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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 2, vol 6, Part 1 (Prisoners of War)
Page 660 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.


HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Vicksburg, Miss., December 7, 1863.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Army and Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith letter* from Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, received per flag of truce, in relation to the exchange of prisoners, with a copy of my reply.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. B. McPHERSON,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]


HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Vicksburg, Miss., December 7, 1863.

Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH,

Commanding Trans-Mississippi Department, C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of November 26, and to state in reply that I have no authority to enter into any arrangement for the exchange of prisoners.

Your communication, however, will be forwarded to the proper authority for final action, and the decision in the matter transmitted to you by flag of truce at the earliest day practicable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. B. McPHERSON,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., December 7, 1863.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: In obedience to the order from you to make an inspection of the several places named where rebel prisoners of war and confined and report as to the supplies, means for guarding and keeping the prisoners, their sanitary condition, &c., I have the honor to submit the following report:

On the 12th day of November, A. D. 1863, I left the city of Washington and prior to my return on the 5th of December visited each of the places hereinafter named.

CAMP DOUGLAS, CHICAGO, ILL.

There are here 5,964 rebel prisoners of war; too many for the capacity of the barracks, which are long, wooden, one story buildings, with bunks on either side, and stoves in the passageway between the bunks. The prisoners are well supplied with food, the ration actually issued being three-quarters of a pound of bacon (1 pound of fresh beef three times a week), good, well-baked wheat bread, hominy, coffee, tea, sugar, vinegar, candles, soap, salt, pepper, potatoes, and molasses. These articles are all good quality. There is no good system for cooking, each man being left to arrange for himself. The result is a great waste of food and fuel, the latter of which especially is a serious item of expense at this camp. There is a sutler's shop, containing nearly everything (except liqueurs), including cider, butter, eggs, milk, canned fruits, boots, &c., underclothing, and all the minor articles usually found in sutler's stock, of which the prisoners are allowed to purchase. Money received for prisoners form their friends is retained by the commanding officer and issued to them in small amounts in sutler's checks. The sanitary

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* See November 26, 1863, p. 583.

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Page 660 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 2, vol 6, Part 1 (Prisoners of War)
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