and have revised the reports, and corrected all errors as far as lay in my power. I found the officers at this post orderly and attentive to their duties. Their duties were confined to their respective departments alone, with the exception of the commandant of the post, who is cashier of the Branch Bank of Virginia. I would most respectfully call your attention to the remarks of Colonels Withers and Smith, to the insufficiency of troops at this post for the proper guarding of the Federal prisoners. The senior quartermaster at this post, Major W. T. Sutherlin, is at home sick (residence Danville, Va.) and has been absent from his duties, I understand, for the last who months, in consequence of said sickness and declining health. Captain H. M. Waller is now doing his duties, and in view of his length of service, capacity as an officer, and responsibility of position, I would most respectfully recommend his promotion, if it is commensurate with the interests of the service as set forth. I also inspected Colonel Henry's regiment (Virginia Reserves), who are stationed at this post for the purpose of guarding Federal prisoners, Lieutenant-Colonel Hobson, commanding.
The discipline of this command is rather loose. Instruction in military exercises and duties bad. In consequence of the men being continually on guard (every other night), not much opportunity is given the officers to instruct, discipline, or drill their men. Arms and accouterments fair, but the guns in a great many instances have been loaded for some time. This is owing, in a great measure, to the entire want of either ball-screw, screw-drivers, or wipers; they have since been furnished. Barracks in some cases good, in others very poor; men much exposed to the inclemency of the weather. Very deficient in clothing, shoes, &c., many men being entirely berefooted, and much sickness causes thereby. I would recommend that shoes be furnished them at once. Capacity of several of the officers of this command, as far as could be ascertained, decidedly inadequate to the went of the service. Insures rather in regular, except of rations and fuel. Payments very irregular. Regimental courts twice a month. General court at Clover Station, Richmond and Danville Railroad. no instances of punishment came to light. Colonel Hobson furnishes morning report, which wows a large number of absentees, &c.
The provost guard at this post is composed almost entirely of disabled men, and accounted for in report of commandant of post. Owing to its scattered condition no inspection could be made which would give a correct idea of its duties and usefulness. The barracks of this guard are in a good condition. Payments irregular.
The prisoners at this post are in a very bad condition, dirty, filled with vermin, little or no ventilation, and there is an insufficiency of fireplaces for the proper warmth of the Federal prisoners therein confined. This could be easily remedied by a proper attention on the part of the officers in charge and dictated by a sense of common humanity. It is a matter of surprise that the prisoners can exist in the close and crowded rooms, the gas from the coal rendering the air fetid and impure. The prisoners have almost no clothing, no blankets, and a very small supply of fuel. Ins some of these cases, perhaps, the state of things cannot be remedied by the officers in charge. The mortality at the prison, about five per day, is caused, no doubt, by the insufficiency of food (the ration entire being only a pound and a half of corn bread a day) and for the reasons in addition, as stated above. This state of things is truly horrible, and demands the immediate attention of higher authorities.