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[284]

From the diary, which is in the Collections of the Southern Historical Society, it appears that the writer was a minister of the Baptist Church, and a citizen of Caroline county, Va., who, at the age of sixty years, raised and largely equipped with his own means a cavalry company, of Godwin's battalion, of which he was elected captain. A spirit of exalted patriotism and of deep piety pervades the record. Captain Allen was captured at Gloucester Point, Va., July 20, 1863; transferred from Johnson's Island to Point Lookout, Maryland, in February, 1864, and, it is inferred, was exchanged in the month of April following.

The ‘Plan of Escape,’ it appears, was submitted by Captain Allen early in the month of December, 1863.

Plan of escape.

Any plan of escape involves the necessity of organizing the prisoners in such a manner as will make them the most formidable and reliable, and may be regarded as embracing the following considerations:

I. Get out of the Enclosure.

II. Capture the Garrison.

III. Escape from the Island.

IV. Return to the South.

I. Get out of the Enclosure.

This is to be done in one of two ways, or by both combined.

1. By storming. This may be done by tearing down the plank enclosure, or by steps or ladders to climb over it, or by ripping off plank.

2. By bribing. This, I think, is practicable to some extent, by which the gates may be opened, or planks or posts loosened or removed, &c.

This being affected—

II. Capture the Garrison.

This will involve great danger and much loss of life, for the problem must be considered. How can fifteen hundred or two thousand unarmed men capture eight hundred or one thousand armed men and disarm them.

Allowing this to be accomplished.

III. How Can we Escape from the Island?


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