WALKER'S ARTILLERY BATTALION,
Camp Maury, near Milford, April 26, 1863.
[Captain G. W. ALEXANDER.]
DEAR CAPTAIN: The summons of Honorable C. C. Herbert directing me to appear before the special committee of Congress on the 23rd instant did not reach me until yesterday, the 25th instant. I immediately applied for leave of absence to enable me to obey the summons but found that no officer of the army will be allowed to take the cars except upon the special order of General Lee.
My application for two days leave, inclosing the summons, has been forwarded thought the regular channels to General Lee and it will be over a week before it can be heard from. I fear that the deliberations of the committee will be closed before I can obtain permission to leave camp.
If you think it important for me to appear before the committee without delay you might procure an order from the Secretary of War directing my immediate appearance.
If the committee anticipates remaining in session over a week please advise me of the fact and I will go down as soon as General Lee's permit is received.
I assure you it will afford me pleasure to bear testimony to the systematic and able manner in which you have managed the provost prison under your charge and to the humanity and kindness with which you have treated the prisoners in your custody.
You have the greatest talent for controlling and managing desperate characters, and I have often said that I do not believe there is another man in the Southern Confederacy who can fill your present position.
Hoping that the report of the committee will triumphantly vindicate you, as it will do, from the malicious charges which have been preferred against you,
I remain, your friend,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF HENRICO,
Richmond, April 28, 1863.
SIR: In reply to your communication I state that in consequence of the violent proceedings of the prisoners in blowing up the building, garroting and using slung-shots upon the newly-arrived prisoners, robbing and endangering their lives, I gave your orders to punish these ruffians severely and if necessary to resort to corporeal punishment.
JNO H. WINDER,
Captain Alexander's Defense.
CASTLE THUNDER, Richmond, April 13, 1863.
To the Honorable Committee of the House of Representatives, C. S. A., for the investigation of Castle Thunder.
GENTLEMEN: Bonaparte said that "the first requisite in an officer was health, the second temper; without the first the second is seldom