OFFICE ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER, U. S. ARMY,
Columbus, Ohio, February 6, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel W. HOFFMAN,
Eighth Infantry, U. S. Army, Sandusky, Ohio.
COLONEL: Your favor of 4th instant has been received and contents noted. In answer I have to inform you that I will issue blankets and clothing upon requisition of your quartermaster.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
COLUMBIA JAIL, S. C., February 6, 1862.
Honorable ELIJAH WARD.
MY DEAR SIR: Having been a prisoner of war nearly seven months I have thought proper to address you on behalf of my fellow-prisoners and myself.
Until recently the field officers particularly were confined in the condemned cells at Charleston jail. In the way of comfort the Tombs in New York are as a palace compared to them; our fare coarse but good. We have been thus confined on account of the privateers in retaliation for the treatment they experienced at the hands of our Government. Now I have nothing to say in regard to their reputation or conduct, but this I will say--it is the first case of the kind where colonels, lieutenant-colonels and majors have been held for common seamen.
There are a number of New York City officers, several of them resident in your district. I hope you will interest yourself in their behalf and endeavor to have them exchanged at an early day. As for the field officers who are at present confined with me--viz, Colonel Michael Corcoran, New York City, Colonel Woodruff, Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Neff, Colonel O. B. Willcox, Michigan, and myself, hailing from New York and California--we neither expect an exchange or release from our present most unpleasant position until the privateers are placed in same relation as other prisoners of war.
If the Government intends to hang them [the privateers] you will oblige by ascertaining about the time this happy event for us is to take place, for in that case we can look forward to something definite and besides I require a short time for preparation.
I have written hoping you will use your influence in behalf of the prisoners. Please co-operate with Senators Latham, McDougall and members of Congress from California. Please answer.
JAMES D. POTTER,
Major Thirty-eighth New York Volunteers.
P. S. --Anything would be preferable to this most intolerable suspense which we have been in for the last four months. Please mention the name of Captain Fish to Senators Latham and McDougall. He hopes they will urge his exchange as several captains have been exchanged who were taken several months later than he was. You will confer a favor by joining those gentlemen in his behalf. He is a most valuable and useful officer.
J. D. P.