Some sixty or more citizens of Fredericksburg
, who were taken North by the enemy after the battles in Spotsylvania
, and held as "hostages" for a lot of Yankees alleged to have been captured by them, have returned to their homes, their exchange having been effected.
They represent that they were roughly treated by the enemy, who looked upon them as "bushwhackers," and heaped upon them various indignities.
As they passed through Philadelphia
they were very near being mobbed by the populace, and were only relieved from this danger through the intercession of one Peleg Clarke
, formerly a paper manufacturer in Fredericksburg
, who, by his representations as to their character and standing, persuaded the crowd to desist.
They were subsequently imprisoned at Fort Delaware
, where those who had money fared pretty well, but others, less fortunate, suffered many privations.
They state that the condition of the Confederate
prisoners at that point is deplorable in the extreme, and strongly urge the adoption of some measures for their relief.
Sickness is very prevalent among them, while the rations are meagre and of poor quality.
After a confinement of several weeks these citizens were released through the exertions of friends in this quarter, and started on their return home.
In passing through Washington
they found everybody in the highest state of excitement, and on inquiring the cause they were informed that the rebels had made their appearance in Maryland
During this time a considerable body of troops departed from Washington
for the point said to have been invaded, but our informant could not say whether they were regulars or new volunteers.
The exchanged prisoners were taken down the Potomac
in a gunboat, and on approaching Aquia Creek
they found the wharf at that point on fire; so they were landed at Split Rock
, a short distance below.
From thence they made their way to Fredericksburg
, where they were received with a great demonstration of joy, and such a scene of hilarity ensued as has not been witnessed there since the old town was made an object of the vengeance of a malignant foe.