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[91] [After concluding his paper Dr. Burrows stated that a clipping from a newspaper had been sent to him after he had prepared his paper, giving an incident of considerable interest, which he desired to read to the meeting, and on being informed by the President that the meeting would be pleased to hear it, he read the following extract from a letter written by M. Quad in the Detroit Free Press of a recent date]:

One of the occupants of the Castle, in the winter of 1864-5, was a Federal named James Hancock, claiming to be a scout attached to Grant's army. He was captured under circumstances which seemed to prove him a spy, and while waiting for his case to be investigated he was sent to Castle Thunder. Hancock was a jolly, rollicking fellow, having wonderful facial expression and great powers of mimicry. One evening, while singing a song for the amusement of his fellow-prisoners, he suddenly stopped, threw up his hands, staggered, and fell like a bag of sand to the floor. There was great confusion at once, and as some of the men inspected the body and pronounced it without life, the guards were notified of what had occurred. The post surgeon was called in to see whether it was a faint or a case of sudden death. He had just come in from a long, cold ride, and his examination was a hasty one.

“Dead as a door-nail!” he said, as he rose up, and in the course of twenty minutes the body was deposited in a wagon and started for the hospital, to be there laid in a cheap coffin and forwarded to the burying place. When the driver reached the end of the journey he was gone! There was no tail-board to his vehicle, and thinking he might have jolted the body out on the way, he drove back and made inquiry of several persons if they had seen a lost corpse anywhere.

Hancock's “sudden death” was a part of his plan to escape. While he had great nerve and an iron will, he could not have passed the surgeon under favorable circumstances. On the way to the hospital he dropped out of the wagon and joined the pedestrians on the walk. When the driver returned to the Castle, and told his story, a detail of men was at once sent out to capture the tricky prisoner, and the alarm was given all over Richmond. To leave the city was to be picked up by a patrol; to remain was to be hunted down.

Hancock had money sewed in the lining of his vest, and he walked straight to the best hotel, registered himself as from Georgia, and put in a good night's sleep. In the morning he procured a change of clothing, and sauntered around with the greatest unconcern, carrying the idea to some that he was in Richmond on a Government


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