The author describes his harrowing capture and imprisonment by the Rebels at Sumter Prison a.k.a. "Andersonville Prison Pen." Renowned as one of the worst prisons of the Civil War, the Andersonville pen spread over only 11 acres, with a 12-foot wall surrounding over 33,000 Union soldiers.
Jumping from a moving train to escape, Oats and his companion traveled by night through swamps, woods, and fields, subsisting on frogs and corn only to be recaptured by enemy soldiers. Transported from jail to jail, spirits broken, lice-ridden, starved, and ill-clothed, the two men landed back at the Andersonville pen in an evil twist of fate.