Lt. A. O. Abbott of the First New York Dragoons was among numerous Union prisoners held at Columbia, South Carolina, during the fall of 1864. Abbott whiled away part of the time be keeping a detailed diary. According to it, an October sunrise revealed “two strangers going through the camp.”
The prisoners decided that they must be killed at once, so they found an axe “and the deed was done.” The bodies of the victims were shoved into an abandoned well just before guards began searching. As Abbott described the eventful morning, Confederates eventually brought to light the missing dogs, dead bloodhounds that were two of a pack around camp every morning to discover if any “Yankees had made fresh tracks for liberty during the night”.