War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0188 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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the sentinel at the entrance of the hospital having strict orders to allow no one in without a pass.



Lieutenant-Colonel and Inspector-General.

EDENTON, N. C., August 7, 1863.

President DAVIS:

My uncle Dr. David Minton Wright, one of the oldest and first physicians in Norfolk, is sentenced by the Federal authorities to be hanged, but is granted a new trial, which is to take place in Washington. As soon as I herd the report of the affair I endeavored to learn the particulars, but the blockade has been so rigid that no once could get in. The blockade has been raised for a few days and to-day two ladies from Edenton arrived, bringing the following intelligence: A few weeks since a negro regiment, commanded by a Yankee, marched through the streets of Norfolk. Doctor Wright was standing on the street, and as the regiment passed remarked: "My God, did ever I except my country to come to this?" Did ever I except to see such a regiment on the streets of the city of Norfolk?" The officers hearing the remark stepped before Doctor Wright with his sword uplifted and attempted to slap him on the cheek with his sword. The Doctor drew his pistol and shot him dead. The doctor is in close confinement with fetters; was tried last week, condemned, and sentenced to be hanged. Is allowed a new trial, which is to take place in Washington City. Doctor Wright has a soon in the Fifty-seventh North Carolina Regiment, a worthy representative of his noble father. If anything can be done by our Government for Doctor Wright I know if only needs to be made known, and thus my letter.

Very respectfully,



Deep sympathy is felt in this case, and both the natural indignation of Doctor Wright at the shameful spectacle and his prompt vindication of his honor against the indignity offered him are honored, but it unfortunately is not seen how the Department and aid his cause, and, indeed, it is believed interference on the part of this Government would probably prejudice it with our brutal foes.



WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, August 8, 1863.

Major General E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: You will select three rebel prisoners of South Carolina, if there be any such in our possession, and if not, three others, and have them kept in close custody as hostages for three colored men, named Orin H. Brown, William H. Johnson, and William Wilson, captured on the gun-boat Issac Smith and held in close confinement in the jail of Charleston, S. C. Make report to this Department of the persons who are thus selected as hostages and of the place of their confinement, and communicate the fact through the usual channels to the rebel authorities at Richmond.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.