FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL, New York., October 31, 1863.
Hon. E. D. MORGAN, U. S. Senate:
DEAR SIR: Excuse my taking the liberty of calling your attention to the condition of our officers at the Libby Prison, Richmond, and to the case of Colonel Cesnola, of the Fourth New York Cavalry, in particular. Nine hundred and twenty-two are now in four badly ventilated rooms at above-mentioned place, without decent food, with no changes of clothing, covered with vermin, and in an atmosphere which has destroyed the lives of some of the strongest of them in four days. Many of them are sick, all of them are emaciated, heartsick, and dispirited, all enduring this in behalf of a Government whose administration should rescue them quickly and honorably.
Colonel Cancelli, of noble descent, possessed of a fine military education and having had several years' experience in that model service, the Sardinian Cavalry, and having also been on the staff of the Sardinian commander in the Crimea, is particularly distressed by this confinement. His wife (a daughter of he late commander Reed) has just borne him a daughter, and is painfully wearied with this watching for his exchange. Others who have been confined a shorter time than he have (for political or good reasons) been exchanged, which is truly chilling to a patriot's heart. Without imposing upon your time and patience, allow me to hope that if an opportunity offer you will not let it pass without making an effort for his release. This is all that I can ask of you, and I am well aware that it is all that you can grant consistently with your rounds public and private duties. There are others who know Colonel Cancelli well, who appreciate his career in Europe and in this country, who know he is not only an Italian, but an American patriot, and who would earnestly join with me in this appeal.
I am, your obedient servant,
Of Hitchcock, Darling & Co., Fifth Avenue Hotel.
OFFICE OF ROBB & MACCONNELL, ATTORNEYS AT LAW,
Pittsburgh, November 30, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
It is rumored and generally believed that the party of John Morgan's rebels now in our penitentiary are feasted and toasted and waited on by the copperheads of the community in a manner which requires some attention from Washington. Your are probably aware that William H. Smith and John Birmingham have something to do with the penitentiary. Their status on the rebellion is not equivocal.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
December 11, 1863.
Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War with the recommendation that the prisoners of war in the Allegheny penitentiary be sent to Fort Warren.
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.