men in with us, at any rate our leaders thought that a secret organization was necessary for our protection.
A good part of the time was taken by the rebels in finding out if any had escaped.
Every day the commanding officers
with the guard would come in and drive us to one side of the prison, then back in single file between two guards, counting us as we passed through.
It was not often that the first count was right, and we would be driven back again.
It usually took from one to three hours before they were satisfied that “we all were thar.”
The last of July it was rumored that six hundred were to leave the prison to be exchanged.
The “old fish” took little stock in it. The order of the council was for all of our members to go who could.
The next day all was excitement.
The rebel officer in charge came in, said that exchange had been agreed upon and that all would soon go, but only six hundred would go that day. They began to check out the first five squads and Captain McHugh
, Lieutenant Osborne
(who joined the council the night after I did) and myself flanked out when other names were called.
We believed that “the last shall be first.”
As all who went out were not members of our own order we were directed to tie a string in our button-holes so that we could be recognized.
We were marched to the station and placed in box cars.
Our sergeant posted two men over each guard in the car, with orders to seize and tie them when the signal was given.
This was to be a red light shown from the forward car. Our leaders had maps of the country and had concluded to capture the train at Pocotaligo bridge, seven miles from the sea-coast, take the muskets from the guard, put the guard in the cars, set the train in motion, then make our way to the coast,