In Prison

Both the Kearsage and the Wachusett delivered their prisoners to Fortress Monroe, from where they were sent to Point Lookout prison. Once there, the officers were separated and sent to the old Capitol prison in Washington. After a few days all the prisoners were returned to the Wachusett at Fortress Monroe, they were to be taken to Fort Warren, Boston.
Upon his return to the Wachusett, Porter heard that the Florida`s money chest had been opened, and so he went to see Captain Collins. Porter reminded Collins that when captured he had told him (Collins) that there were $320 in the chest, that belonged to the wardroom mess. Collins replied that he had mentioned this to Rear-Admiral Porter, but that the admiral refused to give it back.
On the journey from Hampton Roads to boston the Wachusett passed the Florida. She had lost her jibboom by a steam tug running into her. A lieutenant commander told Porter that if the U.S. Government agreed to return the Florida, then officers of the navy would destroy her. several other ex-Florida officers were told the same, and while in Fort Warren they heard that these threats had indeed been carried out.

When the Wachusett arrived in Boston, Lieutenant Commander Beardslee U.S.N. went to see the men. He said if they would take an oath of allegiance to the US Government they would be released. he was followed by the Master -at-Arms, and a sergeant from the fort. This sergeant informed the men, that five of the crew who had been placed on the kearsage had taken the oath. This later proved to be an outright lie. Not one single person from the Florida took the oath. Upon arrival at Fort Warren, the men were placed in one room, while the officers were in another with 32 other prisoners.
these romms were casemates, and were 50 feet long and about 18 feet wide. At sunset all prisoners were locked in, being let out at sunrise, and allowed to walk through 5 such rooms. At 8am they were marched round to the cookhouse and given one loaf of bread each, weighing 14 ounces. After 12 noon, they were again marched round to the cookhouse, and given their dinner. The dinner consisted of about 8 ounces of cooked meat with half a pint of thin soup on three days, and, two potatoes, some beans, or hominy on the other days. Some of the prisoners manged to economise and ease their hunger, but a great many others were hungry all the time.
Had those with funds been allowed to buy sugar, coffee, bread and cheese, then a great deal of suffering could have been alleviated.
N.B. There was an arrangement between both Governments that prisoners could receive boxes of provisions and clothing from their friends at home. But the U.S. authorities would only accep such boxes as came under a flag of truce. as half of the Confederate prisoners homes were now occupied, and effectively part of the United States this right was denied them. The system was far more advantagous to Northern men imprisoned in the South.

On 24th December 1864, except for Assistant Surgeon Charlton and 14 other prisoners, were locked in the casemates and kept in close confinement, by day and night.


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