War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0492 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., November 9, 1863.

Surg. GEORGE SUCKLEY,

Acting Medical Director, Baltimore, Md.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th instant, asking attention to the fact that there are a number of medical officers held as prisoners of war at Fort Delaware and other places, and inquiring if steps cannot be taken to stop the practice of treating surgeons as prisoners of war. By the usages of war medical officers are considered non-combatants, and are not made prisoners of war, but by the course pursued by the rebel authorities the War Department has been obliged to follow the precedent set at Richmond, and to hold in possession all such officers who fall into our hands. You need not doubt, however, that the more humane practice under the usage of war will be returned to at the earliest moment when it can be done without sacrificing the rights and interests of our medical officers. From recent occurrences I am under the impression this desired change will not be delayed much longer.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., November 9, 1863.

Colonel G. W. KINCAID,

Commanding Military Prison, Alton, Ill.:

COLONEL: Messrs. Roswell Marsh, S. W. Bostwick, and B. S. Cowen have been appointed special commissioners by the Secretary of War to hear and determine the case of state prisoners at the military prison under your charge, and you are required to furnish them all proper facilities for carrying out their instructions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY PRISON, CAMP MORTON,

Indianapolis, Ind., November 9, 1863.

Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

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

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the condition of the camp, the strength of the guard, its discipline, the condition of the barracks, &c., at the time of my taking command. I found quartered in Camp Morton two regiments of exchanged soldiers, the Fifty-first and Seventy-third Indiana Volunteers, belonging to Colonel Streight's brigade, captured at Rome, Ga., last spring, their officers still being held as prisoners of war at Richmond, Va. These regiments were doing the guard duty of the camp, and, although composed of good material, were to quite an extent demoralized as the result of having been captured and paroled. The want of a sufficient number of commissioned officers was also a cause calculated to render them insufficient to perform a duty so important as that required of a