From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/6/1864, p. 1, c. 6

Attempted Escape of Yankee Prisoners. – Between twelve and one o'clock yesterday morning two Yankee deserters, confined in Palmer's building, opposite to Castle Thunder, made a bold attempt to effect their escape. Being confined on the second floor, they forced open the door facing Cary street, and after first throwing a brick, at the sentinel below, a Mr. Turpin, which struck him on the shoulder, they jumped out and started to run up the street. The next sentinel to Mr. Turpin, hearing the alarm, fired, but failed to hit either of the fleeing Yankees, whereupon he grabbed his musket, and as they passed him struck one of them a severe blow on the back of the neck, which partiality stunned him, but did not stop him from keeping on. By this time the guards on both sides of the street were fully aroused to the condition of things, and each of them in sight discharged their pieces in the direction the runaways had taken. Owing to the darkness of the night, however, neither of them were brought down, and but for the extraordinary fleetness and courage of Lieut. George Watt, of the State militia, they would probably have usually escaped. This gentleman, alone and unarmed pursued them to the neighborhood of the old gas works, where they were overtaken and brought back to prison.

For this conduct Capt. Richardson, the efficient commandant at Castle Thunder, has assigned them quarters in the corner cells of that institution, where they will be kept upon bread and water till such time as a Court Martial can decide upon the matter. It was undoubtedly the intention of these prisoners to kill or stun the sentinel at whom the brick was thrown, as they would thereby be enabled to gain the street, and perhaps pass the other guards on duty without exciting any suspicion. The efficiency of the militia, now doing all the guard duty in this city, is highly commended by the commandants of the various Confederate prisons, and in this case they did all that could be expected of them under the circumstances.

Go to top