exceeded the spirit of our instructions. Besides this the barracks in their crowded and filthy condition serve as a hot-bed for generating diseases for the hospital and for this cause also we feel bound to report their condition.
However this may be, the fact has come to our knowledge and we report it to the Commission that in these prisons and hospitals a condition exists which is discreditable to a Christian people. It surely is not the intention of our Government to place these prisoners in a position which will secure their extermination by pestilence in less than a year. We believe that this state of things cannot be known to those who have the power to cause it to cease. From the circumstances under which we were admitted we feel that we have not the right to speak publicly of what we have seen, but for this reason do we the more earnestly urge on the Commission the necessity of taking immediate steps to put a stop to such atrocities.
* * * We can suggest no remedy short of a complete change in these establishments; all the sick ought to be removed from Gratiot Street [Prison], Saint Louis.
* * * The ground at Camp Douglas is most unsuitable for a hospital or even for barracks, being wet and without drainage. We think it ought to be abandoned. We were told that within a short distance are high grounds, well drained and adapted for such purposes.
* * * * *
We are, with great respect, your obedient servants,
THOMAS HUN, M. D.
MASON. COGSWELL, M. D.
I am directed to state that a digest of the report from which these extracts are made was laid before the Surgeon-General at once in accordance with the regulations of the central office of the Commission at Washington, and I am informed that this officer has taken the measures he deems proper in the case, but I am also aware that he does not possess the power to remedy the evil, that power resting alone in your hands or in those of His Excellency the President. The executive committee recognizing its responsibilities to the nation and the Government has therefore decided to move in the matter, and has directed me to ask you respectfully and most earnestly to issue such orders as will secure humane and proper treatment for the sick prisoner whom the fortunes of war under your energetic administration places in your power.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
WM. H. VAN BUREN, M. D.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, May 11, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
A number of Ohio officers are here en route from Richmond to their regiments in destitute condition. Please order them mustered for pay here.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Indianapolis, May 11, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: In July, 1862, A. D. Streight, Fifty-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers, with his regiment left Decatur, Ala., and marched over the mountains some twenty-five miles below that place to the relief of a number of Union citizens who had been obliged to abandon their homes and seek refuge in the mountains, and while there Colonel Streight succeeded in enlisting about 400 of these Alabamians in his regiment. They were regularly mustered into the service and have been doing duty ever since.