War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0096 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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delivery, as provided in seventh article of cartel, no parole given by the troops of either army is valid. Please answer if any such agreement was made.




General H. W. HALLECK:

In answer to your dispatch of 9. 40 I have to state that General Lee made a proposition to me for an exchange of prisoners on the field of Gettysburg, which I declined accepting. *



ALEXANDRIA, July 9, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegraphic order countermanding former order upon subject of sending disloyal persons from Alexandria.




MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., July 9, 1863.

Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

COLONEL: I beg leave respectfully to report among the recent accessions to this prison of 164 prisoners of war from the district provost-marshal, Memphis, Tenn., and 725 from Helena, Ark., captured by Major-General Prentiss on the 4th instant. The first-named detachment reached here on the 7th, the letter this morning. Incomplete rolls accompanied the former; with the Helena prisoners no rolls were sent, and the officer in charge, although ordered to prepare rolls on the trip, alleges he was unable to do so by the crowded condition of the vessel. I will cause complete rolls to be immediately prepared and forwarded.

I desire to direct the attention of the Commissary-General of Prisoners to a matter of much importance connected with the sanitary condition of the prison. Smallpox has become an almost established disease in the prison. It first appeared in December last, since which time the prison has scarcely been free from it. Three cases were reported on the evening previous to my departure for Washington. I recommended to Colonel Hildebrand the importance of having the cases at once removed to a suitable place outside of the city limits. The recommendation was not acted upon (the them prison surgeon believing the could confine the disease to the hospital), and the consequence was the malady spread with alarming rapidity. It assumed a malignant type and the mortality during the months of January, February, and part of March was fearful. The guard necessarily became affected, and the whole city was more or less affected by the contagion. Every new accession of prisoners only furnished new victims for the disease. As illustrative of its ravages, I may mention that no less than 220 cases developed themselves in the last detachment of prisoners sent to City Point, Va.


* See Series I, Vol. XXVII, Part III, p. 514.