previous next

Incidents of prison life at camp Douglas—Experience of Corporal J. G. Blanchard.

By Rev. William G. Keady.
[The following interesting narrative is from the pen of a gallant soldier who lost an arm while serving in the trenches at Vicksburg, and whose empty sleeve tells as eloquently of his devotion to the Confederate cause as his voice now pleads the cause of the ‘Prince of Peace’]:

Amongst the prisoners captured at Island No.10, and sent to Camp Douglas, Illinois, in April, 1862, was Corporal J. G. Blanchard, of the celebrated Pointe Coupee Battery, of Louisiana. Though then barely seventeen years of age, he had already been over a year in active service; and the restless activity, untiring energy, and unbounded enthusiasm characterizing his course from the time of his entry into service, bespoke unmistakably of how lively he would make matters if circumscribed for an indefinite term within the boundaries of a prison camp. When the news of the capture of his native city reached Chicago, restraint broke loose, and his one expressed determination was to escape from prison and rejoin the Southern army.

For several days his efforts were bent towards effecting a quiet escape. Realizing, however, the impossibility of so doing, he determined on an attempt at any hazard, and on a dark and stormy night, early in May, he scaled the lofty fence inclosing the camp, within a few feet of the sentinel, the report of whose gun drew upon him the concentrated fire of half a dozen more, so incessant were the lightning flashes at the time. Having reached the outside walk, without a moment's hesitation he walked to the very gate of the prison camp, where all was excitement, and entered a street car which was just starting for the city.

Whilst the Federal soldiers were roaming for miles and miles around Camp Douglas in seach of young Blanchard, he was enjoying the comforts of a Chicago hotel, busying himself in the meanwhile in ascertaining the best method of leaving the city and returning South. The second day after his escape he met a former acquaintance who professed the deepest solicitude for his escape, and offered to further the same by every means in his power.

The next day he became suddenly convinced of his supposed

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Douglass (Nevada, United States) (3)
Louisiana (Louisiana, United States) (1)
Island Number Ten (Missouri, United States) (1)
Chicago (Illinois, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. G. Blanchard (3)
William G. Keady (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April, 1862 AD (1)
May (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: