Burnside was very courteous and considerate toward us all.
He dismissed the guard, which had accompanied us and still
stood with fixed bayonets, and paroled us to walk through
the grounds at pleasure. We remained here until near noon
when we were assembled and the General, providing some very
fine whiskey, invited the whole party to take a drink, an
invitation which was unanimously accepted, and then we took
passage in three carryalls for a station on the railway;
when the vehicles started, I again commenced a running fire
of ridicule and remarks on the whole party much to the consternation
of Mr Roberts who happened to be in
the same coach, and in compliance with his adjurations and
protestations, that I would draw down the wrath of our captors
to the perpetration of some outrage on the whole party,
I subsided into silence when we reached the railway station.
We soon reached Acquia Creek and embarked on board the steamer
Keyport, which left her wharf immediately up the river towards
Washington. This part of the trip was in itself pleasant
as our liberties were unrestricted on the boat, and we had
an opportunity of getting a good dinner, but when were were
about twenty miles distant from our destination, the steamer
stopped at a landing in the lower part of Maryland and took
on board by actual count over a thousand passengers, of
all sizes, shapes and complexion. This crowd was a perfect
rabble who had left Wahington that morning on a picnic,
and the boat for the balance of the trip was rendered intolerable.
The sight of Washington was hailed with pleasure as bringing
release from the male and female ruffians who fairly suffocated
us. One of the latter, by the way, remarked to me that she
hoped the whole party of us would be hung, to which pious
and charitable expression I made no reply, but a smile of
We reached Washington City about dusk, and were conveyed
from the wharf to the Old Capitol Prison iin three carriages.
This structure, both in the outward and inner appearance,
very closely resembles the Negro jails of Richmond. It is
of brick, three stories high and forms two sides of a square
or enclosure, which on the other two sides is surrounded
by a paling twelve or fifteen feet high. The yard where
the prisoners are permitted to take exercise three times
a day is about sixty paces in length by forty in breadth.
A full company of guards constantly pace their rounds within.
In front of this building, the coaches halted and, alighting,
we were ushered into the office where the commandant received
and treated us with civility. After taking our names, the
keeper of the prison appeared and summoned us to retire.
Leading the way and bearing a single candle, the short thick
- set, rapid talking keeper (Wood by
name) conducted us to a long, low, damp, dark and badly