needles, spurs, paper, playing-cards, shoes, medical scales, in undue quantities.
I respectfully mention this, although I do not know that it can be avoided if necessity compels the keeping of prisoners in the city of New Orleans. It is to be regretted that this exchange, which is now ended between your commissioner and that of Major General R. Taylor, C. S. Army, should not have been successful in effecting the release of Mr. Gatchell, news correspondent. In every other respect it has been entirely satisfactory to Major Levy, commissioner of C. S. Army, and myself, and I trust will meet with your approval.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. L. MOLINEUX,
Colonel and Commissioner for Major General W. B. Franklin, U. S. Army.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., December 28, 1863.
Surg. A. M. CLARK,
Acting Medical Inspector Prisoners of War,
West House, Sandusky, Ohio:
SIR: My instructions to you in relation to the service you are now upon did not particularly state to what extent I expected improvements in the hospitals you are visiting carried, and I think it proper to make some suggestions on this point. As the prison camps are of a temporary character, and may not be occupied for more than two or three months, or may be for a year or two, it is only desirable to put things in much a condition as to make the sick as comfortable as the promptings of humanity demand during the time they may be occupied. It is not expected that the hospitals will be fitted up with all the conveniences and with all the comforts of well organized and permanent establishments, but all practicable arrangements for cleanliness in their persons, their clothing, their bedding, and of the hospital and for protection against the weather should be made, as far as the buildings occupied and the means at command will allow. At best it must fall far short of perfection, but it is hoped the essential will be sufficiently attained to insure that there shall be no want of comfort. Whatever is done should be done with a due regard to economy.
On arriving at a station you will of course, as a first step, report to the commanding officer and show him your instructions if he desires to see them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.
RICHMOND, December 28, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Dalton, Ga.:
Information is received that Captain Frank B. Gurley, a gallant partisan, acting under authority from General E. K. Smith, has been captured while sick in Alabama, and is about to be tried by military commission at Nashville as a bushwhacker or unauthorized insurgent. He killed General R. L. McCook, and is thus the object of special spite. Make inquiry, and if satisfied of the facts take proper steps to warn against and prevent such outrage.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.