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Alfred Gude collection

 Collection — Folder: S0556
Identifier: S0556

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1949

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

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: 1880 United States Federal Census.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Harriet Mayfield Quinn.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2012/01 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid created 2012/01 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Alfred Gude collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.