JCCW Rebel Barbarities – Wagon-Master Nathaniel F. Palmer

24 04 2012

Report of the Conduct of the War, Volume 3, p. 457

WASHINGTON, February 18, 1862.

NATHANIEL F. PALMER sworn and examined.

[See Bull Run testimony.]

By Mr. Covode :

Question. How were you treated while you were a prisoner in Richmond?

Answer. Our fare was pretty rough; we were kept closely confined, and had no exercise except what we could get all huddled up in a room. Our food was bread and beef only; nothing else. Sometimes they would take the water the beef was boiled in and put a little corn meal in it to thicken it, and give us that for soup.

Question. Did you have any coffee?

Answer. No, sir; no coffee or tea, or anything of that kind. I believe some of the wounded had a little coffee at first, but not long.

Question. How were the wounded treated there—the wounded prisoners?

Answer. I suppose they were treated about as well as they could be. Their statement was that they had no medicines; but what facilities they had for taking care of them was perhaps as good as could be had. But a great many of them died who could have been saved if they had been at home where they could have had proper treatment.
Question. Were there any men shot or abused there while in prison?

Answer. Yes, sir; five were shot.

Question. Under what circumstances?

Answer. One was shot, I was told, as he was hanging his blanket out of the window to air. Three others were shot while looking out of the window, and one was shot in the room where I was. He had been to the sink, near the window, where we all had to go to get water to drink, and was coming back to his bed. As he came back, the light being in the middle of the room, he was just in range between the window and the light; and as he was on his way back, when he was about ten feet from the window, he was shot, the bullet going in his back and coming out of his breast and lodging in another man’s arm.

Question. Who was he?

Answer. His name was Tibbetts, of the New York 27th regiment. He was shot in the evening of the 8th of November and died on the 12th. I do not remember exactly when the others were shot, because they were not in our room.

Question. Did you find out why he was shot?

Answer. No, sir; only that the fellow could say he had killed a Yankee.

Question. What did they do with the man who shot him?

Answer. He was taken and put in the jail or guard-house for four or five days, and then they took him out and promoted him—made a corporal of him.