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Our Captured Correspondent.


May 9, 1863, The New York Herald

His Adventures in the Rebel Confederacy.

The Experiences of Mr. J.H. Vosburg, One of Our Special Army Correspondents.

It has been remarked that the HERALD had correspondents in every place where it is possible that anything interesting may occur, but I believe that I have the distinction of being the first representative of that press in Libby prison.

On my way from Stafford Court House to Kelly’s Ford, just previous to the late advances of our army, I was induced by illness and the lateness of the hour to take up quarters for the night at a comfortable farmhouse, instead of proceeding to camp. This was on Sunday evening, April […]. The house where I stopped was a hospitable one on a road where troops were passing almost hourly, and I had no reason to apprehend an encounter with the subjects of Jeff. Davis. About eight o’clock the next morning, when starting out for a walk after breakfast, accompanied by my host, and having passed the gate and into the road, I was suddenly confronted by two men in the unmistakable gray uniform of the Confederate service, with guns […..]a ready.” They had been concealed behind an embankment, and when I first perceived them were not six paces from me. Bidding me a courteous “Good morning,” they told me that I was a prisoner. Under the circumstances to surrender was valorous discretion, and I yielded, as my captors afterwards remarked, […..] dignifiedly.” The remainder of the party, making in all six, immediately appeared.

who was my host, has, I understand, been accused of furnishing information that led to my capture, and I have heard that he has been arrested on that account. I firmly believe that neither Mr. McMurrain nor any member of his family had any complicity in the affair, and I wish them to be exonerated from all suspicion in the case. As a highly respectable and intelligent family, their conduct on the occasion was such as, had I been disposed to entertain it, would have removed any suspicion from my mind. Besides, I afterwards learned satisfactorily how and why I was made captive.


Six men of the Ninth Virginia cavalry composed the squad which effected my capture. Two were placed on each of three sides of the house, the fourth being an open and level field, so that escape was impossible. My horse was saddled, and for the present used by one of my captors for scouting purposes, and the remainder, having me in charge, entered the pine woods and made a straight line for Ellis’ Ford, distant about three miles. They had crossed the Rappahannock in boats at this point, and by the same means we returned. A company of North Carolinians were on picket at this ford on the rebel side; but our forces had left the place unguarded and unwatched, although officers, orderlies, squads of soldiers and wagons were constantly passing within a short distance. Several of our men were captured in this vicinity, and it is surprising that the rebels made no better use of their opportunities than they did.

Arrived on the southern side of the river, I was permitted to ride my horse, and this privilege was extended to me while I remained in the custody of these men, until I reached General Lee’s headquarters, although I sometimes voluntarily shared the march of my captors en foot, for none of them had their horses. These men —  […..],” I should say, to adopt their own invariable phraseology — made me feel as though among friends. The Ninth Virginia cavalry is mainly composed of substantial citizens, who furnish their own horses, and fight, as they profess to believe, for their rights and their homes. The sergeant in command informed me that my capture had been planned a week previous, and that he knew me well from residents of the neighborhood with whom I had become acquainted. It was hoped that some valuable information regarding General Hooker’s plans and movements might be elicited from me, from papers or other wise; but in this I am happy to say my secession friends were disappointed. When taken I had no papers about me of any value whatever.

to which these men belonged was stationed at Richard’s Ford, to arrive at which we performed a journey of about eight miles. Besides the detachment of the Ninth Virginia, detachments were stationed here of a Mississippi and of North Carolina regiment. The Virginia detachment was commanded by Lieut. McGrawley, and by him and his men I was treated with the kindest consideration — rather as a guest than as a prisoner. I passed the night with them and shared their scanty fare. It is difficult to conceive how men can live, much less fight, on what the rebel government allows its soldiers in the way of rations.

There was no picket on our side of the river when I arrived at this ford, but one was established during the day, as also at Ellis’ Ford. The picket at this place was from the Eighth Pennsylvania cavalry. Immediately on their arrival took place one of the most pleasing scenes in war, friendly conversation between outposts of hostile armies. The effect upon those on the rebel side was salutary, and many were the expressions of friendly good will towards individual “Yanks,” and of longings for peace, where no thought of deadly conflict with these unobnoxious men would intrude.


In the evening a portion of the Mississippi detachment went “on a scout,” crossing the river in boats between our pickets and the two fords. The rebels certainly have more enterprise in such matters than our troops. Individual men will plan expeditions to accomplish a certain object, as capturing a picket, induced sufficient of their companions to accompany them, and then ask permission to go of their commanding officer. It is this spirit among the men that has made them so successful in petty captures.


The next day we started for the headquarters of General W. H. F. Lee, distant about twenty-five miles. I was shown where the left of the main rebel army rested — a range of wooded hills, three or four miles distant. Further on the left, and in the vicinity of Culpepper Court House, was Stuart’s cavalry. On the way, stopping at a small farmhouse for a drink of water, a voluble old lady attempted to tell us of an important capture of which she had been informed — that of a man who had a great deal to do with Northern newspapers — she did not understand how or what. After listening to her a while, one of my captors, pointing to me, said that was the man. Giving me a look of intense interest she exclaimed, “Is that the one? And he’s good looking man, too,” in a tone of surprise. I took her compliment for the whole Yankee men, whom she had doubtless been taught to consider barbarians.


I saw Stuart’s battery of flying artillery, consisting of thirteen pieces of various descriptions and calibres, hardly two guns being of the same pattern. The artilleryman who called my attention to the battery, to which he belonged, pointed with pride to a solitary Napoleon. I believe this is all the artillery attached to Stuart’s command. There were not nearly horses enough to furnish all the guns, but a new supply was daily expected, having been long promised. Stuart’s cavalry, of which I saw several regiments, is illy supplied with horses, a considerable proportion of the men being dismounted. From what I saw of them I should judge that one half the horses were superior to the average of ours — being of better stock — while the remainder are vastly inferior. The men I judge to be the flower of the rebel army. Yet, as a compact body, I do not believe they could cope with equal numbers of our cavalry corps, man to man, on a fair field.


The next day I was taken to the headquarters of Gen. W. H. F. Lee, distant about twenty-five miles, where we arrived just before dark. Here I bade a final adieu to my faithful horse, “Dandie Dinmont,” whose fate will doubtless be to bear a rebel into action, and perhaps be pierced by Yankee bullets. I found the young general, and son of his father, playing chess in the open air before a log fire, near his tent. Although a courteous gentleman, General Lee exhibits much of the ability and style of the cross-questioning lawyer in his endeavors to elicit information. From this interview and from others, I am convinced that the rebel generals were completely mystified regarding General Hooker’s plans. They believed that much of his army had been withdrawn, that the remainder was more or less demoralized by the battle at Fredericksburg, and that it would probably fall back to Washington.

While conversing with General Lee a messenger from his picket guard arrived, and informed him that the Yankees were advancing in some force towards the river at Rappahannock Station. Another reported that they were making a demonstration at Kelly’s Ford. General Lee sent word to the picket at Rappahannock Station to resist any advance of the enemy, and he would furnish proper support. To the picket commander at Kelly’s Ford he sent orders to oppose an infantry advance or the laying of pontoons; but if cavalry appeared, to let them come, as the river was so obstructed by wire they could not cross, and when entangled they would be an easy prey. This was on Tuesday evening, just previous to the crossing of the river by our forces.

After completing his examination and directing a staff officer to ascertain what papers I had — which he courteously did by asking me to produce them, and taking my word that I had shown all — General Lee ordered an officer to have two horses saddled and to accompany me to the headquarters of General Stuart. We passed through Culpepper and two miles beyond, to where General Stuart had his tents pitched in a beautiful grove. After reading General Lee’s despatch, General Stuart gave an order to the officer who accompanied me, and I was taken back to Culpepper and turned over to the Provost Marshal. By him I was put into a very dirty room of an old hotel on Commerce street. I was furnished no blankets — mine had been confiscated — and had nothing but the bare floor to lie on. Here I first began to realize that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Southern confederacy. There was one other prisoner in the room, a private of the Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry, captured near Warrenton.


During the night, while unsuccessfully courting Morpheus, I heard our guards saying, excitedly, that the “Yanks” had crossed the river and were advancing; that there was a great stir in camp, everything being put in readiness to move, and that a locomotive had been kept on the track all night ready for immediate use.

A train of fifty or sixty wagons, with a cavalry guard, passed our quarters the next morning. A majority of the wagons were marked United States. The teamsters were mostly negroes, and many of this race were with the guards, uniformed, mounted, and armed the same as other soldiers. Whether intended for service in the field I cannot say, but appearances would indicate that they were.

There were evidences of a considerable scare in town. Citizens could be seen hurrying to and fro, and the guard informed me that many white residents, and all the negroes not needed in the army were leaving the place.


Arriving at the cars I found a bevy of ladies, secesh officers and others, notwithstanding their anxiety at the approach of the Yankees, anxious to get a view of a HERALD correspondent. Though this curiosity was manifested everywhere on my route, I must say that it was always courteously displayed. The train for Gordonsville was packed to its full capacity with stampeding citizens, with prisoners, conscripts, apprehended deserters and negroes. About half the occupants of the car where I was placed were of colored proclivities, but with a susceptibility for improvement, as evidenced in the constant lightening of color from old age to infancy. Many young [……] seemed to prefer the society of the more or less colored damsels in this car to that of their whiter sisters in other portions of the train.

Southern railroads are in a very dilapidated condition, and the average speed of the trains which bore me from Culpepper to Richmond, and from Richmond to City Point, was about eight miles per hour. Near Rapidan station, and directly across the Rapidan river, is a range of hills, commanding a stretch of open and nearly level country in front. Here, I was informed, it was the intention of the rebel commanders to make a stand in case General Hooker attempted to advance on Gordonsville. It is a very strong position, with the Rapidan in front, and is more or less fortified. I could see only rifle pits.


I first caught sight of the tall form, and had an opportunity to grasp the hand, of, Captain Schoenofski, a Belgian, of the staff of Major General Schurz. The gallant Captain wore a triste but defiant air, — it was his first captivity — and frequently ejaculated his favorite parbleu! With true Belgic vehemence, at the treatment to which prisoners are subjected in the South.

“In France,” said he, ‘I have served, prisoners are treated with great courtesy; but here — augh! no gentlemen — parbleu!”

Captain Schoenofski had been surprised, surrounded and captured soon after the crossing of our troops at Kelly’S Ford. When taken before General Stuart he was offered a commission in the rebel service and a position on the staff of that general, which was, of course, declined.

Gordonsville is a pretty enough village, of perhaps fifteen hundred inhabitants, and was occupied by a portion of the First Virginia infantry, mainly composed of Irishmen. I fancied that it was not deemed best to put these men into the field. The Provost Marshal and commandant of the post was Major Boyle. I do not think there were any considerable supplies at this point.

where the prisoners were confined was a small, dirty building, with a single room. This was crowded with secesh soldiers, in durance for various causes, deserters and conscripts. There were but three Yankee prisoners, Captain Schoenofski, private Harpendig, Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry, and myself. The Captain, whose company was on guard, took a fancy to invite Captain Schoenofski to his own quarters, which was a real kindness, as it was doubtless intended.

While here we were furnished rations of hard biscuit, many of them mouldy, and a ham to divide among us. I was allowed to send out and purchase provisions in town, which was quite a privilege. We had nothing to lie on but some old tents.


The inmates of this room represented many portions of the confederacy, and from them I learned much of interest regarding the feeling among soldiers and people in the South. I was assured that there is great disaffection in the army and among the citizens, and that thousands, both in and out of the military service, would leave the confederacy and go North if they could. Many asked me anxiously how they would be treated if they should succeed in reaching our lines, and declaring that they would take the first opportunity to escape. They represented the confederate government as a terrible despotism, by which no man’s liberty or possessions were regarded. I often heard the expression that this contest on the part of the South was “the rich man’s war and the poor man’s fight.” The conscription is being everywhere relentlessly enforced. In Virginia it is estimated that there are twenty conscript hunters to each county. These men, of whom I saw some specimens, are generally ex negro traders and overseers, and are, to a great extent, destitute of any human feeling.

One man confined in this guardhouse had been caught two days before near Culpepper. His wife was ill, and the next morning he learned that her situation was critical; but no entreaties could prevail upon those who had him in charge to allow him to go and see her for a short time, accompanied by a guard, though the distance was but two miles.

One old man named Walton, of nearly sixty years, from Fauquier county, caught by a rebel scouting party, had been confined for several weeks, he did not know for what cause or what was to be his fate.

An ex-government clerk under Buchanan’s administration had been caught near Warrenton. He had been long in confinement, but thought he could not be conscripted, being a Marylander. He did not know that a clause in the rebel Conscription act forces into the service all Marylanders found within the limits of the confederacy.

Notwithstanding adverse circumstances, the inmates of this prison succeeded in making themselves […..], “to an extent that would have excited Mark Taploy’s intense admiration.


On Thursday morning there passed through Gordonsville a train loaded with soldiers, composed, as I learned, of men from four batteries intended only for home defence at Richmond, but who had been formed into an infantry battalion for this emergency. We took the train at one o’clock for Richmond, and on the way met two more trains loaded with troops, artillery and horses. Altogether, I think I saw pass on this road about two thousand infantry and two batteries of artillery.


On this train we had comfortable seats and more pleasant surroundings than on the day previous. We reached Richmond about nine o’clock P.M. Owing to the darkness, which overtook us before we reached town. I was able to see but very little of the city, and got no glimpse of fortifications before reaching it.

We were marched to Carey street and halted in front of Castle Thunder — a not unattractive building externally — where our conscripts were left. The “Yanks” were taken to Libby prison, about a block above and on the same street.


The Libby was formerly the tobacco warehouse of Messrs. Libby & Son. It is a substantial looking brick building, three stories in height, and was a mercantile warehouse of medium description. We were first ushered into a whitewashed passage-way through the building, and then singly into the office, on the walls of which are festooned several flags taken from our troops in different engagements. Here a record was made of our names and positions, and our money was taken from us, and a receipt, stating that it would be returned on our release from the prison, was given in exchange.

Captain Thos. H. Turner the Superintendent of the prison, and a young man with rather a pert, Southern air, entered into conversation with me, and seemed disposed to render himself agreeable. I afterwards learned that Captain Turner was particularly obnoxious to our officers in his hands, treating them invariably in a very insulting manner. Mr. Ross, clerk of the Libby prison, was formerly in the employ of a mercantile firm in New York — if I remember rightly, that of Messrs. Carter & Co. — and is a rather gentlemanly young man, of whom I heard no complaints. Mr. Ligum, an assistant, is very pleasing and courteous in his address, and was liked by all our officers.


Captain Schoenofski and I were conducted to the third door and ushered into a room where, at that time, was confined one hundred and four officers. We had daily accessions afterwards. A majority of the prisoners had lain down and many were surrounded by interested crowds anxiously inquiring the news from Hooker’s Army. “Is Hooker coming?” “What force has he got?” “Will he give them bail?” And other questions were asked much more rapidly than they could be answered. Having at that time faith in Hooker and entire confidence in the strength and character of his forces, I was able to give such answers to these questions as to elicit expressions of delighted confidence. “If Hooker only whips Lee the confederacy is gone,” was the expression and apparently the unanimous opinion of these officers.

where I now was, presented at this time a picturesque appearance. There were enough cots , made of boards and raised about two feet, to accommodate half the inmates. The remainder were compelled to lie on the floor, but this difference in the accommodations was very slight, the only advantage of the cot being that it was somewhat out of the dirt and sawdust with which the floor was strewn. When all were couched one could hardly traverse the length of the room without treading upon more than one sleeper or would be somnolent.

The apartment was formerly used as a storeroom, and is the loft of one portion of the warehouse. Its dimensions are about fifty by one hundred feet. The long roof is supported by heavy, upright posts, intersected above by cross beams and joists. As this portion of the building is of more recent — possibly older — construction than the remainder, its four walls are of brick. At the eaves the room is about six feet in height, and above we have a view of the network of cross beams and joists, and of the rafters to the apex of the roof. The room fronts northeast, and from the five square windows we had something of a view of the town. To the right, across the street, is a large warehouse occupied us barracks by the City Guard. Back of this is another large building, used as a hospital and kept constantly guarded on all sides; for even sick, and especially convalescent Confederate soldiers, are not free from the suspicion of desiring to escape on the first opportunity. To the left Castle Thunder could be seen.

The windows on the right hand side look across a narrow street, and upon a tobacco warehouse and manufactory, where, during the day, negroes, mostly females, could be seen at work with the fragrant weed.

The back windows overlooked the canal, the James river and the three bridges across it, Manchester, and a delightful stretch of country south of the James. Rockets is barely discernable on the left.

confined here represented nearly every portion of our army and many a well fought field, while there were some from the navy. Here were General Willich, captured at Murfreesboro; General Stoughton and Colonel Coburn, of Indiana, whose brigade was captured after a desperate resistance against overwhelming numbers at Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, on the 5th of March last. There were also Colonels Utley, Gilbert, Buell, Wood and Fletcher; a number of lieutenant colonels, majors and subordinates too numerous to mention, and the officers of the gunboat Columbia.

Many had been confined as long as five months, and there were men from every prison in the Southern confederacy. The treatment which some of them had received before reaching Richmond had been barbarous. Both officers and men of Col. Coburn’s command had been deprived of their overcoats by Gen. Bragg, and had been obliged to march and to lie in the cold and wet. Many of them had perished under this treatment.


Accounts from all portions of the confederacy were of rapidly approaching starvation, of general disaffection among the people, and of returning Union sentiment. In Georgia are some two thousand in the mountains who have so far successfully resisted the conscription, defeating a force sent to take them. In many places in the South our prisoners found Union people, who, in some cases, clandestinely offered them money. In nearly all the Southern jails are individuals confined and treated with great cruelty on the plea that they were still entertaining Union sentiments. In Knoxville particularly the Union sentiment predominates, and here citizen prisoners are treated with most atrocious severity.

Confederate officers in Richmond confessed to some of the prisoners that if Lee’s army was once in retreat there were no bayonets enough in the Southern confederacy to stop it.


I found that my own arrival at Libby was expected, my capture having been heralded by the Richmond journals. The officers expressed themselves delighted to have me among them, as they presumed I would give the public an account of the treatment they were receiving. The confederacy appeared to be excessively tickled at having captured a correspondent of the HERALD — may it never achieve a more important success — and notices of my arrival appeared in the Richmond papers. The following is from the Enquirer of May 2: —


[…..] will be interested to learn that Mr. J. H. Vosburg, army correspondent of The New York Herald — not the World, as before reported — has arrived in this city, and is stopping for the present at the “Libby.” He was encountered at Ellis’ Ford, on the Rappahannock, some days ago, by a number of Stuart’s men, who insisted and finally prevailed upon him to pay a visit to Richmond. Capt. Joe Schoenofski, aid-de-camp to General Schurz, of the federal army, has arrived from Kelly’s Ford, and is stopping at the same hotel.

at Libby prison was not exactly ambrosial, nor was it always quantum sufficit. The prisoners were furnished with half of moderate sized loaf of good enough bread and less than half a pound of salt beef daily, with occasional rations of small black beans or rice.

The beef was never good, and was often so bad — though this did not occur during my stay — that they were obliged to throw it away, but no more was furnished in its place. They were allowed to purchase small supplies at fabulous prices. Eggs $1.50 per dozen, dried apples $1.50 per pound, and what was sold for coffee — undoubtedly rye (O Rio) — $1 for a half-pound package. They were permitted to draw their money in small quantities to make these purchases. They were compelled to do their own cooking and to scrub the room they occupied. The blankets furnished had been used in hospitals, and were of the filthiest descriptions and swarming with vermin.


The […..] who brought in the rations and ordered us, morning and evening, to “fall in for roll call,” was employed to make purchases of needful articles. For […..] he allowed a premium of fifty per cent in Confederate notes, though it was well known that they sold readily for one hundred, and they were once quoted in a Richmond journal at three hundred and fifty. It was believed, also, that he exacted from prisoners a much greater price than he paid for articles in town; but there was no redress. Opinions differed as to the character of this man. His manners were certainly not pleasing, though he may have had some cause for ill-nature in the mimicking of his whining voice by our officers, and in remarks not flattering to his self-love. The pursy adjutant who superintended the semi daily roll call looks sufficiently good-humored, but he was by no means a favorite. Neither he nor the sergeant seemed to consider it proper ever to address a Yankee prisoner as a gentleman.

A guard from the City Battalion was kept at the head of the stairway within the room. By conversing with these men we learned that many of them entertained Union sentiments, and that all were heartily tired of the Jeff. Davis rule.


Over two hundred officers had been confined in this single room, but before I came another had been fitted up, and the captains transferred to that. This lower room, which I did not see, was said to be much less pleasant than the one I occupied, being poorly ventilated, and the windows boarded up, so that little could be seen outside, while there was not sufficient light within. Another apartment was used as a prisoners’ hospital. The enlisted men were on the lower floor, and their quarters are represented as anything but commodious. Still another room was devoted to the incarceration of civilian prisoners and deserters from our army. Of the civilian prisoners many were sutlers, and it is said that some of them, as well as some deserters, have been confined over a year and a half. Deserters are kept in prison on scant fare, and subjected to harsh treatment until they take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, when they are conscripted.

visited us on Friday, taking a survey of the prison. He is a venerable looking man at first glance, with gray hair, but when one notes his sharp features, with high cheek bones, his cold, cruel gray eye, and his haughty, insulting air, you readily believe him to possess the unrelenting heartlessness attributed to him, and feel that you would like to see his arrogant spirit broken with his neck.

He was approached by an officer, who asked for the return of a beautiful pistol belonging to General Rosecrans, and which the officer had in his possession when captured. General Winder said he did not feel like extending any courtesy to General Rosecrans or any of his command, he had issued orders that would disgrace a wild beast. He, however, promised to forward a letter to General Bragg about the pistol.


A darkey come into our prison every morning with the Richmond papers, shouting, in a peculiar and laughable manner, “Great news in de papers — Enquirer, Dispatch, Sentinel — news from everywhere.” He sold these half- sheet journals to us at fifteen cents each, and said he paid ten for them. They contained very little news, and we gave little credence to their despatches, but derived no little amusement from the editorial columns.


Many of the officers busied themselves in making ornaments of the bones of the beef furnished us. These consisted principally of rings, brooches and vest chain ornaments, and some of them were beautiful and elaborate specimens of workmanship. Chess boards and chess men were manufactured; some sets of chessmen being carved in superior manner. Three or four packs of dirty cards were kept almost constantly in use.


On Sunday we were informed that the flag of truce boat had arrived at City Point, and that we should be released next morning. It will readily be believed that this announcement was hailed with delight.

We were all paroled, and about eleven o’clock were mustered and taken down stairs into the street. On our arrival there we received the information that the boat was not ready, and we were remanded to our quarters, but with the promise that we should certainly be set free on Tuesday morning. As the soldier guards had been sent away and their places supplied by convalescents, discharged soldiers and citizens, it was believed by some that giving us to understand we were going, and thus inducing us to give the parole, was a ruse to prevent an attempt to escape when we saw the prison so poorly guarded.

At roll call the Adjutant warned us not to go near the windows, as the men then on guard were not […..] to discipline,” and he could not answer for the consequences if we disregarded his admonition. Little heed was paid to this warning, and we amused ourselves with noting the awkwardness with which some of the citizens handled their muskets. One potbellied dandy in kid gloves excited considerable mirth.


We were to leave at four o’clock on Tuesday morning; but every one was ready at two — very little attention having been given to sleep during the night. The order to fall in and march down stairs was obeyed with alacrity. The sick from the hospital were taken in ambulances, and placed first on board the train. The battalion, consisting of over five hundred, was marched to the depot, packed in the cars, and in due time started for Petersburg and City Point.


A number of civilians are still in Libby prison: how many I could not learn, as we were allowed to have no communication with them. Four officers — two Virginians and two Kentuckians — confined in the penitentiary as hostages for the notorious Zarvoni were sent to Libby on Monday, and released with the others. They report as still in the Richmond penitentiary Captain Graham and Lieutenant Wade, of the Eighth Virginia cavalry, held as hostages for Captain Dusky and Lieutenant Varnes, guerilla mail robbers, who, I hear, are confined in the penitentiary at Albany; also Jos. J. Shuman, of the Fourth Main, captured at Manassas, who attempted to escape, and being found in the company of contraband negroes was accused of negro stealing.

We left in the Libby prison Capt. McKee, of Mount Sterling, Ky., whose feelings at seeing his friends depart are represented as being apparently and naturally very bitter. Capt. McKee was provost marshal at Mount Sterling, and a man named Ferguson, whom he had arrested as a spy, caused an article to be published in a Richmond journal stating that he had been badly treated by that officer. Hence parole or exchange was refused him. He is represented as a very worthy and brave man.

Several colored sailors, belonging to the Columbia and the Isaac Smith, were retained, but the officers of these vessels will make the proper representations to secure their release.


Between Richmond and Petersburg we saw many fortifications, but no troops. At Petersburg a crowd of mingled whites and blacks regarded us with evident interest while we marched from one train of cars to the other. Between Petersburg and City Point are some fortifications.

Arrived near City Point we caught sight of the Stars and Stripes on the State of Maine and the John Rice. This view was greeted with hearty cheers from our soldiers, and many a sentimental and joyous expression did I hear issue from the released prisoners at seeing once more the beloved banner of freedom.

of all those who have had an interior view of the Southern confederacy is that its power is as rotten as its principles, and that if we can succeed in dealing it one effective blow at a vital point — say Richmond, Charleston or Vicksburg — it will soon crumble into ruins; and, unlike […..] baseless fabric of a vision,” leave a woeful wreck behind.


Newest Material

July 17, 2007 -  Added A Federal Railroad Adventure - "Andrews Raiders"
May 10 - Added new page Civil War Era Definitions with definitions to be added as I come across them
May 9 - Added article: Our Captured Correspndent
May 9 - Added page for Prisons and Prisoners and a page for Libby Prison
May 8 - Loss of Sultana, article and biographical sketches
May  - Images of Sultana
May 7, 2007 - Steamboat Sultana pages created