PENINTENTIARY OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, February 5, 1863.
Honorable G. W. DUNLAP.
SIR: Your petitioners are prisoners of war confined in the penitentiary of this city. We are held as hostages for one Colonel Thomas, who we understand is confined in Baltimore or some other place. We have been prisoners more than three months, one and a half of which has been in this loathsome place where we have suffered extremely. We were brought to this place on the 31st of December last, since which time we have been kept in close confinement. Our rooms are very small and of course not very comfortable. Our diet is the same as the convicts. We were captured by General John B. Floyd, commanding the Virginia State Line, in consequence of which we are deprived of the cartel for the exchange of prisoners between the two Governments. There are seven of us held for the release of one man. We should think our Government ought to make the exchagne without hesitation. It would certainly be to their advnatage to get seven men in place of one. There are four officers among us and very gallant ones, too, at that, viz, Captain Damron, of Western Virginia State Guards; Lieutenant Darmon, Western Virginia States Guards; Isaac Goble, first lieutenant Thirty-ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers; David V. Auxier, second lieutenant Thirty-ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers. The privates are Samuel Pack, Virginia State Guards; William S. Dils, Lawrence County, Ohio, and John W. Howe, Johnson County, Ky. Goble and Auxier are residents of Johnson County, Ky.
We have written several letters to Secretary Stanton upon the subject but have received no reply; we therefore concluded to write to you as our representative, imploring you to aid us in our present suffering condition. The whole matter is at the discretion of our Government. Governor Letcher has long since notified our Government of his readiness to exchange us.
Captain Thomas Damron, W. S. Dils, and S. Pack request that you show this letter to Honorable Kellian V. Whaley, of Virginia, for perusal, request that he aid you in our release. Please write to my father, and Nathaniel Auxier, Johnson County, Penceville Post-Office, Ky., and acquiant him of my situation and you will greatly oblige his son David V. Auxier. Please write us as soon as possible and let us know whether we will be exchanged or not.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DAVID V. AUXIER.
J. W. HOWE.
W. S. DILS.
FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, March 4, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Third Infantry,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington City.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of this date and in reply respectfully report as follows: R. t. Zarvona