Government on the whole question of supplies for prisoners.]
In the Notes and Queries of the June number of the Southern Historical
papers, after quoting from the Michigan Post and Tribune
a statement “that, in November, 1863, the United States Government sent Captain Irving
up the James
with the steamer Convoy
, laden with clothing and provisions for the Union
soldiers at Libby
and Bell Isle, and that the steamer Convoy
returned still laden as she went, the Rebel
scoundrels refusing to allow the goods to be delivered to the sufferers there.”
I am asked to tell what I know “about the effort of the steamer Convoy
In reply, I say that, according to the best of my recollection and belief, this is the first time I ever heard of Captain Irving
or the steamer Convoy
It is true that many years have elapsed since the alleged occurrence, but yet, if it ever happened, it would be strange if I did not recollect something about it. Upon reference to my correspondence with the Federal
authorities during the war, I find no allusion to Captain Irving
or the Convoy
, but I do find enough to satisfy any reasonable mind that any such statement, as of the date given, is an utter falsehood.
At the risk of being tedious, I will present the action of the Confederate Government on this matter of the contribution of clothing and provisions from the North
to Federal prisoners confined in the South
Only one of the letters produced in this communication has been heretofore published, to-wit: that of January 24th, 1864.
For a long time previous to November, 1863, food and clothing had been sent by flag of truce boats from the North
to City Point
, then the headquarters of exchange, and there received and delivered over to the parties to whom they were consigned.
Sometimes such food and clothing were directed to individual parties, and sometimes to Federal prisoners generally, or to Federal prisoners confined at some particular prison.
These consignments multiplied to such an extent, that, at the instance of the Federal
authorities, General Neal Dow
, then a prisoner at the Libby, was appointed to take charge of them and distribute them.
having proved very inefficient in this matter, and having availed himself of his parole to do things which were against the word of honor which he had given, I notified the Federal
authorities on the 16th November, 1863, that Colonel A. Von Schrader
of Fourteenth Army Corps, Colonel Cesnola
, Fourth New York Cavalry, and Lieutenant-Colonel I. F. Boyd
Twentieth Army Corps, had been appointed as members of the Board to superintend the distribution of supplies, of which there was then a