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sylvania, the strongest and most secure prison in the State. It was now evident to his friends that escape was impossible, and he was given over as lost: friends were not allowed to visit him, but bitter enemies had full privilege to taunt and insult him through the prison bars. The Union people were permitted to send him provisions but not to see him. The Rebels told him that the Confederate Government would starve the Union prisoners, until the Yankee Government would consent to their terms of exchange, and leave such men as himself, Colonel Straight, and officers of negro regiments in their hands to be properly punished.
By careful observation, Dr. Rucker ascertained that the jailor's son, not twenty months old, at times had the key to the debtor's room, which was directly opposite his cell, to play with; he at once determined to secure the key and effect his escape. At a favorable moment he bribed the child with chestnuts and fruits, and thus gained possession of the much coveted key.
On the night of the 18th of October, 1863, soon after dark, he carefully turned the key, slid back the bolts, and almost in a moment was free. He passed out of the village of Pittsylvania on the Raleigh road, having determined to reach the Union troops on the North Carolina coast. When a short distance on the road he discovered that he had left behind papers that would betray his route through North Carolina, he changed his course, retraced his steps through the village, traveled all night as rapidly as possible, (having secured a horse not far from the village,) and was at daylight in a town far to the northward, where he was received by a trusty friend and concealed till the 27th. During this time he was visited by many old acquaintances, who gave him proper assistance, and among other things, a blooded horse, valued at $1,000, provided especially for the occasion. On the night of the 27th, with this animal he traveled sixty-five miles. During the next day he slept soundly at the house of a loyal friend, his horse being concealed in a corn-shuck pen. Early at night he resumed his journey, and at two o'clock next morning passed through Covington, Allegheny county. In this village he called at the house of a supposed friend, to make some inquiry, and immediately proceeded on his way. .
When a few miles from Covington he found his strength so rapidly failing, that he determined to stop in a thicket near the road and rest. Soon after daylight, judging from the noise and confusion along the road, he believed himself betrayed by his Covington friend, and afterward learned that the wife of the gentleman, of whom he made inquiry, had published the fact of his passage through the village. He determined to abandon his horse and equipments, and flee to the mountains. He remained two days and nights in the Alleghenies without food, and only once found water.
On the evening of the 31st of October, pressed with hunger, and perishing with cold, he descended to the foot of the mountains. When night set in, a heavy rain commenced falling, and the night was dark and stormy. It was a question of life or death: scouts thirsting for his blood were on every side, and every road: twice they had passed close to his retreat in the mountains, and he knew not what moment he might fall into their hands. He, however, determined to come out into the valley, and seek relief. The first house he passed he knew to be the residence of a notorious Rebel.
As he was passing a narrow ravine near this house, he suddenly heard a soft and low whistle; he instantly stood still, as if pierced to the heart, and transformed to stone. While deliberating what to do, the sound was repeated. It might be an enemy signaling to a comrade, or it might perchance be a friend. He seized his pistol and demanded, "Who's there?" A voice replied The Doctor thought he recognized both the name, and the voice to be those of a faithful negro boy, the property of the Rebel owner of the house near by. The negro inquired, “Are you Dr. Rucker ?" "No," said the Doctor, “what do you know about Dr. Rucker ?— come closer.” The negro half frightened, yet still confident, said, “Your voice sounds mighty like de doctor's." He stepped forward, and there was a mutual recognition, and short greetings.
The loyal negro had come out to save his friend. He told him a guard was stationed on every road, and that he was completely surrounded; the scouts had been at his master's house, the night before, and he overheard in their conversation that they were after Dr. Rucker, and expected to catch him on the road near by. He had determined to save him if possible, and for that purpose had watched for him in the ravine, where he had provided some bread and meat. This the famished fugitive eagerly consumed, and then followed his faithful guide, who piloted him round three sets of pickets, and left him safe with a friend, several miles beyond. Thence he made his way across Green Briar River, and was piloted to a concealed fortification, erected by the Union men and conscripts, who were well armed, and determined to defend themselves till death.
Dr. Rucker remained in this fortress two days, and
thence in three days made his escape to Gauley Bridge, hell by the Union troops, commanded by Captain Merriman of the 5th Virginia. From this post, the Doctor telegraphed to Secretary Stanton the fact of his escape.
STORY L X X X VIII.
GALLANTRY OF LIEUTENANT MILNE.
I MUST not forget to mention the gallantry of a young officer in the engagement at Lafourche, Louisiana. Sergeant Henry Milne, of the 4th Wisconsin, was recently promoted to a first lieutenancy in the 1st Louisiana Native Guard, (IIeavy Artillery,) and detailed as assistant superintendent of Negro labor.
Riling throngh Lafourche one day, he gave information of the approach of the enemy to Colonel Stickney, of the 17th Massachusetts, the commanding officer of our forces, and informed him that he could successfully manage the field-piece which stood before them. Although an entire stranger, in the emergency, he was appointed chief of artillery. IIe dismounted, and iminediately commenced drilling the artillerists.
When the enemy's cavalry appeared, he loaded with shell, trained the gun and fired. He killed two men, dismounted twelve, and killed two horses. At closer range he used only canister. The enemy charged upon the battery, but he cried, “Steady, boys,"—and took good aim.
The contest had now become so close, that a Rebel soldier had his hand clasped tight around the throat of
an infantry captain, one of whose soldiers repulsed his impudence by thrusting his bayonet entirely through the Rebel's heart.
Another ran up to Lieutenant Milne, placed his hand upon the gun and shouted, “Surrender!" "Never!" was the answer. “ Hand me a shot, boys,” said the Lieutenant. “Don't you fire that again!" screamed the Rebel. Lieutenant Milne, with the strength of a giant, hurled the ball at his antagonist, who fell dead at his feet. Rallying again, to the task before him, he loaded and fired with lightning-like rapidity, until the enemy were repulsed, and the victory won. His faithful horse lay dead under his gun, but eighteen dead butternuts bore him company. General Emory publicly announced his determination to promote the young hero, the gallant Lieutenant Milne.
STORY LXXXI X.
JOHN MORGAN'S RAID AGAIN.
INCIDENTS FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
NEAR Corydon, Indiana, a minister, named Glenn, who owned the finest house in that section, fired upon the Rebels. He was dragged into the house by his wife, who closed the doors. The Rebels burst open the door, wounded him through both thighs, set fire to the house, and left Glenn to perish in the flames.
His wife and other ladies in the house, dragged him out to an orchard, and thus saved him from being roast ed alive. Near Maukport, they also killed Garrett