© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 763

On Tuesday, February 9, 1864, 109 federal officers held in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia escaped after 17 days of laboriously tunneling their way out of prison.

Included among the escapees was Union General A.D. Streight, who led a successful cavalry raid from Alabama into Tennessee in April and May of 1863 but had been captured. So effective was the escape, the Confederate guards did not realize there was a problem until after the morning roll call of prisoners. 

By then, twelve hours had lapsed, giving the escapees valuable time to get away. In this, the most sensational and largest prison break of the American Civil War, eventually 59—including Streight—reached Federal lines. Forty-eight escapees were eventually recaptured, while two unfortunately drown in the James River.this