OR, Ser I, Vol X/1 p. 634
APRIL 7-12, 1862.— Raid on Confederate line of communications between
Chattanooga, Tenn., and Marietta, Ga.
<ar10_634> the martyrdom of the patriot
and hero can be degraded by the hands of ruffians and traitors.
The remaining prisoners, now reduced to 14, were kept closely confined under
special guard in the jail at Atlanta until October, when, overhearing a
conversation between the jailer and another officer, they became satisfied that
it was the purpose of the authorities to hang them as they had done their
companions. This led them to form a plan for their escape, which they carried
into execution on the evening of the next day, by seizing the jailer when he
opened the door to carry away the bucket in which their supper had been brought.
This was followed by the seizure also of the 7 guards on duty, and before the
alarm was given 8 of the fugitives were beyond reach of pursuit It has been
since ascertained that 6 of these, after long and painful wanderings, succeeded
in reaching our lines. Of the fate of the other 2 nothing is known. The
remaining 6 of the 14, consisting of the 5 witnesses who have deposed and Mr.
Mason, were recaptured and confined in the barracks until December, when they
were removed to Richmond. There they were shut up in a room in Castle Thunder,
where they shivered through the winter, without fire, thinly clad, and with but
two small blankets, which they had saved with their clothes, to cover the whole
party. So they remained until a few days since, when they were exchanged; and
thus, at the end of eleven months, terminated their pitiless persecutions in the
prisons of the South— persecutions begun and continued amid indignities and
sufferings on their part and atrocities on the part of their traitorous foes
which illustrate far more faithfully than any human language could express it
the demoniac spirit of a revolt, every throb of whose life is a crime against
the very race to which we belong.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
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