FORT MONROE, VA., November 13, 1863.
Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners, Fort Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: In compliance with your order I have the honor to submit the following statement in relation to certain prisoners of war recently brought from City Point, Va., under my charge:
On the 28th of October, 1863, I received on board steamer New York at Fort Monroe 185 convalescent Confederate prisoners of war, and at once proceeded to City Point, Va., where on the following day I delivered them to the Confederate authorities and received in return 183 sick and wounded U. S. prisoners of war and 5 citizen prisoners. Previous to receiving on board the Federal prisoners I caused the Confederate prisoners to be removed from the hospital and other portions of the boat which I designed to occupy and personally superintended as thorough a cleaning as time and circumstances would permit, after which and before I delivered a single man of the detachment I had in charge I received on board, under my own personal attention, every man of the Federal prisoners.
The wretched condition and appearance of our men enlisted the
warmest sympathies of all on board my vessel, and both officers and crew rendered every attention in their power to the sufferers. Doctor Carey, the surgeon (who has been on this duty for the last twelve months), with his assistants, devoted their entire time and energies to the comfort welfare of the prisoners during the eighteen hours they were on board my boat. Immediately after receiving the detachment on board I had rations of bread, coffee, and meat issued in unlimited quantities. The bread was in part soft and part hard. The soft bread was issued to the hospital patients by my individual instructions. The reason of our being short of soft bread on this occasion was in consequence of being unable to procure it at the commissary depot. My requisition was filled in part with hard bread.
The most feeble and delicate patients were provided with beef tea and other food suited to their situation. There when I received these men sufficient blankets to protect and render comfortable the entire detachment, but on my arrival at Fort Monroe I made arrangements for and procured all that were needed, and also received such supplies of food and medicine that was necessary for the trip to Annapolis, Md. I also telegraphed to the officer who receives prisoners from me at that point of the number and condition of the men under my charge in order to have suitable arrangements made for their reception. On my arrival at Annapolis early the next morning I found Doctor Vanderkieft, surgeon in charge, with his assistants, waiting to receive the men. They were tenderly and speedily transferred to his hospital, and our connection with them ceased.
I beg leave here to mention that I have a surgeon, acting hospital steward, and the requisite attendants detailed to me permanently on board the steamer, and the boat is kept well provided for the accommodation and transportation of prisoners, sick and wounded.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO E. MULFORD,
Major and Assistant Agent for Exchange.