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Elmira a day sentry on guard after Benson's escape Talking over the possibilities of escape or exchange was one of the chief diversions of the prisoners, both North and South. Sergeant Berry Benson, who escaped with nine other Confederates from Elmira Prison, writes in regard to this photograph: ‘The sentry on the ground outside the stockade, near the sentry-box, makes me think that this was taken after the 7th of October, 1864, when we ten escaped by the tunnel, for we felt sure that there were no day sentries outside near the fence.’ This observation is typical of the minuteness with which prisoners of war planning to escape observed every disposition of their guards and speculated about every detail of their surroundings. The photograph was taken about noon, and the river bank distinguishable in the left background is that of the Chemung.

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Berry Benson (2)
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October 7th, 1864 AD (1)
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