ANNAPOLIS, MD., May 13, 1863
Colonel GEORGE SANGSTER,
Commanding Paroled Camp, near Annapolis.
COLONEL; I beg to lay before you for future reference the following suggestions from Colonel Hoffman, commissary-general of prisoners, which he desires should be carried into effect with regard to the construction and arrangement of buildings at the new camp for paroled prisoners so far as these suggestions can be so carried out economically under the arrangements already mae for putting up the buildings required. He desires, first, that in the progress of buildings that store-houses, hospitals, privies, kitchens and all other necessary buildings should progress in construction (with reference to number) so as to accommodate a proportional number of men to the barracks constructed; in other words the accommodation required in all of the buildings put up shall be proportioned to each other so that the camps it progresses shall be complete. The building the commanding general desires to be commenced at the lower end of the camp or that end nearest the dwelling house which is to be occupied, so that if at any time the work is to be suspended the camp may be left in a compact form. The commissary-general desires that if practicable and consistent with economy the buildings to be used as quarters (of 120 men each) shall be increased in width to twenty-two feet and that the outside covering shall be of boards placed vertically and matched. The paroled mechanics now employed to be retained for the present. Their places will be filled by men selected for the purpose when so ordered by Colonel Hoffman, when the present mechanics will be sent to their regiments. The colonel desires that all the building material composing the permanent buildings of the present camp shall be used as far as is possible in the buildings now to be constructed at the new camp.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. LAZELLE,
Captain, U. S. Army, Asst. to Com. General of Prisoners.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., May 15, 1863
Honorable E. M. STANTON.
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegraphic dispatch in regard to correspondence to and from the rebel States through Fort Monroe and to report:
1. That when I assume command of the department and relieved Major-General Wool on the 2nd of June, 1862, I found letters passing freely in both directions. They were examined by his aides, and on assigning the duty to my own staff I found the time of two of them was fully occupied with this duty. Only such letters as were considered unexceptionable were transmitted. The rest were sent from time to time to the Dead-Letter Office.
2. On inquiry I was informed that letters were transmitted in this manner with the permission of the Government and at the discretion of the commanding general of the department. The system found in operations was merely continued, but as will be seen with great modifications.
3. Letters of three and four pages, even two sheets, were frequently received for transmission. They were often without signatures or