on Belle Isle to what it is here. But let me ask, are there any instances of abuse or ill-treatment here?
OLIVER. I have never received any.
(All state that they know of no instance, save that when they first came here they used to detail some of the men out of the companies to work. The men did not want to work, but they were made to.)
GENERAL. On what?
JOHNSON. In building houses and preparing the ground for their reception. But they have now plenty of hands to work whenever they want them. They volunteer to work whenever they are called upon.
GENERAL. Suppose that we should add beef enough to given you a pint of soup every day instead of coffee, would your men feel perfectly satisfied, so far as the eating part is concerned?
OLIVER. They are most dissatisfied with their rations of salt and fresh beef. We get our tack and that is more than we can eat. It is only beef days that there is a scarcity.
GENERAL. You think they would be reasonably well off if they could have their fresh meat made up equal to their pork?
OLIVER. Yes, sir; if they could draw more fresh beef to make the rations as large as they are when they get pork it would be right. Some days we have twenty-six boxes of crackers, and some days they fall a little short in number, and sometimes a little over. Our general ration of crackers a day is ten. Whenever it falls short of the number of pieces it is made up in weight. I soon found that out. I saw that some of them were a great deal larger than others.
GENERAL. So you get what would be the value of five crackers a meal?
ALL. Yes, sir.
GENERAL. Give me the number of men fed by you according to your reports?
SERGEANTS. Oliver: My last report was 1,450. Brooks: My report was 1,482. Palmer: Mine was 1,440. Johnson: Mine was 1,516. Mooring: Mine was 1,490. Otis: Mine was 1,410.
PALMER. The reports are made out as follows: The sergeants of the companies have charge of the men and it is left to them to call the roll and to report to us, as well as those in authority over us, the number of men, and we report to the commissary-general whenever we draw fresh bread.
GENERAL. Well, have you anything further to add?
ALL. No, sir.
GENERAL. I have had all this taken down just as you have said it. Are you willing when it is written out to sign it?
ALL. Yes, sir.
W. A. THOMP. OLIVER,
Sergeant, Company D, First Texas Regiment.
R. M. BROOKS,
Company D, Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment.
JOHN D. PALMER,
Company C, Fifty-fifth Virginia Regiment.
WILLIAM T. JOHNSON,
Company M, Fifty-fifth Virginia Regiment.
C. P. MOORING,
Twenty-second Virginia Battalion.
Company D, Seventh Texas.
Signed in the presence of John I. Davenport.