I known something of the treatment of the prisoners. They are put in huddles, sometimes 500 and 700 in one building. Sometimes they are treated well by the commandant and the wardens, but I have seen them severely punished. I have seen them tied by the thumbs and raised up on their toes. I don't think theirs could have been very aggravated offenses; rather think it was for disagreements among themselves. I don't know how long they remained tied up, but from the best information they were kept something eight hours. I don't know that any of the sick prisoners were thus treated. I saw a man hand cuffed around a post, raised up at first and afterwards cut down when his blood had stagnated. I don't know what offense he had committed. On another occasion a canteen of gunpowder was exploded in the prison room by some of the prisoners. The powder was collected from cartridges and was not much in quantity. I heard the report of it ten minutes after its occurrence and rode up to General Winder's office with Captain Alexander. While in General Winder's office Captain Alexander reported the circumstances of the powder explosion. I don't know what the general said, but Captain Alexander went back to the prison and put the men down in the pen outside, where they remained two or three days. They had no covering and it was raining. The men in the pen were those in the room where powder was exploded. Captain Alexander demanded the names of those who put the powder in the stove, and because the men refused tall in the pen. It was last fall, in the month of November I think. I heard of some of them dying shortly afterwards. They died after that I am positive, but I never knew their names. Prisoners guildry of bad offenses have irons on them generally, but I don't think any of the men put in the pen had irons on.
I think two men been shot at the prison since Captain Alexander has been in charge, and one on Franklin street at the guard-house. The man killed at the guard-house was shot while attempting to escape. In my opinion all could have been arrested without being shot. The desperate men were generally put in Castle Godwin. The soldiers picked up on the street are put in this prison. Castle Godwin is not part of Castle Thunder. Thunder was Godwin's successor in cognomen after removal. The man shot a few nights ago at Castle Thunder certainly could have been captured without shooting. There is a standing order to shoot only if he cannot otherwise be arrested.
I have seen prisoners whipped, but I don't know by whose or what authority. I have been men severely whipped on the buttocks with straps; don't know how many lashes were laid on, but I should think about fifty. I only saw one whipping. On this occasion the officers were requested by Captain Alexander to go up into the prison room and see the men whipped. The whipping strap was secured onto wooden handles they were of harness leather or sole leather from eighteen inches to two feet in length. The blows were laid on about as hard as a man could do it. I have seen prisoners wear the same clothes for months until they were ready to drop off in rags. I think there have been of attempts to bride the guard
J. F. SCHAFFER sworn:
I reside in Richmond and am detective in General Winder's force. The prisoners are treated according to their behavior. Some of them I think have been cruelly treated. They were punished sometimes for fighting, sometimes for stealing. I have seen them whipped, one received fifteen lashes, another twenty-five and a third fifty lashes. The prisoners that received fifty lashes fifty lashes was pretty severely cut.
I know something about putting the prisoners out in the back yard. It was in November, and it was raining during a portion of the time. They were put their for exploding gunpowder in the building. The prisoners who were put out were put there because they would not tell who did it. Some of those died afterwards. I could not say who gave the order to put them men in the yard, but I suppose Captain Alexander ordered them to be put there. They had generally woolen clothes on. Two men have been killed in Castle Thunder na one in Franklin street guard-house. The man last mentioned was attempting to escape when shot. Of the other men one of them was a deranged man and was put in a cell. He got out of the cell and in attempting to get away was halted by the sentinel, but heeding was shot by him. He was a Yankee prisoners brought from the Libbly Prison and shot the same night. I have seen two men whipped in Castle Thunder, but it was done by order of the court-martial.
I have seen prisoners "bucked" for one or two hours. Some of them had attempted to escape, others had been insulting to the officers of the prison. Some of the prisoners are well clad and others very poorly. Some what no bed clothing. I have been connected with the prison over one year. I know the prisoners need clothing and common decently requires that they should be better clothes. The prison is kept very clean-as clean as it well can be. The printed rules require this. I have never heard the officer of the prison abuse the prisoners unless the prisoners were refractory. One prisoner's clothing is very frequently stolen by the others.