teenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; John T. Luck, assistant surgeon U. S. Navy; Augustine A. Mann, assistant surgeon Rhode Island cavalry, and J. Marcus Rice, surgeon Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers.
The following is the report presented by the president, which was read, received, and adopted unanimously. After which the committee received the thanks of the meeting and were dismissed:
U. S. STEAMER ADELAIDE,
En route for Baltimore, Md., November 26, 1863.
The committee appointed by U. S. Army and Navy surgeons recently imprisoned in Richmond, Va., to report the past and present condition and treatment of Union prisoners now held at that place, submit the following facts derived from personal observation and the statements of fellow-prisoners in whose veracity they have implicit confidence.
The officers-about, 1,000 in all, and representing nearly all grades of both branches of the service-are confined in seven rooms of Libbly Prison, a building formerly used as a warehouse. Each room is 43 feet and 102 feet long, affording, exclusive of the dining-room only about 276 cubic feet of air to each prisoners.
These rooms have unplastered walls, partitions, and ceilings; but few of the windows are glazed, being either open to the free sweep of cold winds or closed with boards or canvas screens. Both of the latter when used render the rooms dark and cheerless. One of the rooms is used exclusively as a kitchen and dining-room, while portions of others are necessarily devoted to the same purpose, and but nine scantily furnished and medium-sized cook stoves are supplied the entire. The officers have to do their own cooking, and the supply of wood for this purpose is often insufficient, and occasionally for half a day none at all is sent in. A privy and sink render foul and disgusting one end of each room, polluting at times the air of the entire apartment. None are permitted to leave this building of accumulated and accumulating horrors till borne to the hospital or happily exchanged.
The enlisted men are confined in various places. At the time the surgeons left Richmond there were about 6,300 privates held on Belle Isle in James River, near the city, and about 4,000 soldiers and 150 sailors and marines in buildings similar to and in the immediate neighborhood of Libbly. In the buildings the men are in about the same condition as the officers in Libbly, only much more crowded; but the condition of those on the island is much worse. An insufficient number of tents are furnished to protect them for cold and rain, and no blankets or other bedding has ever been given them by the rebels. Only one surgeon is assigned to Belle Isle, and he makes but one visit a day, during which he does not enter the inclosure where the men are kept to see those too sick to walk, but attends to those only who are able to come to him. When the neglected men are sent to the hospital it is often too late.
None of the privates in the prisons about Libby are furnished by the rebels with bedding of any kid. A member of this committee received a letter from a man belonging to the same command, and confined in the building opposite Libbly, worded thus: "Doctor, we beg of you to try and get us something, either clothes or blankets, to keep us warm; we have no fire in the building to warm us; have nothing either to lie on or cover us, and suffer greatly from the cold. "
In Libbly stoves for heating purposes have recently been put up in some of the rooms, but no fuel any description has yet been given to render them useful.
At one time the rations issued consisted of about three-fourths of a pound of wheat bread, one-fourth of a pound of fresh beef, two ounces of beans, and a small quantity of vinegar and salt for each prisoner per day. Subsequently the same quantity of corn bread, made of unsifted meal, was issued [instead] of the wheat bread, and rice instead of beans. More recently the ration has been corn bread, rice and fresh beef in the above quantities; or in lieu of beef and rice, two or three small sweet potatoes, and quite often, more particularly within the past two weeks, absolutely nothing excepting the three-fourths of a pound of corn bread has been issued to each prisoner to satisfy the gnawing of hunger for twenty-four hours.
On the 10th of this month the men on Belle Isle did not get a morsel of anything to eat until 4 p. m.
The committee unanimously agree that the rations furnished Union prisoners by rebel authorities at Richmond, Va., are not sufficient to prevent these prisoners suffering from hunger and thus becoming debilitated and very susceptible to disease.
Some of this committee have seen men brought from Belle Isle to the prison hospital literally starving to death, and a U. S. Army officer of high rank and undoubted veracity, then and now a prisoner in Libbly, told a member of this committee that while on a visit to Belle Isle, whither he had been permitted to go by the rebels, the prisoners their followed him in crowds as he walked around the