From the Richmond Dispatch, 5/14/1863
Grand Exodus of Yankee Prisoners. – Orders were received at the Libby prison on Tuesday night to prepare the Yankee officers, privates, and non-commissioned officers, captured in the late battle, for a journey towards City Point. The clerks of the prison were engaged during the whole night and until a late hour yesterday morning in paroling the crowd, which numbered, including those which were brought to Richmond from near Atlanta, Ga., on Tuesday, nearly seven thousand men. The majority of the prisoners, for the want of proper and healthy accommodations in the city, had been conveyed to Belle Isle, in James river. The work of paroling such a large body of men was by no means inconsiderable. The majority of the Yankee prisoners were foreigners, with the most unpronouceable cognomens, while many could not write their names at all, and had to make a cross mark. To Wrenn's battalion was assigned the duty of guarding the party from Richmond to the place of embarkation. – Owing to the utter impossibility of finding railroad transportation for so large a crowd, it was arranged that the prisoners should march down by land, taking the most available route. The distance thus was about 34 miles, and it was contemplated that the journey could be made by noon today. Sufficient rations were taken along the in wagons to minister to the wants of the returning Yankees. The cavalcade was put in motion between 12 and 1 o'clock yesterday, the officers – about 250 in number – and over a thousand privates starting from the Libby prison and the balance joining them from Belle Isle after they crossed Mayo's bridge. It is understood that the Yankee Government had provided at City Point sufficient transportation for all the prisoners. They left Richmond in charge of Lieut. LaTouche. There are some 1,700 wounded Yankees still in field hospitals near the scene of the late engagement. These will be brought to Richmond and sent North as they shall recover. They are now attended by Yankee doctors and nurses, in pursuance of an agreement made by Hooker with Gen. Lee.