War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0574 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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inclosure and cried to him with eager voices: "Send us some bread, we are hungry; send us some bread. "

Were it not for supplies received from home none of those confined in Libbly and the other prisons would escape the pangs of hunger.

Arriving at the prison the officers are searched, and in addition to articles "contraband of war," their money and other valuables are taken from them; a few get all, some the greater portion, and others none of their money returned, while all other valuables are retained. All money arriving in letters or express packages for prisoners, from whatever source, is taken and: "deposited" with the rebel quartermaster of Richmond, and the owner is permitted to draw it in limited amounts in rebel paper, though $7 in Confederate currency is allowed for $1 U. S. money. Some of the surgeons released yesterday, on applying for their money taken from them in various ways-but always with the promise that if released while any remained on deposit if would be returned in kind-were coolly told that it had been exchanged by the aforementioned quartermaster [who] had exchanged all their money, and they must either take Confederate money or wait.

The treatment received by our privates is of the greatest severity. For looking out a window, three nights since, one was shot and instantly killed. Those having trades, and also some who have none, are taken out into the city and compelled to work, guarded and restrained for all liberty by sentries. It was on uncommon sight t to see gangs of our men coming back to their house at night, carrying their implements of labor, bespattered with whitewash, or showing other signs of having been at work. About thirty of our men are now employed in Richmond making shoes, supposed to be for the rebel army.

Some officers have been compelled to scrub the floors, clean the water-closets of the prison, and perform other menial services. All are and have been at all times since their confinement in Libbly subjected to insults and brutal treatment on the part of prison subordinates, and both captain and inspector of the prison, when appealed to, not only do not rebuke their subordinates, but encourage them to further offensive conduct. Upon the most trivial charges officers have been confined for from twenty-four hours to several days in damp dungeons under the jail, there fed only on bread and water. An officer, for doing that which certainly did not merit the term offense, was put into one of these dungeon cells, though at the time convalescent from typhoid fever and almost too weak to do anything.

Not more than 200 blankets have been given the prisoners in Libbly by the rebels. Were it not for those received from home and furnished by the Sanitary Commission all would suffer very much.

Twice within the past week the floors have been scrubbed at sundown, and thus through the cold nights following, with no fires to drive off the moisture, officers must lie on those disease-engendering floors or walk the rooms till morning brought relief by bringing the sunlight. On two other occasions the floors were scrubbed nearly half an hour before the officers were ready to arise from their sleeping places.

And thus in various ways do the authorities seek to make our condition not only uncomfortable, but dangerous. After their arrival at the prison hospitals the sick are not unkindly treated, and the rations given them are a shade better than those issued in the prisons, but so enfeebled have they become by the privation of food, and so stricken by exposure previous to their admission, that the mortality is great. The number of deaths among Union [soldiers] in Richmond and on Belle Isle together has reached the starling number of fifty in one day.

All the prison hospitals are insufficiently supplied with medicines for the proper treatment of the sick. And finally the members of this committee individually as severed that no prison or penitentiary ever seen by them is a Northern State equaled, in cheerlessness, unhealthiness, and paucity of rations issued, either of the military prisons of Richmond, Va.



Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers,


Surgeon Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteers,


Surgeon One hundred and twenty-second Ohio Volunteers,


Surgeon Seventeenth Ohio Volunteers,


Surgeon Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers,


Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Navy,


Assistant Surgeon First Rhode Island Cavalry,