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[292] them on their way, with directions how to avoid the Yankee soldiers, who occasionally scouted in that vicinity. This information was exceedingly valuable to the refugees, for by it they discovered the whereabouts of the Federal forces.

When about fifteen miles from Williamsburg the party came upon the main road and found the tracks of a large body of cavalry. A piece of paper found by Captain Jones satisfied him that they were Union cavalry; but his companions were suspicious, and avoided the road and moved forward. At the “Burnt ordinary” (about ten miles from Williamsburg) they awaited the return of the cavalry that had moved up the road, and from behind a fence corner, where they were secreted, the fugitives saw the flag of the Union, supported by a squadron of cavalry, which proved to be a detachment of Colonel Spear's 11th Pennsylvania Regiment, sent out for the purpose of picking up escaped prisoners. Colonel Kendrick says his feelings at seeing the old flag are indescribable.

At all points along the route the fugitives describe their reception by the negroes as most enthusiastic, and there was no lack of white people who sympathized with them and helped them on their way.

In their escape the officers were aided by citizens of Richmond; not foreigners or the poor class only, but by natives and persons of wealth. They know their friends there, but very properly withhold any mention of their names. Of those who got out of Libby Prison there were a number of sick ones, who were cared for by Union people, and will eventually reach the Union lines through their aid.

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