Saturday, December 21, 1861
Charles Faulkner, the former United States minister to France, visited Adjutant Charles Peirson at Ligon Prison and Colonel Lee at Henrico County Jail to offer his assistance to the prisoners. Mr. Faulkner observed that the Confederate privateers were better treated than the hostages and promised that he would do all that he could to improve their situation.
Faulkner had been captured in August by the United States Government on suspicion of arms negotiations for the Confederacy in Paris. Faulkner successfully negotiated his release in exchange for Alfred Ely, a New York Congressman captured while witnessing the battle at Manassas and detained at Libby Prison. It was announced today that Congressman Ely would be released on Christmas Day.1
1Charles Lawrence Peirson, "Memorandum of the Battle of Leesburg," Association of Officers of the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment, Reports, Letters and Papers Appertaining to Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, vol. 1, p. 125, Twentieth Massachusetts Special Collection, Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.