War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0585 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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man's Battalion. These will furnish enough to arm the daily guards, non-commissioned officers, and select men.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 27, 1863.

Brigadier General G. MARSTON,

Commanding Depot Prisoners of War, Point Lookout, Md.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith for your consideration a copy of a report made by an inspecting officer of the Sanitary Commission who recently visited the prisoners of war at Point Lookout. * I do not know by what authority the inspection was made, but we may take advantage of the information it gives to correct some omissions which it points out and some errors which I think the inspector has fallen into. From the report it appears that there is a great want of clothing among many of the prisoners. Though it is the desire of the War Department to provide as little clothing for them as possible, it does not wish them to be left in the very destitute condition which this report represents. I beg to call your attention to this subject, and if, in your judgment, the clothing is needed please have the necessary estimates prepared and sent in. There is an abundance of inferior clothing on hand, and the Department would prefer to issue it rather than it should be contributed by sympathizers. The amount of the ration which the report gives I am sure is erroneous in every particular, and I would be glad to set the Sanitary Commission right in this particular. The various matters which are mentioned in reference to police, the condition of the sinks, &c., are worthy of attention. Please return the report.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., November 27, 1863.

Colonel C. THOMAS,

Acting Quartermaster-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I would respectfully call your attention to the fact that in transferring prisoners of war from place to place on railroads the arrangements are often so carelessly made or so badly carried out that much delay and much embarrassment are experienced and numerous escapes occur in consequence. Recently, when about 150 rebel officers were to leave the city, arrangements were made for them to take the 6. 30 train, but on their reaching the depot there were no cars to receive them, and they were in consequence obliged to return to the Old Capitol to wait for another train. On the 5th instant sixty prisoners were put on two freight cars of a freight train at Louisville at 8 p. m. to go to Indianapolis. No lights were put in the cars, and it was, of course, impossible that the guard could see prisoners in their charge. By an accident the train was delayed three hours, and during this time, or somewhere on the route, three prisoners escaped. The journey, though a short one, was not completed till 2 p. m. the following day. Other cases have been reported to me, the particulars of which I cannot

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*See Knapp to Hoffman, November 26, p. 575.

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