from The Worcester Daily Spy, November 23, 1861 , (Volume 16 # 271), 

From the Clinton Current

                                                   LETTERS FROM CLINTON

We have received a letter from Capt. Bowman, of Company C, since his capture, and two from Henry Greenwood, a private in the same company.  These letters enable us to account for all the persons belonging to the Clinton Light Guard who were engaged in the disastrous affair at Ball’s Bluff, with the exception of John Kircher, Wm. Walker, and James Warner.  Of these three nothing is known further than that they were seen, unhurt, after the battle.

The letter from Capt. Bowman contains nothing of special interest further than a list of the prisoners.  He acknowledges kind treatment and good food.  His letter, however, is dated Oct. 24th, before the fact had transpired that he was selected as one of the hostages for the pirates now confined in our jails, and ordered to a criminal’s cell and a criminal’s treatment, to await the issue of their trials.  The last letter from Mr. Greenwood goes more into detail, and we give it to our readers almost entire.

RICHMOND , VA. NOV. 13, 1861

Friend Ballard:  I seat myself to inform you that I am still in the land of the living, and you may have some interest in knowing that I am.  We are stationed in one of the large tobacco warehouses.  This building was used exclusively for the manufacture of “Navy Tobacco” for the United States government before the present war broke out.  The building is three stories high, with a basement.  We are confined in the upper story, which is occupied by  members of the fifteenth, and the lower story by the twentieth Massachusetts regiment.

Perhaps it would be of some interest to you to know how we pass our time.  We arise at daylight, and after washing, we read the testament, the morning papers, which we can get as long as our money holds out., and such other reading as may come to hand.  At ten o’clock we have our breakfast brought to us, which consists of half pound of wheat bread, with the same amount of fresh beef.  After breakfast we pass the day as best we can.

We have our supper brought to us about six in the evening, which consists of the same amount of wheat bread, with soup instead of meat.  After supper we take about two hours exercise, until bed time, or rather board time, as we have not been supplied with bed ticks as yet.  Towards morning we have to build up a fire, to keep those warm who have no blankets, three fourths of the prisoners being so situated.

If our friends could send us  some blankets, shoes, and such wearing apparel as we shall need, we will be quite comfortable.  The most of us have no clothes but what we had on at the time of the fight.  Our shoes and stockings are worn out, and the rest of our clothing is fast leaving us.

We are very strongly guarded.  The building is surrounded by a chain of sentinels, who, if we are imprudent enough to put our heads out of the window too far, remind us of our presumption by sending their compliments in the shape of a bullet.  There has been one shot fired into this building, and two into the other building, which is near ours, in which Chenery is confined..  Our boys are all well, with the exception of two who have been sent to the hospital with symptoms of fever.  We are all able to eat our rations.

We learned today that Capts. Bowman and Rockwood have been chosen as the ones for retaliation, in case our government hangs those privateers in Philadelphia .  They go into close confinement tomorrow.  If anything of value is sent here to the boys, direct it by care of Gen. winder, who has command of this district.  The boys send their respects to their friends in Clinton.  I am yours, truly

                            Henry Greenwood



15th Massachusetts VI