committed to my charge? Have I not proven that by my own individual exertions I have clothed many prisoners who were being sent to the field? When as some of the witnesses say were men exposed to the weather? Have I not proven their infernal character, and were not their comrades at that time whom they had shamefully deserted fighting our battles and sleeping on the cold ground without tent or other cover than the canopy of heaven?
I would here say a few words about the witnesses examined. Mr. Bland, a hospital steward, whom it appears from the evidence was a man not fit to be about a public institution; his depravity was such that he was disgracefully ordered away. He says he was five months in a Yankee prison and saw better treatment. I rather think that that argues badly for Mr. Bland, for while I was a prisoner among that hateful people the only one I saw treated well was one who sycophant like courted favor at their hands. I was kept in a cell seven by four for three weeks, that cell underground and no window; moreover prisoners of war are entitled to better treatment than murderers, deserters, spies, &c.
Witness Numbers 2 Kirby, the spy. I hardly think it fair to take prisoner's evidence; but I waive that and challenge the whole prison. His evidence knows that although he is incarcerated as that most hateful of all things, a spy, yet he is put in the best room in the Castle, has a fire, good bed and is allowed to purchase anything from the outside that he may require. Oh! gentlemen, does this look cruel? And then he is only removed from this room when the true instincts of the beast were developed and he proves to be a low born blackguard.
Witness Numbers 3 One Adams, who served out a term in the penitentiary, was pardoned during a second term and deserted in sight of the enemy.
Witness Numbers 4. A man who will not tell where he is from and is sentenced to three years' imprisonment.
Witness Numbers 5. Shehan, a deserter, a man who has broken his parole and since evidence has again deserted his comrades. One or two others close the list and the least said about them the better.
Gentlemen, I leave the matter in your hands, well satisfied the action you take will be just action. I stand before the people and press of this country and invite at any time the strictest investigation.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. ALEXANDER,
Asst. Adjt. General and Asst. Provost-Marshal, Commanding Castle Thunder.
Majority report of the committee of Congress to investigate the management of Castle Thunder.
[RICHMOND, May 1, 1863.]
The special committee to which was referred certain resolutions requiring investigation into the management of Castle Thunder, a military prison in this city, have instructed me to report that after a diligent examination of a large number of witnesses your committee find that the prison as to cleanliness and comfort has been well managed. Its discipline has been rigid, but good and successful, and the general treatment of prisoners as humane as the circumstances would allow. The evidence discloses some cases of severe corporeal punishment; some prisoners have been whipped with the lash, the blows numbering from five to twelve. This we condemn as inhuman