War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0240 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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discharged on taking the oath of allegiance, or on any other terms, a descriptive list of each case should be preserved at the headquarters of the department and a copy transmitted to the Commissary-General of Prisoners as a means of detecting any violation of the condition of discharge. The course to be pursued for the discharge of prisoners of war is prescribed in General Orders, Numbers 286, a copy of which is herewith inclosed. *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., August 29, 1863.

Brigadier General JOHN S. MASON, Commanding, Columbus, Ohio:

GENERAL: I learn from letters passing through this office from rebel prisoners of war in the Ohio penitentiary that they frequently receive varieties of luxuries from their friends in Kentucky. There may be circumstances which would justify such as indulgence in a particular case, but it is expected that it will be granted only for special reasons and by your authority. It would not be safe to delegate the authority to any subordinate, because it is almost impossible for them to resist the importunities, if not temptations, which are passed upon them to overstep the limits prescribed for them. The quantity of clothing issued to prisoners of war should be limited to what is absolutely necessary; that is, a change of underclothing and one suit of outer garments, whether issued by the Government or contributed by their friends. Will you please direct that issues at Camp Chase shall conform to the above conditions?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

MEDICAL DIRECTOR'S OFFICE,

Baltimore, Md., August 29, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. CHESEBROUGH,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Middle Department:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in my capacity of medical inspector of this department I yesterday visited the hospital at Fort McHenry, finding it in excellent order.

I also visited the building in which rebel and other prisoners are confined, finding it filthy in the extreme, and a disgrace both to humanity and the service.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE SUCKLEY,

Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers,

Actg. Medical Director and Medical Inspector, Middle Department.

[First indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE DEPARTMENT,

Baltimore, Md., August 31, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the commanding officer of the Second Brigade.

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*See p. 212.

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