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[374] see the fugitives walk out of a gate at the other end of the inclosure of the carriage-house, and fearlessly move off. The aperture was so narrow that but one man could get through at a time, and each squad carried with them provisions in a haversack. At midnight, a false alarm was created, and the prisoners made considerable noise in getting to their respective quarters. Providentially, however, the guard suspected nothing wrong, and in a few moments the exodus was again commenced. Colonel Kendrick and his companions looked with trepidation upon the movements of the fugitives, as some of them, exercising but little discretion, moved boldly out of the inclosure into the glare of the gaslight. Many of them were, however, dressed in citizen's dress, and as all the rebel guards wear the United States uniform, but little suspicion could be excited, even if the fugitives had been accosted by the guard.

Between one and two o'clock the lamps were extinguished in the streets, and then the exit was more safely accomplished. There were many officers who desired to leave, who were so weak and feeble that they were dragged through the tunnel by main force and carried to places of safety until such time as they would be able to move on their journey. At half-past 2 o'clock, Captain Jones, Colonel Kendrick, and Lieutenant Bradford passed out in the order in which they are named, and as Colonel Kendrick emerged from the hole, he heard the guard within a few feet of him sing out: “Post No. 7, half-past 2 in the morning, and all's well.” Colonel Kendrick says he could hardly resist the temptation of saying: “Not so well as you think, except for the Yanks.” Lieutenant Bradford was intrusted with the provisions for this squad, and in getting through he was obliged to leave his haversack behind him, as he could not get through with it upon him.

Once out, they proceeded up the street, keeping in the shade of the buildings, and passed eastwardly through the city.

A description of the route pursued by this party, and of the tribulations through which they passed, will give some idea of the rough time they all had of it. Colonel Kendrick had, before leaving the prison, mapped out his course, and concluded that the best route to take was the one toward Norfolk or Fortress Monroe, as there were fewer rebel pickets in that direction. They, therefore, kept the York River Railroad to the left, and moved toward the Chickahominy River. They passed through Boar Swamp, and crossed the road leading to Bottom Bridge. Sometimes they waded through mud and water almost up to their necks, and kept the Bottom Bridge road to their left, although at times they could see and hear the cars travelling over the York River road.

While passing through the swamp near the Chickahominy, Colonel Kendrick sprained his ankle and fell. Fortunate, too, was that fall for him and his party, for while he was lying there one of them chanced to look up, and saw in a direct line with them a swamp-bridge, and in the dim outline they could perceive that parties with muskets were passing over the bridge. They, therefore, moved some distance to the south, and after passing through more of the swamp, reached the Chickahominy about four miles below Bottom Bridge. Here now was a difficulty. The river was only twenty feet wide, but it was very deep, and the refugees were worn out and fatigued. Chancing, however, to look up, Lieutenant Bradford saw that two trees had fallen on either side of the river, and that their branches were interlocked. By crawling up one tree and down the other, the fugitives reached the east bank of the Chickahominy, and Colonel Kendrick could not help remarking that he believed Providence was on their side, else they would not have met that natural bridge.

They subsequently learned from a friendly negro that had they crossed the bridge they had seen, they would assuredly have been recaptured, for Captain Turner, the keeper of Libby Prison, had been out and posted guards there, and, in fact, had alarmed the whole country, and got the people up as a vigilance committee to capture the escaped prisoners.

After crossing over this natural bridge, they lay down on the ground and slept until sunrise, on the morning of the eleventh, when they continued on their way, keeping eastwardly as near as they could. Up to this time they had had nothing to eat, and were almost famished. About noon on the eleventh, they met several negroes, who gave them information as to the whereabouts of the rebel pickets, and furnished them with food.

Acting under the advice of these friendly negroes, they remained quietly in the woods until darkness set in, when they were furnished with a comfortable supper by the negroes, and, after dark, proceeded on their way, the negroes (who, everywhere, showed their friendship to the fugitives) having first directed them how to avoid the rebel pickets. That night they passed a camp of rebels, and could plainly see the smoke and camp-fire. But their wearied feet gave out, and they were compelled to stop and rest, having only marched five miles that day.

They started again at daylight on the thirteenth, and, after moving awhile through the woods, they saw a negro woman working in a field, and called her to them, and from her received directions, and were told that the rebel pickets had been about there, looking for the fugitives from Libby. Here they lay low again, and resumed their journey when darkness set in, and marched five miles, but halted until the morning of the fourteenth, when the journey was resumed.

At one point they met a negro in the field, and she told them that her mistress was a secesh woman, and that she had a son in the rebel army. The party, however, was exceedingly hungry, and they determined to secure some food. This they did by boldly approaching the house and informing the mistress that they were prisoners from Norfolk, who had been driven out by Butler,

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