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[369]

Perkins thereupon agreed to catch and kill ‘Ponto’ and prepare the feast. The next morning the dog came bounding into the prison yard as soon as the gate was opened, as was his habit, but most positively declined all of Perkins' advances, notwithstanding his friendship heretofore. As soon as he looked into Perkins' eyes doubt took possession of him.

Ponto” sniffed danger in the air, tucked tail and ran for the gate, and foreswore his prison friends ever after. His unreasoning suspicions prevented the feast.

Captain R. E. Frayser, also of Richmond, was the most active man in the grape-vine telegraph business. What news he couldn't bring in wasn't worth knowing. His having been in the Signal Corps possibly accounted for his success in that line.

Grape-vine news was terribly twisted and rarely straight. Nevertheless it gave us something to talk about.

When forty-five days expired flour, meat and bread were brought in and wood needed for cooking, utensils furnished and the men were allowed all they wanted to eat.

After such a long deprivation, many killed themselves from overeating. The meal was old and wormy, but it had to be eaten. Those who had survived the trying ordeal through which we passed, were taken from Hilton Head on the 5th of March, 1865, and carried to Fort Monroe on the 8th of March, after a very rough trip at sea.

From there we were taken to Fort Wool, and on the 11th of March, sailed for Fort Delaware, where we landed on the 12th, next day.

Of the 600 whose names were called at Johnson's Island on the 9th of February, 1864, only 293 of the number answered the call at Fort Delaware on their return after months of perils, trials, sufferings and tribulations.

Fort Delaware, taken altogether, was the dirtiest, filthiest and most unhealthy prison I ever saw, and I was there three times during my captivity. The remnant of the 600 remained at Fort Delaware until the general exchange in June, 1865.


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