From the National Tribune, 1/2/1902
EDITOR NATIONAL TRIBUNE: I noticed in a recent issue an
account of the death of Dick Turner, of Libby Prison notoriety. I have a double
reason to remember the Turners; there were two. Major Turner, I think, is in
Memphis, Tenn. Have forgotten whether they were related or not.
On Aug. 16, 1864, I was wounded and taken prisoner at Deep
Bottom, Va., only a few miles from Richmond, and we were soon placed in Libby.
From here we were sent to Salisbury, N. C., and then in a few weeks were sent
back to Danville, Va., where we were kept most of the Winter. Once we tried to
break out, and once we tried the tunnel, but we were overpowered, as the earth
gave way when the guard was pacing his beat, and he fell through. We then were
sent back to Richmond, and on the 22d day of February, 1865, were exchanged at
Aiken’s Landing, on the James River, and taken to Annapolis.
At that time I weighed 96 pounds, and was sent home on a
month’s furlough; was at Washington on my return to Annapolis when Richmond
surrendered; got transportation via James River to Richmond; applied to Gen.
Loomis, who had charge of the city, for transportation to my regiment, which was
at Appomattox. He said my regiment would be back within a few days, and placed
me in charge of Libby Prison and Castle Thunder, with 2,200 prisoners, and among
them, in a cell, was Dick Turner. I had several conversations with him on the
change of affairs. His wife lived in Richmond, and, I think, one child, at this
time: I remember him wanting his wife to be allowed to visit him.
I had charge of Libby Prison and Castle Thunder when
Lincoln was assassinated. My regiment then returned to Richmond, and I was
relieved from Libby, and joined my regiment. Some years ago I tried through your
paper to find some of those who were once prisoners with me – Capt. Black, or
Lieut. Mills, and a number of others. Gen. Hayes and Gen. Duffie were with us,
and I would like to hear from some of them if they still remember our kicking
the tub down stairs when we were placed in the third or fourth story of the old
mill at Salisbury, and our attempted escape by force, and our tunnel experience.
– W. B. LOWRY, Captain, 62d Ohio, Roseville, O.
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