Description: View of Johnson's Island, while the American Civil War was happening this island was considered an ideal place to house POWs. Anyone kept there would have a hard time getting away from the place without any help because of the remote nature of the island. Despite this, Johnson's Island was in an ideal place for supply lines to reach. The prison was built without having much trouble if any getting the necessary materials for, and food was shipped in without issue. Even for the prisoners, life on Johnson's Island was not so bad, they were fed and they were treated relatively well as the prison was specifically made to house men of military rank who most often had rich relatives who were willing and able to send them extra money. This is in contrast to the atrocious conditions experienced in other facilities. The island became a part of a daring attempt to create chaos for the Union and force the Union army to divide its ranks and defend Ohio against an unexpected Confederate campaign. The audacious plot was thought up by Charles Cole and John Yates Beall. Cole managed to use his influence to win over Union officials in Sandusky and had a small number of Confederate soldiers become a part of the Union Army. The plan was for Beall to commandeer a civilian ship along with a number of Confederate soldiers. The plan was to use this civilian boat to take control of the Union ship stationed on Lake Erie. To successfully take control of the ship, Cole would eat dinner with the Union officers who would be drugged before Beall took control of the Union ship. The plot was foiled when Cole was found out as a spy, while Beall's men decided to revolt against him. In the end, Cole was arrested and put away, and Beall sentenced to death for his role in the scheme. The U.S. had no need for the island after the war, and eventually the island would be settled and used by civilians. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AL06733 Subjects: Civil War--Prisoners and prisons; Civil War 1861-1865; Erie, Lake; Erie County (Ohio) Places: Sandusky (Ohio); Erie County (Ohio); Ohio
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