Captain Alfred Gude Civil War Experience
Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, January 2012
Captain Alfred Gude was married to Jane Holmes, and was post-master of Bruceville, Indiana, at the time this story was written. Bruceville, in Knox County, is eight miles north of Vincennes. He was a commissioned officer of Company H, 51st Indiana Volunteer Regiment, and entered into service on December 14, 1861. Company H was made up of residents of and near Bruceville. Their commander was Colonel (later General) Abel Delon Streight.
In the 1880 federal census, Alfred was 43 years old, living with his wife Jane, age 44, in Bruceville, with their four children: Mollie (23), Hattie (19), Jessie (18) and Johnie (10).
Source: United States Federal Census, 1880.
This typed paper of Alfred Gude’s Civil War experiences tells of the awful conditions as a Union prisoner, of his three attempted escapes, and his final successful escape from Confederate captivity.
After two years of hard fighting, Alfred was captured on May 3, 1863, near Rome, Georgia, by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and General Rody. As prisoners, the Union soldiers were sent to Atlanta, and then shipped to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. In Libby, they were closely guarded for a year, with only one successful escape attempt, that being the famous Rose-Hamilton tunnel. Alfred did not participate in this escape, because he was sick at the time.
Other prisons where Alfred was incarcerated were in Danville and Macon, Georgia, and then Charlestown, South Carolina. The Rebels claimed they had to move the 10,000 prisoners because of yellow fever, but really because the Union army was near. Therefore, the Confederates moved their prisoners to Columbia, South Carolina. Other places where he was taken were Athens and Augusta, Georgia, and near Chesterville, South Carolina.
Alfred made three attempts to escape before finally succeeding. During the final escape, Alfred traveled about 250 miles in North and South Carolina, and in East Tennessee, before meeting Union soldiers camped at the Chucky River, between North Carolina and Tennessee. Some of his own 51st Regiment was camped there. Alfred received a furlough after his long escape ordeal.
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Folder 1. 20-page typed paper. No dates of events are given.
Pages 1-2 Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia
Page 3 “Foiled by a Traitor”
Pages 4-6 “Our Hopes Doomed”
Pages 6-7 “A Narrow Escape”
Pages 7-8 “Recaptured”
Pages 8-9 “Escape Again”
Pages 9-10 “Escape and Second Recapture”
Pages 11-13 “Colored Friends”
Page 13 “Recaptured Again”
Pages 13-15 “In Prison Again”
Pages 15-20 Alfred escapes from a train and makes his way back to Union lines.
Size of Collection: 1 folder, 1 item (20 pages)
Collection Dates: 1949
Provenance: Mrs. Harriet Mayfield Quinn, a descendant of Captain Gude, D.A.R., Francis Vigo Chapter, Vincennes, Indiana.
Access : The collection is open for research use.
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English.
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings None