War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0242 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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sustain life and health in our close prison confinement. Scorbutic diseases have already appeared, proving fatal in one case--Major Morris--and impairing seriously, if not permanently, the health of others.

Our sanitary condition would have been much worse than it now is but for the large purchases of vegetables and other provisions, amounting to nearly $1,000 per day, which we have been allowed to make, but as nearly all our money was taken from us when we entered the prison the daily expenditure of this large sum has at length about exhausted what was left us. We have also been notified that we will not be allowed to receive any portion of the money taken from us here, nor even such sums as have been sent us from home since our imprisonment, though before writing for these moneys we were expressly assured by your officers having us in charge that we would be allowed to receive them. It will be perceived from the above statement that our immediate prospective condition is, to say the least, that of semi-starvation. The rations furnished by your Government may be as good and as much as it can afford under the circumstances, but in that case it does seem that we should be allowed to purchase the necessary amount to sustain us. It cannot possibly be that it is intended to reduce to a famishing condition 600 prisoners of war. Humanity cannot contemplate such a thing without feelings of the deepest horror, saying nothing of our rights as prisoners of war. Even criminals guilty of the blackest crimes are not, among civilized people, confined for any length of time on insufficient food.

I wish further to state to you that previous to my surrender I made a stipulation with General Forrest, to whom I surrendered, that all private property, including money belonging to my officers and men, should be respected. This stipulation, in the handwriting of General Forrest over his own signature, is now in the hands of General Winder, having been taken from me here. Notwithstanding this, my officers, ninety-five in number, have been notified with the balance that their money has been turned over to the Confederate authorities.

For the purpose of avoiding further loss of money or misunderstanding and, if possible, to obtain relief from the unhappy situation in which we are placed, you are most respectfully asked to state, in your answer to this communication, the manner in which we will be allowed to obtain necessary food and clothing to render us comfortable.

I have furnished Honorable Robert Ould, Confederate commissioner for exchange of prisoners, a copy of this communication, and will also send a copy, if permitted to do so, to General Meredith, the U. S. commissioner for exchange of prisoners, in order that the whole subject may come up for discussion at the next meeting of said commissioners.

I have the honor, sir, to be, your most obedient servant,


Colonel Fifty-first Indiana Volunteers, U. S. Army.


Washington, D. C., August 30, 1863.

Major General J. G. FOSTER,

Commanding, Fort Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: I am instructed by the Secretary of War to say that hereafter deserters from the rebel army will be disposed of primarily, at the discretion of the commander of the department in which they may be found. If discharged on taking the oath of allegiance, or any other