War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0327 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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to my orders of the condition of Camp Parole in all its details. From this report the General-in-Chief will see that there are many things in the management of the camp that might be changed for the better. This state of affairs has mostly grown out of the great want of proper officers at the camp to command and supervise the wants of so many men. The presence of paroled officers in too many cases is the foundation of much complaint and discontent among the men, for instead of attending to their necessities and encouraging them by their authority and advice to be patient with their condition and to strive be attention to the few duties exacted of them to make themselves as comfortable as possible, they do just the reverse of all these things, exaggerating in every way the unavoidable inconveniences which troops so situated must experience and inducing them to believe that their hardship are too much indefatigable in his efforts to perform all the duties required of him, but they are more than one man can attend to. His instructions have been very full and explicit and his faithful efforts to carry them out have been attended with commendable success. On the 15th of December I urged that a guard of 350 men with a proper complement of officers should be permanently established at the camp and an order to that effect was given, but it was only partially carried out and recently it has been entirely set aside by the details of a guard of 90 men daily from a regiment at Annapolis. How useless such a guard is abundantly shown by the report of Captain Lazelle.

The report also shows the great necessity for the presence permanently at the camp of good officers not on parole, enough to furnish one to each battalion of 500 men. Without these officers it is impossible that the wants of the men can be properly attended to or that anything like respectable discipline can be kept up. There are doubtless many invalid officers or those unfit for field service who could render good service at this camp without taking from the efficiency of the army in the field. I respectfully approved the recommendation le that the regiment now at Annapolis which is reduced in numbers be ordered to the camp for guard duty, or that it relieve a regiment of the Army of the Potomac small in numbers for this purpose. The charge made by Sergeant Ewing, the deserter, that he was induced or advised to desert by the commanding officer or any other officer I have no doubt is wholly false, and I have directed that he shall be apprehended and brought to trail for this and the offense of desertion. Colonel Sangster's report* on this matter is herewith inclosed. Whatever can be done to remedy the many defects in the conditions of things at the camp will be attended to at once, but nothing like a respectable degree of discipline and good order can be hoped for until a fair complement of efficient and reliable officers are assigned to duty there.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH ARMY CORPS,

Baltimore, Md., March 11, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Colonel C. A. Waite, U. S. Army, commanding at Annapolis, Md., who will carefully examine the report of the inspecting officer in relation to the condition of affairs at Camp Parole and report as soon as possible his views in regard to carrying out the suggestions

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* Not found.

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