Went to the pen.
Having thus been properly whitewashed, we were sent to the pen for paroled prisoners.
This was an enclosed space adjoining the hospital on the east, wherein nothing but sand and some rank weeds could be found.
Here the released prisoners were stored until a sufficient number were on hand to make up a boat-load.
After spending a day or two without shelter or rations there, we were ordered aboard an old transport—one of those second-handed New York ferry boats.
Meanwhile, a fearful storm was raging, the waves were house high in the bay, and when the boat started and reached the open bay the captain found it impossible to proceed; the boat had to return and anchor near the wharf.
The next morning a similar start was made, with the same result.
That evening Major Brady
, the provost marshal
, came out in a tug-boat, and ordered the captain to leave at once.
On the captain's stating that the boat could not stand the storm, he was again told he had to go; the Government
could not afford to pay $500 per day and allow the boat to lie idle.
After finishing their talk, our men on board commenced: ‘Major
, give us something to eat; we have had nothing for three days.’
promised to attend to this; and sure enough he sent four crackers and a small piece of salt meat to each of us. Then the boat started with its three hundred and fifty human beings into the angry waves.
All night the waves were dashing overboard.
Sometimes the machinery would stop, while we were ordered from right to left to balance the ship.
Thoroughly soaked to the skin, we finally reached Old Point
and safety in the morning.
No one, perhaps, breathed freer than our captain of the boat.
Leaving Old Point
after a short stop, we reached Rocketts