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[272] and we stood huddled out in the open slush, unable to lie or sit down. We were then put aboard of a canal boat and carried by way of the Chesapeake and Delaware canal to Fort Delaware, where we were landed about the 6th of July.

Fort Delaware was situated on an island of about ninety acres in the upper end of Delaware Bay. We were placed in barrack;, in the northwest corner of the island, with a plank wall around to secure us. We were barely fed enough to keep us alive.

On the outside of our enclosure stood the fort, officers' houses, hospital, and other buildings. However, we were never allowed to go out, except now and then in small details to load or unload a vessel (a service I had never been called upon to do). On the way from our barracks to the wharf was a gate in the wall, about twelve feet wide, through which all communications were carried on. This gate stood open during the day, with a guard at each post, and of course, it was regarded as sure death to attempt to pass it without permission, and I guess no one ever got that, except to do a job of work at the wharf.

Of course, among so many (1,500 or 2,000) soldiers, there were some not entirely satisfied with the board and lodging furnished, and so soon as they were assured that there was no hope of being exchanged began to concept plans of escape. Among that number were your humble servant and a cousin a member of the same company, Joseph G. Marble. Our first plan was to go out by means of canteens, by getting two apiece, corking them very close, stringing them together, and placing them under our arms, and thus making the swim of three or four miles, as we thought. We also intended to pass out by another route. But others had been attempting this, and, in consequence, this route was very closely guarded—in fact, so close was the watch at this point that it was, at that time, utterly impossible to make it.

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