In two or three days we were shipped on board the boat which was to carry us back to freedom, and in due time we arrived at Aiken's Landing
, on James River
, but while en route some eighteen or twenty poor fellows died and were buried at old Point.
Permission was given us to go on shore, which we did with much alacrity, spending the night under a haystack, which we pulled to pieces to sleep on. Next morning, we needed no bugle call to summon us to take up the line of march, which was made across the country, with a detour, so as to avoid the batteries on the river, where an active cannonade was going on. The works were filled with Federal soldiers, who crowded to the top of the breastworks to view us as we passed in the distance.
The Federal agent of exchange headed the procession without any guard.
He was very humane in his bearing towards our men, and I might say here that, while we suffered many hardships incidental to prison life, there were many acts of kindness exhibited to us by both officers and men among the Federals
Very soon to our great joy, we hove in sight of the flag of truce boat at Varina
, where we were met by the Richmond Ambulance Committee
, headed by that pure and patriotic gentleman, Mr. Robert P. Richardson
, of Richmond
, whose beautiful white flowing beard, kindly and dignified bearing, will be long remembered by the many who in those times that tried men's souls came in contact with him.
About a month or so afterwards those of our party captured on the 9th of June, who had been sent to Elmira
, as well as those left behind at Point Lookout
, with the sad exception of two or three who died while in prison, among the number Mr. Wm. B. Egerton
, were happily restored to freedom.