War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0727 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION A CONFEDERATE.

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in the second their, Dick's in the first). The warden informed me that he thought this change could have been easily made at any time, as John Morgan and his brother Dick are about of a size and build, and as no special attention has ever been given to see that the prisoners were in their own cells, the custom being to have the inmate pull his cell door to when the turnkey came around to lock up for night; that was the proof that the prisoner was within, and the whole number locked up being reported, if this number agreed with the number of prisoners, all was right.

John Morgan being in the desired cell, the plan of escape was ripe for execution. Dummies made of extra clothing and bedding were put into the cots to represent the occupants abed; the latter then gently broke through the shell of a flooring and depended into the air chamber. The pit outside the prison building was opened to the surface and Morgan and his 'six Confederates" were in the prison yard, but had still a wall of about twenty feet in height to scale before they would be free. This was accomplished by means of ropes which they had manufactured for the purpose out of bed ticks, towels, &c. It is supposed that by climbing upon a gate a rope was thrown over the wall so that one man got up and secured the rope ladder and then the others passed over easily.

From a note left in the air chamber, addressed to the warden of the penitentiary, it appears that Captain T. Henry Hines was the chief engineer; that the work was commenced in his cell (No. 20) on the 4th of November; was prosecuted three hours a day and completed November 20. A copy of this note is appended, marked B.

Fifth [Fourth]. Upon whom rests the responsibility of the escape of Morgan;

It is claimed by the warden and directors of the Ohio penitentiary that their custody and control of the rebel prisoners, during the day, ceased on and after the 4th of November, 1863; also that the escape could not have been effected in the manner it was had manned under their charge, for the reason that the cells would then have been inspected daily. (See their printed statement appended. *)

The entry of November 3 in the record book of the prison (report to Governor Tod, pp. 14 and 15; also p. 21, A) does not show that the warden and directors proposed or desired to relinquish the custody of the rebel prisoners to General Mason. Nor does any subsequent entry show that such custody was ever relinquished by them.

The affidavit of Major Skiles (report to Governor Tod, p. 26, G+) shows that whatever may have been the warden's previous opinion he was by his own admission, "responsible for the safety of the rebel officers" from and after November 20.

It appears from the affidavits of Captain Lamb and Lieutenant Goss (report to Governor Tod, pp. 23-25, E and F+) that the warden attributed the escape of Morgan to the discontinuance of the practice of having the cells swept out daily by convicts under charge of a prison keeper; also that this discontinuance was by order of the prison authorities.

A party of convicts under charge of Watchman Scott did, however, visit the cells of these prisoners daily and take away their night buckets, clean and return them. (Report to Governor Tod, p. 34.)

It also appears that said Scott locked up the rebel prisoners or a portion of them on the evening of the escape. (Report to Governor Tod, p. 7.)

In view of the evidence and facts here presented it is difficult to relieve the officers of the penitentiary from all responsibility in the

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*See p. 730.

++See p. 672.

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