believe we can make room for you and Frank in our shebang.”
He was with a party of officers of the 18th Pennsylvania cavalry, and they said by packing snugly we could come in. It was snug quarters, but neither they nor we growled.
My ham fat was a fortune; our new mess owned a piece of iron -I think it was the side of an old stove — and it was used to cook cornmeal cakes on. If any one outside the mess wanted to cook on it they paid one cake in ten for the privilege, but it was a hard job unless it was well greased, as the cakes would stick.
It was soon known that I had the fat, because when we cooked we greased the griddle with a rag soaked in ham fat. Outsiders would say, “Jack
, lend me your grease,” but I had an eye to business, and would ask, “How many cakes will you give me?”
We fixed the tariff at one cake in ten, so that when we had plenty of business for the griddle and greaser our mess fared well.
We were very discontented and were bound to escape the first possible chance; many tunnels were planned and one nearly completed when the rebels came in and, driving the prisoners out of the tent where the shaft was sunk, with little trouble discovered it. We were confident we had been betrayed, and suspicion fell on a lieutenant who was quite intimate with the rebel officers.
A committee was appointed to investigate.
Before night a notice was posted on the bulletin board that “General Winder
has ordered that unless tunnelling is stopped all buildings, tents, lumber and shelter of any kind will be removed from the yard, and that he will use force for force if any attempt is made to punish prisoners who report tunnelling to these headquarters,” signed by Major Griswold
, commanding prison.
I will not give the name of the lieutenant, because I may do him injustice, but,