War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0262 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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The second charge, to wit, that of burning the houses and barns of Messrs. Handley and Feamster, was done by an order issued by Brigadier General George Crook, U. S. Army, to J. C. Paxton, colonel commanding Second Regiment West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry, U. S. Army, and transmitted to me by Colonel Paxton. Said property was fired by my order about the time referred to, after a notice of twenty minutes had expired, and assistance rendered to clear the house. The object in firing said property was to draw two regiments of C. S. troops, then in and near Centerville, Monroe County, W. Va., to Lewisburg, in Greenbrier County, to clear the road for the movement of a detachment of the Second West Virginia Cavalry, under command of said Colonel Paxton, who was under orders to proceed to the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad to destroy the railroad bridge across New River, said detachment being compelled to pass through Centerville en route for said bridge, which point could not have been passed until after said demonstration was made on Lewisburg, or in its direction, to draw said troops from said point.

Yours, very respectfully,


Colonel Second Regiment West Virginia Vol. Cavalry, U. S. Army.


Richmond, Va., September 5, 1863.

Brigadier General J. H. WINDER,

Commanding Department of Henrico:

SIR: In obedience to your order I have the honor to submit the following report of the sanitary condition of the Libby Prison and hospital:

The buildings used for the above purposes, situate at the corner of Cary and Twentieth streets, are admirably adapted to the purposes for which they are now used.

The prevailing wind (south), unobstructed by adjacent buildings, secures thorough ventilation.

The strict attention paid to cleanliness has secured an entire exemption from typhus or jail fever, not a single case having occurred since I have been in charge (January 20).

During the past quarter thirteen cases of scurvy have been admitted into the hospital only five cases have occurred.

Contrary to my advice an assistant surgeon of the Federal Army vaccinated a number of the officers with pus (not lymph) taken from the arm of another assistant surgeon (also a prisoner), producing a spurious form of vaccination from which a number are now suffering. This virus had probably passed through a system affected with secondary syphilis.

Typhoid fever is of rare occurrence, but two cases having been admitted during the last month.

Dysentery and diarrhea have been the prevailing diseases for the last three months. The cases have been mild in character and have yielded readily to treatment.

The floors of the hospital are scrubbed once daily; swept thrice and oftener if required.

Strict attention is paid to the washing and ironing of clothing and ventilation of hospital.

Bathrooms and water-closets are attached to each floor.