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Libby Prison Breakout: The Daring Escape from the Notorious Civil War Prison

Joseph Wheelan

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Prose: non-fiction, History

During the winter of 1863-1864, 1,200 Union officers lived in squalor and semi-starvation in Richmond's Libby Prison, known as "The Bastille of the South." On February 9, 109 of those officers wriggled through a fifty-five-foot tunnel to freedom. After an all-out Rebel manhunt, survivors reached Washington, and their testimony spurred far-reaching investigations into the treatment of Union prisoners. Libby Prison Breakout tells the largely unknown story of the most important escape of the Civil War from a Confederate prison, one that ultimately increased the North's and South's willingness to use prisoners in waging "total war."

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