From the Richmond Whig, 10/23/1863


Between two and three o'clock, yesterday morning, four prisoners, named E. D. Boone, Edward Carney, Thos. Cole and John A. Chipman, all desperate characters, and confined on serious charges, succeeded in escaping from Castle Thunder. A previous attempt to escape having been frustrated by the officers, they were put in the condemned cell, before which a guard is placed, constantly walking to and fro, and was deemed, from its position, the most secure place in the prison. Obtaining by some means the necessary tools, they cut through the floor into the Commissary's room beneath, where they secured the arms placed there for safe keeping; then rushing into the reception room, overthrew the sentinel inside the door. They next encountered the sentinel in front of the prison, and one of them walked up to him, vainly trying to stop their egress, placed the muzzle of the gun to his head and discharged it, causing instant death. Three or four shots were fired at the fleeing murderers, but with what effect is unknown. The name of the murdered sentinel is Sutton Byrd, private in Co. C 53d N. C. Regiment.

The poor boy's father was here, and accompanied the remains home. When the lid of the coffin was being placed on, the old man knelt down, glued his lips to the cold ones of his murdered boy, and remained some moments, apparently in prayer. Gen. Winder ordered an escort to accompany the body to the cars.

A singular incident occurred, when a crowd of soldiers on duty at the prison, collected around the body after the murder. A well known large dog, belonging to Capt. Alexander, placed himself beside the body, and would allow no one to approach until the proper officer relieved him of the charge; and then followed the corpse into the building. This exhibition of canine affection was as touching as it is remarkable.

Go to top