our actual condition and treatment, that such action by our Government may be taken in the premises as may be necessary and proper to secure us relief.
We beg leave to state that many of our fellow-officers have received and are receiving treatment, indignities, and punishments unauthorized by the rules of civilized warfare. Officers captured in honorable warfare have been and are often addressed without proper cause in low, abusive language unworthy the tongue of a gentleman, and found only in the billingsgate of the blackguard; some have been struck with the fist and open hand, some have been confined for weeks in lonely loathsome cells on loose and unsustained charges, and others again have been confined in these cells for the most trivial offense, even for spittings, the general condition and situation of those confined here are unauthorized by al civilized military precedent and the dictates of humanity. The published accounts in our daily papers of the condition and treatment of the prisoners in our Northern military prisons contrast strongly with our present situation.
Five hundred and seventy-one officers are at present confined here in four rooms, containing by actual measurement 16,936 square fee, or twenty-nine square feet- less than six fee square-to each individual. These rooms are used for sleeping, cooking, eating, and for all other purposes. From the barred windows of these rooms we can look on the world outside, but are never permitted to go into the pure air or walk upon "Mother Earth. " One room is furnished with bunks for some of its occupants; in the others prisoners lie huddled in groups upon the floor during the night, with the allowance of one blanket each; some have no blankets at all. No seats are provided, and any one found seated upon his blanket during the day has it rudely dragged from him; the sickness of the possessor of the blanket will not save it for him.
Vermin (lice) abound in every room occupied. August 13, 1863, some thirty surgeons confined here as prisoner of war held a meeting and gave expression of their opinions of the character and sufficiency of the rations received. They stated "that in their opinion as surgeons the rations then being furnished (they remain uncharged(to the officers confined as prisoners in Libby Prison are insufficient in quality and quantity to maintain a healthy condition and prevent disease; " also "that articles of vegetable diet are necessary, in addition to the rations now issued, scorbutic tendency incident thereto. " Officers have at various times fallen upon the floor in fits, occasioned, as the surgeons affirm, from want of proper food. Those having money in their own hands, save the officers of Milroy's command, are permitted to send our and have articles purchased from the markets of the city. The large majority here, however, are without money, although they have considerable amounts in the hands of the Confederate authorities, yet they cannot obtain any for these necessary purposes. Those without money in their possession are compelled to live on the scanty rations furnished by the authorities and such contributions as they may receive from others. it is no uncommon sight in the prison to see men eagerly seek and eat what others leave.
The amount of money daily sent out to obtain vegetables, &c., is from $1,000 to $2,000, from which fact the insufficiency of the food issued can be readily inferred. This daily expenditure would be increased largely if the authorities here would allow us to have the use of our money they now withhold from us. It is but proper our Government should know that money sent us from our friends in the North is detained by the authorities here from us.
Colonel Streight, one of the prisoners here, in a communication addressed to Honorable James A. Seddon, Secretary of War of the Confederate Government, dated August 31 , 1863, copies of which were sent to the several commissioners of exchange, laid these facts before the Confederate authorities in an unexaggerated form. Still our condition is unremedied and the grievances therein set forth are augmented, as there is less money among us.
Believing the foregoing to be a true statement and just to all parties and adapted to deny the inference that may be drawn from the communication referred to at the commencement of this report, we have the honor to submit it for your action.
BY THE COMMITTEE.
After the reading and adoption of the foregoing report the following resolutions were submitted to the meeting. Their reading created much enthusiasm, and, after discussion by several officers, were unanimously adopted.
On motion, the meeting then adjourned.
E. N. BATES,
Major Eightieth Regiment Illinois Volunteers President.
Major Sixty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Secretary.