A Plan to Escape. 283
Ryan, (boy) Smith, ist.,
Smith, 2d., Smith, 3d.,
Smith, J. C, Bugler, Shirley, First Sergeant,
Shreve, George, Sergeant, Simpson, N. V.,
Turner, Tutt, Phillip
Tapp, Vinne, Peter,
A PLAN TO ESCAPE In 1863, from the Federal Prison on Johnson's Island.;
The following papers are preserved between the leaves of a man- uscript diary of Captain L. W. Allen, covering a period of captivity in the Federal Prison on Johnson's Island, Lake Erie, Ohio,* from November 16, 1863, to March 17, 1864, inclusive.
- In Volume VI, Virginia Historical Collections, New Series, of the Vir-
ginia Historical Society, Miscellaneous Papers, 1672-1865 is included a " Memorial of the Federal Prison on Johnson's Island, 1862-1864, contain- ing a list of prisoners of war from the Confederate States Army, and of the deaths among them, with * Prison Lays,' by distinguished officers," and the "Papers" Volume XVIII, includes an account of "Escape of Prisoners from Johnson's Island," December 31, 1863, pp. 428-431. The date of escape it appears, should be January i, 1864, as under date of January 2d, Captain Allen records the thermometer registering " from 20 to 30 below zero," "more intensely cold the Yankees say than it has been for sixteen years," and" that the report is this morning that five men made their escape last night over the wall." Under the date of January 3d, he writes : " The ' Bull Pen' is in great excitement over the report that on night before last and last night several of the prisoners made their escape ; some of whom, almost frozen, have been recaptured, but others have not been. Large numbers have been planning to get away on the ice, but the weather is too intensely coldto hope that Southerners can possibly stand the severity of the weather and get away. One got over to the main land opposite the Island, known as Danbury township, where he passed as an English sailor, and was kindly taken care of by the citizens. He was greatly frost-bitten but was to have been carried to the railroad to-day, but in the pursuit of others he was caught by the Yankee guard. It would seem futile to attempt to escape* from the Island in such weather as we now have."