An Austrian among the Confederates--his confinement in Libby prison.
Baron Rudolph Wardener
, formerly an officer in the Austrian service, who was captured with Gen. Stoughton
, at Fairfax Court House on the 9th of March last, and taken to the Libby prison
, in this city, and shortly afterwards released, has recently arrived North
He gives the following account of his capture and subsequent treatment while in Richmond
As he was not in the military service of the United States
, he, as well as the other citizen prisoners, were, by an arrangement between Commissioners Ould
, released from the parole which they at first gave previous to their release.
After their capture they were taken to the headquarters of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee
, and were treated very kindly both by him and by Capt. Mosby
On their arrival in Richmond
, however, they were thrown into the Libby prison
and treated very harshly.
Soon after reaching Richmond
he wrote to Gen. Winder
demanding his release, as he was not a citizen of the United States
and not in the service of the United States Government and asking for an interview with him that he might explain his position more fully Receiving no answer to this application, he then wrote to the rebel Secretary of War
to the same effect; but this was also not noticed.
Finally, he applied to Mr. DeVoss
, the Austria Consul
, who called on Gen. Winder
in regard to his case.
Getting no satisfaction from him, he then called upon the Secretary of War
who said that there was great suspicion a vain Baron Wardener
, as he had been with Col. Wyndham
, and was suspected of being a commissioned officer upon Col Wyndham
He finally referred his case to Judge Baxter
He was sent to the Judge
, with four deserters, under guard.
questioned him very closely as to his business in the camps of their enemies.
The Bar on explained to him that he was by profession a military man, and was visiting and examining the camps and military organization of the United States cavalry as a matter of professional interest.
expressed regret that he had been so unfortunate as to be captured.
He further said to him that if it was his desire to see the military operations as a matter of professional interest the Confederate Government would invite him to examine their side.
To this the Daron replied that he had already been fourteen days in the Libby prison
, and that he had seen enough of their side of the contest.
At a second interview with Judge Baxter
he informed Baron Wardener
that unless he would sign a parole they should not treat him either as a citizen, soldier, or officer, but as an inciter of insurrection among the slaves.
To this he replied that they could treat him as they pleased; but that he thought the Austrian Government
would demand satisfaction.
At this the Judge
became greatly excited, and jumped up from his chair, saying, 'What do you say about your Government?
What do we know about your Government?
We have never acknowledged your Government.'
Finally, after consultation with a number of Union officers who were in prison with him, as to what course he had better take under the circumstances, by their advice he signed the parole under protest, and was released, as before stated, although he had previously repeatedly refused to do so.
said that Colonel Wyndham
, when in the Austrian service, might possibly have been a gentleman, but that he was now a robber, murderer, incendiary, &c, and they would hang him and his staff altogether if they should catch them.
The treatments of the Union
officers at the Libby prison
is most outrageous.
They are confined in the garret of the prison, most of them without even wooden boxes to sleep in, and only filthy blankets for bed clothes.
The fifth is most disguising, and the whole place alive with vermin.
There are nearly 250 officers confined there.
The bread supplied to them is decent, but the meat is decayed and stinking — much of it mule meat.
, the Provost Marshal
, who has charge of the Libby prison
is a perfect brute in human shape, who delights in heaping abuse upon the unfortunate victims who fall into his hands.