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  1. On April 5th, 1862 Colonel R. P. Buckland, commander of the 4th Brigade, sent a daily report concerning the activity of his pickets, to his boss, General W. T. Sherman. In it, he confirmed that, 'Lieutenant Geer, my acting aide, is missing...' Beyond the Lines, or a Yankee prisoner loose in Dixie, by Captain J. J. Geer, published by J. W. Daughaday of Philadelphia, 1863. The true story of what happened to the 'acting aide,' after he was captured while investigating an attack on Union pickets, on April 4th, 1862. Taken straight away to Confederate Headquarters, Geer recounts meeting, in succession, General Bragg, General Hardee, and General Beauregard, all of whom are intent on getting him to reveal all he knows concerning Grant's strength and unit locations. After battle commenced, and no longer of potential use for intelligence, the prisoner was sent to the rear, to Corinth; where he remained until just before the arrival of General Prentiss and his 2200 fellow captives. Lieutenant Geer was sent south on the Mobile and Ohio to a brief incarceration at Columbus, Mississippi. From there, he was sent even further south, to Mobile. Eventually, six hundred captives taken at Hell's Hollow were incarcerated in a disused cotton shed in Montgomery, Alabama. J. J. Geer joined them there in late April, in time to witness 'the first reported war crime' of the Rebellion: the shooting of Lieutenant William S. Bliss, 1st Michigan Light Artillery, Company B (sometimes indicated as 'Battery B' and Ross' Battery.) Sent next to Camp Oglethorpe, 28-year-old Geer stayed only briefly, before he made his escape; he remained in hiding in Georgia swamps for three weeks, until recaptured, and sent to join General Prentiss and the other 200 Federal officers, held as prisoners at Madison, Georgia. Here he remained, along with hundreds of political prisoners from East Tennessee; and witnessed the return of Captain Patrick Gregg from his errand as commissioner to Washington, D.C. Finally, in October 1862, the general exchange was approved; and the prisons at Madison and Macon were emptied, Lieutenant Geer was sent north with the other prisoners, and continued to record his experiences: the stop at Libby Prison in Richmond; the first view in six months of 'that Glorious Flag' as they boarded the flag-of-truce boat at Aiken's Landing; the eventual arrival (of the officers) in Washington, D.C. (The enlisted men were incarcerated at Annapolis, Maryland.) John J. Geer's experience, (recorded as this book, and published June 1863), was deemed to have been of such value, that he was promoted to Captain, and sent on a 'lecture and recruiting tour' of the United States, in company with William Pittenger, one of the Medal of Honor winners from Andrew's Raid into Georgia, Beyond the Lines: a Yankee prisoner loose in Dixie is available on the internet. The Library of Congress website offers free access <archive.org/details/beyondlinesory00geer> (Sometimes, this man's name is misspelled 'Greer') Alternatively, all 300 pages of the book are again available in print, since 2010, from Kessinger Legacy Reprints, Whitefish, Montana. Ozzy http://archive.org/details/beyondlinesory00geer
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