Maj. I. H. CARRINGTON, Provost-Marshal:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I have investigated
the cases of F. C. Rhode, commissary-sergeant Twentieth Pennsylvania
Cavalry; James Palmer, Company C, Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry; W. H.
Salisbury, Company L, First New York Cavalry; James Cassidy, Company A,
Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, and C. Horsfield, Company D, Fifth New
York Heavy Artillery, all referred to in your order of the 20th instant
as committed to the Eastern Division military prison August 7, 1864, as
prisoners of war and held as hostages, and still in custody at Castle
Thunder, with the exception of F. C. Rhode, who is now at Hospital No.
13. There seems to have been no reports made in these cases since the
commitment of the prisoners, who were all captured (as they concur in
stating) by our forces on the retreat of General Hunter's U.S. forces
from Lynchburg, Va.
The prisoner, F. C. Rhode, who seems to be quite an intelligent young
man, stated that he is a native of Berks County, Pa., and enlisted in
Philadelphia in Company H, Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and was taken
prisoner, <ar120_1269> together with the above-named men, on the retreat
as above stated. He and all the others desire to be exchanged as
prisoners of war. He further stated that they were held, as he was
informed by Capt. Philip J. Thurmond, of the C. S. Army, as hostages for
the return of one of his men taken prisoner by Captain Blazer, of the
U.S. service, and that Captain Blazer has since been taken prisoner,
with thirty of his men, by troops of Colonel Mosby's command at
Kabletown, near Snicker's Gap, and he, Rhode, handed me the inclosed
slip from a newspaper in confirmation of his statement.
All of the prisoners stated that they were serving in the U.S. Army and
were taken captive by our troops upon Hunter's said retreat, and wish to
be held as prisoners of war for exchange. Those in the prison complained
of suffering very much from cold for the want of a stove in the room in
which they are confined. I think they gave evidence in their appearance
of such suffering.
As I am not informed of the facts upon which these prisoners are held
as hostages I am not prepared to recommend any change in their status as
now held, and I would respectfully recommend that their cases be
referred to the War Department for instructions.
JOHN D. MUNFORD,
Major and Commissioner.