the fence and was issuing from the tunnel referred to, closely followed by other prisoners, when they were fired on by two of the guards, the shots taking effect as stated. At the same time an attempt was made at another point by prisoners to break over the fence, but they were promptly repulsed by the guard, several shots being fired at them, which, in consequence of the extreme darkness of the night, did not take effect. The facts which I have gathered in the investigation prove that a general attempt to escape was to have been made by the prisoners on the night in question. On a rigid inspection of the barracks, made since the above occurrence, another tunnel, partially completed, was discovered leading from the north end of Barracks A, which, had the outbreak not been anticipated and provided against, would undoubtedly also have been used as a means of escape. I have the honor to state, additionally, that I am having a trench dug between the respective ends of Barracks G and F and the fence, and also that I have caused twenty feet to be taken off from each end of said barracks approaching the fence, which, I trust, will prevent any further attempts at tunneling in that quarter.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. A. STEVENS,
Colonel, Commanding Camp Morton.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, February 13, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: On the 29th of December last I had the honor to request that you would give instructions for the close confinement in irons of commander William A. Webb and some other prisoners captured in the rebel steamer Atlanta, in retaliation for the close confinement in irons of Lieutenant commander E. P. Williams and others of the U. S. Navy. Never having been advised of your action in the matter, if any was taken, permit me now to make the inquiry.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Secretary of the Navy.
WAR DEPARTMENT, February 17, 1864.
Respectfully referred to the commissioner for the exchange of prisoners for report, the previous paper having been referred to him.
By order of the Secretary of War:
ED. R. S. CANBY,
[FEBRUARY 13, 1864. -For Peck to Pickett, relative to the execution of certain prisoners belonging to the Second North Carolina Regiment (Union), see Series I, Vol. XXXIII, p. 867.]
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Columbus, Ohio, February 13, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: The prisoners of war at this post are desirous of purchasing some religious reading matter. Your instructions allow