Question. State what was the character of these men.
Answer. In regard to McAlister I staid in Numbers 4, room with him for about four weeks, and during the time I was in the room I don't think a night passed that some robbery of clothes, hats, shoes or money was not committed by some one in the adjacent large room and handed to McAlister through a crack or hole which he had cut through the partition which separated the two rooms, and received by him and sold by him whenever he got opportunity to sell. Frequently these stolen things were handed to McAlister thought the crack by Shehan, who was then on his parole and acting as corporal of the police about the building. I don't know anything dishonest about Mr. Kirby, but I know of Mr. Adams having stolen a pair of boots and selling them to McAlister; and also he stole four sheets out of the hospital which I found in his knapsack, He also stole a blanket from the hospital which I also found in his possession.
Question. What is the conduct of the men generally who have been in Castle Thunder?
Answer. The largest proportion of the men are real rascals, guilty of cutting the building for the purpose of escaping, fighting, abusing each other, committing robberies and bribery of sentinels.
Question. Have you seen any punishments inflicted in this prison?
Answer. None, sir, but what I thought were well deserved. I saw a man of Wheat's battalion whipped for desertion by sentence of court-martial. I heard Captain Alexander tell him he was sorry to have it do, but he was obliged to do it. Samuel Lebrick, the name of the man who was whipped, shook hands with the corporal of the police and asked him for a drink of whisky, which was given him by order of Captain Alexander. He was whipped very lightly.
Statement of J. B. Evans.
Question. How long have you been in Castle Thunder?
Answer. I have been here about ten weeks.
Question. Do you know of any combination among the prisoners to injure the reputation of Captain Alexander in any manner? If so please state it.
Answer. I saw Shehan, Adams and McAlister before they went before the committee go to Mr. Kirby and they asked him what they should say before the committee. I have heard McAlister and Adams both say that they would swear to anything to injure the captain. Adams said that if he had one more chance to go before the committee he would swear that Captain Alexander was always drunk.
Question. What is the character of these men?
Answer. They are of a desperate character. Adams told me he had been in the penitentiary twice. I have heard Shehan say that he has received money from prisoners to get them out when he was corporal of the police, and I heard Adams say that he had taken $50 from Captain Callan. I heard McAlister send word to Kirby to have him summoned; that he would like to have a chance to swear against the captain. He would do all he could to injure him.
Question. Do you know whether Mr. Kirby ever sent out letters privately from the building?
Answer. Yes; I have seen him send them out and receive them though private sources.
STATE OF VIRGINIA, City of Richmond, to wit:
I, Robert D. Ward, do certify that the foregoing statements made by Lewis J. Blankenship and J. B. Evans were sworn to by them respectively before me. Given under my hand this 28th day of April, 1863.
R. D. WARD,