means of securing the safety of the prisoners, my command being composed as you are aware entirely of recruits who might be influenced to a departure from their duty if the prisoners were allowed the free use of their money, private communications or interviews with their friends. They are allowed all the liberty that the size, arrangement and situation of the post and the force under my command will admit. Their rooms are precisely the same as those occupied by the officers and privates. In consequence of the scarcity of apartments I am obliged to place twelve soldiers in each room, all of which are cleansed and well ventilated. The requisition made a week ago for blankets, bed-sacks and straw for the use of prisoners was filled to-day and they were supplied with the same. I this day (as directed by you in the presence of the prisoners) caused a requisition to be made for chairs, tables, wash basins and pitchers, plates and other articles necessary for their comfort.
I have placed Mr. Alvey, Mr. Lyon and the three police commissioners in one room, they having made arrangements to provide themselves with meals. The other prisoners who draw rations are in another room. On taking their money from the prisoners I gave to each a receipt for the amount stating that I held it subject to their draft in such amounts as they may require for immediate use. On searching the prisoners who were first received here a revolver and a bowie knife were found upon the person of one of them.
I am, colonel, with respect, your obedient servant,
CHAS. O. WOOD,
Second Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, Commanding Post.
P. S. --Please find herewith a letter addressed to the Honorable S. Cameron, Secretary of War.
C. O. W.
FORT LAFAYETTE, N. Y., August 1, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.
SIR: After the interview I had with you in Fort McHenry on the 4th ultimo and in view of the assurances you then expressed as to the manner in which I and the gentlemen with me were entitled to be treated during our confinement by the General Government I cannot refrain from expressing my surprise at the condition in which by its orders we now find ourselves.
On Monday evening last we were placed on board the steamer Joseph Whitney with a detachment of soldiers, all information as to our place of destination being positively refused both to us and to the members of our families. Both General Dix and Major Morris, however, gave the most positive assurances that at the place to which we should be taken we would be made much more comfortable and the limits of our confinement would be less restricted than at Fort McHenry.
Yesterday we were landed here and are kept in close custody. No provision whatever had been made here for us and last night we were shut up--eight persons-- in a vaulted room or casemate about twenty-four by fourteen feet, having three small windows each about three feet by fourteen inches, and a close wooden door which was shut and locked upon us soon after 9 o'clock and remained so until morning. Some of the party by permission brought on our own bedsteads and bedding with which we had been compelled to supply ourselves at Fort McHenry,