. The result was a fair imitation of smallpox, and they were transferred to the hospital, outside the main stockade, from which they had little difficulty in escaping.

One morning a ladder was found leaning against the fence. How it got there was never known, nor was it easy to find in the confusion how many had escaped. The ground, being as it was a tenacious clay, was especially suitable for tunneling. At one time it was known that sixteen tunnels were in various stages of completion.

As mentioned elsewhere, the guard at this prison was composed almost entirely of boys under seventeen or men over forty-five, and prisoners gifted with assurance were sometimes able to deceive or intimidate them into believing that they had a right to pass out. It was only a short distance to the forest, and several escaped by this means and made their way through the mountains of North Carolina into the Federal lines in east Tennessee. Among them were Junius Henri Browne and A. D. Richardson, correspondents of the New York Tribune, who had been confined in Libby and Salisbury for several months. Mr. Browne's account of his escape says he gave to his friend his own pass giving him the right to visit the hospital. He had visited the hospital so often himself that the guard allowed him to pass without calling for his credentials. After walking about the hospital enclosure long enough to disarm suspicion, they slipped out of the gate and hid in a barn near by for twenty-four hours, thus eluding their pursuers.

For a short time officers were confined in a part of the prison separated from the men only by a line of guards. A paper written by one of the officers, said to be General Hays, and ordering the men to make preparations for an outbreak by force, was intercepted by a sentinel and led to the transfer of the officers to Danville. An outbreak occurred, however,

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Junius Henri Browne (2)
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