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Face to face with starvation.

The troops holding the prison occupied the casemates beyond No. 24, and the commissary was also in this end of the fort.

With the scant rations we have described, starvation was looking us in the face, and our mess put their heads together to contrive a plan whereby we might secure something more to eat. We remembered the trap-door in one corner of our casemate, raised it, and went into the basement underneath, thinking we could pass to the basement under the commissary beyond casemate No. 24. We found this basement was divided from the next by a wall twenty-two inches thick, made of brick laid in cement, and had to devise some means of breaking through.

Searching the prison for tools with which to work, we found an oyster knife five or six inches long, and an iron belt some ten inches long, in the shape of an old fashioned clevis pin. Some one had to begin the work, so Lieutenant Prewett and myself made the first attempt at what proved a long and tiresome undertaking.

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D. N. Prewett (1)
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