War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0904 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. In what room was he confined?

Answer. In the room in which the clerk slept so he told me.

Question. Do you know anything in regard to the case [waste] of Government property?

Answer. I never saw any waste. If waste had existed I would have taken notice of it as it is my business.

WILLIAM F. WATSON, C. S. commissioner, sworn.

Captain ALEXANDER. Judge, some complaints have been made of my treatment of lawyers coming to the Castle on business. You have been there frequently; tell the committee how you were treated and how I deal with the profs. I am a practicing lawyer and have frequently called at the Castle on business. I have always been treated by Captain Alexander with uniform kindness; not only by the captain himself but by all his officers. I had no difficulty at all in gaining access to the prisoner I wished to see. All I had to do was to do go [to] the proper officer and they were either sent down to me or I up to them. So far as the character of the majority of the prisoners are concerned I must say, to express it in common parlance, they are a hard crowd. It must require great coolness and determination to manage them. I as commissioner have had some of them before me.

Question. Do you regard the captain as a cruel man?

Answer. No; I should say he was rather of a kindly disposition, rather impulsive. He can manage by an appeal about as well as any official I know.

Question. Do you think Captain Alexander a man not to be swayed from his purpose?

Answer. I consider him impulsive but positive; one to do a thing under the excitement of a moment.

Question. Do you think the prisoners could be managed better under a milder or kinder man?

Answer. Mild men are not always the best for such posts; a little blending of the severe is better.

JOHN DE BUTTS, M. D., sworn.

I am surgeon of Castle Thunder Hospital. So far as I have opportunities of observation I regard the management of the prison as good, very good. I have never had any prison experience before.

By Captain ALEXANDER:

Question. Have I not told you, doctor, that your orders in regard to the sick were supreme?

Answer. Yes; you have told me so.

Question. Do you think I am a cruel man?

Answer. I never saw any cruelty practiced by you.

Question. Doctor, what was Mr. Bland discharged from the post of steward of the hospital for?

Answer. Moral incompetency I call it.

Question (by the COMMITTEE). What is moral incompetency?

Answer. He was in the habit of appropriating the hospital liquor to his own private use. No one else had access to it for he had the key. I don't know how much was taken but a great deal more was used then went to the patients.

Question (by Captain ALEXANDER). Is Kirby, the prisoner, comfortably fixed now?

Answer. Yes; he has the best room in the prison; the best ventilated and situated.