November 3, 1863
RELEASED. – Chas. W. and Wm. Ferguson, of Wayne county, who have been confined in the Atheneum for some time, were yesterday released, by order of Gov. Boreman. It appears that in April last a man named Brainard was carried off by the Confederates from Wayne Court House and taken to Richmond. The two Fergusons were arrested and sent here, to be held as hostages for Brainard. Information having been received by the Confederates that the two were held here for the safety of Brainard, he was released. Brainard reached his home some two weeks before the Fergusons did, and as it was feared they had not been released. Morgan Garrett was arrested in May and taken to Richmond, to be held as a hostage for the safe return the Fergusons. The State authorities here learning that Mr. Garrett had been arrested, again seized the Fergusons, and a few weeks ago they were placed in the Atheneum. Yesterday, however, Garrett arrived from Richmond, and the two hostages were immediately set at liberty. Garrett and the Fergusons have been raised together, and have always been good friends. The happy trio sauntered around the streets in the afternoon, all well satisfied with the result, and all agreeing that it is much more agreeable to enjoy freedom than being cooped up a military prison.
Garrett left Richmond on Tuesday last. He has been confined in Castle Thunder since May. He states that he had plenty to eat and drink, and received the same attentions as the Confederates. There were some fifteen hundred men confined in the Castle, and all seemed to fare as well as he did. There were sutler stands in the prison, where the men could buy something they wanted. Garrett states that the prisoners are much better cared for in Castle Thunder than in Libby Prison, and advises all his friends who may be so unfortunate as to be taken to Richmond to go to the Castle.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: November 1863