guard at this post, there being but 7 commissioned officers to a command of 1,300 men, and these had all ben commissioned since their capture. Under the above circumstances, I found the guard in no very high state of discipline. The detail for guard each day amounted to 141 non-commissioned officers and men, with a part of the time a commissioned officer in command, and at times, owing to the limited number of commissioned officers, a sergeant was placed in command of the guard. I found the barracks in a bad condition, wanting extensive repairs in order to render them fit for occupancy during the winter. The buildings used for hospitals, not having been built for that purpose, were insufficient in extent and appointments for the purpose for which they were used. New and commodious hospitals are at present being erected for the accommodation of the sick. Repairing of the barracks had been commenced by Captain Guthridge, former commandant, which are now being continued, and when completed will be capable of accommodating 3,000 prisoners. The policing of the camp, owing to a scarcity of officers, had not been as thorough as it should have been. This is also being remedied. I found the prisoners generally supplied with necessaries, though in a poor state of health. The cause I am unable to determine, as our own troops quartered near them and equally crowded enjoyed excellent heath. Since taking command I have increased the guard to 160 men, and, now that I have had three additional companies of the Invalid Corps assigned to my command, I have increased the guards and patrols to 200 men, which I trust will prove an effectual guard. I would suggest that, could my command be armed with revolvers in addition to the musket, the guard would, in my opinion, by much more efficient, and could be performed with a less number of men.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. A. STEVENS,
Colonel Fifth Regiment Invalid Corps, Commanding.
CAMP GROCE, TEX., November 10, 1863.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I beg to call your attention to the following statement:
While in command of three companies of Forty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, at Galveston, Tex., January 1, 1863, I was captured with my entire command by a greatly superior force of the enemy under the immediate command of Major-General Magruder. At the time of my capture all officers taken by the Confederate Government were held in close confinement, which order has been observed in my case and that of my officers. Since then several cartels have been opened and prisoners exchanged. the officers of the U. S. ships Harriet Lane and Morning-Light, taken January 1 and 21, 1863, have also been confined with us, and no action has been taken for our exchange that we can learn of. We have sent statements of our condition to Major-General Banks and to Rear-Admiral Farragut, with no success whatever. Subsequently several other officers, naval and military, have been sent here who express great surprise that we have been so long overlooked.
It is useless after so long a confinement to describe our present condition. We were all nearly destitute of money when captured. Two officers have died of my command and many are sick and prostrate from acclimating fevers and other diseases incidental to the climate and