FORT COLUMBUS, September 30, 1861.
Colonel G. LOOMIS, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Columbus.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the condition of the Fort Hatteras prisoners in the cast at this post is such as to require the immediate attention of the Government. They are crowded into an illventilated building which has always been an unhealthy one when occupied by large bodies of men. There are no conveniencies for cooking except in the open air, no means of heating the lower tier of gun rooms and no privies within the area. As the winter approaches I cannot see how these 630 men can be taken care of under the above circumstances. These men are without clothing and are not disposed to use the means prescribed by me for the prevention of disease unless compelled to do so. Everything necessary in a sanitary point of view has been urged upon them but is only carried out by the persistent effort of the officer in charge of the castle. Under all these circumstances with the effect of change of climate and the depression resulting from their situation disease must be result.
There are now upwards of eighty cases of measles amongst them, a number of cases of typhoid fever, pneumonia, intermitttent fever, &c. I have taken the worst cases into my hospital and am preparing it with beds to its full capacity for other cases. Every building upon the island being crowded with troops, with a large number in tents, I know not how the condition of these prisoners can be improved except by a change of location to some other place for all or a portion of them, the present condition of things resulting principally from deficiency of quarters and not from causes within our control.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. J. SLOAN,
Surgeon, U. S. Army.
Respectfully forwarded to the Headquarters of the Army. Prompt attention to the cleanliness of the castle and the prisoners is ordered. If these prisoners are to be kept on this island I what temporary barracks be erected for them upon some part of it which shall be selected.
Colonel Fifth Infantry, Commanding.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 3, 1861.
Flag-Officer L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
Commanding Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Hampton Roads, Va.
SIR: The Department herewith transmits a communication and a package containing $50 in gold addressed to Lieutenant John L. Worden, U. S. Navy, now a prisoner at Montgomery, Ala.
The United States having permitted relief to be sent from friends of prisoners taken at Hatteras and elsewhere the Department presumes that the same facilities will be extended to those held by the South.
The Department would be gratified should and opportunity occur to forward the accompanying package and letter to that officer.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,