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[89] the prisoners, and among our own troops too. The city Alms-house, a splendid building by the way, was appropriated as a hospital for these cases. Sitting one day by the cot of a New York soldier, upon whose brow death had stamped his seal, I kneeled to pray for his departing soul, when a gush of black vomit struck me full in the face and breast, and the prayer was interrupted by the poor fellow's apologies and assurances that he could not help it. I wiped his face more tenderly than I did my own and held his hand for half an hour later, when his spirit passed away.

A prisoner for a few weeks who excited considerable interest and amusement was Miss Dr. Mary Walker. She had a room to herself in Castle Thunder, and sometimes was permitted to stroll into the streets, where her display of Bloomer costume, blouse, trowsers and boots secured her a following of astonished and admiring boys. She was quite chatty, and seemed rather to enjoy the notoriety of her position. She claimed to be a surgeon in the Federal army, and, I believe, had some sort of commission, or permission perhaps as hospital nurse to travel with the army.

Captain Gibbs, commandant of Castle Thunder, had generally at his heels ‘the monstrous savage Russian bloodhound’ as he was very unjustly stigmatized by the Federal soldiers who took him prisoner at the evacuation and who turned some profitable pennies by exhibiting him in New York and New England as a specimen of the cruel devices of Southern officials to worry and torture prisoners.

There was absolutely nothing formidable about the dog but his size, which was immense. He was one of the best-natured hounds whose head I ever patted, and one of the most cowardly. If a fise or a black-and-tan terrier barked at him as he stood majestic in the office-door, he would tuck his tail between his legs and skulk for a safer place. I never heard that he bit anything but the bones that were thrown him, and he was quite a playfellow with the prisoners when permitted to stalk among them.

In 1863—my memoranda are lost—I was sent for to visit a prisoner in solitary confinement named Webster, who was about to be tried by court-martial as a spy. He was quite reticent as to his antecedents until after the trial, which resulted in a death sentence. Then he talked with me quite freely about his career. He had been recognized by some of the guards as having been an enlisted Confederate soldier at Island No.10, on the Mississippi river, which had been captured in April, 1862. He acknowledged, what had clearly been proven on the trial, that he had enlisted in a Confederate regiment for the purpose of examining and reporting the state of the defences on Island No.


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