Report of inspection of camps and field hospitals at Camp Butler, near Springfield, Ill., October 11, 1863, by A. M. Clark, surgeon and acting medical inspector of prisoners of war.
Designation of camp -Camp Butler. Commander of Camp - Colonel Christian Thielemann, Sixteenth Illinois Cavalry. Command and strength-Sixteenth Illinois Cavalry, 524; One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Volunteers, 211; total, 735; no prisoners of war, 20 deserters. Location of camp 5 1/2 miles east of Springfield, Ill. Time occupied-established about October, 1861. Water, source and supply-wells, abundant supply for 4,000 men. Water, quality and effects-alkaline,
productive of digestive derangements. Fuel-wood and coal. Soil-bad, loam, easily stirred up into mud. Drainage-very bad, drains stooped and ditches filled up. Topography-prairie land. Meteorology-much rain and high winds. Police of camp-very much neglected. Discipline in camp-very lax. Tents or huts- position, pattern, and quality, ventilation and removal, sufficiency, heating; 18 barracks for prisoners, each 100 by 24 feet, which might be made to accommodate 1,800 prisoners, are all that are at present available; of these ten are new and in good order, except the bunks, which could be erected at very short notice; ventilation has been entirely lost sight of. The cook-house are very badly arranged, being merely small rooms partitioned off from the barracks. Sinks-construction, condition, position, and management, none; the old ones have been filled up and no new ones prepared. Portable ovens-two permanent ovens in camp belonging to contractor; not provision made for prisoners. Blankets and bedding- 71 bed sacks, 21 blankets belonging to prison hospital in hand of post quartermaster. Hospital building-tents, the building formerly used as prisoners' hospital has been destroyed; one or more of the prison barracks might be used if necessary. State of medical supplies and surgical instruments-none on hand, were all turned over to general hospital when the prison hospital was broken up. State of hospital records and accounts-none to be found. State of hospital fund-none on hand.
There being no prisoners at this post, this report is necessarily in complete. The last prisoners who were confined here were sent away May 19, 1863, and before the present commandant took charge of the post. He informs me that all the prison hospital property on hand when the prisoners were removed he understood to have been turned over to the quartermaster at Springfield, Ill. I found nothing whatever at the camp but the bare barracks, eighteen in number, but eight of which are in condition for immediate use, the bunks in the remainder not having been yet erected. These eight are in filthy condition, not having been cleansed since the last prisoners were removed. On making inquiry of the quartermaster at Springfield I was informed that the only hospital or prison property which had been turned over to him was 71 bed sacks, 21 blankets, 58 pairs socks, 66 pairs cotton drawers, and 26 stoves, nearly all un serviceable. No prison or hospital fund was accounted for to him. The whole camps in a filthy condition, no attention apparently being paid to police duty. Attached to the camp is a U. S. general hospital under charge of Doctor Sturgis. It consists of two large and very fine barracks capable of receiving 100 patients. It is not, however, available for the use of prisoners.
A. M. CLARK,
Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.