upon the charities of a cold, unfeeling world. My child is entirely dependent upon me for everything. For the past two or three weeks, young, as he is (but fourteen years old), he has in order to be nearer me (though he is allowed to see me but once a week for fifteen minutes) been acting in some capacity to a party who furnished the sutlerse. A child who until now has been tenderly nurtured and cared for, [he] came to see me on Saturday in such trim I could scarcely recognize him-dirty, neglected sick and so thin and careworn-every vestige of my once bright, happy boy gone. My heart ached, and so would yours have done could you have seen him and heard his exclamation, "Ma, if you do not soon get out I shall die. "
This, sir, is some of the bitter fruits of this women-hunting, women-imprisoning process, objectionable to nine-tenths of your own people. Search the Southern prisons from the Gulf Stream to the Potomac and should you find a woman prisoner, except in cases of larceny, murder, &c., call Southern[ers], as they should deserve, cowards. No, sir, the southern man, gentle or simple, has too exalted an opinion of woman, her attributes and her mission to treat her other than as a woman. He never forgets that to her under God he owes his being.
I may possibly have said more than would seem politic or becoming, but a mother's feelings must plead my excuse. I know, sir, that your power ought to be but is not absolute; 'tis subordinates who hold the reins and wield the power, and while such is the case prayers and pleadingsa re alike vain and impotent. Use your prerogative, sir; open these prison doors and send forth the women and infants. Give us tangible, visual or mental evidence that your Government is what it assumes to be.
En attendant, I have the honor to subscribe myself, respectfully yours,
C. V. BAXLEY.
MARCH 14, 1862.
Referred to Major Allen for report. *
By order of Secretary of War:
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
OLD CAPITOL PRISON, March 14, 1862.
DEAR DOCTOR: I do not know how you are affected by this confinement but to me 'tis intolerable. Within the past two weeks through representations made by the superitnednet, to whom we appealed and who I believe has at least a suspicion of soul, having been born South, we have been permitted to exercise for half an hour three times a day in the filthy yards thronged by contranbands and surrounded by sentries. Still it is in the open air. I do wish you would write, if but two or three lines, and give to the party who hands you this. It can reach me as this is sent.
Day before yesterday we were informed by Superintendent Wood that in all probability we should be sent to some of the Northern that fortresses. The idea of being sent North is death to me. I'd rather they'd shoot me at once. Thesas scared a good many of the cowardly fools whom we are well rid of into taking the oath of allegiance to this magnanimous Government but our men of stamina have rejected their overtures with scorn. Whilst walking in the yard I addressed sotto voce in passing inquiries to several of our Maryland
*Report of Allen, if made, not found.