War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0268 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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about fifteen feet square, with no window, but only a simple slit in the wall; that they were not allowed to go out of that room at all, but were compelled to perform the operations of nature there in a tub, which was only removed once in twenty-four hours. Scarcely a day passes that I do not receive accounts of inhumanity and barbarity practiced upon our prisoners at the North, and especially at Fort Delaware and Point Lookout. At the latter place they are compelled to perform all kinds of work, and if they refuse they are mercilessly punished. I saw a man a few days ago who had received brutal punishment for refusing to work. A ball and chain for them is a common thing. I have also received many complaints as to the quantity and quality of provisions furnished to our men. It is a very common thing to take away their money and never return it; in some instances they take away good money and return counterfeit.

No man is more opposed to the harsh treatment of prisoners than I am. I think it very questionable if retaliation should ever be allowed to take that form.

Although our own people have been subjected to the indignities and outrages I have named, I am opposed to overcrowding or semi-starving the men who have invaded our land for the purpose of subjugation. I think that Colonel Streight must have exaggerated the matter very much. Even if he has not, we have more than a precedent in the treatment of our prisoners by our enemies. I have no doubt you will make due inquiry into the subject and correct any abuses which may exist.

Colonel Streight can at least congratulate himself in one respect-he has not been shaved and dressed in convict's clothes. The Federals have so treated General Morgan and his officers, who are alleged to be held as hostages for Colonel Streight and his command. I have official evidence in my possession which I can furnish to Colonel Streight that General Morgan and his officers have been so treated. To what baseness and inhumanity would not an enemy descend who could so causelessly inflict such an indignity upon a brave and gallant gentleman? "Semi-starvation" is nothing to it. I have been told by persons whom I know to be truthful gentlemen that they have been compelled to go a whole day without any food.

As to the refusal to allow Colonel Streight to appropriate money for purchases, I beg leave to state that a recent order emanating from Federal authority prevents our prisoners from receiving food or clothing from their friends.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Agent of Exchange.


Washington, D. C., September 8, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH,

Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners, Fort Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 5th instant, with the accompanying declaration of exchange of civilians, is received. I would respectfully suggest that the time covered by this declaration should be limited to the date fixed in eight section of Mr. Ould's declaration of May 11, viz, May 6, 1863, as it is intended only to supply an omission in our