The Century; a popular quarterly. / Volume 39, Issue 3; Jan 1890; p. 479

“Shooting into Libby Prison.”

I WAS surprised at the denial of shooting into Libby Prison, on page 153 of the November CENTURY, because I was so unfortunate as to be compelled to stay a short time at that notorious place and had a personal experience with the shooting. Our squad reached the prison one April night in 1863. Early next morning we new arrivals, anxious to become better acquainted with the rebel capital, filled the windows and with outstretched necks sniffed the fresh air. Three of my comrades were kneeling with elbows resting on the window-sill, quietly looking out. I stood with my hand on the top of a window-frame, looking out over their heads, when bang went a gun, and a bullet came whizzing close to my head and sunk deep into the casing within six inches of my hand. Nothing saved one of our number from death but the poor aim of the guard, who was nearly under us, and to whom we were paying no attention. We were told by those who had been there some time that it was the habit of the guard to shoot in that way to keep prisoners from leaning out of the windows.

Albert H. Hollister,
Company F, 22d Wisconsin; 1st Lieutenant, Co. K, 30th United Stoles Colored Troops.

I ENTERED Libby a prisoner of war, October 50, 1863, much weakened by our long trip in box cars from Chattanooga, and having been forty-eight hours with- out rations. To escape the stifling air inside I seated myself in an open window on the second floor. One of my comrades, having more experience, made a grab for me and “yanked” me out, exclaiming, “My God, man, do you want to die?” “What’s up now?” I said. “Look there!” Peeping over the window-sill, I saw the guard just removing his gun from his shoulder. “What does this mean?” I said. “We had no orders about the windows.” “That is the kind of orders we get here,” he answered. I went through Richmond, Danville, “Camp Sumpter” (Andersonville), Charleston, and Florence, and during this experience, covering a period of fourteen months and thirteen days, I never heard instructions that we might do this or might not do that. Our first intimation of the violation of, a rule was to see the guard raising his gun to his shoulder. They did not always fire, but often they did.

J. T. King,
115th Illinois Volunteers.

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