War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0386 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. At what point were you when the rebellion first broke out and when did you join the Army in the field?

Answer. I was commanding the cadets at West Point when the war broke out and joined the Army in the field in September, 1861, from recruiting service. I had been appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Fourteenth Infantry and was recruiting one battalion of that regiment from the 4th of July until September. I joined the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan while it was opposite Washington.

Question. With what rank and position?

Answer. As a brigadier-general of volunteers, and was assigned to the command of a brigade in the Pennsylvania Reserves.

Question. When the Army moved from Washington to the Peninsula to what corps were you attached?

Answer. The division to which I belonged (General McCall's) was attached to General McDowell's corps-the First Corps.

* * * * * * *

Question. Were you present at the battle of Gaines' Mill?

Answer. I was; and my brigade was engaged for the greater part of the after-noon and until our line was broken on the left and the enemy succeeded in cutting off a portion of the troops engaged on the right; and unfortunately cut off myself, so that I was unable to make my way back to the bridges that night. I was made prisoner the next morning (Saturday morning) by their pickets. The position of Gaines' Mill I knew scarcely anything about, either the ground or the position of the troops. As my brigade had been in action the day before I was first ordered by General Porter to place it in reserve; but shortly after the action commenced I was called upon and my brigade was placed in action.

* * * * * * *

Question. Will you give an account of what befell you after you were taken prisoner and describe the treatment that you received?

Answer. When taken prisoner by the picket I was conducted to the rear into the presence of the general commanding that part of the line, General D. H. Hill, and I found several general officers of the enemy there with him. Among them were General Jackson, General Ripley and General C. S. Winder. I was received by them very properly and nothing occurred there to myself at all derogatory to my position as a general officer in our Army. In a very short time I was sent under escort on horseback to the rear on the Old cold Harbor road as far as General Lee's headquarters. There we were halted. I was sent with some other prisoners, the most of them wounded, among them Major Clitz. We were sent in an ambulance to General Lee's headquarters until he was communicated with. After that we were conducted to Richmond over the battle-field of Mechanicsville. On arriving in Richmond we were taken to the provost-marshal, General Winder, who sent me to the Spotswood House, a hotel there, where I remained until after the battles were all over, confining myself entirely to my room. I gave General Winder assurance I think in some shape or other that I would remain in my quarters. I do not recollect now whether it was in writing or not. After the battle of Malvern Hill, having been joined by General McCall, we were taken one evening out of the hotel by the assistant provost-marshal and conducted to the prison for the officers which had been prepared - a tobacco warehouse - and placed in confinement there, where all the officers they had captured were confined, the field officers on one floor - a large floor. A space was partitioned off for General McCall and myself to occupy. The floor above us was occupied by the captains and the floor above that by the subalterns. In this prison we remained until some four or give officers escaped. After that circumstance we were paraded in public - marched down the streets to the Libby Prison. We understood that this was done because it was supposed that the remaining officers had connived at the escape of the others. At the Libby Prison we were all placed on two floors without any distinction as to rank being made. While in the first prison the officers were allowed by the authorities one ration each consisting of bread and meat only. There was a caterer to the prison who attended to the commissions of the officers and bought provisions for them, such things as they chose to buy themselves for their messes; and General McCall and myself were allowed to have our meals brought from a boarding house. After we were placed in the Libby Prison this was continued I believe with some restrictions. We remained in the Libby Prison until our exchange was effected when we were ordered to prepare to march to Aiken's Landing. There was some objection made by some of the