War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0042 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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case of Colonel Hundley, Thirty-first Alabama, and Captain McKibbin, of the same regiment, are fully reported in a letter of this date herewith sent. I approve of the recommendation in regard to Lieutenant Smith, in close confinement for impersonating another prisoner at roll-call with a view to concealing his escape. The pest-house has been constructed in the prison yard as authorized, and every means taken inside and outside of the prison to prevent the spread of smallpox.

Respectfully referred to the Commissary-General of Prisoners.

CHAS. W. HILL,

Colonel 128th Regiment Ohio Vol. Infantry, Commanding the Post.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, JOHNSON'S ISLAND AND SANDUSKY,

Johnson's Island, January 8, 1865.

Brigadier General H. W. WESSELLS,

Inspector and Com. General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following statement in relation to prisoners of war recently escaped from this post, the only successful escape since the 25th day of September last: On the 24th ultimo Captain Robert McKibbin, or McGibben, escaped, probably about 9.30 in the morning; his absence was not discovered until the roll-call the next morning. On the 2nd instant, immediately after the roll-call that morning, Colonel Daniel R. Hundley, Thirty-first Alabama, escaped, but his absence was not known until the roll-call of the next morning. He was recaptured at Fremont, about twenty-five miles from here, on the afternoon of the 6th instant, and returned to the prison yesterday noon. The most vigorous and persistent efforts within my control were made not only to recapture these prisoners, but also to ascertain by what means they escaped and to prevent the recurrence of like incidents. Notwithstanding the formation of ice around us has deprived this place of its island characteristics, and knowing that the prisoners could now count upon crossing swamps, ponds, and streams everywhere with safety, and upon help from their copperhead friends in the country, thus inducing the most ingenious, determined, and unremitting efforts at escape, I still thought that, except by direct assault upon the guard in considerable numbers, no escape was practicable without the direct complicity or criminal negligence of some portion of the guard, and felt vexed and disgraced by these two escapes. The prisoners induced many to believe that McKibbin escaped when out upon the bay with a large party of prisoners after water, and that Hundley escaped from a burial party who had been out to the rebel grave-yard. I was not inclined to believe either statement, and was following up a careful investigation of the facts about noon of the 5th instant when I found cause to believe either statement, and was following up a careful investigation of the facts about noon of the 5th instant when I found cause to believe that another prisoner had escaped that morning about 9.30 o'clock. I immediately sent parties in pursuit to those points where I might hope to intercept him, not then knowing who he was, and ordered a muster of the prisoners and search for contraband articles and disguises. The muster and search was not concluded until about 4 p. m. of the 5th instant, and then it was discovered that Lieutenant Rufus C. Jones, Ninth Alabama Infantry, had left since the morning roll-call of that day. I at once telegraphed to the proper points, sending descriptions there, and also to my pursuing parties, and I advertised the escape, offering a reward of $100. I append a copy of the advertisement. I offered a like reward in the case of Colonel Hundley. This reward offered for Jones occasioned the arrest of Hundley by a citizen at Fremont, who at first supposed him