Escape from the Ohio Penitentiary

Escape from the Ohio Penitentiary (HM21PZ)

Location: Portland, OH 45770 Meigs County
Buy Ohio State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 39° 0.139', W 81° 46.446'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

Battle of Buffington Island

Was it an Inside Job?
Entering the prison gates, the captured Confederate
officers were immediately stripped, washed, shaved,
and taken to their section of the prison. The men
were treated much like the other inmates rather
than prisoners of war, and were even subjected
to solitary confinement in "the hole" when caught
with contraband or badmouthing the guards.
They were, however, allowed many amenities
such as outbound mail, visitor privileges,
and packages of food and clothing sent by
friends and relatives.

Complaining of indecent, unlawful treatment,
the Confederates continued to antagonize the
guards and prison warden. The prisoners did
not know when they would be released so they
began to plot a desperate escape. On the night
of November 27, 1863, after four months in prison,
Morgan and several of his officers tunneled out
of their cells, scaled the prison walls, changed into
civilian clothes, and boarded a train for Cincinnati.
From there, Morgan crossed the Ohio River into
Kentucky. Inside help with the escape has always
been suspected.

Safety for Whom?
The Ohio Penitentiary was well known by
the public as a place of horrific crimes.
Newspapers published stories about
bloodcurdling screams echoing throughout
the prison, inmates attacking one another
shovels and axes, and corrupt guards torturing
prisoners. While Morgan and his men were
confined at the prison, they complained
about their treatment as common criminals.
They did not realize, nor perhaps care,
that they were given preferential treatment
and were expected to follow certain rules
for the safety of all prisoners.

[Photo captions]
Top left: One of the keys to John Hunt Morgan's jail cell.
Bottom left: A sketch of Morgan's escape by scaling the prison wall along with
his generals.
Top right: A postcard image of the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio.
The jail opened in 1834 and served as Ohio's maximum security
prison until 1979.
HM NumberHM21PZ
Placed ByThe Ohio Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 16th, 2017 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 432971 N 4317318
Decimal Degrees39.00231667, -81.77410000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 0.139', W 81° 46.446'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 0' 8.34" N, 81° 46' 26.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)740
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 56700-56998 OH-124, Portland OH 45770, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?