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J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, XXVII. June, 1863 (search)
ers should give guarantees of neutrality or be sent out of the city. Nothing from Lee. June 27 An officer of the Signal Corps reported, yesterday, the force of Gen. Keyes, on the Peninsula, at 6000. To-day we learn that the enemy is in possession of Hanover Junction, cutting off communication with both Fredericksburg and Gordonsville. A train was coming down the Central Road with another installment of the Winchester peisoners (some 4000 having already arrived, now confined on Belle Island, opposite the city), but was stopped in time, and sent back. Gen. Elzey had just ordered away a brigade from Hanover Junction to Gordonsville, upon which it was alleged another raid was projected. What admirable manoeuvring for the benefit of the enemy! Gen. D. H. Hill wrote, yesterday, that we had no troops on the Blackwater except cavalry. I hope he will come here and take command. Gen. Whiting has arrested the Yankee crew of the Arabian, at Wilmington. It appears that sh
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 17: events in and near the National Capital. (search)
illocks, covering the remains of officers. In the midst of this garner of the ghastly fruits of the treason of Lee and his associates — fruits that had been literally laid at his door--were the beautiful white marble monuments erected to the memory of the venerable Custis and his life-companion — the founders of Arlington House and the parents of Lee's wife. On that of the former we read the sweet words of Jesus, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Then we thought of Belle Island, in the James River, which we had just visited, and of the hundreds of our starved countrymen held there as prisoners in the blistering summer's sun and the freezing winter's storm, into whose piteous faces, where every lineament was a tale of unutterable suffering vainly pleading in mute eloquence for mercy, Robert E. Lee might have looked any hour of the day with his field-glass from the rear gallery of his elegant brick mansion on Franklin Street, in Richmond. It seemed almost as if t
hat in a few instances, say six or eight times at most, a small quantity of sweet potatoes has been issued instead of the rations of meat. The above is the sum total of the rations issued to our officers and men now prisoners of war. The condition of our unfortunate enlisted men, now in the hands of the enemy, is much worse than that of the officers. From early in May last, when I arrived in Richmond, to about the first of December, all the enlisted men were taken to what is called Belle Island, and turned into an inclosure, like so many cattle in a slaughter-pen. Very few of them had tents, or shelter of any kind, and the few tents furnished were so poor and leaky as to render them but little better than none. All the prisoners are taken to Libby when they first arrive in Richmond, for the purpose of counting them and enrolling their names; consequently I had a fair chance to see their condition when they arrived. Fully one half of the prisoners taken since May last were r
, it being so thin over the field that I could almost count the stalks as we passed in the cars. Their farming implements are of a very poor quality. They break up their ground with a small plough with one horse or mule attached. What grain they raise is not enough for home consumption, let alone to supply an army with bread and meat. The principal timber through the South is pine, which grows in great abundance. On arriving in sight of Richmond, we got off the cars and were taken to Belle Island on the morning of the 31st of September, being just ten days on the way; the distance we travelled over being 850 miles. The island is situated in James River, at the foot of the falls, and opposite the upper part of the city. That part of the island we were on is a very low sand bar, over which the chilly air comes from the river, and almost every night and morning we were enveloped in a dense fog. Here we were exposed to all kinds of weather, without any shelter from the cold rains and
er, always warm and never cold, sometimes thick and sometimes thin. The soldiers confined on Belle Island are nearly starved, or fed on tainted meat. If a man has money he can send out and buy a bar for forty dollars, a pound of sugar for three dollars, a pound of coffee for ten dollars. On Belle Island there are thousands of our men without clothing to keep them warm; for when they go into a bapity the soldiers in our own hospitals — then, my friend, let your pity go to our soldiers on Belle Island. They are there sickening and dying by tens, twenties, and by hundreds. Here before you to- are absolutely being murdered in this way. I saw your townsman, William Hayes, who was on Belle Island, and had been brought from there to the hospital. He told me of his sufferings. Twice he waen who are in the hospital are put in an ambulance and taken to the depot; but if they are on Belle Island they must walk. Now this man was twice parolee but was too weak to walk to the cars and was
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 37. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), War time story of Dahlgren's raid. (search)
ned to say, Lieut. Ditty was shot in both eyes. Thus has passed away Kilpatrick's second attempt at raiding into Richmond. He has been pretty well hackled by our forces, having lost, probably, at least one-tenth of his force in killed and captured. As far as the grand objects of his undertaking were concerned, he has reason to feel very foolish. Prisoners say it was the design of the Brooke Turnpike column to attract our whole force, and leave the river-side column to make a dash at Belle Island, and liberate the Yankee prisoners there. They have failed in everything, except some temporary damage to our railroads, the burning of some barns and mills, the seizure of some horses, the hanging of one negro, and the stealing of some spoons. For these he has paid, probably, two hundred and fifty picked men, and he has thoroughly broken down the rest, both men and horses, for a time. Of the damage to the railroads the extent is not yet known. The Fredericksburg road has had one of
Preparations for departure. --A number of sick Yankee soldiers were brought from Belle Island yesterday, in ambulances, and lodged in the C. S. prison, corner of 20th and Cary streets, so as to be ready to start with the next batch sent from this place to City Point. None were sent yesterday.
Grand Exodus of three thousand Yankees. --About 1 o'clock yesterday three thousand of the Federal prisoners on Belle Island left the city for "Varina," (the farm of Albert Alken, Esq., twelve miles from Richmond,) a guide having been procured from Capt. Alexander's detective force to pilot them thither. They went under flag of truce to be exchanged, and were to be met by officers of the United States Army, empowered to effect that object. The party consisted wholly of soldiers, no commissioned officers being in the party. The guard attending the party was composed of a portion of the 42d Mississippi regiment, under Col. Miller. The prisoners were permitted to go by the C. S. Military Prison, and while in front of the building they cheered their imprisoned compatriots, (Generals and other officers) and otherwise testified their respect for them. They appeared elated at the prospect of going home. The day was intensely hot, and it was intimated, after they had been gone for s
The Daily Dispatch: August 11, 1862., [Electronic resource], The assassination of Gen. W. R. Caswell. (search)
Arrived. --About twenty-five hundred Yankees, captured at various times by Stonewall Jackson in the Valley of Virginia, and hitherto confined near Lynchburg, Va., have arrived in Richmond since Saturday. They are now on Belle Island, and will there remain until preparation can be made to send them home under flag of truce. Directly all the privates have been chipped the Federal officers will be sent off.
side now take the oath of allegiance to Jeff. Davis's Government, merely for the sake of being sent to the fortifications of Richmond, where their condition is immeasurably improved. Mr. Bulkley, Herald correspondent, was transferred to Belle Island about two weeks ago. On one occasion our boys hid away their greenbacks. The fact was discovered by the officers of the prison, and they adopted a subterfuge to get them, after vainly endeavoring to discover them by a search. They sent ew days' confinement they become invalids. In the intervals between the flag of truce boats, which are only a few days, from two to three hundred sick accumulate at Aiken's Landing from the Richmond prisons. Not one-third of our prisoners at Belle Island have tents or shelter of any kind, though the nights are very cold, and a heavy fog settles on the river, continuing until ten o'clock in the morning. Our prisoners suffer more than they would otherwise on account of the tyranny of a man
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