From the Richmond Sentinel, 10/3/1863

City Council. – A called meeting of Council was held at their chamber yesterday afternoon.

Present – Messrs. Saunders, (President,) Epps, Griffin, Stokes, Walker, Crutchfield, Richardson, Burr, Clopton, Scott and Hill.

The President said the object for calling the meeting was the reception of a letter by him from Gen. J. H. Winder, who desires to put the prisoners now in Castle Thunder in the City Alms-House, and that not having the authority to act in the premises, he had called the Council together.

Gen. Winder, who was present, addressed the Council, by invitation, urging the propriety of such action, not knowing himself what other disposition to make of the large number now here and others on their way.

Mr. Walker offered a resolution, opposed to granting the General’s request. He thought that out poor would be greatly increased this winter, and need greater accommodations.

Mr. Hill thought there would be increase necessarily, and urged the propriety of granting Gen. W. the use of the house.

Mr. Griffin opposed the resolution at length, and thought if any member would visit the Alms-House they would be convinced of the impropriety of adding to their number in the way of prisoners.

Mr. Burr feared a conflict with the War Department and the Surgeon General, in the event the hospital was taken from him. The Surgeon General, he thought, would not permit it.

Mr. Scott thought we would have several hundred more wounded men there this winter. The poor of that place would suffer enough at the Alms-House this winter, and that no other place could be found for them.

Mr. Hill said, the Overseers of the Poor report last winter, said they could accommodate the poor last winter, and they could do this. He said that every house in town was now full of prisoners, and they could not put them on the unpleasant place known as Belle Isle. He concluded by offering a resolution, that the Alms House be offered to Gen. Winder.

Mr. Burr opposed it, on the ground of inhumanity.

[Gen. Winder here said that he did not intend to put other than the present inmates of Castle Thunder in the Alms-House. He would have 14,000 Yankee prisoners here, and he must have room for them.]

Mr. Hill said he was opposed to large poor houses, and the city had already given the Confederate authorities the house for hospital purposes.

The question was here called and the resolution almost unanimously rejected.

….Mr. Crutchfield offered a resolution, instructing the City Surveyor to rent the Alms House to the Surgeon General for $12,000, instead of $7,000, as now, after their present lease expired.

Their solution gave rise to a considerable discussion, and was finally laid on the table, or adopted, at least in another form.

On motion, the council adjourned.

Page last updated on 07/24/2009