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McCreery, Wm. B., late Col 1st Regt. Mich. Vol Inf

MY EXPERIENCE AS A PRISONER OF WAR AND ESCAPE FROM LIBBY PRISON.

West Mich Printing Co: Grand Rapids, MI nd (1896?) Frontis, 9.5 x 6.25, stapled wraps, 40 pp. Disbound, covers have tears and chipping, front cover missing a few small pieces, staples rusty, light creasing and soiling else good. McCreery of Flint, MI, entered service in 1861 as a sergeant in Co. F, 2nd Infantry, promoted to captain the same year, rec'd three wounds at Williamsburg, VA, in 1862, made Lt. Col. later that year and Col early in 1863. In Sept. of 1863 he was wounded three times at the Battle of Chickamauga and was captured and taken to Libby Prison. A very detailed account of hospital/prison life. He and more than 100 officers escaped Libby Prison on the night of Feb. 9, 1864, by digging with rudimentary "tools" a tunnel to freedom. "The tunnel required about 30 days of patient, tedious and dangerous labor. It was eight feet below the surface of the street, between 50 and 60 feet in length . . . " It took McCreery and his companions five days and six nights to reach the Union lines safely. Of the 109 soldiers who escaped only 51 made it to safety. Upon reaching the Union lines, McCreery telegraphed his father "I have made escape from 'Hell' (Libby Prison) and am again in God's country -- will be home soon." On Sept 14, 1864, the man who was praised by Gen Sherman for his bravery resigned due to his wounds and received an honorable discharge. Upon accepting McCreery's resignation, Gen George H. Thomas said, "On account of wounds (six in number) received at various times in action while in discharge of his duty, the honorable scars which he now wears . . .the major general commanding takes occasion to express his high appreciation of the soldierly qualities and faithful discharge of duty which have ever characterized Col McCreery's actions, at the same time regretting the existence of the disability which compels the withdrawal of so valuable an officer from the service." He returned to his hometown of Flint where he was twice elected mayor, later state treasurer, consul to Valparaiso, Chile and much more. He died on Dec. 9, 1896. Along with the book is a torn and creased note addressed to "Comrade McCreery," dated Feb. 12, 1897, two months after his death. It's either the outline of a future G.A.R. meeting or the mintues of a meeting. It's possible that this book belonged to the McCreery family. The first edition of this book was published as "a paper that was read before the Commandery of the state of Michigan, Military Order of the loyal legion of the U.S. . . .by companion Wm. B. McCreery . . . At Detroit, Michigan, February 6, 1889" (From that edition) pulished by Winn & Hammond in 1893. A fascinating account from a man who contributed much to his country and his state. Scarce.


Book Id: 97-9762

Price: $295.00

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