They were allowed lights (candles) one hour after the gas was turned off, viz, 8 p. m., but were not allowed to talk or make a noise after the convicts were locked up, viz, between 5 and 6 p. m. They were also allowed books.
At first their cells were swept and scrubbed by convicts; afterward by themselves. Their night buckets and spittoons - being allowed tobacco - were always emptied and cleaned by convicts.
All their correspondence passed under the inspection of the military authorities. No persons were allowed to visit them except on written authority from the military commander.
The sick were carefully provided for in the prison hospital.
After the escape of Morgan the remainder of the prisoners of war were kept confined to their cells (in second and third tiers), except at meal times, until the 12th of December, when the warden resumed the custom of allowing them to assemble in the fall for exercise, &c.
Second. The precautions taken to guard the prisoners:
Up to the 3rd or 4th of November last these prisoners were exclusively under the control of the warden of the penitentiary, excepting their correspondence and visitors. A military guard of twenty-seven men was detailed daily and placed under the orders of the warden. During the daytime, while the prisoners were out of their cells, a sentinel was placed at each end of the open space or hall in which they were allowed to promenade. The balance of the guard were kept outside the prison building, ready to be called upon in case of need. At meal times an additional guard was taken inside to escort them to and from the dinning hall and watch them while eating.
The cells were inspected during the day be one or more of the prison watchmen.
After the prisoners were locked up for night the military guards were dismissed and a prison watchman took exclusive charge. He inspected the cells with a light at stated periods during the night and remained constantly in the open space around the cell block. (See report to Governor Tod, p. 20, affidavit of J. E. Watson. *)
It was assumed that when the prisoners were locked up in their cells they were perfectly secured - an unfortunate assumption, as the sequel proves.
On the 14th of November there was a change in this programme. By an agreement between the prison authorities and the military commander at Columbus (Brigadier General John S. Mason) a new steward, appointed by the latter, entered upon certain duties respecting the rebel prisoners on that day. What these duties were is now a matter of controversy. The prison authorities claim that this new steward, Sergeant Moon, by their arrangement with General Mason, took the place both of their steward and their watchman in the daytime, and that they relinquished all control over these prisoners and their quarters from the time they were left out in the morning until they were locked up the evening (report to Governor Tod, p. 38, affidavit of warden+), while General Mason claims that he never took charge of these prisoners or their quarters, and that the steward appointed by him was placed under the orders of the warden, except in the matter of purchases for the prisoners and their correspondence. (Report to Governor Tod, p. 16, General Mason's letter. ++)
From this misunderstanding of their respective responsibilities the usual critical inspections of the cells of the prisoner in the daytime
*See p. 674.
+See p. 676.
++See p. 670.