From the Richmond Examiner, 2/15/1864

THE RE-CAPTURED YANKEE OFFICERS. – The number of re-captured Yankee officers, who escaped from the Libby Prison on Tuesday night of last week, is swelled to nearly fifty by those brought in on Friday night, Saturday and yesterday. They were found, like sheep scattered from the fold, spread about in individual spots, all over the country below Richmond and above, their faces set towards the Yankee lines as truly as the needle to the pole. Several were detected and apprehended in Richmond, having lingered behind to view the sights in the "rebel capital." One – a lieutenant – ventured into the ball-room at Concert Hall on Friday night last, but was recognized by the cut of his Yankee jib, arrested and sent down to his old quarters. Another stumbled on one of Mosby’s men in a Main street drinking saloon; was asked to drink; got garrulous and claimed to belong to his command, without knowing who his new acquaintance was. Mosby’s man was keen; claimed him as one of the escaped prisoners, and so it proved. A third was detected by a newsboy, swapping his Yankee garment for a negro’s great coat, and was pursued and apprehended.

The object of the recent forward movement of a heavy Yankee force up the Peninsula as far as Bottom’s bridge, on last Sunday week, is laid bare by the escapade from the Libby. The intended exodus was known in Lincoln’s Cabinet before it was revealed in Richmond by its accomplishment. The column of the enemy was thrown forward in order to be in readiness to succour any of the escaping prisoners who might break through the Confederate lines. It is also plain that the escape was delayed several nights beyond its actual accomplishment, and that it was intended to be far more successful than it was.

Seventeen of the re-captured officers were returned to the Libby on Saturday and yesterday. Two of them were of the big fish who slipped through the prison net – Colonel Ely, of the Eighteenth Connecticut, and Colonel Thomas E. Rose, of the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania. Nearly all of those re-captured were equipped in Yankee greatcoats; and was it not that this garment has come into almost general use among our own people, soldiers and civilians, there is little doubt but that the majority of the fugitives would have been overhauled by this time.

The story of Colonel Straight’s re-capture and wounding grew out of the arrest, up the canal, of a burly Dutchman, with too much Dutch in him to pronounce his own name. We believe, with the prison officials, that extraordinary efforts were made to secure the escape of Straight, and that he has gone straight into Abraham’s bosom, who will give him a Brigadier’s commission.

 

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