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[280]

Narrative of Captain John F. Porter, Jr., Fourteenth New York cavalry-particulars of his escape.

Captain John F. Porter, of the Fourteenth New York Cavalry, arrived in New York on Monday night, February 15th, 1864, from Washington, having escaped from Richmond, where he was a prisoner of war. Captain Porter was taken prisoner on the 15th of June, 1863, in the attack on Port Hudson. He was carried to Jackson, and thence conducted to the rebel capital, which he reached on the 29th of June. In Richmond, he was incarcerated in the now famous Libby prison. some two months previous to his escape, Captain Porter determined upon making such an attempt. He then tried to purchase a rebel uniform, but could not get it. At a later date, however, he succeeded in procuring rebel clothing, several brother officers in prison providing him with each article suitable for his purpose, which they possessed. Captain Porter was so emaciated from want of food and the sufferings while in prison, as well as a severe wound which he received at the second Bull Run, that he found much difficulty in walking; but after taking a little exercise daily, and gradually increasing the same, he soon found his strength increasing, and nerved himself to the task of an effort to escape.

On the morning of the 29th of last January, accompanied by Major E. L. Bates of the Eighteenth Illinois Volunteers, Captain Porter made his first attempt. He went down to the main entry of the prison and entered the surgeon's room. Here he informed the surgeon that

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