War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0364 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

FORT CRAIG, N. MEX., March 8, 1862.


Fourth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, Socorro, N. Mex.

DOCTOR: The colonel commanding has been informed by Captain Morris, Third Cavalry, U. S. Army, that his communication of the 7th instant has been interpreted as requiring the surrender of your wounded and sick and hospital attendants as prisoners of war. This was not and is not intended. A demand for the surrender would not be made without enforcing it. All that was intended by my communication was that the assurance under the rules of war of a military parole customary in like cases should be given. The exemption of a hospital or hospital town from the ordinary operations of war involves the reciprocal obligations of abstaining from all such operations during the occupancy of the town for hospital purposes; that the sick and wounded, their attendants and gaurds and all other persons connected or on duty with them shall not exercise any belligerent act until they rejoin their regiments or companies from which they have been separated or have otherwise been properly released from the obligation. This assurance on the parole of the officers and men connected with your hospital entitles you hospital under the laws of war to exemption from hostility and your sick and wounded to any assistance that we can render them without embarrassing our own military operations.

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


Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army,

Medical Director and Purveyor of Troops in the Field.


Springfield, Ill., March 9, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commanding Department of the Missouri.

GENERAL: Pursuant to instructions from the Quartermaster-General I have made an inspection of the prisoners of war at Camp Butler and I deem it proper to report to you that I find the sanitary condition not at all satisfactory.

There are upward of 100 sick in the hospital and probably more than that number sick in their quarters. Some of these last have been sick some days without any medical attendance and all of them were without that attention which sick men should have. All of the companies have more or less sick, some seriously, but in two of the companies the greater part of the men were sick.

Doctor Reece who has the general charge of the sick is very industrious and attentive, but the duty is a great deal more than he can attend to and the doctor detailed from the prisoners to assist him has too little energy to be of much service.

The hospitals are in a very offensive condition and are too limited to accommodate all the sick. One block of barracks has been converted into a hospital and I have suggested to the colonel to appropriate another to the same use, and this with the suggestions I made when carried out will in some degree improve the condition of the sick, but an active, energetic medical officer should be assigned to duty at the camp for a few days at least to properly organize the hospital and put everything in running order. To meet the emergency I have endeavored to get two physicians to go out from town for a day or two but I