Civil War Reports
From the Madison Daily Courier - February, 1864
Saturday, March 01, 2014 4:00 AM
We perceive that in some instances signs of warning have been put out in the front of the residences of those families where small-pox prevails.
This should be done in every instance; and furthermore, guards ought to be hired by authorities to prevent the possibility of the spread of the disease by imprudence of those connected with the afflicted families ... Unless the most stringent sanitary measures are adopted, we fear for the worst, for the loathsome and fatal epidemic is steadily increasing. We today hear of about a dozen new cases...
February 13, 1864
The proposed new creation of this official grade in our army causes us to recur for a moment to the occasions and circumstances of its former existence. It has been held by only two men in this country during our history as a nation - General Washington and General Scott, and the latter has only held it by brevet appointment. It is the glittering prize at the summit of military renown in America....
The bill now pending ... is designed to confer this exalted rank upon General Grant, who is so far in advance of his fellow Generals, and whose motto has been "Excelsior" in the present war ... let us observe that when General Grant receives this appointment he is ipso facto at the head of the army.
This is at once good and not good.
We believe that such plans as he would propose and suggest at Washington would be excellent, and in so far the change would be good .... But has he not shown above all that his power lies in execution; that it is at the head of an army he can work best? We hope the Government, while it confers merited honors upon him, will not lose his valuable services in the field, but that he will add to his glories by the successful management of our armies, rather than by digesting plans at the capital.
February 18, 1864
Particulars of the Recent Escape of the Union Prisoners from Richmond.
Baltimore, February 17 - The escaped Union officers reached here this morning, and they go to Washington today.
Their escape is full of thrilling incidents, but for prudential reasons, nay particulars are with held from publication at present.
They were fifty-one days making the tunnel. Having managed to find access to the cellar, they commenced work, relieving one another as opportunity offered. Their instruments were case knives, pocket knives, chisels and files. Twice they had to abandon their work and commence anew on account of the obstructions which they could not pass ... The tunnel, when completed, was about sixty feet long, and opened into an old tobacco shed, beyond the line of guards.
As soon as they found their way clear, they emerged in squads of two or three and sauntered off until clear of the guards ... In order to elude the pursuers, who they knew would soon be on their track, they scattered as much as possible....
February 25, 1864
We regret to see the name of our brave young townsman, Lieutenant Simpson, of the 10th Indiana, in the list of escaped Union prisoners recaptured and returned to Libby Prison.
Captain M. Moore, of the 29th Indiana, and Captain Phelps, of the 73rd Indiana, were also retaken.
Note: Of the 109 escapees, 59 succeeded in reaching Union lines, 48 were recaptured, and 2 drowned in the nearby James River.
Research conducted by the Jefferson County Civil War Round Table