War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0360 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Chicago, Ill, March 7, 1862.

General M. C. MEIGS,

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

GENERAL: I find the prisoners of war at Camp Douglas very well quartered and the sick comfortably provided for in well-arranged hospitals. There are a little over 5,000 prisoners, about 400 of whom are in hospital. There have been comparatively few deaths, and the attending surgeon thinks that now that the sick can be well taken care of the number of patients will rapidly diminish.

The camp being inclosed by a board fence, the prisoners are readily controlled by the guard and all access to them by people outside is easily prevented. They generally express themselves very well contended with their position and gratified for the kind treatment they have received, and there does not seem to be the least desire on their part to violate any restrictions placed upon them.

There are upward of 700 prisoners at Lafayette, Ind., who are very uncomfortably quartered in a pork house, where they can remain only for a week or two. Fifty of them are in a hospital in the town, mainly provided for them by the ladies, where they are very comfortable. The expense of the hospital is about $90 per month, exclusive of the compensation allowed the attending physician who holds the position of post surgeon from Governor Morton. The guard is furnished by a regiment of volunteers organizing there. Other accommodations will have to be provided for this party very soon, and as I do not think they can be properly controlled there, I would advise that they be sent to Sandusky as soon as the depot is ready to receive them, which I suppose will be the case when I return there. Nothing but the uncertainty of the crossing permits their being sent there immediately.

I have requested Captain Potter, assistant quartermaster, to furnish such articles of clothing, mess furniture and for police purposes on requisitions of Colonel Mulligan, commanding, as may be absolutely necessary for the prisoners at Camp Douglas, consulting economy as far as practicable. Rejected clothing will be estimated for.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Chicago, Ill., March 7, 1862.

General M. C. MEIGS,

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

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a petition* addressed to the Secretary of War by certain prisoners of war belonging to Tennessee regiments now in confinement at Lafayette, Ind. The Union sentiments expressed in this paper are very gratifying and I am inclined to think there is much sincerity in it. I am informed by colonel Mulligan that the same feeling of returning attachment to the Union is very generally expressed by prisoners in his camp, and some have gone so far as to desire to enter the ranks of the Union Army. He has forwarded to General Halleck petition of the character of this one.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

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*Not found.

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