to be Jones. Neither McKibbin nor Jones has been recaptured, and while there is scarcely any hope as to McKibbin, I feel pretty confident that I shall get Jones. I think I must have hedged him in unless he crossed the lake at the upper islands, where the ice has been practicable for footmen for nearly a week, but I doubt much if he would dare try that route. I rely much upon the stimulus of the little reward, with the other measures I have taken for his recapture. I have had repeated searches made in the prison for our uniform clothing and other contraband articles.
It appears that the Port Hudson prisoners of 1863 were allowed to take into the prison many garments of our military clothing. At each search the last season some articles of military clothing were found, and still a few more on the 5th instant. The prisoners had kept these articles secreted for disguises. I am now satisfied beyond all doubt that McKibbin, Hundley, and Jones all passed out dressed in our uniform with our roll-callers, and yet they could not have passed even with such aids if my orders to the gate-keepers to pass no one except under the immediate direction of an officer in the discharge of his duty, or where they themselves positively identified the person, who, in addition, must have the proper pass. Before these three cases, and without my knowledge or authority, the assistant superintendent of the prison, intending to aid the gate-keeper had advised him to depend upon the uniform and customary equipments of the roll-callers. It was all meant well, but with a little dullness of the gate-keeper it produced bad results. Dress and trappings were noticed and personal identity scarcely regarded. I have relieved the gate-keeper, corrected the error of the assistant superintendent, and, as I trust, effectually stopped the leaks, so far as clandestine escapes are concerned, and everything has been done that can be,so far as I know, to secure the utmost vigilance of the guard; and though it is plain that these 3,000 and more of commissioned officers had intelligence, desperation, and strength enough temporarily to break our guard-line at any point, yet we fear no escape from such a cause. We are ready for them and their outside friends, whether they come from Canada or elsewhere at any minute, day or night.
Since the 13th ultimo my officers and men have regularly turned in without undressing and will continue to do so until our locality becomes an island again.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. W. HILL,
HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, JOHNSON'S ISLAND AND SANDUSKY,
Johnson's Island, Ohio, January 5, 1865.
Lieutenant Rufus C. Jones, Ninth Alabama Infantry, prisoner of war, escaped from this post about 9 o'clock this morning. He is supposed to have been in the uniform worn by our soldiers, including the fatigue cap and light blue overcoat, and probably had other clothing under the military so that he could change at pleasure. It appears that he followed out the roll-callers and was passed as one of the party. He was about twenty-seven years of age, of light complexion, had dark hair, dark hazel eyes, and a scrofulous sore, or the marks of it, on left side of neck. As the island is surrounded by bare ice it was impossible to know what route he took, though he would probably try to reach Canada around the head of Lake Erie.