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[175] of the widow Ergenbright. I determined, as I was a little sick, I would take that cue as a basis for escape, and, as the result shows, it worked well.

I knew I was in a secession house from the following incident: I was walking up and down the room with my hand to my head telling my guard how inhuman it was for them to keep me up when I was so sick, when I heard a sweet voice say: ‘Never mind, you will all pay for it.’ I turned and saw a handsome young lady with flashing eyes, addressing herself thus to my guard. I knew that she was my friend, and she so proved herself. In a few minutes old Mrs. Ergenbright came to me and said, ‘I can get you a bed,’ and asked my guard if I could use it. They said I could. I had a long, pleasant sleep; dreamed I had escaped and was in the Southern army again. When I awoke my heart almost sank within me. Different members of the family would come and cheer me up, but my guard was by me all the time. Miss Ergenbright was to help me escape by drawing for me a map of the country. The Federals brought wounded Yankees into the house, and some of them into my room. Miss Ergenbright protested that she had nothing for them to eat, although she brought me every luxury. My guard accused her of trying to get me to escape, but she answered them defiantly, and among things said she had two brothers in the 6th Virginia cavalry, Southern Army, and I had a great mind to say, ‘and a lover, too,’ but I did not.

Well, that night my window was closed, the door fastened, and two men slept right against it. I had no arms. After thinking of my lot for some time I dropped into a profound sleep, from which I was awakened early the next morning by the distant booming of artillery.

I knew Jackson had whipped Fremont the day before, and that today he was trying Shields. Upon the issue of this last fight my captivity and destiny depended.

I saw at once that my safety depended on this issue. If I could play my cards so as to remain at this house, and Jackson should whip Shields and pursue him beyond the house in which I was, I would be recaptured. Thus my escape rested on Jackson's success, and his distance of pursuit depended on himself and his men. My staying at the house depended on myself.

I was accordingly much worse. Oh! I got very much worse! I sent for a Yankee surgeon, had a lotion prepared, and the old lady put a horseradish poultice on my throat. All this time the artillery


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