HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Columbus, Ohio, October 7, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,
Commissary - General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
I have the honor to suggest the following charges at Camp Chase be authorized at the earliest practicable period: First, that a prison hospital, or rather a hospital prison, for prisoners of war, be erected according to the plans submitted. This matter has been delayed, as we had hoped to get Camp Chase moved ere this. Having failed in this it becomes absolutely necessary to increase the hospital accommodations largely. Second, that authority be given to change the location of Prison Numbers 3. It is now in the center of the camp, is very foul from want of sufficient drainage, and cannot be well drained without being a nuisance to the whole outside camp, and is a perfect eyesore to the camp. It can be placed near the other prisons, having all near together in one end of the camp and more easily guarded, and can be re - erected, giving increased accommodations. Third, that authority be given to erect a chapel and reading - room out of the fund for paroled prisoners, which now amounts to about $ 3,000, also to purchase a small library and subscribe for the different daily papers and periodicals. Fourth, I also desire to call your attention to the fact that the commissary department has taken the ovens in charge and issued bread instead of flours, thus depriving the post of its savings by baking, to which it is justly entitled. Hoping you will give these matters early attention.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
JNO S. MASON,
Brigadier - General of Volunteers.
OFFICE COMMISSARY - GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
October 12, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
I fully concur with General Mason in recommending that Prison Numbers 3 be removed. It originally formed part of the camp, and the buildings were inclosed in an emergency to receive prisoners who had arrived when there was no place to put them. I also concur in the general's recommendation that a prison hospital be erected. The cost of buildings the hospital and a prison for 1,000 men adjoining the other prisons will be about $ 10,000. I also recommend that a chapel be erected and a reading - room be established out of the paroled prisoners' fund. The subsistence department is authorized to issue bread instead of four and the general's request in this particular cannot be recommended.
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary - General of Prisoners.
HEADQUARTERS SAINT MARY'S DISTRICT,
Point Lookout, October 7, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary - General of Prisoners:
COLONEL: I received this evening your communication concerning the exchange of prisoners. There is a large number here who do not desire to be exchanged. Some wish to take the oath of allegiance, and