from The Worcester Spy, January, 15, 1862 , (Volume 91 # 3), 
From The Richmond Prisoners

A letter from a private of the fifteenth regiment, now a prisoner of war in Richmond, under date of Dec. 19th, gives some particulars of general interest, which we are permitted to copy.

“There are at Richmond at the present time 1500 prisoners. They occupy some four or five large tobacco warehouses, four or five stories high. Each one is capable of holding ----men There are in the building in which I am confined, over five hundred. On our floor, 50 by 100 feet, there are over two hundred, all Massachusetts soldiers. All the Massachusetts soldiers captured at Leesburg are confined in the same building. There must be over two hundred and fifty of us in all.

Since our arrival, we have been furnished with a lot of clothing from our own state, consisting of overcoats, wool blankets, pants, shoes, stockings, drawers, shirts towels, and handkerchiefs; also, I hear, fatigue caps. God bless Gov. Andrew for his foresight and generosity. Our government ought to have sent clothing to her prisoners long before this. Some of the prisoners taken at Bull Run are entirely destitute of clothing. Some are all in rags, and a good many are barefoot. There were a great many in our regiment in want of shoes. We are now better clothed than the men in the confederate army; they being very willing to purchase any garment we may have to sell. We understand here, that Col. Devens has filled his regiment up to the proper number. If so, it shows what regard the fifteenth Massachusetts is held by the people of Worcester county. I am glad if it is filled up so soon. Bully for the fifteenth; she has made her mark!

From our prison we have a good view of the state house, Washington monument, confederate armory, Tredegar Iron Works, and several other public buildings. The three bridges that connect Richmond with the south and west are very long ones, and of great importance to Richmond. The smallest is a mile long. We are getting so that our confinement does not hang on our hands as heavily as it did on our first arrival here. We amuse ourselves by manufacturing rings, shields, napkin rings, etc. etc. 

During the evenings we have speaking by different members of the Massachusetts regiments. Private Eaton of Co. B. is called on very often. Since we have been here we have got the praise of being the most orderly prisoners hat have been brought here.”

The Webster Times has a letter from a member of Company I, of the fifteenth regiment, who is among the prisoners at Richmond. The letter is dated at Richmond, Dec. 29th and he says:---

“I have to inform you that we are all enjoying good health, and have been since we arrived here, except in a few cases which did not signify. the general health of all the men is very good. We received a few weeks since, from Massachusetts, plenty of clothing, and also some good blankets,, all of which were very acceptable, for most of us were in want of underclothing. There were 175 prisoners sent further south last week, two from our company, Sergeant Taft of Worcester, and Rufus Corbin of Webster. Geo.W. Lewis and Henry Clapp received letters from home today.”



15th Massachusetts VI