War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0746 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Major-General MAGRUDER, Commanding, &c., Houston, Tex.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose copy of a letter from Major-General Taylor in reference to all arrangements he has made with Major-General Franklin for the exchange of prisoners. * You will see that General Taylor proposes to make permanent arrangements and to include your district where General Banks is now operating.

I have written to General Taylor that I would consult with you upon the subject, and he will take no steps so far as your command is concerned until your reply reaches these headquarters. You will please inform me as soon as possible whether an arrangement of this kind would suit you.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

OFFICE OF MILITARY PRISONS, Camp Chase, Ohio, December 23, 1863.

Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

COLONEL: In compliance with your instructions of the 19th instant, concerning the treatment and condition of rebel prisoners at this post, and covering copy of extract from letter from Dr. M. A. Pallen to the Secretary of War, I have the honor to report the following, viz: The general condition for the prisoners at Camp Chase is good in every respect.

They are accommodated in one story wooden barracks of one room each, the same as our troops here, and capable of accommodating easily thirty men each in winter, and some a larger number, and all supplied with stoves and plenty of fuel. There are 100 or more rooms and 2,700 prisoners. The issue of wood is the regulation allowance, one-sixth of a cord.

Their subsistence is the ration daily issued to our troops, in kind and quality, but recently reduced to three-fourths, in consequence of the prisoners wasting so much; since this reduction this waste has mainly ceased.

Their clothing is of good common quality, and the quantity issued to them, however actually needed, is one outer suit and a change of underclothing; this with a surplus of blankets among them, is sufficient to insure them all against suffering. See accompanying report of clothing issues by the provost-marshal of prisons.

The prison hospital accommodations are ordinarily good, and have been approved at all times by such medical officers as have inspected them, and no particular suffering has been known to occur among the sick from want of sufficient clothing or proper food.

The small percentum of sick, as shown by accompanying morning report, and reports of the acting assistant surgeons in charge is evidence sufficient that the prisoners here are well cared for.

Such is a detailed report of the general condition of the prisoners at this post, substantiated by the reports of officers on daily duty with


*See December 19, p. 734.