War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0393 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

considering the general debilitated condition of the patients. Mortality from diseases-average for last three months, 7 per cent, of the sick; about 2,8 per cent, of whole number of prisoners. This high average is owing to the prevalence of smallpox during the months of August and September, 1863.

Medical officers-Dr. H. Williams, contract made July 4, 1863, by Major Hendrickson, former commandant, a thoroughly competent officers; Dr. D. R. Marks, contract made September 1, 1863, by Colonel Kincaid. Commandant of post-col. G. W. Kincaid, Thirty-seventh Iowa Volunteers. Command and strength-prisoners of war, 950; civilians, male, 160; female, 2; total, 162; Federal prisoners, 164; total prisoners, 1,276. Guard-Thirty-seventh Iowa Volunteers, 764. Police of prison-generally very good, is some what neglected about the mess-room and quarters of Federal prisoners. The prison cells are in very good condition, except that the bedding, &c., is not taken out and aired with sufficient frequency, and the prisoners are allowed to occupy the cell during the day. Quarters-the prison is overcrowded; there is only sufficient accommodation for about 900 prisoners; many of the cells are occupied by two men; the cells are well ventilated by means of shafts opening into the cells, and communicating with a main shaft opening on the out side of the building; they are well warmed by means of stoves in the corridors. Such quarters as were formerly used as work shops are tolerably well ventilated by means of side windows, and are warmed by stoves and open fire places. Cooking-the kitchen is well arranged and is well kept; the food and cooking for the prisoners is frequently inspected by the surgeon in charge. Cleanliness of men and clothing is better observed than in the other prisons which I have visited, but is still not as strictly inforced as it should be; the laundry facilities are entirely in sufficient. Clothing -sufficient and good, obtained on requisition from quartermaster's department. Prison fund-over $ 7,000 now on hand. Articles purchased from this fund are registered, ready to be accounted from he necessary. In this prison more than any other which I have yet visited, regard seems to be paid to the comfort as well as security of the prisoner. The military discipline maintained is not as strict as it should be, yet every precaution seems to be taken to prevent escapes.

The surgeon in charge is skillful and experienced in his duties, having served for two years in the Army of the Cumberland. All means in his power are taken to promote the comfort of the sick and health of the well. Disinfectants are thoroughly and indiciously used. The necessity of ventilation is recognized and well provided for, and the result, not with standing the crowded state of the prison, is plainly to be seen in the pure condition of the atmosphere in the corridors and wards and in the improved appearance of the in mates.

This prison has lately suffered severely from an epidemic of smallpox. This, by the energetic and well-directed efforts of the present surgeon in charge, has been thoroughly arrested. A temporary smallpox hospital was erected on a small island in the river opposite the prison, and to it every case of the disease was removed, with the necessary nurses, dispensary, cooking apparatus, &c., and a strict quarantine established. Every person in the prison was vaccinated, and this is still enforced with each new prisoner on his entrance. The result is that there are but five cases of the disease remaining, and they are rapidly recovering.

A. M. CLARK,

Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.