War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0359 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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of war, the assistance asked for can be rendered. Sympathizing with their suffering the commanding officer has abstained and will abstain from any hostile action toward the hospital at Socorro and its guard and attendants so long as they abstain from any belligerent act or are in a suffering condition, but the laws of war do not permit a commander to furnish the enemy with the means of carrying on the war. Under the rules of parole customary in like cases the assistance that is asked for and any other that may be necessary will be furnished. I am further instructed to say to you that your communications should be addressed to the commanding officer and not to any one of his subordinates.

By order of Colonel E. R. S. Canby:

BASIL NORRIS,

Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army,

Medical Director and Purveyor of Troops in the Field.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Chicago, Ill., March 7, 1862.

General M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I deem it my duty to say that I do not think Doctor Bobbs, brigade surgeon, who is in charge of those military hospitals at Indianapolis, has the experience and energy which one holding so responsible a position should have. I have come to this conclusion from my own observations and from the opinions which gentlemen of standing in that city seem to hold of him. As a professional man he is doubtless very competent, but the practice of medicine in private life is a very different thing from taking charge of a large hospital with the control of other physicians. I would therefore respectfully suggest that he be assigned to some other duty and that his place be supplied by some surgeon whose qualifications are such as peculiarly to fit him for the office.

Just as I was leaving Indianapolis Doctor Griffin, surgeon in the Confederate Army, reported to me on his parole by which he was bound to give his professional services to the officers who were prisoners of war at Indianapolis. As the officers referred to had been transferred to Camp Chase I ordered him there on his parole if he chose to go on those terms. Shortly after, the adjutant-general of the State showed me an order of General Halleck's which he had just received assigning six medical officers of the C. S. Army to duty with their respective regiments; as but one of them belonged to the regiments at camp Morton I directed that all but that one should go to Camp Chase. Judging from the manner of the gentlemen who reported to me I was satisfied that while serving in the hospitals not under the eye of military authority, particularly as the surgeon in charge has not the requisite energy of character, their influence could not but have a very bad effect however much they might benefit the sick, and I was glad the order gave me the latitude to send them to Camp Chase. They can be made very useful where the hospitals are under military control.

very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.