War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0914 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Mr. RIGGS' testimony - Continued.

Question. State what you know of Mr. Wiley's treatment of prisoners.

Answer. It is brutal in my opinion. He cursed Webster who was gung the other day while Webster was in double irons. His language is brutal to prisoners, in my opinion.

Question. Was any complaint ever made to Captain Alexander or any report ever made in regard to Wiley's treatment of prisoners?

Answer. I don't know.

Question. You being there as acting assistant warden do you not think it was your duty to report all such things?

Answer. You told me to make reports in writing. I did not consider it my duty.

Question. Did you not curse the guard on one occasion?

Answer. I have no recollection of so doing.

STATEMENTS TAKEN UNDER OATH AND MADE BEFORE ROBERT D. WARD, ATTORNEY.

Statement of Lewis J. Blankenship.

Question. How hong have you been in Castle Thunder?

Answer. I came about the 29th of July, 1862, and have been ward master of the hospital most of the time.

Question. State whether you know that Kirby had a conversation with McAlister, Adams and Shehan in regard to giving testimony before the Congressional committee. If so state all you know about it.

Answer. On the day that Mr. Kerby was subpoenaed to go before this committee Mr. Shehan sent down into Numbers 4 room and got James McAlister out and asked me to pass him into Numbers 2 hospital with Mr. Kirby, and there all three of these men consulted over the evidence which they were to give before the committee. Mr. Shehan made a statement of his evidence which he was going to testify to before the committee; wrote it out and gave it to McAlister. Mr. Shehan also wrote out Mr. Kirby's evidence and gave it to McAlister, and McAlister gave his evidence to Shehan and Kirby. Each one of the three had a written statement of the testimony which they proposed to give before the committee. The morning that Mr. Adams was summoned to go before the committee Mr. Shehan took Mr. Adams into Mr. Kirby's room, and he and Mr. Kirby told Adams what they had testified to, and they wanted Mr. Adams to come as near as he could stating before the committee, and also told him as near as they could their own testimony and requested him to repeat the same as near as he could.

Question. Do you think there was a combination on the part of these men to inquire Captain Alexander if possible?

Answer. I do, sir. I know that from the conversation they have had with me.

Question. State what conversation you allude to.

Answer. I have heard Mr. Shehan say that Captain Alexander was nothing but a God damned loafer; that he intended to get him out of here if he possibly could; that nobody suited this place but Mr. Riggs, and that if Mr. Riggs were captain of this prison he could get out whenever he pleased; that Captain Alexander was not fit to have command of a parcel of hogs. Long before this committee was appointed I have heard McAlister say that Captain Alexander had done all he could to have him shot and that if he ever had it in his power he would have hire revenge out of him. About two days before he was summoned he said every dog had his day and that his day had just come. Mr. Kirby, Mr. Shehan and McAlister all knew that the committee was going to enter into the examination of Castle Thunder, and the three wrote a letter to Mr. Riggs about the committee before it was appointed and after Mr. Riggs had been discharged from Castle Thunder. I don't know that Mr. Riggs ever got the letter but I am confident the letter went out of the building by private hands. That letter stated that a committee was going to be appointed to examine into things here at Castle Thunder and they wished him to lay the letter before Congress, ad if he did not like to do it himself to give it to Mr. Bland, the hospital steward.