tom of it, and I am more convinced than ever that he is not competent to the position he holds. The restrictions placed upon him now are that the hospital should not be overrun with visitors and nurses to the great annoyance of patients.
The hospital was put in operation by the united efforts of the ladies and Doctor Yakely, and, as they tell me, there were no deaths till Doctor Chesnut took charge. The ladies say that the sick have no confidence in him and refuse to take his prescriptions.
I was pleased with Doctor Yakely and would be glad if he had been retained in charge, but if there is any political objection to him Doctor Ingersoll would seem to be a proper person for the office.
I take the liberty of referring the matter to you in the hope that you will send one of your staff there to inquire about these things and in the further hope that Doctor Chesnut may be relieved from duty there by a more competent physician. If an assistant is necessary he can be employed of course.
The prisoners will probably be ordered away from Lafayette in a short time, but the sick will have no remain there until they are well enough to travel.
I am, Governor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Sandusky, Ohio, March 10, 1862.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
GENERAL: I returned from visiting the camps where prisoners of war are confined this evening, and I have the honor to report that I found those at Camp Butler, near Springfield, Ill. (the last one I visited), in a very unfavorable condition.
The quarters are ample for the number confined there-about 1,700-but they are in very bad police. The hospitals are crowded and are in a deplorable condition and the sick could not well be more uncomfortable. There are more or less sick in all the company quarters, but in two of them nearly all the men are sick, some of them in a dying condition. Doctor Reece, a young medical officer, has charge of all the hospitals, but the duty is a great deal more than he can attend to, and the two doctors detailed from the companies to assist him have not energy enough to be of much service.
I made many suggestions to the colonel commanding which when carried out I hope will go far to alleviate the sad condition of the sick. I reported this state of things to General Halleck and recommended that an energetic medical officer be sent there immediately to organize the hospitals and put everything in good working trim. To provide for the emergency I endeavored to get two physicians to go out from Springfield, but I could find only one to go out one morning, and I am not sure he would make a second visit.
The camp is not inclosed and the detention of the prisoners thus depends more on their willingness to remain than on any restraint upon them by the guard. The command is made up of new recruits who cannot be expected to be very vigilant, and there will be little difficulty in a prisoner escaping on a dark, stormy night. It would cost $1,500 to