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Escape from Libby Prison.


January and February 1864

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, February 15, 1864.




Secretary Stanton’s Reply to the Senate.


Congressional and Other Items.

Etc., Etc., Etc.

[Special dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

WASHINGTON, February 13. – ….

(To the Associated Press.)

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14. – A gentleman who arrived to-night from the Army of the Potomac saw before he left there a Richmond paper of Thursday, found upon the person of a deserter who came into our lines, in which appears an article stating that one hundred and nine officers have escaped from Libby prison by digging a tunnel under the street for that purpose. It is supposed the prisoners had been engaged upon that work for at least a month.

They were missed at roll-call, and forthwith troops were dispatched in various directions, to capture them. Four were overtaken on the Williamsburg and Hanover court house road. Others it is supposed were secreted in the neighborhood of Richmond. The guards were arrested on the belief that they were in collusion with the prisoners, but were afterwards released, the subterranean mode of escape having become known.

The paper says Neal Dow was not among the runaways, but was probably waiting to accompany the next batch. The deserter above referred to says a large number of his regiment, the 14th Louisiana, are barefoot, and that the daily rations consist of a quarter of a pound of meat and one pint of meal.

There have been no active military movements in our army for a week past.

WASHINGTON, February 14. – Governor Andrew Johnson of, of Tennessee, has arrived in Washington.

The enrollment bill, has returned to the Senate with House amendments, will be acted upon by the Military Committee of the Senate to-morrow. The points of difference between the two branches of Congress are comparatively trifling, and will soon be adjusted, and the bill will speedily become a law.

Captain John F. Porter of the 14th New York cavalry, arrived here to-day, overland from Richmond, having escaped two weeks ago from Libby Prison. He left the prison in a rebel uniform, having acquired an abandoned one, and remained nine days in Richmond without ex[c]iting suspicion.

Among the officers recently escaped from Libby prison are: Colonel Straight, Colonel Tiffin, Major John Murey and Colonel Rodgers, but it is not known yet whether they have succeeded in getting clear of rebeldom. The rations issued to officers in the prison consisted of a quart of rice to 16 men every eight days, a small piece of cornbread every day to each, about 8 ounces of very poor fresh meat once a week, and salt and vinegar very rarely. Assistant Surgeon Railord, who feigned to be ill with smallpox, has from the United States steamer Brandywine.