Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/78

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74 Southern Historical Society Papers.

treatment. Proper food and water was denied them. Several rods from the main prison were dungeons, each a little larger than an ordinary coffin, in which were confined Confederate soldiers who had been sentenced to death by drumhead courtmartials.

They were chained hand and foot, with additional iron ball, weighing sixty pounds chained to their ankles.


On the night of September 19, 1864, Captain Beall steered the Philo Parsons within distance to observe the signal when given for his attack on the Michigan. Anxiously he stood upon the deck of the Philo Parsons, looking for the signal rocket. But in vain he looked for an hour no signal. Yet he may still win, though the rocket's red glare failed to beckon him onward, and he bore on his course cautiously until the lights of the Michigan were seen making her length on the placid lake. Voices of men could be distinctly heard upon the Michigan's deck, and the contour of her fourteen guns could be seen in the moonlight. But at this critical moment a new danger beset him where least expected his men meeting. Lieutenant Burley and two others only stood by him. The re- mainder positively refused to go farther, alleging that the signal failed to appear as agreed upon, and that the enterprise must have been detected. Captain Beall, pleaded, argued and threatened in vain. Then he ordered them go to the cabin, and exacted their resolution to be reduced to writing as a vindication of himself and Lieutenant Burley and two men who were faithful to the last. This being ac- complished, he took possession of the document. There was no other alternative but to retreat and Captain Beall returned to Sand- wich, where the Philo Parsons was scuttled and sent adrift, the.Con- federates retiring to Canada. Captain Beall was of the opinion, had it not been for the mutiny at the critical moment of the advent- ure, he would have been successful in releasing the Confederate pris- oners on Johnson's Island.


Whether Captain Beall was betrayed or the plot otherwise dis- covered, it has never been definitely ascertained. Captain Cole was arrested by the Federals on the afternoon of the day, when the proposed attack was to have been made. He was imprisoned at