News of the War.
A Dismal account of the Libby.Two sutlers — McCarty and Jennings — who were captured by Mosby near Alexandria a few weeks since, were recently exchanged as soldiers through mistake, and have arrived in New York with the usual cheerful batch of lies about the Libby prison. The account is paraded under a four line heading, and we extract the following precious morsels from it: ‘ From Staunton we were taken to Richmond, arriving about sundown, and were marched past Jeff. Davis's mansion to the Provost Marshal's, who committed us at once to the Libby prison, and placed us on the second floor, among up wards of hundred Union prisoners, comprising and classes — lawyers, Quakers, butlers, farmers, and deserters from our ranks, many of them as marked as when they came into this world. The sight we beheld here was shocking. The dimensions of the room in which they were confined was forty feet by seventy, with an eight foot ceiling. It fronted on Cary street, with the rear on Canal, in sight of James river. As soon as we were ushered into this room we were besieged by these poor fellows with inquiries for the news from the North, and the particulars of the fights at Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and Charleston. After looking around on the floor for some line we found a spot, and laid down to get the rest we so much needed. It was impossible to keep at case or catch a nap while the vermin were literally devouring us. The older prisoners seemed to take it as a matter of course, and laid until morning in sound sleep, when our astonishment and disgust was intensified to see every man sitting up in bed hunting for the vermin in what little clothing he possessed. It was the regular order of the morning. Our breakfast in the morning, between 9 and 10 o'clock, consisted of four ounces of bread and one of beef, including bone — which stunk so badly, and was so full of maggots, that we, as new beginners on such fare, turned from it in utter disgust, and threw it away. We afterwards learned better manners and devoured it with as much relish as those who had been in the prison longer. What we abandoned was greedily devoured by others. At sun down we were called to dinner, which we ate standing. It consisted of four ounces of bread and a pint of swill, composed of fish oil, black beans, maggots, and dirt. We abandoned our soup on the first taste of it. Immediately the men rushed from the table like a pack of hungry wolves, crowding around us, and begging us for what our stomachs, as yet unaccustomed to such carrion food, utterly refused. Men of age, wealth, education and refinement, reared in the lap of luxury, craved and scrambled for the crumbs that fell from our table, and offered to do us the most menial service for them. The horrors of this prison cannot be death, and could but a faint glimmer of the truth flash upon the people of the North, and especially the War Department, it would not be long ere such retaliatory measures were adopted towards rebel prisoners in our hands as would bring the rebels to some sense of mercy and common humanity in the treatment of Union prisoners in their prisons. Many of the deserters from our 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 some "sharkies" to the boys with silver, offering sixteen dollars in silver for twenty in green backs. The offer was accepted by many. The next day a guard was detailed, which seized all the silver. This was the only way they could have secured the green backs. Ninety five per cent of Union prisoners go to Richmond well, except from exhaustion, caused by long marches. After a few 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 named Boss Burnham, formerly of New York, but a Southerner by birth. He was formerly doing business for a firm in Warren street. One prisoner was put in close confinement on bread and water for four days because he looked down from the window of his prison and asked who was under a peculiarly shaped hat just passing beneath. It is not true that the rebels are obliged from necessity to feed our prisoners as they do. Corn and rice are abundant. They do not refund a dollar of the money they take from our men.
Gen. Dix and Gov. Seymour--important correspondence — why a large military force was sent to New York.The draft in New York is very nearly over, and the conscripted supporters of the "old flag" have paid their $300, and are resting in peace until the next draft. The New York Post publishes a correspondence between Gen. Dix and Gov. Seymour, which has just come out, relative to the occupation of New York city by the military. The following is the Post's version of it: ‘ The first letter was written by General Dix on the 30th of July. He apprises the Governor that the draft in this city will probably be resumed at an early day, and desires to know whether the military power of the State may be depended on the enforce the execution of the law in case of forcible resistance to it? He says he is very anxious that there should be perfect harmony of action between the Federal Government and the State, and adds that if he can feel assured that under the Governor's authority the laws will be faithfully executed, he (the General) need not ask the War Department to at his disposal, for that purpose, troops in the service of the United States. ’ On the 3d of August Gov. Seymour replied, informing General Dix that he was in communication with the President in relation to the draft in this State, and that he hoped the President's answer would relieve both him sell and Gen. Dix from the "painful questions growing out of an armed enforcement of the conscription." Upon receiving the President's reply he would again communicate with Gen. Dix. On the 8th of August Gen. Dix acknowledged the receipt of Gov. Seymour's reply, and proceeds to say that his position as the commander of this military department compels him to anticipate the President's answer by some suggestions arising out of Gov. Seymour's reply. He then explains more at length his motives in soliciting Gov. Seymour's cooperation, and dwells upon the object and necessity of the draft, objecting to the Governor's use of the phrase "conscription act," as calculated to "bring the enrollment into reproach and defeat its execution." The General supposes, however, that Gov. Seymour used the phrase inadvertently, and does not believe that he will "throw the influence of his high position against the Government in a conflict for its existence." Gen. Dix then shows that the burden which the draft imposes on the loyal States is not in proportion to population one tenth as onerous as that which has been assumed by the seceded States, and argues that we should do as much for the preservation of our institutions as they are doing to destroy them. He believes that the people of this State will respond with alacrity and enthusiasm to the call now made upon them. He refers to the deep disgrace east upon the city by the recent riots, and says that the courts having done their duty towards vindicating the majesty of the law, "it now re- mains for the people to vindicate themselves from the reproach in the eyes of the country and the world by a cheerful acquiescence in the law." In this connection General Dix declares that those who army themselves against the law "are obnoxious to far severer censure than the misguided and ambitious men who are striving to subvert our Government." In conclusion, he renews the expression of his anxiety to be assured by Gov. Seymour, at the earliest day practicable, that the military power of the State, in case of need, be employed to enforce the draft. He is the more urgent in asking this assurance, because, should it not be granted, he will deem it his duty to "call on the General Government for a force which shall not only be adequate in insure the execution of the law, but which shall enable him to carry out such decisive measures as shall leave their impress upon the mind of the country for years to come." On the 15th of August Gov. Seymour apprised Gen. Dix that he had received the final answer of the President, who, he regrets to say, did not see fit to comply with the requests made to Irion, and Gov. Seymour adds that he was confident that a "generous reliance upon the patriotism of the people to fill the ranks of our thinned armies by voluntary enlistments would hereafter, as it has heretofore, prove more effectual than any conscription." With reference to Gen. Dix's inquiry as to the position which will be held by the State authority, Gov. Seymour says: ‘ "Of course, under no circumstances can they perform duties expressly confided to others; nor can they undertake to relieve others from their proper responsibilities.--But there can be no violations of good order, notorious proceedings, no disturbances of the public peace, which are not infractions of the laws of the State, and those laws will be enforced under all circumstances. I shall take care that all the executive officers of this State perform their duties vigorously and thoroughly; and, if need be, the military will be called into requisition." ’ Three days subsequently, on the 18th of August, General Dix reminds Governor Seymour that in an interview had with him on the 18th of July, immediately after General Dix's arrival in this city, he (General Dix) had expressed a wish that the draft in this State should be executed without the employment of troops in the service of the United States, and that afterwards, by a letter addressed to Governor Seymour, he had renewed more formally the expression of this wish. In the same spirit, when some of the Marshals in the interior applied to Gen. Dix for aid against threatened violence, he referred them to the Governor, that they might be protected by his authority. Gen. Dix again declares that it was his earnest wish that the Federal arms should neither be seen nor felt in the enforcement of the draft, but adds that, having received no answer from Gov. Seymour, he had applied to the Secretary of War, on the 14th of August; for a force adequate to the object. That call had been promptly responded to, and he would be ready to meet all opposition to the law. He still hoped however, that Gov. Seymour's course would be such as to render it unnecessary to use the troops under his command for that purpose. On the 20th of August Gov. Seymour wrote to Gen. Dix, complaining that he had received no notice of the time when the draft would be made in the city, owing to which he alleged, he had no opportunity to consult with the Generals commanding militia in the counties of New York and Kings, nor to obtain credits for volunteers, as he hoped to be able to do.
Clothing for Yankee prisoners in Richmond.The Chambersburg (Pa.) Repository, of Wednesday, says: ‘ Dr. J. K. Reid, of this place, whose nephew, Lieut. James A. Carman, of the 107th Pennsylvania volunteers, was captured at Gettysburg, and is now in Libby Prison, Richmond, addressed a letter to the Rebel Commissioner of Exchange of Prisoners, Robert Ould, asking permission to send clothing to his relative, and also to our citizen prisoners from this place. The letter was forwarded through General S. A. Meredith, the Union Commissioner, who has returned Dr. Reid's letter with this endorsement by Mr. Ould; "Respectfully returned to Brigadier- General Meredith, Agent of Exchange. The clothing named in the written communication will be received and delivered to the parties named." This opens the way for our citizen prisoners to be supplied with such articles as are necessary for their comfort. General Meredith has written Dr. Reid that he will receive and promptly forward to Mr. Ould any articles sent for the prisoners, and Dr. Reid will receive and forward any articles furnished him by the friends of any of our sufferers in Richmond. Of course nothing but articles of actual necessity should be sent, for they would hardly be delivered. ’
Federal Espionage abroad — the case of Gen. Williams.Gen. Williams, of Baltimore, has been released from Port Lafayette. He has published a statement of the mode of his arrest, which shows the Yankee Consuls abroad to be little better than common spies for their Government. Gen. W. had spent the summer in Canada, with his niece, Mrs. Atwood, who accompanied him, and had determined to return to the United States. In his statement he says: ‘ Upon mentioning to friends in Quebec my intention, I was informed that they had heard of charges having been forwarded to Washington against me (of a treasonable nature) by Mr. Ogden, the United States Consul. I immediately sought an interview with Mr. Ogden, and asked him if he had ever heard me make use of treasonable language. He replied that he never had. I told him that I had heard of charges having been made against me at Washington. His reply, as nearly as I can recollect, was a follows: "I do not believe that any such charges have been made. I have never heard of any such charges, and I am sure that I have never made any charges against you." This conversation I had with Mr. Ogden on Tuesday, the 10th of March, 1863, and you will perceive by the accompanying document that Mr. Ogden had forwarded the charges on the 12th of February, 1863. which caused my arrest and imprisonment. On the 13th of March I left Quebec with the intention of coming direct to New York; but was detained in Montreal by the illness of Mrs. Atwood's little daughter until the 30th of that month. On that day we left Montreal, and the next evening arrived in New York, and on the following Friday, (Good Friday,) April 3d, and only released last Tuesday, the 12th of May. ’
Consulate of the U. S. Of America.United States, receive the watchful care of the proper authorities: George W. Williamson, accompanied by a woman, represented to be his niece, named Ann Atwood. They have been sojourning some time here, and purpose leaving Quebec on or about the 20th February, for Baltimore and Richmond. Said Williamson, daring his sojourn here, has rejoiced in the title of General. He says he holds his commission from the rebel Government. He formerly resided at Baltimore, Maryland. He intends remaining a few days in New York city. Ann Atwood expects to go to Richmond by the way of Fredericksburg, Virginia. She has a daughter about eight years of age. Williamson has a son in Stuart's rebel cavalry, holding a Captain's commission, and relatives in other rebel commands. A more shame-faced pair of rebels never moved in any sphere. They have been keeping up a continual correspondence with Richmond and other parts of the South during their stay here frequently boasting of the regularity of said communication being kept up in defiance of the United States Government. Williamson is about sixty five years of age, stout and broad, hair gray, wears no whiskers, but has a gray moustache; stoops and has a hobbling gait, and plausible in his manners. Ann Atwood is above the usual height for a woman, broad, foreign face, high cheek bones, diminutive nose, small eyes, dark, short hair usually wears it in what may be termed the "escaped convict style," combed behind, and frizzled on the ends. On the day of their departure I will telegraph as follows: "Dispatch No.--Departed day for--."
Chas. S. Ogden, U. S. Consul.