O.R.--SERIES II--VOLUME V [S# 118]
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, ETC., RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE FROM DECEMBER 1, 1862, TO JUNE 10, 1863.
Treatment of Prisoners in Castle Thunder, Richmond, Va.--#5
Evidence taken before the committee of the House of Representatives of the Confederate States appointed to inquire into the treatment of prisoners at Castle Thunder.
SATURDAY, April 11, 1863.
WILLIAM CAUSEY sworn:
.....Prisoners guilty of bad offenses have irons on them generally, but I don't think any of the men put in the pen had irons on.
I think two men have been shot at the prison since Captain Alexander has been in charge, and one on Franklin street at the guard-house. The man killed at the guard-house was shot while attempting to escape. In my opinion all could have been arrested without being shot. The desperate men were generally put in Castle Godwin. The soldiers picked up on the street are put in this prison. Castle Godwin is not part of Castle Thunder. Thunder was Godwin's successor in cognomen after removal. The man shot a few nights ago at Castle Thunder certainly could have been captured without shooting. There is a standing order to shoot only if he cannot otherwise be arrested.
I have seen prisoners whipped, but I don't know by whose or what authority. I have seen men severely whipped on the buttocks with straps; don't know how many lashes were laid on, but I should think about fifty. I only saw one whipping. On this occasion the officers were requested by Captain Alexander to go up into the prison room and see the men whipped. The whipping strap was secured onto wooden handles. They were made of harness leather or sole leather from eighteen inches to two feet in length. The blows were laid on about as hard as a man could do it. I have seen prisoners wear the same clothes for months until they were ready to drop off in rags. I think there have been instances of attempts to bribe the guard.