GENERAL. How have you been supplied with wood?
SERGEANTS. We get ample wood at the cook-houses for cooking purposes. There is some grumbling in the camps with regard to wood. When we want it in the cook-houses we go to Sergeant Wilkinson and get it.
GENERAL. When the rations are cooked where are they eaten?
OLIVER. Right in the room. We have six houses right adjoining. The eating and cooking is in the same place.
GENERAL. Then all eat under cover?
SERGEANTS. Yes, sir.
GENERAL. Is your coffee sweetened?
ALL. Yes, sir.
GENERAL. Is there much complaint; and if so, how much with regard to the scarcity of food?
SERGEANTS. There is sometimes a good deal of grumbling. Soup days give satisfaction, and the pork days. We generally get four barrels of pickled beef instead of three barrels of pickled pork. Pork gives better satisfaction than beef. The potatoes are played out. They generally gave bad satisfaction.
GENERAL. You get more beef than you do pork?
OLIVER. Well, sir, the beef is used to make soup of, and it boils down a considerable.
GENERAL. Why is it that the potatoes gave you dissatisfaction?
OLIVER. Well, general, you see, sir, we drew about six barrels of potatoes for half rations-six barrels of potatoes and crackers. We used to draw potatoes instead of bread and then sometimes the potatoes were bad and the commissary could not make them good, so we had a bad ration.
Sergeant JOHNSON. I would add that we have sometimes drawn molasses to eat with the soft bread.
GENERAL. How are the men supplied with blankets?
OLIVER. So far as I know there is great complaint in regard to blankets. I have drawn from my cook-houses a blanket for nearly every man in the house. We have thirty men in the house.
MOORING. I have drawn no blankets in my house. I have got none myself; I have never had one.
GENERAL. How do you compare so far as comfort is concerned and as to clothing and food with men in the field; I mean in the field with you in the Confederate service?
ALL. They are better off in the field as regards clothing and rations.
GENERAL. That is, when you were soldiers in the field you were better off than you are now?
ALL. Yes, sir.
GENERAL. Do you mean to say that was the rule in the Confederate service?
PALMER. That was the rule in my regiment. We always drew clothing and had plenty to eat. Sometimes we had flour over.
GENERAL. Well, I only want to know the exact state of things.
OTIS. The Western army, where I was, was pretty short of rations.
BROOKS. I think we lived better in our army than we do here.
JOHNSON. Here we have not had plenty of clothing. I have never drawn anything except a pair of pants and a shirt. I have been here since the 9th day of August.
GENERAL. The Confederate authorities say that our prisoners fare as well as their soldiers in the field; now, if your judgment is that your prisoners of war here do not fare as well as you do in the field, I shall call on the Confederate authorities to make up the rations to our men