War of the Rebellion: Serial 117 Page 0110 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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probably have been a spy or been returning for the purpose of raising a guerrilla force, but neither of these would justify his summary execution without trial. No crime whatever would justify his execution without trial after he had been taken prisoner and held for several days, as appears to have been the case. Please give this and other transactions of Major Tompkins such explanations will enable me to determine whether further proceedings are necessary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




July 1, 1862.

General M. C. MEIGS,

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

GENERAL: I have just returned from Chicago and have the honor to submit the following report:

Camp Douglas is located on low, swampy ground without any possibility od drainage, and even at this time the prisoners and troops are suffering from the mud in the camp. The sinks which have been dug and dug again are overflowing and when the hot weather sets in there must be much sickness. The barracks are too much crowded for health and some changes must be made to bring about a good sanitary state of things. By erecting barracks outside of the camps for one regiment of the guard, leaving one regiment inside, there will [be] quarters enough and greater security for the prisoners will be gained. The two regiments are now in tents which will be worn out by the expiration of their service and it will therefore be cheaper to put them in barracks at once.

The camp is in a very four condition from want of drainage, and this can only be remedied by construction of a sewer sufficiently below the surface to guard against frost around the sides of the camp and leading into the lake. With this must be connected water pipes to furnish an abundant supply of water for the use of the camp and to float out the filth of all kinds through the sewer.

The sinks should be connected with the sewers so that during the summer the camp and neighborhood would be relieved from the stench which now pollutes the air.

The cost of erecting new barracks and repairing the old ones will be $5,000 to $8,000 and for introducing the system of pipes and drainage about as much more.

If a suitable camp-ground could be found and there was yet time for the work it would perhaps be best to abandon Camp Douglas, but there seems now no alternative but to make the beset of what we have. I have ordered a thorough system of police to be put in force at once, but your immediate attention is earnestly called to the matter of the above report.

The hot weather of summer is just upon us and if something is not done speedily there must be much sickness in the camp and neighborhood if not a pestilence.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.