This prison is merely a receiving depot, the prisoners constantly changing, and unless sick or under sentence being rarely retained more than twenty-four hours. Notwithstanding this constant change, the general condition of the prison is admirable. The quarters are sweet and clean, the mess-room clean and its utensils in good order; the cook-house is well furnished, cooking facilities sufficient, and all in good condition. The food is well cooked, under the daily inspection of the commanding officer and surgeon in charge. The quarters are well ventilated and the bunks are movable and so arranged that the men sleep singly instead of double, triple, or even quadruple, as I have seen in some places. The supply of blankets is abundant and is kept up by taking from prisoners all blankets bearing the mark "U. S. " and allowing none to be taken from the prison. These, by frequent washing, are kept clean and free from vermin. In proper weather the quarters and bunks are scrubbed daily, the free ventilation insuring sufficient dryness for health. Cleanliness of person and apparel is enforced. The prison fund was $3,171. 68 September 30, 1863. Expenditures are made when required in accordance with the circular. All articles thus purchased are receipted for to the quartermaster. There are eight prisoners at present confined here under sentence of death.
It is exceedingly gratifying to have a report like the present to make, and I have to compliment Captain Pratt most highly for the condition to which he had brought the prison under his command. There is but one suggestion to be made, disinfectants should be more freely used about the sinks.
A. M. CLARK,
Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.
Statement of Mr. W. Frierson in regard to the treatment of Confederate prisoners at Fort Delaware.
OCTOBER 28, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Brigadier-General Meredith, agent of exchange, as additional evidence of the truth of the representations I have made as to the treatment of our prisoners at Fort Delaware.
Agent of Exchange.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
October 28, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: I have seen a statement in the Richmond papers that the Federal Government has definitely declined any further exchange of prisoners. If this is true I think we should commence at once to make thorough and effective arrangements to keep our prisoners of war during the period of hostilities between the two Governments.
I would respectfully suggest that the city of Richmond is not a suitable place for the accommodation and safe keeping of these prisoners. I think the presence of a large number there is, for many reasons, very injurious. It increases largely the amount of supplies to be transported to the city, and thus employees transportation which might be used for the benefit of the citizens. This has a tendency to increase high prices and cause distress among the poorer classes.