RICHMOND, August 12, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.
DEAR SIR: In a conversation held with you a day or two since I had the honor of representing to you the condition of the prisoners taken in the Thompson and the propriety of moving them from their present location, Beaufort, S. C. You requested my to address you in writing. Some time in May last the ship Thompson was captured by the Lady Davis and brought with her crew of twenty-five men into the harbor of Port Royal and up to the town of Beaufort. The vessel has been declared a prize and the crew prisoners of war by the Confederate court. The vessel by an act of Congress has been ordered to be sold for a distribution of its proceeds. The crew heretofore confined at serious inconvenience by a detachment aboard the ship must now by removed from her. When I state that the removal of troops from the town to the harbor has left about fifty men upon our militia roll, and recall to your mind the very exposed situation of the town, you will I think perceive the propriety of (I may also say necessity for) an early removal of these prisoners to some more secure position. I earnestly request your early attention to this matter and an order for the removal of the prisoners.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. W. BARNWELL.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, August 12, 1861.
I. The Tiger Bayou Rifles, Louisiana volunteers, are detailed as a guard to the prison and will report without delay to Brigadier General J. H. Winder.
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NAVY DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., August 15, 1861.
Brigadier General JOHN H. WINDER, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.
SIR: Midshipman Albert G. Hudgins, of the Navy of the Confederate States, and one of the officers of the sloop of war Sumter, was recently captured at sea while acting as prize master and conveyed to New York, and reliable information has been laid before me that he is being treated by the authorities of the United States not as a prisoner of war but as a criminal, and that since the 21st of July last he has been held in solitary confinement in a cell in the Tombs.
Painful as it is to resort to retaliatory measures the barbarity of the enemy leaves no alternative but to treat prisoners in our hands precisely as he treats our fellow-citizens, his prisoners of war, his refusal to provide for an exchange of prisoners and failure even to respond to a communication made under a flag for that purpose having closed against us the usual resort of civilized nations in like cases.
You will therefore be pleased to provide two cells as nearly the size of that in which Mr. Hudgdins is confined as practicable and place in them Lieutenant George L. Selden and Master Albert Kautz, officers of the