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Chapter 17:

  • Sufferings of captives
  • -- shooting a deaf man -- a terrible punishment -- arguments on slavery -- opinions of celebrated men -- a Sabbath School in prison -- a loyal lady -- Pennsylvania a Pioneer -- Emancipation -- our prayer-meetings -- Rays of sunshine.

A large proportion of the prisoners in Macon were nearly naked, and actually were obliged to wrap rags of blankets about themselves to hide their nakedness, and many times, while listening to their stories of wrong and woe, I was moved to tears. Among several harrowing incidents, about this time occurred the shooting of one of our party, a political prisoner, if I remember right, who was deaf. A brutal guard had fired on him because he did not obey some order which he had given, but which of course, the victim did not hear. I saw the poor fellow writhing in his death-agonies. The shot had pierced directly through his bowels, inflicting a horrid and mortal wound.

Another man named Flood, for the offence of coming nearer than ten feet to the guardlines, was pinned down to the earth. As this punishment is doubtless not understood by a [211] majority of readers, I will describe it. The person subjected to it is thrown to the ground, either face or back down, according to the whim of the punisher, and while held in this position, a number of stakes or wooden pins are driven in the earth around him, in such a manner as to bind him immovably to the ground. A more terrible punishment can scarcely be conceived.

Flood was a large man, and possessed of immense strength; and the first time he was thus pinned down, he tore himself loose from his fastenings. Upon seeing this, his captors again seized him. But he struggled manfully, and it was not until six or eight powerful men attacked him simultaneously, and with weapons, that he was secured. This done, however, they obtained stakes that an ox could not have broken, and with these they fastened their victim down so firmly, that it was impossible for him to move half an inch. And in this position, he lay face down for twenty-four hours, during which time a heavy rain fell. In consequence he took a fatal cold, and, four days later, he was laid in the grave. This punishment was quite common among the rebels.

While listening to the accounts of my fellow-prisoners, especially concerning the deaf man [212] and Flood, I could not help thinking bitterly of the thousands in the free North, who, while our country is struggling for existence, are apologizing for the vile system which breeds such monsters as I have been describing. Oh reader, if you would be just to yourself and to God, and not allow your mind to be influenced by the fallacies with which traitors would delude you, you would at once perceive the fountain-spring of all our national troubles to be naught else but slavery. And here, at the expense of interrupting my personal narrative, I have concluded to advance some facts and arguments in support of my conclusions. It is a most common and dangerous fallacy to condemn the emancipation theory of Abraham Lincoln, as the cause of this terrible bloodshed that has been going on for two years past. Now I assume the opposite side of the argument, and find myself supported therein, not only by common sense, but all the teachings of past history.

When the question of immediate abolition was first agitated in England, the friends of slavery were loud in their belief that universal insurrection and bloodshed would follow; and nothing could have taken a stronger hold on [213] the sympathies and fears of the people than these same assertions.

In June, 1793, a civil war occurred between the aristocrats and republicans of St. Domingo, and the planters called in the aid of Great Britain. The opposing party proclaimed freedom to all slaves, and armed them against the British. It is generally supposed that the abolition of slavery in St. Domingo was in consequence of insurrection among the slaves. Nothing is farther from the truth, for the whole measure was nothing more nor less than one of political expediency. A little research into the histories of the island about this period will show that the whole colored population remained faithful to the republicans to whom they owed their liberty.

The British were defeated, and were obliged to evacuate the island; but they still held possession of the ocean, and consequently troubled the French to such an extent, that the latter were entirely unable to look after St. Domingo. The colonists were therefore left to themselves. Certainly here was an opportunity for the breaking forth of that dreaded insurrection which had been predicted as the sure result of immediate abolition. Yet on the contrary, though there were five hundred thousand negroes, [214] thus unfettered and made free, there was an actual decrease in crime, and a corresponding increase in the prosperity and peace of the island.

A resident, Colonel Malenfaut, says in his historical memoir:

After this public act of emancipation, the negroes remained quiet both in the south and west, and they continued to work upon all the plantations. Even upon those estates which had been abandoned by owners and managers, the negroes continued their labor where there were any agents to guide; and where no white men were left to direct them, they betook themselves to planting provisions. The colony was flourishing. The whites lived happily and in peace upon their estates, and the negroes continued to work for them.

General La Croix, in his memoir, speaking of the same period, writes:

The colony marched as by enchantment towards its ancient splendor; cultivation prospered, and every day produced perceptible proofs of its progress. This prosperous state of things lasted about eight years, and would probably have continued to this day, had not Bonaparte, at the instigation of the old aristocratic French planters, sent an army to deprive the [215] blacks of the freedom which they had used so well. It was the attempt to restore slavery that produced all the bloody horrors of St. Domingo. Emancipation produced the most blessed effects.

In June, 1794, Victor Hugo, a French republican general, retook the island of Guadaloupe from the British, and immediately proclaimed freedom to all the slaves. They were thirty-five thousand in number, and the whites thirteen thousand. No disaster whatever occurred from the humane action of Hugo.

On the 10th of October, 1811, the Chilian Congress decreed that every child born after that date, should be free. Likewise, the congress of Columbia emancipated all slaves who had borne arms in defence of the Republic, and provided for the emancipation, in eighteen years, of the whole slave population, amounting to nine hundred thousand beings.

September, 1829, saw immediate liberty granted by the government of Mexico to every slave in the realm.

Now, in all these cases, not one single insurrection or bloodshed has ever been heard of as resulting from emancipation.

Even the thirty thousand Hottentots-the most ignorant, degraded people on the earthwho were manumitted at Cape Colony, in July, [216] 1823, gave instant evidence of improvement on being admitted to the rights and privileges of freemen. As a gentleman facetiously remarked, they worked far better for Mr. Cash than they had for Mr. Lash.

A statement in the South African Commercial Advertiser, of February, 1813, read as follows:

Three thousand prize negroes have received their freedom-four hundred in one day. But not the least difficulty or disaster occurred. Servants found masters, and masters hired servants; all gained homes, and, at night, scarcely an idler was to be seen. To state that sudden emancipation would create disorder and distress to those you mean to serve, is not reason, but the plea of all men adverse to abolition.

On the 1st of August, 1834, the government of Great Britain emancipated the slaves in all her colonies, of which she had twenty, viz., seventeen in the West Indies, and three in the East Indies. The numerical superiority of the negroes in the West was great. In Jamaica, there were three hundred and thirty-one thousand slaves, and only thirty-seven thousand whites.

Even by the clumsy apprenticeship system, where the stimulus of the whip was removed without being replaced by the stimulus of wages, [217] the negroes were a little improved. They knew they would not be lashed if they did not work, and that if they did work they would not be paid for it. Yet, under such disadvantages as these, there occurred no difficulty, excepting in three of the islands, and even there they were slight and only temporary. Even the bitterest enemies of abolition have not yet been able to show that a single drop of blood has been shed, or a single plantation destroyed, in consequence of emancipation in all the British West Indies!

The journals of Antigua, where the apprenticeship system was not tried, but the stimulus of wages applied at once, say:

The great doubt is solved, and the highest hopes of the negro's friends are fulfilled. Thirty thousand men have passed from slavery into freedom, not only without the slightest irregularity, but with the solemn and decorous tranquillity of a Sabbath. In Antigua, there are two thousand whites, thirty thousand slaves, and four thousand five hundred free blacks.

Antigua and St. Christopher's are within gunshot of each other, and both are sugargrowing colonies. In the latter island, the proportion of blacks is smaller than in the former, yet St. Christopher's has had some difficulty with the gradual system, while the quiet of [218] Antigua has not been disturbed for one hour by immediate manumission. Such facts are worth more than volumes of sophistry.

If, however, the humane view be not allowed, let us look at the question in a pecuniary one. The results in this direction, of the British Emancipation Bill, are truly wonderful. To the astonishment of even the most sanguine friends of abolition, the plantations of the colonies are more productive, more easily managed, and accepted as security for higher sums or mortgages, than they ever were under the slave system. It appears from an official statement, that in the first quarter of the present year, there is an increase over the average of the first quarter of the three years preceding emancipation in the great staples of West Indian produce exported, as follows:

From Georgetown, Demarara, twenty per cent. increase. From Berbice, fifty per cent. increase. Coffee increased about one hundred per cent.

The hundred million indemnity thus appears to have been a compensation for having been made richer.

Now, with all this weight of testimony, it is impossible for the candid reader to cleave any [219] longer to the idea that emancipation is the cause of all this misery.

“If,” says a distinguished logician, “you have a right to make another man a slave, he has a right to make you a slave.” “And if we have no right,” says Ramsey,

to sell him, no one has a right to purchase him. If ever negroes, bursting their chains, should come (which Heaven forbid!) on the European coast, to drag whites of both sexes from their families, to chain them, and conduct them to Africa, and mark them with a hot iron; if whites stolen, sold, purchased by criminals, and placed under the guidance of merciless inspectors, were immediately compelled, by the stroke of the whip, to work in a climate injurious to their health, when at the close of each day they could have no other consolation than that of advancing another step to the tomb, no other perspective than to suffer and to die in all the anguish of despair; if devoted to misery and ignominy, they were excluded from all the privileges of society, and declared legally incapable of judicial action, their testimony not admitted against the black class; if, driven from the sidewalks, they were compelled to mingle with the animals in the middle of the street; if a conscription were made to have them lashed in a mass, and their [220] backs, to prevent gangrene, covered with pepper and salt; if the forfeit for killing them were but a trifling sum; if a reward were offered for apprehending those who escaped from slavery; if those who escaped were hunted by a pack of hounds, trained to carnage; if, blaspheming the Divinity, the blacks pretended that by their origin they had permission of heaven to preach passive obedience and resignation to the whites; if greedy, hireling writers published that, for this reason, just reprisals might be exercised against rebellious whites, and that white slaves were happy, more happy than the peasants in the bosom of Africa; in a word, if all the arts of cunning calumny, all the strength and fury of avarice, all the invention of ferocity, were directed against you by a coalition of merchants, priests, kings, soldiers and colonists, what a cry of horror would resound through these countries! To express it, new epithets would be sought. A crowd of writers, and particularly poets, would exhaust their eloquent lamentations, provided, that having nothing to fear, there was something to gain.

Europeans, reverse this hypothesis, and see what you are. Yes, I repeat it, there is not a vice, not a species of wickedness, of which Europe is not guilty towards negroes, of which [221] she has not shown them the example. Avenging God! suspend thy thunder, exhaust thy compassion in giving her time and courage to repair, if possible, these horrors and atrocities!

Now, these things are all perfectly reasonable. Though written a long time ago, they are now not the less true; and those of us who may live to see the end of this war will know well the cause of it; and I trust that the rising generation may profit by the history of their fathers. May they learn from their earliest years to denounce the name that offers an apology for the dark curse of slavery!

It was of this evil that Jefferson spoke in the original Declaration of Independence, drafted by himself, but suppressed by Southern influence. The language is:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty, in the persons of a distant people, who never offended him; capturing them and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has [222] prostituted his prerogative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished dye, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

The same spirit possessed the heart of Luther Martin, when, before the Legislature of Maryland, he delivered a report concerning the topic of which we speak. The report was adopted by a majority of the convention, though not without considerable opposition.

“It was said that we had just assumed a place among independent nations, in consequence of our opposition to the attempts of Great Britain to enslave us. That this opposition was grounded upon the preservation of those rights to which God and nature entitled us, not in particular, but in common with all the rest of mankind. That we had appealed to the Supreme Being for His assistance, as the God of freedom, who could not but approve our efforts to preserve the rights which he had thus imparted [223] to all his creatures. That now, when we scarcely had risen from our knees and supplications for his aid and protection, in the form of government we had chosen, we proposed to have a provision therein, not only putting it out of its power to restrain and prevent the slave trade, but actually to encourage that most infamous traffic, by giving the States power and influence in the Union, in proportion as they cruelly and wantonly sported with the rights of their fellow creatures. Such a course ought to be considered a solemn mockery of, and insult to, that God whose protection we had implored, and it could not fail to hold us up to the detestation and contempt of every true friend of liberty in the world. National crimes can only be, and frequently are punished, at least, in the world, by national calamities. And if we thus give national sanction to the slave trade, we justly expose ourselves to the displeasure and vengeance of Him who is equally Lord of all, and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master.”

The same fire which dictated the above, burned also in Captain Riley's heart, when he exclaimed:

Strange as it may seem to the philanthropist, my free and proud-spirited countrymen [224] still hold a million and a half of human beings in the most cruel bonds of slavery, who are kept at hard labor, and, smarting under the lash of inhuman, mercenary drivers, in many instances enduring the miseries of hunger, thirst, imprisonment, cold, nakedness, and even tortures. This is no picture of the imagination. For the honor of human nature, I wish likenesses were nowhere to be found. I myself have witnessed such scenes in different parts of my own country, and the bare recollection of them now chills my blood with horror.

In connection with this, we have the statement of De Witt Clinton, who, during the period of his legislative career-1797-bestowed a large portion of his attention to the protection of the public health, the promotion of agriculture, manufactures, and the arts, the gradual abolition of slavery, &c.

The record of the proceedings of the Senate of New York for the sessions of 1809-11 exhibits proofs of Mr. Clinton's great usefulness. Under his auspices, the New York Historical Society was incorporated, the Orphan Asylum and free schools were fostered and encouraged. He introduced laws to prevent kidnapping, and the further introduction of slaves; also to punish those who should treat [225] slaves inhumanly.-De Witt Clinton's Life in Delaplaine's Repository.

I have been forced, after honest and serious consideration, to the conclusion, that God, who rules all the affairs of men, is now speaking to the American nation in thunder tones. He is afflicting us for the terrible sin of slavery.

The great fear of those who have fostered this rebellion, is that a true knowledge of God and his word would be instilled into the minds of the people. This is proven by their own arguments. Let us cite one from General Duff Green's favorite strain:

We are of those who believe that the South has nothing to fear from a servile war. We do not believe that the abolitionists intend, nor could they if they would, to excite the slaves to insurrection. The danger of this is remote. We believe we have most to fear from the organized action upon the consciences and fears of the slaveholders themselves; from the insinuations of their dangerous heresies into our schools and pulpits and our domestic circles. It is only by alarming the consciences of the weak and feeble, and diffusing among our own people a morbid sensibility on the question of slavery, that the abolitionists can accomplish their object. Preparatory to this, they are now [226] laboring to saturate the non-slaveholding States with the belief that slavery is a sin against God; that the national compact involves the non-slaveholders in that sin, and that it is their duty to toil and suffer that our country may be delivered from what they term its blackest stain, its foulest reproach, its deadliest curse. -Southern Review.

Such arguments as these blacken the souls of thousands, shut up the avenues of knowledge in the South, and push on the car of slavery until it crushes all liberty beneath its iron wheels.

While I was thus in my old prison a second time, I met with a friend, Rev. William Rogers. During my absence he had organized a Sabbathschool among the prisoners. He had been fortunate enough to obtain, by some means or other, a copy of the Old or New Testament, and from this precious volume he used to read to the captives, who listened to him in alternate groups. Just about the time that Mr. Rogers was producing a good effect by this habit, the school was peremptorily discontinued by the rebels, who feared the dissemination of abolition doctrines, notwithstanding the fact that Rogers was a Southern man.

While here, I made the acquaintance of Dr. [227] Doke of East Tennessee, and Dr. Fish of Illinois, both of whom were busy day and night ministering to the physical wants and ailments of the prisoners. Medical stores were meagre, and Dr. Doke informed me that to this cause was traceable one-half the deaths that occured.

Mr. Rogers and I, falling into conversation one afternoon, struck upon the question of God's special providence. In this we agreed very well, but on that of slavery we were opposed to each other. He had been all his life an inhabitant of the South, and though he did not fully justify the keeping of slaves, he did not so blindly and bitterly denounce those of an opposite opinion, as Southerners are generally wont to do. But I still pray for God to bless this good divine, as he loves and venerates the Stars and Stripes. He is one of that class who, notwithstanding all the ordinances of secession, cannot give up their affection for the old standard.

Soon after this, we were sent to Atlanta, Georgia, under guard of one lieutenant. This was the first privilege we had yet enjoyed, and we appreciated it accordingly. Along the route the rebels were extremely anxious to converse with us, but we remained decidedly silent, for the least word, inconsiderately spoken, would [228] have placed us at the mercy of a mob, and we well knew what result would follow that. We were often insulted by such expressions as “Yankee thieves,” “nigger-stealers,” &c.

With no other incidents than these, we reached Atlanta in safety. Here we found a large number of Confederate wounded from Virginia, for whom large tables had been set out, spread with what food and luxuries could be obtained.

As I was still dressed in the ragged Confederate uniform in which I had escaped from prison, a lady hailed me, to know if I was a soldier. Of course, I answered yes, and for a moment hesitated about the rest of my answer; but, thinking any other course might be productive of ill, I added that I was a United States soldier, and of course could not expect to share in a meal set out specially for Confederates. With an assumption of affectation, she turned away, saying:

Ah, we do not feed Yankees!

But I noticed her dark eyes closely following me as I limped away through the crowd, and ere I was out of sight, she came hurrying through the latter, as though to speak to some one near me, and she whispered in my ear:

I am from New York, and I will give you [229] a cup of coffee. Come around, and I will slip it to you, but you must keep silent.

My heart swelled with emotion as I obeyed this angel woman, and I know the tears dropped on my face, as, with husky tones, I thanked her for the mug of rye coffee and the nice biscuit she placed in my hands.

We remained here long enough to learn that a captain and three Tennesseeans had been hung for their Union sentiments, and to learn also that captives fared very badly. Then we pushed on to Madison, where we were incarcerated in an old factory building, four stories high, and situated in the southeastern portion of the town. It was two o'clock, A. M., when we arrived, and we were immediately locked up in a room entirely destitute of a bed. But still there was such a contrast between it and the old jail in which we had been immured, that we thought it very fine indeed.

We lay down till morning, and when we arose, we found ourselves in company with General Prentiss and General Crittenden, togegether with two hundred and sixteen other officers of various grades. Here also I met with my old prison companions, Lieutenants Todd, Stokes, Hollingsworth, and Winslow-all clergymen like myself-Lieutenant-Colonel Adams, [230] Majors Crockett, Chandler, McCormick and Studman. I soon formed an agreeable acquaintance with General Prentiss, who was taken prisoner on Sunday, April 6th, 1862, at Shiloh. It had generally been reported that the General had surrendered early in the morning; but this was false, for I now learned that he did not give up until five o'clock in the afternoon, thus holding at least five or six times his own number in check the whole of that dreadful day. Without doubt, history will do the gallant hero justice; for on that bloody field he displayed coolness and heroism seldom equalled, and never excelled.

I found General Prentiss not one of your half-hearted war men, who fight conditionally, but a whole-souled patriot, who would destroy the institution that is the root of the war. He would not see the glorious banner trailed in the dust to uphold a few Southern aristocrats in perpetuating their horrid system of human bondage. His feelings were consonant with those of John Quincy Adams, when that wise man addressed Congress, February 4th, 1843, in the following words:

Three days since, Mr. Clayton, of Georgia, called that species of population (slaves) the machinery of the South. Now, that machinery [231] has twenty odd representatives in this hall, not elected by the machinery, but by those who own it. And if I should go back to the history of the Government from its foundations, it would be easy to prove that its decisions have been effected in general by less majorities than that. Nay, I might go further, and insist that that very representation has ever been, in fact, the ruling power of this Government.

The history of the Union has afforded a continual proof that the representation of property, which they enjoy, as well in the election of President and Vice-President of the United States, as upon the floor of the House of Representatives, has secured to the slaveholding States the entire control of the national policy, and almost without exception, the possession of the highest executive office of the Union. Always united in the purpose of regulating the affairs of the whole Union by the standard of the slaveholding interest, their disproportionate numbers in the electoral colleges have enabled them, in ten out of twelve quadrennial elections, to confer the Chief Magistracy upon one of their own citizens. Their suffrages at every election, without exception, have been exclusively confined to a candidate of their own caste.

General Prentiss was kind and affable to all [232] around him, and among fifteen hundred men of his command with whom I freely conversed, there was not one who did not love and respect him.

Every day found me growing more and more hostile to the slave system; and the actions of the various States against slavery often recurred to my mind, and always produced a pleasurable feeling. Pennsylvania took the lead in this noble race. The Act is to be found in Smith's Laws, Vol. I., p. 493, 1780. It was for the gradual abolishment of slavery, and every word of it should have been printed in letters of gold. This just Act was, for a long course of years, adhered to and perfected until slavery ceased in the State.

In the year 1827, the following open avowal of the State doctrine was made preface to the Act:

To prevent certain abuses of the laws relative to fugitives from labor.

They ought not to be tolerated in the State of Pennsylvania.

Above all let us never yield up the right of the free discussion of any evil which may arise in the land or any part of it; convinced that the moment we do so, the bond of the Union is broken. For the Union, a voluntary [233] compact to continue together for certain specified purposes, the instant one portion of it succeeds in imposing terms and dictating conditions upon another not found in the contract, the relation between them changes, and that which was union becomes subjection.

-Message to Pennsylvania Legislature, 1836.

Had we obeyed these admonitions when it was first attempted to stop our arguments, had we stood up like men and never yielded our rights on this subject, our foes would never have succeeded. Oh, that the united North had stood up like the martyr, Elijah Lovejoy! Said he:

I know that I have a right fully to speak and publish my sentiments, subject only to the laws of the land for the abuse of that right; and this right was given to me by my Maker, and is solemnly guaranteed to me by the Constitution of the United States and also the State. What I wish to know of you is, whether you will protect me in this right, or whether, as heretofore, I am to be subjected to personal indignity and outrage.

Was this noble man protected? No! He fell into the arms of his brother one day, shot down on the threshold of his own house, by the bullet of a cowardly and fanatical assassin. [234]

General Crittenden, with whom I also become acquainted here, was a slaveholder, yet he did not pretend to endorse the system. Another gentleman, Lieutenant-Colonel Pratt, of Missouri, born and bred in North Carolina, was strongly anti-slavery in his views.

Henry Clay, that peerless statesman, made the following remarks in a speech before a meeting of the Colonization Society:

As a mere laborer, the slave feels that he toils for his master, and not for himself; that the laws do not recognize his capacity to acquire and hold property, which depends altogether upon the pleasure of his proprietor; and that all the fruits of his exertion are reaped by others. He knows that whether sick or well, in times of scarcity or abundance, his master is bound to provide for him by the all-powerful influence of self-interest. He is generally, therefore, indifferent to the adverse or prosperous fortunes of his master, being contented if he can escape his displeasure or chastisement by a careless and slovenly performance of his duties.

That labor is best in which the laborer knows that he will receive the profits of his industry, and where his employment depends upon his diligence, and his reward upon his assiduity. He then has every motive to excite [235] him to exertion, and animate him to perseverance. He knows that if he is treated badly, he can exchange his employer. With the proceeds of his toil to his own hands, he distributes it as his pleasure indicates. In a word, he is a free agent, with rights, privileges, and sensibilities. Wherever the option exists to employ, at an equal hire, free or slave labor, the former will always have the preference. It is more capable, more diligent, more faithful, and in every respect more worthy of confidence.

Among the prisoners with whom I was in company, there were ninety-six incarcerated for political offences; that means for conscience‘ sake. They were mostly from East Tennessee, and they all, with one exception, believed slavery to be the cause of the war. This they often remarked to me, and invariably added that the war would never cease until slavery was destroyed. These opinions were expressed before we heard of the President's proclamation.

“Why, sir,” remarked I, to a Tennesseean of wealth and influence, “we are told by men in our country, that if you in the South thought this, you would be a united opposition at once.”

“Sir,” was the answer, “there are some in the South, now Union men, whom this notion might affect; but the truth is, that you can [236] never restore the Union until you emancipate the slaves. For their masters can use them, both small and great, old and young, as effciently as you can white men. They make them hoe corn and cotton to feed and clothe soldiers in the field; and here again the females are as useful as the males. If I could see some move made at this system of slavery, I would have some hope. I am myself the owner of ten or twelve slaves, and I would willingly give them all up to see the desired result brought about. Emancipation, sir, is the only hope that the Union men have of a restoration. While you return the slaves to their masters as soon as you take them, there is no hope. You might as well, when you take a rebel soldier prisoner, send him immediately back to his own lines without parole!”

My spirits were often depressed, and on one of these occasions I committed all my papers to the care of Captain Stedman, with whom I had formed a friendship in prison, requesting him that, in case I succumbed to my sufferings, he would endeavor to forward them to my wife.

During the daytime, we were permitted the liberty of the prison yard. One day, while walking about, I noticed a cellar, to which entrance was had from the yard. Into this [237] dark cellar I made my way, and prayed to God to remember me in my sore tribulation. Once, when I was making my exit from this retreat in company with a comrade or two who had joined me, I was seen by Captain Stedman, who on learning what we did there, begged us to pray for him. The next night we prayed in our apartment before retiring. This awakened some surprise among the rest of our comrades, some of whom were swearing and others playing cards. The night following, we held a regular prayer-meeting in our cellar, and God blessed us, and made us exceedingly happy. Each evening thereafter found us holding our prayer-meetings, and each evening saw several recruits added to our number. It had been agreed that there was to be no noise, fearing, as we did, that in case there was, we would be discovered by the guards, and a stop put to our proceedings. The rule was faithfully observed until one night, Captain Stedman, receiving a baptism from on high, could not restrain his happiness, but shouted, “Glory to God in the highest,” and the shout was taken up by the rest.

Here, we thought, was an end of our meetings, for the guards heard us. But we were agreeably mistaken.

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