at Fort McHenry some sixty rebel medical officers, and at Fort Delaware and other military prisons probably many more. Can no steps be taken to stop the practice of treating surgeons as prisoners of war? The cartel some time ago was arranged on a more generous basis, and upon its provisions our surgeons at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and elsewhere have voluntarily remained with their wounded. In the same spirit nearly all who were taken by us from the enemy at Gettysburg remained behind purposely and became voluntarily subject to restraint. Since then, more than four months ago, nearly all the rebel surgeons have remained in our hands as prisoners of war, while the rebels in retaliation have already captured and placed in confinement at Richmond and elsewhere a very large number of our medical officers. The effect of this cannot help but be detrimental to the service. The rebel surgeons state freely that they will not voluntarily again submit themselves to a long and tedious confinement, and I can add that the temper of our own surgeons is averse to a similar imprisonment in a filthy rebel prison. I must confess that in my own case, as things now stand, I should rather avoid than court captivity, whereas, to the contrary, if the terms of the cartel were adhered to, I would willingly submit to privations only temporary in character in order to minister to our wounded, and would, if on the field at any time, volunteer for the purpose.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers, and Acting Medical Director.
MEDICAL DIRECTOR'S OFFICE,
Annapolis, Md., November 6, 1863.
Brigadier General W. A. HAMMOND,
Surgeon-General U. S. Army, Washington:
GENERAL: The steamer New York, upon the 29th ultimo, brought to this city a number of sick and wounded soldiers of the U. S. Army, whose pitiable condition is submitted to your consideration in the hope that something may be done by the Government to avert or mitigate similar suffering in others to arrive from Belle Island. So far as can be known from the press several thousand (10,000) Union prisoners are at Belle Island, or near Richmond, who can only be imperfectly subsisted. Bread and beef are so scarce that Southern papers discuss the probability of famine. Under these circumstances the urgency of the case may well engage the attention of our authorities, that supplies commensurate with their condition may be provided. It appears from examination of inclosed report of the medical officer of the day, general hospital at Annapolis, that 189 sick and wounded left City Point by steamer New York. Of these, died on passage before reaching Fortress Monroe, 4; died between Fortress Monroe and Annapolis, 4; and there have died since admission in hospital at Annapolis, 27. The causes of death, as reported in these last, were: chronic diarrhea, 13; debility, 6; erysipelas, 1; double pneumonia, 4; scorbutus, 1; wound and its effect, 1; typhoid fever, 1; total, 27.
I have considered these facts of sufficient importance to present officially, and am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,
THOMAS A. McPARLIN,
Surgeon, U. S. Army, &c.