The strictest guard must be kept over the prisoners and also order, discipline, and cleanliness in their camp. As soon as your men are mounted you will relieve the company of Maryland cavalry at that post and direct it to report for orders to the commanding general of the Middle Department. You will report directly to the Adjutant-General of the Army. You will show these instructions to Major-General Meade, commanding.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., July 23, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of my examination into the condition of the Confederate prisoners in the West Hospital and other hospital in Baltimore, made pursuant to your instructions of the 21st instant:
I left the city by the first train after receiving your order, and immediately on my arrival at Baltimore called on the medical director, Surgeon Simpson, who accompanied me to the West Hospital, where I found nineteen sick and wounded rebel prisoners occupying two hospital tents pitched adjacent to the hospital. All were provided with bedsteads and sufficient bedding and had received proper medical treatment, but they were not as comfortable as they would be in the hospital, and I directed that they should be removed to one of the wards where sufficient room could be made to receive them. The change had not been made when I returned to the hospital yesterday through the neglect of the surgeon in charge should take place without further delay. These men were attended by four rebel prisoners, but as they could be under no restraint and took little interest in their duties I advised that when the sick were moved into the hospital they should have the attention of the regular nurses, and this arrangement will be made.
The wards of the West Hospital are very spacious, well ventilated, and in excellent police, but the mess-room and grounds about the door were in very bad police, which the surgeon in charge endeavored to excuse by the plea that an unusual number of sick had been fed there within the last ten days, but this excuse did not cover the neglect as two or three days had elapsed since they were so crowded.
Yesterday morning I visited Fort McHenry, where I found that nearly all the prisoners of war had been removed to Fort Delaware. There were twelve officers sick at the post hospital, where everything was in excellent condition and the patients received the kindest treatment. There are three other officers-one sick and two wounded-who are in the building in which the prisoners at the post are confined, where they are not properly provided for, but a tent is to be immediately prepared for them near the hospital, where they will be made very comfortable.
There are very limited accommodations for prisoners at Fort McHenry, and the commanding officer will recommend that two rough buildings, to quarter a thousand men, with a hospital sufficient for fifty to one hundred patients, be erected near the building now used for that purpose, and I shall concur in his recommendation.