From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/19/1862
Thickly Settled. – There were on yesterday very nearly, if not quite
5,000 Yankee prisoners of war on Belle Isle. They seemed to be in the enjoyment
of excellent health and spirits. They are housed in bad weather in large tents.
It is well that negotiations are pending for the exchange of these prisoners,
for it costs a great deal to feed them, and the provisions necessary for their
subsistence might be much better disposed of in providing for our own noble
fellows. The 5,000 prisoners on the island are by no means all that were
captured in the recent battles before Richmond, at least 3,000 (some of whom are
badly wounded) remaining in the city. Several of the tobacco factories, as also
the Libby warehouse, have been converted into hospitals for the accommodation of
the Yankee wounded. The Libby building is also used as a receiving depot.
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