War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0804 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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the prisoner will purchase from the sutler such articles as he may wish, for which on the bill he will give an order on the commanding office who pays it, and who thus knows what the sutler sells. Your practice is just the opposite of this. You give the prisoner an order or ticket on the sutler for $5, more or less, in trade, and he buys with it, or he disposes of it in some other way. Your plan possible says trouble in disbursing the deposits, but the mode required by the regulations must be adhered to. If the prisoners deposit gold they are entitled to the full value of it, including the premium, and if the premium belonging to any prisoner, now present, has been placed in the prison fund it must be returned to him by deposit in your hands. When prisoners are released on bond forward the bond to this office.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary- General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY- GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., December 31, 1863.

Colonel WILLIAM WALLACE,

Commanding Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio:

COLONEL: Your letter of the 22nd instant, requesting instructions how to dispose of a watch belonging to the rebel General Morgan, is received, and in reply I have to say that the watch and any other articles which may have been left by the rebel prisoners who recently escaped from the penitentiary will be sold and the proceeds added to the prison fund. If any money was left by any of them it also will be added to the fund. I will add in this connection that money or valuables left by deceased prisoners should be disposed of in the same way.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary- General of Prisoners.

HDQRS. COMMANDER OF POST CAMP DOUGLAS,

Chicago, Ill., December 31, 1863.

Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary- General of Prisoners:

COLONEL: In addition to what I have stated in my letter inclosing reports of the condition, &c., of prisoners of war,* I have the honor to inform you further that the subsistence of prisoners of war is furnished by the commissary through the contractors, John McGinnis, Jr., &Co. The article of beef these contractors furnish through a sub- contractor named Curtis, who cuts up and delivers directly to the rebel commissary sergeants upon orders issued by the commissary of prisoners. I am clearly satisfied that for some time back the weight of the beef issued to the prisoners has been short. I believe that the original contractors are not implicated in the matter, as they leave the furnishing of beef entirely to the sub- contractor and settle with him on the orders issued by the commissary of prisoners. I am further induced to this belief by the character and standing of some of the contractors, whom I personally know. I am engaged now in investigating this question and will hereafter have some person to superintended the issuing of all the rations. The question I now desire to submit to you is this: If, upon further investigation, I remain satisfied that this fraud of cheating in weights has been carried on without, however, being able to

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*See December 30, p. 778.

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