Escape of prisoners from the City Jail.
--Between eight and nine o'clock yesterday morning, a daring and successful attempt was made by a portion of the prisoners confined in the City
Jail to extend their area of freedom.
At the hour named, and while Mr. Hall
, the jailor, and his assistant, Mr. John E. Brooke
, were at breakfast, a lady (one of the teachers engaged at the Lancastrian school,) saw the fugacious rogues, and sent over to the jail to let the keeper know what was in progress Mr. Hall
hastened with all speed the rear of the jail, and passing into the room under the ‘"work house,"’ used as a coal-house, found there, in the act of getting through, the grating, the lock of which had been broken, a man named Francis Osgood
, lately consigned to the jail for committing a highway robbery on John Driggers
, and Alabama
soldier, and Wm., N. Miller
, the bogus volunteer Colonel
, who succeeded in December last in swindling King
, of this city, out of $700, by forgery and false representations. --Orgood, a burly ruffian, surrendered at discretion, but the doughty ‘"Colonel
,"’ evinced a desire to go through at all hazards til brought to reason by the presentation of navy revolver.
Being conducted to their cells, an examination was held into the extent of the injury inflicted on the jail by the ‘"birds"’ who had loosed the bars of their cage.
It was found that the prisoners had cut through one of the planks of cell No. 3, and taken out a piece about ten by twenty inches, which afforded access to the vaulted compartments which exists under the tier of calls where the most desperate malefactors are confined, and which culvert, or whatever name it may be called by, was pursued till the lower wall of the main edifies was reached, when some excavation became necessary, after which the parties were enabled to reach the coal-house without coming up to the surface of the rear yard — the furnaces that heat the jail being below also and on a level with the culvert by which egress was had into the coal cellar.
Of course, with so accomplished a set to undertake the job, the removal of the slight impediment to an onward movement presented by a stout lock and grating, which covered the entrance to the coal-house, was but the work of a few moments.
That obstruction removed, the prisoners found themselves in the lot attached to the house used by the overseer of the city hands, and all of them soon scattered to the congenial companionship of men of the same kidney as themselves.
As intimated previously, the exodus would have been greater had not the movements of the levanting felons attracted the observation of a lady employed at the school-house on Marshall street, whose timely monition enabled the jailor to preserve the remainder of the rascals entrusted to his care.
We append a list of those who succeeded in getting off — viz: Jas. Elmore
and Taswell Corr
, jointly charged with robbing an Alabama soldier of money; Andrew Sullivan
, lately convicted of shooting a soldier near the Central
depot, and sentenced to two years in the penitentiary; Calvin Henry
, indicted for stabbing a negro with an oyster knife; Wm. Clarke
; a Yankee deserter, lately convicted of grand larceny, and awaiting a two years residence in the penitentiary; Joseph Wagner
, charged with shooting a soldier, and awaiting trial; J. Fritz Kreibel
, the murderer of Philip Sautter
, whose arrest was lately chronicled; John Williams
, charged with robbing a boarder at the Columbian Hotel
, and Joseph Keller
, the precocious lad who robbed.
's apothecary store — making, in all, nine as unmistakable scamps as could be picked up in a day's walk.
The plan of escape was judiciously conceived and expeditiously carried out. In justice to the jailor, we may state that on Friday last all of the cells (and especially the one from which the parties above named escaped) were examined by workmen and reported all right.
The escape, in this instance, was after the prisoners had been served with breakfast, the event being postponed, no doubt, in order to allay the suspicions of the jailor.
We may state here that the hole in the call made by the prisoners could hardly have been detected had not the attention of the jailor been specially directed to that point.
So in regard to the actual escape, for which the jailor can hardly be held accountable, as the jail is notoriously unsafe, and will hardly retain any party who has a wish to evaporate and a will to dare the trial.
As the jail is at present constituted, the only way to make sure of the continued presence of any offender is to chain him. At the present juncture we are in no condition to undertake the building of a new edifice for the safe-keeping of malefactors.