War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0171 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, Washington, August 3, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I transmit herewith and earnestly invite your attention to the pressing appeal of three prisoners captured on board the gun-boat Issac Smith, and who at the last accounts were closely confined in Charleston jail. The application comes to me though the American vice-consul at Nassau, to whom found means to convey their communication. These three prisoners are colored me who were regularly shipped in New York and have, as Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow informed the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, been declared exchanged with the rest of the Issac Smith, but it has been hitherto averred they could not be found. From the walls of their prison they make themselves heard, and you will excuse me for inviting your special attention to their case after the long and rigorous confinement they have endured under the extraordinary circumstances mentioned.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

GIDEON WELLS,

Secretary of the Navy.

[First indorsement.]

Referred to Major-General Hitchcock.

E. M. S.

[Second indorsement.]

There have been other cases like this in which the undersigned has been compelled to report his opinion that they can only be effectually reached by a successful prosecution of the war.

As a matter of fact the rebellion exists on a question connected with the right or power of the South to hold the colored race in slavery; and the South will only yield this right under military compulsion. The facts complained of in this paper appeal in the strongest manner to the loyal people of the United States to prosecute this war with all the energy that God has given them.

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major-General of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

[Inclosure.]

CHARLESTON JAIL, June 30, 1863.

U. S. CONSUL, Nassau:

RESPECTED SIR: There are three of us colored men that shipped in New York on the 26th of September, 1862, on board the U. S. gun-boat Issac Smith. We were waiting on officers on board of her. She was captured in Stono River near Charleston on the 31st of January, 1863, and ever since then we have been confined in Charleston jail. We are locked up all the time in close confinement in a very small cell, and we are almost dead. We are not allowed to make any complaints. We do not get anything to eat but a little corn bread and water, and not half enough of that. We have not got any money or clothes and our sufferings are unspeakable. All the officers and men of our boat have gone home. They sent them on right away, but they kept us here. We were born in New York and shipped from there. We have done no crime, and, in the name of God, are we to be protected and aided or are we to be left here to die? They threaten us with all kinds of punishment and grant us no favors whatever. Are we to be exchanged or are we to left here to perish? Do, for God's sake, do something in our