O.R.--SERIES II--VOLUME VI [S# 119]

UNION AND CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, ETC., RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE FROM JUNE 11, 1863, TO MARCH 31, 1864.--#22

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., November 21, 1863.

Brig. Gen. S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: I herewith forward to you Major Carrington's report upon the condition of the prisons in this city, two abstracts of provisions issued for the quarter ending September 30, 1863, and Surgeon Wilkins' report on the prison hospitals. I hope the evidence furnished by these papers will be sufficient to show the utter falsity of the representations of the returned chaplains. I know Major Carrington to be a gentleman of the highest honor and veracity. I am confident that every statement in each of these papers is strictly true.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,
Agent of Exchange.

[Inclosure No. l.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF HENRICO,
Richmond, Va., November 18, 1863.

Brig. Gen. JOHN H. WINDER:

SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders received from you on the 16th instant, I have proceeded to inspect the military prisons in this city occupied by prisoners of war.

On the 17th instant there were--

 

In Libby Prison building, all commissioned officers

1,044

In Crew's Prison

453

In Pemberton's Prison

1,115

In Smith's Prison

928

In Scott's Prison

1,082

In encampment on Belle Isle

6,300

In hospital

728

Total

11,650

In the Libby Prison there are eight large rooms occupied by the prisoners, of which one is used as a hospital. These rooms are 103 by 42 feet. There is a water-closet on each floor. There is an ample supply of water on each floor, and there is also facility afforded for bathing, <ar119_545> of which each prisoner can avail himself at will. The prison is thoroughly policed daily and is in a cleanly condition. The officers are allowed to purchase such articles as they wish, not prohibited by the rules of the prison, and a competent person is employed whose sole business it is to make these purchases.

The other buildings, used as prisons for the privates, are comfortable, are policed thoroughly each day, and are in a cleanly condition. Scott's Prison and Pemberton's Prison are at present crowded somewhat beyond their capacity for health and comfort, if the number now confined in them were kept any considerable length of time. This evil is temporary, arrangements having been made to remove a portion of these prisoners to quarters now in course of preparation. The men are generally comfortably clad. I observed some few of the privates who were suffering for clothing. The supply of clothing and blankets sent for them from the United States is now being distributed by officers of the U.S. Army selected from the prisoners. The encampment at Belle Isle contains 6,300 prisoners, all privates and non-commissioned officers, who are quartered in tents. The tents are pitched on an island, upon a dry knoll, from which the surface water is thoroughly drained. The contiguity of the river renders the police of the camp easy. There is an abundance of excellent water, afforded by eight wells within the encampment. The camp is thoroughly policed daily. I observed that some of the tents were dilapidated by weather and some injured by carelessness in building fires. A supply of tents has been sent to the island to supply these deficiencies.

I return a report made by Surgeon Wilkins on the condition of the hospitals occupied by the prisoners. The buildings occupied are comfortable and well furnished, the supplies are ample, the attendance fully equal to the wants of the patients, and my inspection fully confirms the report of Surgeon Wilkins.

I file a copy of abstract of provisions furnished prisoners of war in this city for the quarter ending September 30,1863. The average number of prisoners during this quarter was 4,933. The abstract shows the actual amount of provisions issued. In addition to this an additional amount was issued as "extra provision" to the hospitals, an abstract of which is also filed. It will be seen from these abstracts that the prisoners received during this quarter within a small fraction of the army ration. If the extra issue be included, the amount is fully made up. Upon full inquiry and examination not only of the officers in charge, but of the subordinates, I learn that during the present quarter there have been issued full rations of all the articles mentioned in the abstract, excepting meat. Owing to the large number of prisoners suddenly consigned to their care without notice, the officers have not always been able to provide a full ration of meat. The deficiency has never existed but for a short time, and whenever it did exist it was remedied as far as possible by extra issue of other articles.

The ration now being issued consists of one pound of bread, half pound of meat, half pound of potatoes, rice or beans, vinegar, soap, and salt, according to the regulations. The bread is baked at bakeries and weighed to the commissaries of each prison. I inspected the bakeries and found them well conducted. The meats and other articles are cooked at the prisons. The provisions are weighed and measured to messes of 100 men each, and are delivered to one of their own number selected to receive and distribute it.

I inspected the kitchens and found the arrangements for cooking good and in good order; care is taken to lose nothing from the rations,«35 R R--SERIES II, VOL VI» <ar119_546> and once each day each prisoner has soup, made from the water in which the meat is boiled, with the addition of rice and begins.

I doubt not but what there are cases of individual hardship and suffering; they are unavoidable in the management of such a number of men; they may proceed from accident, from the abuse of authority of a subordinate officer, from the neglect of the prisoner himself, or from the cruelty of his fellow prisoners.

On the day I made this inspection a prisoner complained to the officer in charge that he had had nothing to eat since the day before, and that lie was starving. On investigation it appeared that the sergeant who was intrusted with the distribution to his mess, and who was also a prisoner, had refused to give him his ration. In another case, one of the prisoners was found badly beaten and robbed of his clothing by some of his fellow-prisoners. Some among them are in a very filthy and disgusting condition, simply because they will not avail themselves of the opportunities for cleanliness accessible to them.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ISAAC H. CARRINGTON,
Major and Commissioner.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Abstract of extra provisions issued to C. S. military prison hospital and bakery for the quarter ending September 30, 1863, by J. Warner, captain and assistant quartermaster.

Date.

Voucher.

Wheat, rye, or coffee.

Sugar.

Carrots, potatoes, turnips.

Snaps.

Meal.

Butter crackers.

Cabbage.

Lard.

Milk.

Yeast.

Mutton.

Beets.

Lbs.

Lbs.

Bush.

Bush.

Pk.

Lbs.

Heads.

Lbs.

Gal.

Qt.

Lbs.

Bunch.

1-Jul

2

Hospital

....

....

1

....

....

....

279

....

....

....

....

20

13

6

Bakery

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

18

12

Hospital

....

....

74

....

....

....

308

....

....

....

....

77

22

14

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

104

....

....

....

....

Sept. 30

17

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

70

....

....

....

....

....

30-Jul

20

do

....

1,302

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

31

22

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

15 1/2

....

....

....

31

23

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

880

....

....

....

....

403

31

24

do

....

....

4 1/2

....

....

....

530

....

....

....

....

108

31

25

do

....

....

13 1/2

....

....

....

524

5

....

....

....

191

31

26

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

104

....

....

....

....

Aug. 1

27

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

52

....

....

....

1

28

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

178

....

....

....

1

29

do

56

....

....

....

....

....

....

2

....

....

....

....

8

30

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

1,260

....

....

....

....

150

15

31

do

....

....

5

....

....

....

590

....

....

....

....

108

23

32

do

....

....

8

....

....

....

1,310

....

....

....

....

213

31

36

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

294

....

....

....

....

31

37

do

7 1/4

33 1/2

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

31

38

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

186

....

....

....

31

40

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

15 1/2

....

....

....

Sept. 1

41

do

....

....

10 1/5

....

....

....

850

....

....

....

....

114

1

42

do

....

....

11

....

....

....

1,510

....

....

....

....

....

1

43

do

98

....

4-Mar

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

2

45

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

62

....

....

....

7

46

do

....

....

3

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

10

49

do

....

....

11

....

....

....

1,835

....

....

....

35

....

15

50

do

....

....

10

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

16

51

do

....

....

43

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

19

52

do

....

....

5-Feb

....

1

....

....

....

....

1

....

....

21

54

do

....

....

8 1/2

....

....

....

430

....

....

....

....

120

22

55

do

....

....

....

....

....

20

....

....

....

....

....

....

24

56

do

....

1,080

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

25

58

do

....

....

45

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

25

59

do

....

....

9

4-Mar

....

....

4

....

....

....

....

20

25

60

do

28

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

26

64

do

....

3,600

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

Total

189 1/4

6015 1/2

184 1/10

4-Mar

1

20

10,380

509

509

1

35

1,524

[ActualTotal--Ed.] 508

<ar119_547>

Abstract of extra provisions issued to C. S. military prison hospital, etc.--Continued. 1863. July 1

Date.

Voucher.

Onions.

Hops.

Eggs.

Chickens.

Butter.

Corn.

Pepper.

Black beans.

Cucumbers.

Tomatoes.

Squash.

Greens.

1863

Bunch.

Lbs.

Doz.

No.

Lbs.

Bush.

Strings.

Qts.

Doz.

Bu.

Doz.

Bbls.

1-Jul

2

Hospital

21

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

13

6

Bakery

....

144

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

18

12

Hospital

87

....

9

6

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

22

14

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

Sept. 30

17

do

....

....

19

19

....

....

2

....

....

....

....

....

30-Jul

20

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

31

22

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

31

23

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

157

78

208

1

31

24

do

17

....

49

16

....

....

....

7

....

1 15/32

....

....

31

25

do

20

....

....

....

30

....

....

....

23 1/2

....

25

....

31

26

do

....

....

....

....

....

12

....

....

....

....

....

....

Aug. 1

27

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

1

28

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

1

29

do

....

....

....

6

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

8

30

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

297

....

273

....

15

31

do

17 1/2

....

74

20

....

....

....

....

....

5

....

....

23

32

do

2

....

....

....

....

a240

....

....

....

6 1/2

245

....

31

36

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

31

37

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

b1/2

....

....

....

....

....

31

38

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

31

40

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

Sept. 1

41

do

37 1/2

....

50

30

....

....

....

....

....

9

....

....

1

42

do

....

....

....

....

5

a85

....

....

6

6

219

....

2

43

do

10

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

7

45

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

10

46

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

15

49

do

....

....

....

....

10

....

29 1/4

....

....

13

196

....

16

50

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

19

51

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

21

52

do

6 1/4

....

52

27

....

....

b1/2 2

....

....

....

....

....

22

54

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

5 1/16

....

....

24

55

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

25

56

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

25

58

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

25

59

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

4-Mar

....

....

26

60

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

14

64

do

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

Total

218 1/4

144

253

124

45

a32512

b133 1/4

7

483 1/2

46 29/32

1,166

1

(a) Dozen.
(b) Pound.

I certify that the above abstract is correct.

J. WARNER,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.

Approved:

JNO. H. WINDER,
Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

Abstract of provisions issued to the C. S. military prison at Richmond, Va., by J. Warner, captain and assistant quartermaster, in the quarter ending September 30,1863.

Libby Prison, July 1 to September 30:
Rations

453,845

Beef pounds

400,641

Bacon do

36,545

Flour do

510,311

Beans bushels

509

Rice pounds

19,897

Vinegar gallons

763

Candles pounds

1,131

Soap do

3,729

Salt bushels

281

quarts

8

 

I certify that the above abstract is correct.

J. WARNER,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.

Approved:

JNO. H. WINDER,
Brigadier-General..

<ar119_548>

[Inclosure No. 4.]

GENERAL HOSPITAL, NO. 21,
Richmond, Va., November 17, 1863.

Maj. ISAAC H. CARRINGTON:

SIR: Agreeable to your request, I have the honor to submit the for lowing report of the C. S. prison hospitals under my charge in this city. At present they are three in number, exclusive of one ward in the Libby Prison building, which is used as an "office hospital." They are large and well ventilated, and until recently have been used as Confederate hospitals. The largest of them was turned over to me with all its appointments and effects, and the Confederate patients sent to another hospital. The supply of beds, bedding, and medicines is drawn from the medical purveyor, and no discrimination is made between the Confederate sick and wounded and those of the enemy. My instructions from the medical department have invariably been to treat the prisoners with kindness. They have repeatedly expressed their surprise and gratitude for the kind treatment they have received from every one connected with the hospitals, which was entirely at variance with their preconceived ideas of the treatment they might expect. The medical purveyor furnishes me with an abundance of medicines and instruments of the finest quality, also with bedding and all other articles necessary for the comfort of the sick, including tea and spirits. Federal surgeons who have visited our dispensary have expressed their surprise at the fine quality and abundance of medicines and instruments, which in spite of the rigorous blockade, the Confederate Government is able to furnish to the sick and wounded of that Government which has endeavored so strenuously to deprive us of a supply for even our own men. I am assisted in the discharge of my duties by a medical corps of fourteen assistant surgeons, who are skilled in their profession and attentive to every want Of the sick confided to their care.

The ration issued to the hospital has been, until the last few days, one pound of fresh beef and eighteen ounces of wheat bread daily to each patient, taking my morning report as a guide as to the number. In addition to the above, Capt. J. Warner, acting commissary of subsistence, C. S. prison, furnishes me in bulk, to be used at discretion, sugar, rice, vinegar, salt, flour, meal, sweet potatoes, and pease. The ration is frequently in excess and is almost invariably of good quality. The beef furnished is always the hind quarter, as is usually furnished to the Confederate hospitals. In addition to the above articles, I am authorized to purchase any delicacies that may be required for special cases. I frequently make purchases of chickens, eggs, &c. On the 4th of November there were in hospitals 632 patients; on the 5th, 760. On the 4th the hospital steward purchased $8 in cabbages, $16 in potatoes, $6 in onions. On the 5th he purchased $8 in cabbages, $7 in onions, $5 in eggs, and $30 in rye, a substitute for coffee. Four gallons of milk are purchased daily for the use of the sick.

The vegetables purchased on the 4th and 5th are purchased daily to season the soup, which is of excellent quality and well adapted to the use of the patients.

Nothing demonstrates more clearly the good treatment which they receive in hospital than the rapidity with which they recover from serious diseases and injuries and the small percentage of deaths.

Respectfully submitted.

JOHN WILKINS,
Surgeon Libby Prison Post.

 

<ar119_549>

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