From the National Tribune, 9/27/1883, p. 2, c. 4
Miss Van Lew and Young Ross.
To the Editor NATIONAL TRIBUNE:
I was much surprised by the statements in an article on Miss Van Lew (from the Washington correspondent of the New York Tribune) in your issue of August 9th. I was myself an inmate of Libby Prison for ten months (1863-4), and hence I know, of my own knowledge, of the risks run and the dangers faced by Miss Van Lew in assisting prisoners to escape from Libby and in her efforts to make known to us her boundless sympathy for those yet in durance vile, and I but echo the profound, heartfelt wish of every prisoner who suffered confinement there when I say, “God bless the brave lady through time and eternity.”
But that Miss Van Lew got young Ross appointed to an office in Libby Prison I do not believe. Ross was insultingly, malignantly bitter towards prisoners at all times and under all circumstances, gnat-brained, pompous, and the ready tool of his brutal superiors. It will be within the limits of the truth to assert that three-fourths of all the officers who came into contact with Ross, while prisoners, utterly despised him, and it must be admitted that men deprived of all that makes life endurable soon become adepts in distinguishing friend from foe. And, furthermore, Ross never aided Captain Lownsberry to escape from Libby. The captain did not escape at all, but was specially exchanged, and went by flag-of-truce boat to New York. The gallant captain was a warm personal friend and prison chum of mine, and I know whereof I speak. Therefore, I think, it is safe to conclude that the Union proclivities of Ross were all a myth.
Co. B, 104th N. Y. V. I.