FORT MONROE, November 3, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:
I have sent 1,000 suits of clothing and 1,500 blankets. Sent as many more to-day. General Dow writes that he received and will distribute them.
S. A. MEREDITH,
November 3, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: In a formal statement* made under the direction of the Honorable P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War, by Colonel Irvine, a prisoner of war recently returned from Richmond, and submitted for the consideration of this office, is found the following language:
Major B. F. Mosely, of Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, captured at Nashville, is in irons, wearing at 64-pound ball and chain, at Atlanta.
Captain Lewis L. Carter, of the East Tennessee cavalry detailed on General Wilder's staff, was also captured at Nashville and is held and treated in like manner. They have not been served with any charges, but the officers about there report the charges against them to be, levying war against their sovereign States. Major Mosely being a Kentuckian and the other from Tennessee, they are held as political prisoners. Captain Carter desires General Wilder to be informed of his condition. Mosely has been aide to Government Johnson, whom he wishes informed of his situation.
Lieutenant E. H. Mason, Company B, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers, and Lieutenant Wilson W. Brown, of same regiment, are in irons at Atlanta. The charges against them are that they were in the bridge-burning expedition of General Mitchel, at which time they were privates. One was exchanged and the other escaped. They were promoted, captured in battle, and are now held on the old charges.
John Wollam, private, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers, is also in irons and cannot learn the charges against him.
Captain C. S. F. Dircks, Company K, First Middle Tennessee Infantry, a native of Denmark, taken last January, was also subjected to the same treatment for five months. The irons have been taken off, but he is still held and cannot learn what charges, if any, there are against him. They do not try him nor make any pretense of expecting to.
This information in regard to these officers and soldiers of the U. S. Army now languishing in Southern prisons is regarded as entirely reliable, it having been obtained by Colonel Irvine from officers captured at Chickamauga and confirmed by personal conversations with General Dow, who himself saw these persons and knows the facts. Major J. P. Collins, of Twenty-ninth Indiana, is one of the persons who furnished the information. He was captured at Chickamauga and conversed with these prisoners, who were anxious to ascertain what was against them.
As the officers and private named are prisoners of war and are recognized by this Government as occupying that status, and that only, its utmost power should be exerted to secure for them the treatment to which they are entitled according to the usages of civilized nations. All restraints upon their liberty beyond what are necessary for their safe-keeping are violations alike of the customs of war and of the sentiments of humanity.
It is entirely manifest that the unarmed and helpless captives mentioned now confined in prisons at remote points from the loyal States have not been loaded with irons as a precaution necessary for their security. This inhumanity is either one of the caprices of the rebel
*Omitted in view of quotations herein given.