War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0629 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.UNION.

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eral Wise and the consequent abandonment of the city by the Union troops, no provision whatever has been made for the support of the inmates of the lunatic asylum, tenanted as it is by their own kith and kin and by a class of patients demanding of all the civilized world the tenderest care and solicitude.

The commanding general is not willing that the imputation of inhumanity and want of civilization, so justly chargeable to these traitors to their country and enemies of their own blood, should rest, even with the lightest touch of seeming truth, upon himself or those in his command as representing in this section of the country the dignity and care of the Government of the United States.

Notwithstanding, therefore, that many of the servants of the asylum and nurses of its inmates were forcibly carried away by the rebels and the majority of the others have, of their own will, abandoned their charge; notwithstanding that two of our own soldiers placed as nurses to the lunatics were captured and paroled as prisoners of war, and notwithstanding that the city of Williamsburg and the asylum are not occupied by the forces of the Untied States and are beyond the picket lines of those forces, yet, in the name of humanity and Christianity, the commanding general directs that a ten days' supply of rations for 250 men (that being about the number of inmates at present in the asylum) be sent at once to Williamsburg to be delivered at once to the officer in charge of the asylum for the use of its inmates.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.

YORKTOWN, VA., April 17, 1863.

Colonel R. M. WEST,

Commanding Advanced Brigade:

Johnson's regiment will remain with you for the present at least; they had better make camp, and shelter tents will be furnished them on requisition to-morrow. The general has urged the matter of a gunboat near you on James River, but Admiral Lee says that it cannot be furnished; consequently the whole left flank on the river from a short distance above Newport News is open and will need constant watching. A squadron of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry will report to you to-morrow; they will have shelter tents; they are about 100 strong. The general desires that Mr. Sweeny make an official written application for the protection asked for the asylum, stating on what it is based, he will then give it the proper consideration. Meantime he desires that Mr. Sweeny be furnished with a copy of my letter to Colonel Farnsworth in regard to sending the supplies to the asylum, that General Wise may learn in what estimation he is held. Major Hall has not seen the general, who directs that you picket your left as strongly as possible with the forces which will be at your command.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

FORT MONROE, VA., April 17, 1863.

Major General J. G. FOSTER:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your dispatch went to General Halleck last evening. A letter from General Palmer three days later (the 15th) in-