War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0913 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. When you were sick did I not let you go home?

Answer. You did.

Question. When before the court-martial did I not act as your counsel?

Answer. Yes; you did.

Question (by the COMMITTEE). Where are you from?

Answer. I am from Manchester and am in the Castle on the charge of desertion.

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 1863.

Judge BAXTER sworn.

Question. Judge, state what you know of the condition and treatment of prisoners.

Answer. Captain Alexander has sent for me to examine into such cases as presented mitigating circumstances and recommended their discharge or detention as the case might be. I have opportunities of seeing Captain Alexander and the prisoners. My belief is that he is peculiarly qualified to control such a body. I think his course has been one of great humanity. At his suggestion I have discharged prisoners. There have been cases of wrong imprisonment and hardship. The management of the prison my belief is has been conducted with ability and by measures of stringency required by the character of the prisoners. What was the police regulations of the cells I don't know.

Question. Do you know Kirby?

Answer. I was once at the prison for the purpose of examining into cases and Kirby was in the room, and I requested him to leave and he complained. Captain Alexander had indulged him, so as to exclude him from the mass of prisoners.

Question (by Captain ALEXANDER). Judge, do you think I am a cruel man?

Answer. I would rather take you to be a kind man but firm and resolute and not disposed to allow any of your orders to be transgressed.

Here testimony closed.

Testimony of DENNIS O'CONNOR - Continued.

Prisoners is still required to report every morning at Castle Thunder upon parole. Mr. F. F. Wiley, an officer in Castle Thunder, cursed and abused witness this morning; charged him with being a thief. The abuse was caused by witness having been called upon to testify before the committee. Wiley has been in the habit of abusing witness. He told Wiley that he was in his power and compelled to submit to his abuse. Wiley cursed the Irish generally and is in the habit of abusing prisoners who do not report upon their comrades. Witness is acquainted with Lieutenant Bossieux; don't know what character he bears. At one time he heard Mr. Wiley curse a prisoner who was in irons. Witness intended to join Captain Rodgers' company, Robertson's battalion; denies having voted in the election for officers; never joined Nineteenth Mississippi Regiment; never was a substitute for any one.

Testimony of Captain W. N. STARKE - Continued.

Witness states that he has been assigned to duty by General Winder for the purpose of investigating all cases of political, citizen and military prisoners and of obtaining all the necessary evidence in relation thereto. Has been in the office but a short time and the failure to bring to trial or discharge many prisoners is attributed to the difficulty in obtaining the necessary evidence both for the prosecution and defense. Witness has been in the prison several times and found it well regulated and cleanly.


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.