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[240] by him, ‘the colonel of the regiment was Colonel William Raymond Lee, an army officer, and graduate of West Point, now a prisoner in a felon's cell at Richmond. I would to Heaven he were back now, or that the Army of the Potomac were hammering at his prison-door with both hands, and neither hand averted to protect the institution which is the cause of all this woe.’ The Governor disclaimed any intention to ‘assume control of the interior discipline of the regiment.’ His purpose was to prevent Massachusetts soldiers from being used, contrary to law, to catch and return fugitive slaves. He was sorry ‘to perceive in the conduct of Brigadier-General Stone a levity of mind which does not appreciate the responsibility of the grave duties with which the power of appointment charges the officer in whom it is vested.’ This appears to have been the end of the correspondence. General Stone was afterwards imprisoned in Fort Lafayette, by order of the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton; but the charges upon which the arrest was made have never been made public.

The inhuman treatment by the rebel authorities of the Massachusetts officers and soldiers taken prisoners at Ball's Bluff, caused the Governor, on the 16th of December, to write another letter to the President, upon the necessity of organizing a system for the mutual exchange of prisoners. A large portion of the prisoners in the hands of the rebels belonged to this State; and he urged upon the President to interpose for their immediate relief. He contrasts the cruel treatment of our men at Richmond with the humane treatment of rebel prisoners in Fort Warren.

I am informed, from trustworthy sources, that our soldiers who are prisoners of war at Richmond are neither well fed nor well clothed, and they are subjected to the most rigid military surveillance, and occasionally exposed to the insulting language and demeanor of the populace of that city. Some of their number—among whom I may mention Colonel Lee and Major Revere, of the Massachusetts Twentieth Infantry, and Captains Bowman and Rockwood, of the Massachusetts Fifteenth (all of them gentlemen and soldiers, who have no superiors, in any sphere of human life, in all those qualities which ought to command respectful treatment)—are imprisoned in felon's cells, fed on felon's fare, in a common jail; huddled together in a space so narrow that there

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