From the Richmond Enquirer, 2/13/1864
RECAPTURE OF MORE YANKEE OFFICERS. – Three more of the Yankee officers who
recently took the underground route out of the Libby Prison, were recaptured on
Thursday, near Fort Clifton, on the Appomattox. It seems that after their escape
from the Libby they succeeded in reaching Port Walthall, where they secured a
boat and started for Old Point. In going down the James river they mistook their
way and turned into the Appomattox. In the darkness they ran the boat upon the
obstructions in the river, near the fort, and upset it, when, utterly exhausted
and almost frozen to death, they went ashore and surrendered themselves to a
party of men belonging to Martin’s Battery. They were conveyed to Petersburg and
confined in the provost marshal’s guard house. Their names are Frank M. Kreps, 1st
Lieutenant, 77th Pennsylvania; Freeman C. Gay, 2d Lieutenant, 11th
Pennsylvania; Henry B. Freeman, 1st
Lieutenant, United States Infantry.
When the York river train reached Tunstall’s Station, yesterday, one of the
escaped Yankee officers – Major J. N. Walker, of the 73d Indiana – approached
the cars and surrendered himself to Surgeon J. A. Slater, of the 15th
Va. Cavalry. He said he was quite sick, had eaten nothing since Tuesday last,
and was consequently unable to travel. He said that the 109 officers who escaped
commenced leaving the prison at 9 o’clock at night, and the last of them got
through about 5 o’clock in the morning. The escaped party were, according to his
account, 55 days at work on the tunnel. After getting out, they made North of
Richmond, and most of them crossed the Chickahominy and then worked their way
down on the other side.
We are informed that one of the party passed the pickets at New Kent Court
House, and, representing himself as a member of the New Kent cavalry, made good
We are also informed that some of the recaptured officers acknowledged that
when the roll used to be called, some 70 would answer to the names of 100. This
is almost incredible, for, we suppose, it was and is the practice to count
the prisoners as well as call the roll.
A report was brought by a party who came up by the cars last evening, that
the enemy was again advancing, and had driven in our pickets at New Kent Court
House, at 12 o’clock yesterday.
In addition to Major Walker, who was brought to the Libby in an ambulance
last night, four more of the absentees were captured in the vicinity of the city
yesterday. – Their names are Lieutenant W. Clifford, 16th U. S.
Infantry; Major Robert Henry, of the 5th Ohio; Lieutenant J. W. Hare,
5th Ohio Cavalry, and Lieutenant A. Garbett, of the 77th
A number more were expected to be returned by our scouts, who were in active
pursuit and expected back last night.
It was extensively rumored yesterday, that the notorious Colonel Straight had
been wounded and captured, on the canal, above and west of the city, and was on
his way down. The manner of his capture was embellished according to the fancy
of those giving currency to the report. The leavanting Colonel may have been
taken, but he certainly had not reached the city at sundown yesterday. We hope
to chronicle the arrival of this scoundrel at the Libby on Monday.
In all, about 34 have been returned to the prison.
RECAPTURE OF YANKEE OFFICERS. – Of those who escaped from the Libby prison
Tuesday night, the following have been taken and returned thither, since the
closing of our last report on Friday night, viz: Lieut. Col. Ely, 18th
Conn.; Capt. E. S. Smith, 19th
U. S. cavalry; Lieut. W. H. Wilcox, 10th N. Y. cavalry; Lieuts. Adam
N. Y.; Daniel Flausberry, 1st Michigan cavalry; T. J. Roy, 49th
Ohio; J. H. Gadsby, 19th U. S. Infantry; M. M. Basset, 53d Ill.; M.
Bedell, 123d N. Y.; Capt. N. Moore, 29th Ind.; Lieut. J. D. Simpson,
Ind.; capt. J. D. Phelps, 73d Ind.; Capt. W. C. Rosman, 3d Ohio; Col. Thos. G.
Penn.; H. P. Crawford, 2d Ill. Cavalry, and S. D. Sutherland, 125th
Ohio. – Most of them were caught north of the Chickahominy.
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