AUGUST 6, 1864.
Statement of Captain B. C. G. Reed, Third Ohio Infantry (captured 3rd May, 1863, near Rome, Ga.), and T. B. Stevenson, first lieutenant, Third Ohio Infantry (captured same place and time):
Escaped from Charleston on the way from the cars to the prison. Went to negro quarters. Staid in the yard until dark, then made ourselves known to the negroes, who did us away and took us to the wharf. We could not get away that night. The negroes then kept us Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday until Monday night, when we got a boat at Clark's Wharf. The wind was so high that we could not make way against it, and at 3 a.m. we were left on the flats. We then went back to the tower, and some negro fishermen kept us till night (Tuesday, 2nd). While there two shots from Gregg came within 400 yards of us. The negroes took us off at 10 o'clock, having prepared a boat, and we started for Morris Island. Met our picket-boat at 10 o'clock between Gregg and Sumter.
The negroes gave us good and reliable information. Although they are almost starving themselves, yet they would always give us enough. An old negro woman got us something to eat. I told her we had no money. She said, "The Lord God will pay me, massa, if you only get through." Those who will depend on the darkies will be safe in attempting to escape. Heard that one train of our officers (prisoners) was captured by our forces. There had been a cavalry fight 1 1/2 miles from Macon. The roads are cut in every direction. The South is now waiting for the election, in hopes of a peace candidate being elected. Vallandigham or McClellan they wish for, so long as they can defeat Lincoln.
Hood has a large army, and will do some hard fighting. Their army is in good discipline. We found lots of Union men in the army, but they are afraid of punishments. We think the crop in South Carolina is light, though every acre is planted. They have plenty of labor. The railroads are poor, except Macon to Savannah, which is good. The rolling-stock is very poor.
These officers are vouched for by Major Kovacs, Fifty-fourth New York Volunteers. A negro man came from Petersburg and says that Grant exploded a mine, blowing up the whole city and killing 75,000 men. Six hundred of our officers are in the jail at Charleston, directly under the fire from Morris Island. The excitement at Charleston on account of the news from Petersburg was intense.
There was a fight at Atlanta on the 29th. They say that we had attacked Cheatham's division and were repulsed. Generals Stewart, Dearing, and Wheeler were wounded. A general engagement was expected.
General J. H. Winder has been in command of the prisoners in Georgia. He is a regular brute. His treatment of the men is infamous. They are robbed, have no shelter, and die hundreds in a day. When told that the Yankee prisoners were dying at Andersonville 100 a day, he said, "God damn them, let them die. They don't die half fast enough; that's just what we want."
Junius Brown and A. D. Richardson are prisoners at Salisbury, N. C. Captain Tabb, of General Winder's staff, now a prisoner in our lines, captured by General Wilson near Danville, has treated our prisoners brutally and infamously. He struck Major Pasco, Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers, over the head because he would not get up at night and dig out an old tunnel.