to do. Dear Ann, knowing that you had trouble enough to contend with I have kept all my own sufferings locked in my own bosom, thinkiime enough for you to know all after. I had been released, and the hope of having both your and my miseries ended this month has kept me in pretty good spirit although many times I have cursed the hour that brought me to this place of misery.
My dear wife, I now send you a true statement of my treatment since I have been here, and I think if you could manage to get it published in one of the daily papers it could not fail to come before the eyes of some kind persons who would have both power and thye will to investigate our case and have justice done us, for I do not believe that by the laws of a civilized country innocent men can be imprisoned for months without support for themselves or their families.
On the 8th day of July six of the crew of the different vessels taken by the Confederates on the 28th of June were detained as witnesses against Colonel Thomas under promise of kind treatment and $2 per day. As you know I am one of this unhappy number, and how ths promise has been kept I will now state: We arrived here in very destitute condition, having lost nearly everything on our journey from Richmond here. From the outsetting we had to sleep on bare boards, but being warm weather we did not mind it much; and as we expected to be sent to Fort Lafayette we did not apply for anything until the latter part of August when our case was stated to the commanding officer, Colonel Morris. He returned us an anwer that he never heard of such a things as witnesses receiving any pay but that he would see about blankets. At the same time he told us he would have to give us something to do or we would spoil, and true to his word shortly after orders were given for one of us every day to assist in the kitchen. We at first refused, and for our pains we were locked up in dark cells for five days during the day and at night were turned out to sleep in the yard. We were then released, and had to assist in the kitchen for fear of similar treatment.
We have stated our case to General Dix repeatedly, but he r Colonel Morris' charge and he has nothing to do with us. About the last of September one of our number who slept near the door was told by the sergeant of the room (we were kept among the soldiers) not to show himself again in the room because a dog belonging to the fort had dirtied the floor. The man not knowing where to go made his escape out of the fort into the city where he was arrested and brought back and handcuffed. Since then we have been kept in the prisoners' department, which is a stable in not the best condition. Every breath of wind goes right through and no sunshine can get through. After we had been there about a fortnight Colonel Morris gave orders for two of us every week to cook for the outside prisoners consisting of from twenty to forty men. We refused, not caring what would be the result. Since then we have received our rations raw and have to get them cooked ourselves the best way we can.
I would say a great deal more but I think this enough to show that a cell in a city prison would be far preferable to our present condition. I have applied by letter to both of the officers who detained us here, and the marshal of the city has been applied to, so far without sucess, and I give up all hope of having anything done for us.
We are almost naked, an if it were not for some old clothes that I have received from the soldiers I should have to paint my body and go naked. We have no fire or any blankets, so you may judge what a life
25 R R-SERIES II, VOL II