CV XXXVII"On the third night of September, 1963, five determined spirits made up their minds that they would endeaver to make their escape. The five spirits were Johnsie Tongue, Sloane, Wiley, T.W.Lake and L.B.Lake.
Luther B.Lake, Co.B, 8th Vir. Inf.
After roll call we crept as near the dead line as possible and as the sentinels, on their beat met and seperated, we made a dash for freedon. Freedon, did I say? Not yet, for then there was the river and the bay; besides, there was a deep inlet that flowed from the river to the bay, and a bridge across it was heavily guarded with infantry, also the inlet from the river to the bay, and outside of all was a cavalry patrol two and half miles from the prison.
All this we managed to find out before we made the attempt to make our excape, so we took the bay point about two hundred and fifty yards from the beach. There is a sand shoal, which was
about the only chance for us. We waded to the shoal, the water on which was about five feet deep: the Tide was out, and we knew it would rise about twelve o'clock. It was dark as Eurebus, but we
managed to keep on the shoal where the inlet made in from the river. It became deeper and deeper until at last my brother, a boy of sixteen, began to strangle: so Tongue and I lifted him up
and carried him one-half mile through the deepest part, and then we came to shallow water again. After wading for two and one-half miles in the bay, which took us five hours, we came to land outside of the cavalry pickets. We took off our old, ragged, dirty uniforms and wrung
the water out of them."
All 5 managed to get back home again, being feed and helped by several sympatizers.
"Tongue and Sloane were scouts for Gen. J.E.B.Stuart.
Wiley was an independent scout and operated in Fairfax County.
T.W.Lake a member of Col John S.Mosby's 47th Vir. Cav
L.B.Lake a member of General Picketts division.
A Mr. Bryan loaned them his boat, with muffled oars, to get across the Potomac River. L.B. says "We landed safe and sound on the soil of old Virginia, and I, for one, kneeled down and kissed
They crossed the Orange and Alexander Railroad. "It was dark, and we were right in the Yankee camp;did not know where the sentinels were, but being good scouts, we soon found the railroad and thousands of campfires. We succeeded in crossing between two campfires about twenty-five yards apart and, I am glad to say no one halted us.We were so close to one guard I heard him cough. I think he took us for stock of somekind,-and we were-old genuine Southern stock-short horns."
This was about 24 miles below Washing(ton)? City.
"In two days we reached my brother's home, the same place where the Yanks had captured us, but we did not sleep in the house anymore, We slept that night between the corn row's...
This is only a synopsis of that escape. I never went to prison again, and I never surrendered at the end. No more federal prison for me!"