War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0220 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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prison fare, there being no allowance of fresh vegetable food. Three of the prisoners thus confined since the 25th of June last, namely, Howard, Coid and Palmer (of the Savannah), are now suffering with almost necessarily fatal diseases, scurvy and pulmonary consumption, in consequence of these deprivations, and they will in our opinion soon die unless they are transferred to such quarters as will insure an adequate supply of fresh air and wholesome vegetable food. Others among these prisoners are growing more a more subject to recurring attacks of functional derangements consequent upon the same causes that will ultimately result in fatal diseases if they are now removed. Basing our conclusions on a somewhat extended experience in naval and hospital practice we scarcely deem it necessary to do more than to call the attention of the honorable authorities with whom you are about to confer to the conditions we have named n order to obtain relief, for in whatever light the offense of these prisoners may be viewed it was surely never intended that one of the conditions of their imprisonment should be the deprivation of the necessary amount of air for healthy respiration.

Very respectfully, yours,

A. N. BELL, M. D.

JAMES M. MINOR, M. D.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 7.

Washington, January 29, 1862.

By direction of the Secretary of War private letters received by officers of the Army for transmittal through the lines of the U. S. troops to persons living in the enemy's country will not hereafter be forwarded but will be sent to the Dead-Letter Office in the city of Washington. Exception to this rule is made in favor of letters addressed to officers and men detained as prisoners by the insurgents.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

January 29, 1862.

S. S. MERRILL, Esq., Jefferson City, Mo.

SIR: In the absence of Brigadier-General Marcy I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 20th instant relative to the exchange of Lieutenant W. E. Merrill, now a prisoner in the hands of the rebels in Richmond. I am instructed to reply to you that the case of Lieutenant Merrill has already been brought to the attention of the commanding general and that measures are contemplated by him which it is hoped will result in your brother's liberation if consummated. Further than this it is impossible to say at present, but more definite intelligence can in all probability be expected before very long.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[A. V. COLBURN,]

Assistant Adjutant-General.