O.R.--SERIES II--VOLUME IV [S# 117]
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, ETC., RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE FROM JUNE 13, 1862, TO NOVEMBER 30, 1862.--#30
LIBBY PRISON, Richmond, November 20, 1862.
I hope you will pardon me for trespassing on your valuable time about a question of vital importance to us. On the 4th day of October last two companies of the Fifty-fourth Regiment (Col. J. M. Campbell), stationed on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, were captured by the First Regiment Virginia Partisan Rangers, under Colonel Imboden, consisting of 900 infantry, 500 cavalry, and three pieces of artillery. The companies captured were Company K, Captain Newhard, Lieutenant Wagner, and 58 men; Company B, Captain Hite, Lieutenants Cole and Baer, and 89 men, making in all 152 officers and men. Yesterday we were officially informed that we were not fit subjects for parole or exchange, accompanied with the following note:
All prisoners taken by our partisan rangers are held as hostages for our rangers, who are held by the Northern Government not as prisoners of war but outlaws.
T. P. TURNER,
Captain, Commanding C. S. Military Prison.
Believing that the number of rangers thus held by the Government is less than the number held by the rebels as hostages I have ventured to ask Your Excellency (if consistent with your views in regard to the matter) to ask the General Government for the release of those rangers so that we may be exchanged and be made useful to our country. A six months' treatment as ours has been will kill eight out of every ten men. Forty more Pennsylvanians captured by rangers arrived here today. I hope Your Excellency will pardon me for asking so much of you.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HARRY G. BAER,
Lieutenant, Company B, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers.
DECEMBER 2, 1862.
Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.
A. G. CURTIN,
Governor of Pennsylvania.