From the Richmond Daily Whig, 8/8/1861
The General Hospital - The new Alms House, on the northern suburbs - for the present styled "The General Hospital," is now occupied by more than two hundred and fifty wounded Federal prisoners. Only two Confederate soldiers remain in the building - the others having been removed to private hospitals or residences. We visited this "General Hospital" on Tuesday afternoon and walked through the various wards. The majority of the prisoners seemed convalescent and free from pain, but there was enough of suffering manifested in the groans of some, and the compressed lips and dejected countenances of others to render the scene worthy the contemplation of Abraham Lincoln and his advisors - the infamous authors of this atrocious war. Those who were only slightly wounded were strolling listlessly about the porches or reclining on their pallets - some of them smoking pipes and others reading tracts and conversing. We observed a couple playfully engaged in fencing with pieces of laths. The Sisters of Charity were moving from room to room, exemplifying their mission of humanity, by ministering to the wants of the helpless patients. They also attended to the distribution of the evening meal, which consisted of a bowl of nice coffee and a slice of fresh wheaten-bread to each man. A negro boy passed us with a plate of toast for one of the patients. The attention of the surgeons, assistants and nurses, to the inmates of the Hospital, could scarcely be more constant and generous, were the patients our own gallant soldiers; but human suffering levels all distinctions, and the treatment of a prostrate and bleeding foe is, at least, in this part of the world, governed by the dictates of magnanimity and mercy. Nevertheless, it seems strange that men who, but a short time since, were willing and eager to participate in the plunder of our city and the murder of our people should now be the recipients of such kindness. If their consciences are not made of impenetrable stuff, this treatment should overwhelm them with shame and remorse.
The Alms House is admirably adapted for the purposes of a Hospital. It is well ventilated and delightfully situated upon an eminence commanding an extended, picturesque and refreshing view of rural scenery. The stud partitions between many of the wards have been lathed, but not yet plastered. The circulation of air is thereby promoted - an advantage not to be lightly estimated in an institution of this kind, at this season. Altogether, it may be safely remarked that, so far as the building and its comforts are concerned, the wounded Yankees and Hessians are better provided for than a majority of the sick and wounded Confederate soldiers quartered in the city hospitals.
We found that some of the prisoners were religiously inclined. They were asking for bibles and hymn-books from a benevolent gentleman, who was looking after their spiritual welfare. Had they devoted more of their time to the "word of God" and heeded its teachings, they would never have engaged in such a murderous and villainous enterprize as the invasion of Virginia. We conversed briefly with a number of prisoners, and whilst some were sullen, the majority of them were respectful and communicative, professing to be in favor of "peace" and deprecating the deception which led them into the service, protesting that they only volunteered to protect Washington. They may be sincere, but we are of opinion that the vigilance of the guard should not only not be relaxed, but that additional sentinels should be posted around the building.