War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0887 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

in writing, and handed them to Doctor Goldsborough for his consideration. He assured me that he cordially approved of the views of Judge Ould and would do all in his power to prevail on his Government to concur. He then signed an agreement to this effect and took a copy for himself. By the next flag of truce he was permitted to return to the United States, and carried with him the funds which during the imprisonment had been in the keeping of the provost-marshal.

In parting I took the liberty of stating to him that my ability to be of service to others would depend much on his course after his liberation, and expressed the hope that nothing would occur to make me regret my agency in procuring his parole. His assurances left no room for apprehending the slightest disappointment. And yet, this man with a worthy name, which he should have changed before prostituting it by ingratitude and falsehood, had scarcely reached his home when he began to utter the grossest misrepresentations as to the treatment to which his fellow-prisoners and himself had been subjected; hastened to Washington, not to comply in good faith with his engagements as an agent for effecting a humane arrangement, but to widen the existing breach and inflame revenge by his report of cruelties which he knew had never been practiced; and then to boast that his statements had stimulated his Government to severe retaliation upon the Confederate soldiers in their prisons. As I was connected with his parole, which afforded him the opportunity for attempting to increase the sufferings of others, I deem it a duty to make this statement to correct the false impression which his uncontradicted representation may have produced and to prevent the misery which might ensue.

My own testimony is as follows: During my visits to the Libby Prison to minister to its inmates, as need might require, I have often appealed to them individually and in groups to know if they had any cause to complain of the treatment which they experienced, assuring them of my readiness to secure the redress of any real grievance. The uniform reply has been that they had no inhumanity to complain of, and that except the want of outdoor exercise they wanted nothing but to go home. The spacious rooms of the building, which was originally an extensive tobacco warehouse, I always found sufficiently warmed and ventilated, and the appearance of the inmates that of persons in good health.

In penning this statement I do but comply with the demands of conscience and humanity, and shall be most happy if it serves to prevent all unnecessary suffering on the part of those whom the fortune of war has subjected to imprisonment.

With due consideration, yours,

J. JOHNS,

Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia.

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

Fort Monroe, January 28, 1864.

Colonel J. HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General:

COLONEL: The records and court-martial have been received. The President telegraphed me that no person who had been sentenced to death should be executed until further orders. The order was there-upon issued suspending all executions. There have been some men tried since that order and the sentences approved, and acting under