War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1504 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

last having learned that his son, a resident of Wisconsin, had enlisted and was then in Washington with a father's anxiety he resolved to take in that city on his way to New York to purchase a stock of medicines, in hopes of seeing that son. He reached Washington on Friday before the engagement and learned that his son's regiment was at or near Centreville but was unable to procure a pass until Sunday. He reached the hospital on the battle-field just before the rout commenced and administered to the wounded, but being in feeble health was unable to escape in the flying host and consequently was captured. The doctor was in no way connected with the army. He holds no political office. He is a man of no pretension or extended influence. He is simply a country physician of small practice, depending upon it for the support of his family. I have no personal connection with or interest in the doctor or his family other than a neighbor. In going to and from my office I pass his house. The distress of sorrowing wife and children touched my heart. I found that a set of miserable comforters had imposed upon them and their fears by reporting bloody and cruel outrages perpetrated by the Confederates upon the Federal prisoners and bade them entertain no hope of his being restored to them. I indignantly denounced them as libels upon humanity and base fabrications unworthy to be repeated by Christian lips. I had of course to suffer from the imputation of sympanty with rebels, but happily all that I had said of Southern humanity and generosity proved true. The family soon received letters assuring them of his safety and comfort as far as his feeble health would permit. My further advice and assistance not being asked I did not obtrude it. I watched closely the conduct of the Black Republicans and was shocked at their manifest heartlessness and indifference. In fact they seemed disappointed that the poor man had not been hung and quartered. I ventured to inquire of a friend of the family what had been done for his comfort or toward procuring his release and was told nothing whatever; that the same miserable comforters had advised the wife that nothing could be done for her husband, that it was useless to make the effort.

Without being even asked of having consulted any one but my wife I resolved to lay the case before you and make an appeal to your magniminity. His detention can be of no practical importance or benefit to the C. S other hand his release would operate to dissipate the bitter prejudice that interested person have sought to raise against the Confederates in this vicinity. If you will examine the doctor you will find that all this is stated is substantially true and become satisfied that his discharge would subserve the public interest. It may seem presumptuous in one so humble to make such a request, but I know brave men are ever generous and confiding, always ready to lend a listening ear to the petitions of the simple and true-hearted.

I remain, your obedient servant,


[Inclosure No. 2.]

BATH, STEUBEN COUNTY, N. Y., October 18, 1861.


MY DEAR BROTHER: Some time since I wrote you in behalf of Dr. Stephen Hagardon, of this place, a prisoner confined in your city. By letters just received from I learn that that communication reached you and that you kindly visited him. I am therefore emboldened by your past kindness to trouble you again. Accompanying this