The time selected was 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and the ruse adopted was to feign a fight between two Confederate prisoners, which, experience had shown, would be sure to draw some of the guards away from their beat.
At such a deserted beat Blanchard
successfully scaled and cleared the fence, and was about fleeing to the lake shore when he heard a heavy thud and a groan behind him. Looking back he discovered a fellow-prisoner (not a soldier), by name Carico, lying on the ground apparently unable to rise.
took hold of him to assist him Carico groaned again and said he was badly hurt.
In a few minutes the guardswere again on their beat, a plank fence alone between them and the two prisoners.
Realizing the danger of attempting even to crawl away from the fence, lest the crackling of a dry twig should betray them to the guard, Blanchard
lay alongside of Carico, waiting for night to approach, when they could take advantage of the tramp of the relief guard to deaden the sound of their footsteps as they proceeded to the lake shore.
But when the relief came, at 7 P. M., Carico was unable to move, so great was his suffering; and at his earnest solicitation Blanchard
agreed to remain with him until the next relief, at 9 o'clock. At half-past 8, however, they were startled by the discovery of a corporal's guard approaching them, the corporal holding a lighted lantern.
Hoping that the course of the march of the guard would take them some distance from the fence, Blanchard
and Carico lay perfectly quiet; but when about ten feet from the spot where they lay the corporal incidentally held his light toward the fence, the glare of which revealed the two prisoners. Quickly the guns of the guard were levelled at them; but Blanchard
exclaiming immediately, ‘Don't shoot, boys—man badly hurt here,’ the guns were brought back to a carry, and the corporal approached the prisoners.
Finding that Carico was seriously hurt, a litter was sent for and he was carried to the hospital, whilst Blanchard
was once again taken to the White Oak
The third day after his reincarceration three Federal deserters and a renegade Confederate of the Third Tennessee Regiment were also confined in the White Oak
. It was proposed by the deserters to effect an escape by tunneling to the outside of the fence, about twelve feet distant, if a knife could be procured; which, being converted into a saw, would enable them to cut a hole in the floor of a dungeon.
The knife was procured through one of Blanchard
's friends, and in less than six hours a hole, eighteen inches square, was cut into the floor.
The digging was accomplished with a spade (which