The prisoners sometimes remain in this wretched prisons weeks before they receive even a blanket which when they get it would hardly have been sufficient for their comfort in summer let alone in a Northern October. The consequence of this severe exposure was that most of the prisoners were sick from affections of the lungs and throat and a number died while I was there, while many were perishing by inches coughing away their lungs; and many were suffering from pneumonia, sick and suffering men including a considerable number of prisoners of war were left through that damp, cold and horrible October without fire and half naked in that wretched mudhole of prison and without adequate medical attention; and yet I assert it to be a fact and defy the contradiction of the Lincoln jailers and authorities.
A large number of old men from Western Virginia and Kentucky whose heads were white the frosts of age were among the prisoners in this bastile charged with symphatizing with the cause of the South. Among them I mention the name of Colonel Hamilton, of Virginia, who was carried from the prison in a dying condition a few days before I left and I have learned since that he died soon afterward of pneumonia. A young man from Western Virginia died two hours after he was removed from prison. I will add in this connection that the prisoners of war who had been in the prison several months were almost naked and that all were engaged in a perpetual strife with the vermin with which the loathose den liberally swarmed.
The food furnished the prisoners with the exception of the bread was of the most inferior kind and in insufficient quantities for the sustance of the most inferior kind and in insufficient quantities for the sustenance of the famishing men. The pork was absolutely rotten. But the great complaint was the difficulty in obtaining enough wood to cook the half-spoiled and scanty meal, only five small sticks per day being allowed for a mess of twenty-five men and that often not furnished until away in the night, leaving the en starving for want of their scanty meals during the enitire day.
I have visited the military prisons in this city in this city where the Belmont prisoners are confined and found them surronded with everly comfort-lodged in a large brick house well warmed, with good beds, provided with newspaper, books and writting materials, all of which were denied to the prisoners at Camp Chase. These Federal prisoners testified to me that they were well and civilly treated and expressed their abhorrence and regnet at my recital of the treatment of our prisoners.
It is but justice to the ladies of Columbus to say that they offered to furnish comfortable beds and beddling for us but were denied the privilege by the commandant because he said it was not permitted by the orders. When these kind-hearted ladies visited us in our vile prison and beheld our wretched our condition they ivoluntarily burst into tears. They gave us all they were permitted to bestow-their sympathy and tears.
Among the prisoners were, from Maysville, Ky., Honorable R. H. Stanton, Isaac Nelson, W. b. Casto, Mr. Thomas, John Hall, A. D. Hurt and George W. Forrester, proprietor and editor of the Maysville Express; also Lieutenant A. O. Brummell of the Confederate army from Richmond, Va. ; Colonel Ferguson and Henry Martin from Western Virginia and quite a number of other officers from that State who were in rags. I cannot here attempt to enumerate the names of october gentlemen.
Judge J. R. Curry, judge of the Harrison County court; Perry Wherret, clerk of the same court, and W. B. Glave, sheriff of the same county, and myself were arrested at Cynthiana its county seat. We
35 R R-SER II, VOL I