War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 1128 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Daniel Bright was a member of the Sixty-second Georgia Regiment, under command of Colonel J. R. Griffin, and had received authority from the Governor of North Carolina to raise a company in that county for local defense. Failing in the effort, he had retired to his farm, and was there seized, carried, off, and executed.

Two most respectable married ladies were also made prisoners-Mrs. Phoebe Munden, wife of Lieutenant W. J. Munden, and Mrs. Elizabeth Weeks, wife of Private Pender Weeks, of Captain John T. Elliott's company. The first was arrested at her own house in the presence only of her three children, of whom the oldest was ten years of age, on Saturday, the 12th day of December, conveyed a few miles to Elizabeth City, confined in a room without fire, bed, or bedding, with several male prisoners, and tied by the feet and hands. A negro guard was placed in charge of the prisoners. The succeeding day the other lady, Mrs. Weeks, was placed in the same room. They were constantly guarded, and neither was allowed to leave the room for the most necessary duty but in company with a negro armed soldier. For a more minute recital of the indignities offered the sensibilities of the sex, the committee for-bear to do more than refer to the testimony of a fellow-prisoner, and another, a resident of the town and an eye witness of what he describes. Mrs. Munden was in delicate health, was forced from a home immediately laid in ashes, with all it contained, without other apparel than she wore upon her person, and passed several nights in the cheerless and cold apartment, to which she was confined at that inclement season, before the humanity of her captors was so far softened as to permit blankets to be furnished for her use. They were kept until Thursday and then removed to Norfolk. It has been represented to her husband that when Mrs. Munden was carried off her wrists were bleeding from the stricture of the cords with which she was bound.

The purpose of these arrests of unarmed and helpless women will appear from the letter of General Wild to Captain Elliott, dated December 17, which accompanies this report. In it he says:

I still hold in custody Mrs. Munden and Mrs. Weeks as hostages for the colored soldier taken by you. As he is treated, so shall they be; even to hanging. By this time you know that I am in earnest. Guerrillas are to be treated as pirates. You will never have rest until you renounce your present course, or join the regular Confederate Army.

These ladies are still held in custody, as will be seen from the letter of General B. F. Butler,* in answer to a communication addressed to him by Lieutenant Munden and Mr. Weeks, dated January 26; and while he states that he has countermanded the order for their execution, threatened in the event of the hanging of his "colored" soldier by General Wild, he does not disavow in any other respect the acts of the latter.

Besides these acts of violence it is in proof that several private dwellings in Pasquotank and Camden Counties were set on fire and consumed, among which may be designated those of W. T. White, Captain Willis Sanderlin, and Major Gregory-the latter, an aged citizen of more than sixty years, was seized and conveyed away. For what purpose General Wild's own letter to Captain Sanderlin, written after his retreat to Virginia, and bearing date December 22, will disclose.

He says:

I shall hold Major Gregory as a hostage for the colored soldier captured near Shiloh. I shall treat him exactly as your people treat that soldier. If they hang him I shall hang Major Gregory. And you know by this time that I keep my word.


*See p. 877.