During a heavy rainstorm on August 14, 1864, a spring suddenly gushed from this hillside. The prisoners were desperate for fresh water, and over time the event became legendary. Several men claimed to have seen lightning strike this spot just before the spring burst forth.
This damp slope, with its many natural seeps, would appear to be a likely site for a spring. Workmen may have inadvertently buried the spring's outlet while digging the stockade trench. Whether an act of nature or divine providence, the effect of the stream was an answer to thousands of prayers.
"A spring of purest crystal water shot up into the air in a column and, falling in a fanlike spray, went babbling down the grade into the noxious brook. Looking across the dead-line, we beheld with wondering eyes and grateful hearts the fountain spring."
John L. Maile, 8th Michigan Infantry August 15, 1864.