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[441] to come down, but before doing so he slipped his pistol into his boot, and, cutting a hole in the lining of his coat, secreted his orders between the lining and the cloth of the coat and thus saved them

Upon his surrender his hands were tied behind him by his captors, as were also Birdwell's, and the two were then tied together. Thus situated, they were marched fifteen miles over a rough, mountainous road. The night being a dark, stormy one, they could not see their way, and every now and then one or the other would slip down, of course bringing his fellow-prisoner down with him. In this way they were considerably bruised. Birdwell was six feet six inches high, and Doncaster five feet ten, so it is easy to tell who had the worst of it. The two being tied together could not walk very rapidly, so about daylight they were separated and their hands unpinioned, that they might be enabled to quicken their pace and reach a certain point, which Burlesson was anxious to arrive at before the Confederate scouts were on the alert. Soon after his hands were untied Lieutenant Doncaster threw his pistol into a field as they were passing a fence corner. He disliked very much to part with this useful article, but it was chafing the flesh of his ankle to such an extent that he was glad to release himself from the pain which it had produced.

A few days after they reached their place of rendezvous the men asked Burlesson's permission to take the prisoners out and shoot them. To this request Burlesson would not assent, saying that when he went to Knoxville he would turn them over to the authorities there. About this time Lieutenant Doncaster received a camp parole, but Birdwell was kept under close guard, the former being told that if he made his escape, or attempted to do so, the latter would be shot.

Burlesson's men, to pass the time, played cards and visited the Union families in the vicinity. Lieutenant Doncaster joined them in these pastimes. He possessed the faculty, to a great extent, of adapting himself to surrounding circumstances, and soon gained the confidence of Burlesson and his men, as the sequel will show.

A lady in the neighborhood brought cakes, pies and other eatables to the prisoners, and invited them to her house. Lieutenant Doncaster obtained permission to visit at this lady's house, but Burlesson was not willing that Birdwell should go. Doncaster said he was opposed to going without Birdwell, that he would be responsible for his return, and to make sure of it, a guard could accompany them.

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