War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0346 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

saving which would result and which is now lost to the Government would constitute quite an important item of the prisoners' fund.

When I take into consideration the unfavorable state of the weather, the wretched condition of the prisoners when they arrived, the reported discipline of the command (paroled men) previous to their arrival I cannot but assure you that the utmost satisfaction has been given in the administration of affairs at this camp, and the general appearance of improvement in every department that the camp now presents leads me to expect the most satisfactory results. I inclose herewith a report of a board of physicians appointed by the city of Chicago to visit and report the smallpox hospital of Camp Douglas.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. FREEDLEY,

Captain, Third Infantry.

[Inclosure.]

The rapid increase of smallpox among the prisoners at Camp Douglas has occasioned considerable alarm among the people resident thereabouts and during las week they united in an earnest appeal to the Board of Health complaining of the hospital used for the smallpox patients and asking for some action in their behalf. General Ammen being appealed to said that he was perfectly willing to adopt any measure which would render the neighborhood safe and abate the fears of citizens. The Board of Health appointed Doctor Brainard, McVickar and Chency to visit the camp and report. General Ammen also appointed a committee of surgeons to meet them and consult. The result is contained in the following report:

Honorable F. C. SHERMAN, Esq., Mayor, and.

The BOARD OF HEALTH OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO:

The undersigned appointed by the Board of Health of the city to visit the smallpox hospitals at Camp Douglas and cofer with the surgeons on service there have discharged that duty and respectfully beg leave to report: That they find the smallpox first occurred among the troops there about the 10th of November but did no appear to any extent until the arrival of the Confederate prisoners now there, about the 27th of January, since which time it has been gradually increasing until there are now 125 cases in the hospital. There have been 19 deaths. Among our own troops there have occurred 19 cases and 1 death. Under the judicious care of Doctor Park, surgeon of the Sixty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, post surgeon, and Doctor Carpenter, surgeon of the Ninth Vermont Volunteers, attending physician in the hospital, through vaccination has been introduced and the patients are well cared for and treated and everything in their power is being done to minister to their comfort and the arrest of the disease. As a result of their examination they have to assure their fellow-citizens that under the providential occurrence of this disease within their borders everything is being done which a due regard to their interests demand. The disease has occurred and the victims of it must be cared for somewhere and they do not see where they can be cared for better than they are now. The only suggestions they desire to make to discharge faithfully their duty and they responsibility devolved upon them in the premises are that a new structure be erected for hospital purposes midway between the present site of the hospital and the western border of the camp and that an efficient guard be thrown around the same to completely isolate the sick from all communication with the well; that prefect non-intercourse be established between the camp and the city until an entire subsidence of the disease; that all bodies of deceased patients be interred at least six feet beneath the surface of the ground; that thought and prefect vaccination be introduced under direction of the authorities of the camp and that all clothing and other fruits of contagion be burned as soon as possible. With these precautions they feel that our citizens may yield all alarm, that no extension of the disease need be apprehended and that it will soon cease to exist among them.

B. McVICKAR, M. D.

DANIEL BRAINARD, M. D.

L. P. CHENEY, M. D.