I have received a letter from a gentleman in Philadelphia whose address shall accompany this letter. He is a man of education and character and asks the utmost privacy and caution in any steps that you may take. He writes me that the prisoners taken from the Petrel or destitute of clothes and comforts, imprisoned as pirates and heavily ironed going to and returning from the court-room. He is about engaging the services of William B. Reed, esq., and is willing to act as the agent of our Government in procuring counsel, clothes, &c., for our prisoners free of all charge. He desires privacy, not because he fears responsibility but because publicity would destroy his usefulness. If therefore consistent with your line of policy I suggest that either through me or any friend you may have in Philadelphia you authorize the gentleman who has written to me to employ counsel and furnish clothes for our suffering fellow citizens.
If you deem in unadvisable to pursue the above course then may I take the liberty to suggest the propriety of your consigning (as an act of justifiable retaliation) a portion of the prisoners now in Richmond to the jails of Charleston, Savannah, Mobile and New Orleans? The malignity of our enemies and the character of their uncivilized warfare seem to justify any harshness on your part.
With sentiments of high respect for you and gratitude for your services to our country,
I am, dear sir, yours, truly,
P. S. -The address of the gentleman referred to is B. Phillips, care Phillips & Allen, Philadelphia.
WASHINGTON, N. C., August 21, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKER.
SIR: I have a letter from my father in New York City concerning case of Colonel Wood, a prisoner from the Fourteenth Regiment, of Brooklyn. My father resided in this place over forty years and his feelings are entirely with the South. He has been engaged with my brother, also a resident of that city, in aiding our cause to whatever extent they could both before and since the war. The within pamphlet was written by me brother. From peculiar circumstances they are both kept for the present North. I mention these facts that it may lend whatever aid toward the object of this letter, and refer you for myself to the honorable Messrs. Branch and Ruffin.
Since Colonel Wood's imprisonment my father has become impressed conscientiously with the idea that little attentions to Colonel Wood by some liberties will be of much benefit to our cause, and he has in frequent letters to me urged that whatever of influence could be used in Colonel Wood's case be extended. I know not the peculiar circumstances whereby he claims for him any exemption from others myself, as he does not state them to me only in general terms, but I am satisfied that my father's large acquaintance in the cities of New York and Brooklyn enables him to know and therefore to speak.
Simultaneous with the receipt of my father's first letter I received a copy of the Richmond Dispatch of August 7 and clipped therefrom an article (marked) from a London correspondent, which I inclose and in