War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0391 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

released on the same terms. The fact of their being deserters is a guaranty that they will not return to the rebel army.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., March 24, 1863.

Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the condition of the prisoners of war confined at Camp Morton, Ind.:

Camp Morton is located near Indianapolis and contains accommodations for a large number of prisoners. There are at present only 652 prisoners confined here. They are well provided with quarters and fuel and have ample space for exercise within the sentinels' lines. The prisoners confined here principally belong to Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama regiments. They have all been either sick or wounded; nearly all were captured in the hospitals of Murfreesborough. All are well provided for; every care has been taken of the wounded and all appear as cheerful and happy as could be expected of men in their circumstances and conditions.

The prisoners are quartered in five large frame buildings in the center of the camp. The dimensions of the buildings are as follows, viz, one 40 by 24 feet, one 110 by 20, two 100 by 20, one 120 by 20 and three small buildings in which are quartered 4 commissioned officers, 3 female nurses and 8 non-commissioned officers. These non-commissioned officers and nurses are attached to the prisoners' hospitals.

This camp is commanded by Colonel James Biddle, Seventy-first Indiana Volunteers and captain Fifteenth U. S. Infantry. His regiment, the Seventy-first, is stationed here and is employed in guarding the prisoners. The regiment is partly on parole and cannot be detailed for guard duty. There are 250 of the enlisted men of this regiment who are not paroled. Besides the Seventy-first there are two companies of the Sixty-third Indiana Regiment that assist in the duty of guarding the prisoners. The police of the camp was good; everything was in fine condition. The space allotted to the prisoners for exercise was kept neat and clean. The barracks were in good order, floors cleanly scoured and swept; bedding well aired and clean; everything about the barracks comfortable. The guards were attentive and well instructed in their duties; the sentinels vigilant on their posts. The command was well disciplined and the duties of the enlisted men were performed in a thorough and soldier-like manner.

The prisoner were divided into companies and the roll called daily; all changes and alterations reported to the commanding officer; police and fatigue parties detailed and all other of the common details and duties of the camp performed. The prisoners here were held in better subjection, were more cleanly in their personal appearance, would perform the police duties of the camp with more willingness and alacrity and were apparently more cheerful and happy than at the other posts. They indulged in more active games of amusement and exhibited more life and activity.

The duties of the adjutant's office were properly performed. The rolls and records were kept as directed in your circular; the money accounts faithfully recorded and receipts given. The quartermaster's department