in close confinement as a hostage for some rebel prisoner on Johnson's Island. His name is Leopold Markbreit (being my half-brother). He was General Averell's acting assistant adjutant-general, and originally belonged to the Twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteers. He was taken last November at Salem, W. Va., and has been kept in close confinement for the last four months. Prompt action alone can save his life, as the subjoined extract from his last letter (dated July 10) will show.
I implore Your Excellency to effect his immediate release in the name of humanity and of justice.
Your most obedient servant,
LOWER CELL, LIBBY PRISON, Richmond, July 10, 1864.
* * * My situation could not be worse. I have become so weak and broken down from close confinement and want of food that I can hardly walk. Our rations daily consist of one-half pound of corn bread, one-half pound of boiled beans, and about two or three ounces of bacon. This is what the commissary says our rations weigh, but judging from the quantity we actually receive I doubt whether it weighs that much. You can judge how much we get when I assure you that we eat every morsel as soon as we receive our rations and go hungry the balance of the twenty-four hours. I cannot say how long we shall be able to live on such rations, but I am confident that we cannot stand it much longer. I am becoming both blind and deaf. My eyes are very much inflamed, and my sense of hearing is getting worse every day. * * *
SEPTEMBER 19, 1864.
The writer of this, who appeals for his brother, is our minister to Ecuador, and whom, if at all compatible, I would like to have obliged by a special exchange of his brother.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., January 6, 1865.
Bvt. Brigadier General JAMES BARNES,
Commanding District of Saint Mary's, Point Lookout, Md.:
GENERAL: I have the honor, by direction of the Commissary-General of Prisoners, to acknowledge the receipt of inspection report of the condition of prisoners of war at Point Lookout, Md., for the week ending December 31, 1864, and request that if in your opinion a portion of the tents are unfit for further use you will cause them to be inspected in the usual manner and submit the report to this office, with such suggestions as you may deem proper to make. If the prisoners are suffering for want of necessary clothing, make a requisition for present wants and it will be submitted to the Quartermaster-General. It is hopes that the rebel authorities will be able to procure clothing for their men in our hands at an early day from the proceeds of a cargo of cotton said to have been shipped from Mobile with that object.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. T. HARTZ,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.