War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0448 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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OHIO PENITENTIARY, Columbus, October 31, 1863.

Brigadier General J. S. MASON,

Headquarters U. S. Forces, Columbus, Ohio:

GENERAL: For the last two Sundays we have been locked up the entire day in our cells, being allowed to go to our meals and to exercise an hour at noon. We are habitually confined at a quarter to 5 p. m. and let out at 7. 30 a. m. Being confined, therefore, at the usual hour on Saturday and released at the usual hour on Monday makes a continuous confinement of nearly forty hours. You will observe, also, that habitually out of the twenty-four hours of each day we are in confinement only nine hours and a half.

I respectfully request that this condition of things may be ameliorated if it can be done consistently with your duty.

The weather has grown cold enough to render the cells extremely uncomfortable during the day.

I am, very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP DOUGLAS, Chicago, October 31, 1863.

Colonel HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

I will reply to the report of Doctor Clark as soon as possible. Am quite unwell, and have been so for some days.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.


Near Sandusky, Ohio, October 31, 1863.


Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th instant, in which you advise me that the Michigan will remain in the harbor of Sandusky during the winter; that you look upon her presence as giving more strength to the guard, as [it] will deter the prisoners from making an effort to set themselves free by an attack on my command, and requesting me to make a special report on the subject if I still deem my force inadequate to the safe custody of the prisoners. I will endeavor not to repeat the reasons I have given in my letters of the 1st and 16th of October, but refer you to them, and in this mainly refer to the Michigan and the assistance she can render.

I regard the arrival of the Michigan as most opportune. Making full allowance for the deception practiced by prisoners in their intentions and statements and the uncertainty of their means of knowledge of what transpires inside, not only the fact of their agreements to make revolt, but that last Saturday night had been selected as the time, is well established. Prisoners that went on exchange said and told us in plain words to look out when the Michigan was obliged to leave. If the Michigan could lie where she now des and the bay keep open so that we could have the advantage of the water, with the desperation manifested by the prisoners, I should regard the strictest watch always necessary to prevent revolt and the seizure of our arms. I should have