O.R.--SERIES II--VOLUME VII [S# 120]
UNION & CONFED. CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, ETC., RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE FROM APRIL 1, 1864, TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--#51
COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE, HEADQUARTERS POST,
Richmond, December 24, 1864.
Maj. I. H. CARRINGTON, Provost-Marshal:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I have investigated the cases of F. C. Rhode, commissary-sergeant Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry; James Palmer, Company C, Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry; W. H. Salisbury, Company L, First New York Cavalry; James Cassidy, Company A, Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, and C. Horsfield, Company D, Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, all referred to in your order of the 20th instant as committed to the Eastern Division military prison August 7, 1864, as prisoners of war and held as hostages, and still in custody at Castle Thunder, with the exception of F. C. Rhode, who is now at Hospital No. 13. There seems to have been no reports made in these cases since the commitment of the prisoners, who were all captured (as they concur in stating) by our forces on the retreat of General Hunter's U.S. forces from Lynchburg, Va.
The prisoner, F. C. Rhode, who seems to be quite an intelligent young man, stated that he is a native of Berks County, Pa., and enlisted in Philadelphia in Company H, Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and was taken prisoner, <ar120_1269> together with the above-named men, on the retreat as above stated. He and all the others desire to be exchanged as prisoners of war. He further stated that they were held, as he was informed by Capt. Philip J. Thurmond, of the C. S. Army, as hostages for the return of one of his men taken prisoner by Captain Blazer, of the U.S. service, and that Captain Blazer has since been taken prisoner, with thirty of his men, by troops of Colonel Mosby's command at Kabletown, near Snicker's Gap, and he, Rhode, handed me the inclosed slip from a newspaper in confirmation of his statement.
All of the prisoners stated that they were serving in the U.S. Army and were taken captive by our troops upon Hunter's said retreat, and wish to be held as prisoners of war for exchange. Those in the prison complained of suffering very much from cold for the want of a stove in the room in which they are confined. I think they gave evidence in their appearance of such suffering.
As I am not informed of the facts upon which these prisoners are held as hostages I am not prepared to recommend any change in their status as now held, and I would respectfully recommend that their cases be referred to the War Department for instructions.
JOHN D. MUNFORD,
Major and Commissioner.