summer of 1863, but made his escape the following night. He accomplished this by strategem, which he matured as he sorrowfully and wearily marched along in the darkness under the surveillance of an exacting enemy armed with bayoneted guns. Some two hundred prisoners, who had been captured at the same time (the preceding evening), were on the march toward Nashville. At a point on the way called Webb's Spring there was a bridge some thirty feet l ong, on which they crossed a creek. He was acquainted with this particular spot, his battery having camped there prior to the capture. On either side of this bridge, its entire length, a railing extended. The prisoners were required to march near the center of the pike, a file of Federal soldiers. about six feet apart, marching on each side of them to prevent escapes. And right well did they perform their duty, for more than once was this prisoner deterred from an effort at escape on account of their threatening appearance. But something must be done soon, for the daylight was fast approaching, when the last hope would be gone. When this bridge was reached, H earne purposely stepped directly in front of the guard who had been marching at his side. and other persons came on also in front of him this prevented the guard from going on. and when Hearne reached the opposite end, he saw his opportunity, which he had anticipated. and quietly stepped aside and waited in the darkness until the whole company had passed on. He was again free. No one can appreciate such liberty unless he has experienced the mortification of the surrender, the escape, and its dangers.
Hearne was again captured in a cavalry battle on Pigeon River during Longstreet's campaign against Knoxville. This time he received a severe pistol-shot wound from a Federal soldier not over fifty feet away. From here he was carried to Knoxville and lodged in prison . After remaining here long enough to be able to walk, he again made his escape. The difficulties attending this adventure were very trying. He was in poor health, not having recovered from the depleting effects of his wound the weather was very cold, and he was poorly clad for a trip attended with such great hardships, his route being by way of Maryville, across the Great Smoky Mountains,
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Copyright (c) 1999, 2007 Brian Cragun.