War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0216 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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than four per day, which, taking into consideration the large amount of prisoners confined here, there being nearly 10,000, is exceedingly small.

In justice to the officer commanding this post we would beg leave to state that everything in his power to add to the comfort of these prisoners is being done. The sick are cared for as well as possible and new hospitals [are being] built for the accommodation of more. They are not compelled to drink water from the ditches, as reported; but water sufficient to supply the island is brought here by the boat twice daily from a distance, besides the supply of rain water constantly on hand.

The barracks are being kept as comfortable as can be expected under the circumstances.

R. R. GOODE, Surgeon and Medical Director.

E. HOLT JONES, Medical Inspector.

THOS. W. FOSTER, Surgeon.

W. W. CLEAVES, Surgeon.


Washington, August 19, 1863.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

I have the honor to transmit herewith the record* in the case of Dr. D. M. Wright, tried in Norfolk in July last for the murder of Second Lieutenant A. L. Sanborn, First U. S. Colored Volunteers.

Doctor Wright was tried by a military commission convened by Major-General Dix, and of which Brigadier General R. S. Foster was president, and was convicted and sentenced to be hung at such time and place as might be appointed by the major-general commanding the department or by the President. The proceedings of the commission were regular and the findings and sentence were in conformity with the facts in the case as proved on the trial. The testimony is brief and direct, and in substance as follows:

The deceased was marching his company of colored troops along the sidewalk of the main street of Norfolk. As they approached, the accused, who was standing in front of a store, is stated by one of the witnesses to have addressed a remark to the deceased in which the word "cowardly" was audible. Other witnesses heard this word, but could not swear that it was spoken by the accused. The deceased is testified to have thereupon halted his company and sent off two of his men in the direction of the provost-marshal for a provost-guard. The accused and the deceased then exchanged a few words, which were inaudible to any witness, whereupon the former produced a pistol and fired one shot at the deceased, closely following it with a second. The two then engaged in a brief struggle, apparently for the possession of the pistol, and were borne into the store, where the deceased presently fell and died from the effect of his wounds. No provocation for the act of the accused is shown in the testimony, unless it be found in the supposition that the deceased designed and was about to effect the arrest of the accused, or merely in the fact of the appearance of the colored U. S. troops in the public streets of Norfolk. Upon the trial the accused was well provided with counsel, but no defense was in terms set up to the crime as proved. That a defense was intended to be


*Not found.