Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/291

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A Plan to Escape. 285

This is to be done in one of three ways.

1. By crossing on the ice to the main land.

2. By securing the steamer here and going to Sandusky, and there procure other transportation.

3. By being furnished transportation from friends on the outside. The first two of these plans have serious, if not insurmountable

objections and difficulty.

1. For the ice to be strong enough to cross on it will require such cold weather as utterly to unfit most of the prisoners to travel when they get to the main land.

2. It may be possible to capture the little steamer, but she can only take a small portion of the men and no plan must be enter- tained which does not provide for the absolute safety of all of our wounded and disabled comrades.

No surprise of the garrison can be effected without the firing of guns, and this will give the Sanduskians notice. They having an armory and arms, one thousand men can be got under arms to re- ceive us before we could steam from here or cross over on the ice.

3. The most hopeful plan of escape from the island is to secure outside aid.

IV. How Shall we Return South ?

In one of three ways.

1. By reaching the main land, procuring horses and marching through Ohio to Pittsburg or Wheeling, or through Kentucky to Virginia, or Tennessee, or Georgia.

2. By reaching the main land and moving up towards Toledo, or the Straits, to Canada.

3. By crossing the lake to Canada.

When it is remembered that in the late gubernatorial election in Ohio the aggregate vote was upwards of four hundred and fifty-five thousand men ; three-fourths of whom we may safely conclude are capable of bearing arms, to say nothing of the many garrisons and camps in the State, together with the great distance to be travelled in this inclement season, the very poor equipments of the prisoners, the whole trip to be performed among a most hostile population, all being taken together, make these plans most difficult and dangerous, if not utterly impracticable.

The third, to wit : Outside aid is the only one which may be con- sidered practicable.