The regiment at the time was stationed at Coalsmouth, Kanawha River, a distance of over fifty miles from the place of our capture. Permit me, Mr. Secretary, to beg of you to order our exchange if possible as soon as practicable, so that we may be released at an early day and enjoy the liberties of freedom once more and have our innocent sufferings ended.
Hoping that you may grant our most earnest request as soon as possible. I remain, Mr. Secretary.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Captain Co. B Eighth Regiment W. Va. Volunteer Infantry, U. S. Army.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
PENITENTIARY, Richmond, Va., January 5, 1863.
Mr. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: We are prisoners of war held by the State of Virginia and we are confined in the State Penitentiaries a means of retaliation for the confinement of one Colonel Zarvona* and others held by the Government of the United States. Said Zarvona bears a commission from the State of Virginia and is said to be in confinement in some of our Northern prisons. We were taken prisoners in Floyd County, Ky., by Major General John B. Floyd, commanding State troops. We were handed over to Governor Letcher, who issued an order confining us to solitary confinement in the State Penitentiary until we were exchanged for Colonel Zarvona and others. We therefore beseech you to effect and exchange for us as soon as possible. A copy of the Governor's order has been forwarded to you already.
Very sincerely, yours,
DAVID V. AUXIER.
JOHN W. HOWE.
The first two of the above-named are soldiers of the Thirty-ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers. The last is a citizen of Johnson County, Ky.
[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
IN THE CELLS OF THE PENITENTIARY,
Richmond, Va., January 6, 1863.
We, the undersigned prisoners, and a number of others who are held here for delivery of Colonel Thomas Zarvona, have no other redress only through you and our Government for release of that officer. Once he is released they will release us prisoners, all which is most desirable. Nothing more at present.
We remain, your obedient servants,
WILLIAM S. DILS.
SAINT LOUIS, January 28, 1863.
Major-General CURTIS, Commanding Department of the Missouri.
GENERAL: There are among those confined at the Gratiot Street Military Prison 200 prisoners sent up from below under charge of Colonel Hawkins. These are part of the captured at Murfreesborough;
*See Vol. II, this Series, for case of Zarvona, p. 379, at seq.