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Anderson Zouaves Research

Civil War Veteran Dead (13 October 1899)

Was Confined in Libby Prison and made Two Attempts to Escape. 

Anthony Odenweller, seventy-eight years of age, died at Whitestone yesterday. He was born in Frankfort, Germany, and came to this country at the outbreak of the civil war. He enlisted at once and served with Company I, Sixty-second New York Volunteers, from June 1861 until 1863, when he was wounded and discharged from the service. He re-enlisted in March, 1864 and served until mustered out on Aug. 4, 1865, after the close of the war.

In the course of his second period of service he was made a prisoner and taken to Libby Prison. He was one of those who aided in constructing the famous tunnel, but was retaken before he succeeded in getting outside of the Confederate lines. A few months later he and several others escaped. On their first venture they had been betrayed by a negro, and on leaving the second time they resolved to hang anyone likely to give information against them. They made their may toward the Union lines, until they were but two miles away, when they met a negro. A council was held to determine whether he should be hanged. Odenweller and others voted in favor of hanging him, but the majority decided in the negative, as the Union lines were already in sight. They let the negro go and started on. A few minutes later a party of Confederate cavalry appeared. The escaping men hid and saw the negro whose life they had just spared point out the direction they had taken. All of them were recaptured and returned to Libby. Odenweller was still a prisoner there when Grant's army took Richmond.

New York Times, 13 October 1899, p.5.

(Transcription courtesy of Mr J. Tierney.)