War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0880 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

the use of badly cooked food. When the proposed improvements are completed the present hospital accommodations will be ample. I have directed that the hospital kitchen been larged and that a few additional and necessary utensils be procured. I have also directed that a temporary building for a hospital laundry be erected. At present the washing is done outside the prison by laundresses, who are mustered and paid by the Government as in general hospitals. This is entirely irregular, for these are not general hospitals, and if laundresses are employed at al they should be paid from the hospital or prison fund. This expense is needless, however, for with the proper facilities there is no reason why the necessary washing should not be done by the prisoners. Additional hospital clothing is needed, and I have directed the purchase of 300 shirts, 300 pair of drawers, and 300 pair of socks to be retained and used in the hospital only. I learn that the two new wards for the hospital at this camp where build by the Quartermaster's Department instead of from the prison fund. Would it not be practicable to exchange the addition build to the city hospital in 1862 for this, at least in part payment therefor? This latter is now used for Federal troops as a part of the U. S. general hospital and is no longer needed for the use of prisoners. It was paid for from the prison fund, together with its furniture, with the exception of some eighty bedsteads(iron), the bill for which, I am informed by the medical director, is as yet unpaid. I would respectfully suggest that henceforth all hospital supplies needed for the prison camps be purchased from the prison fund instead od on requisition from the Medical Department, U. S. Army. This would relieve that department of a heavy burden, which should properly fall on the prison fund, and which, in most if not in every case, could be readily borne by that fund. The quarters of the guard outside the prison inclosure are in admirable condition, well drained and police complete. Both men and camps are a credit to the commanding officer and his subordinates.


Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector Prisoners of War.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 27, 1864.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report in answer to your instructions of yesterday's date in reference to an order represented to have been issued by Major-General Butler, dated Fort Monroe the 25th instant, in the following words, to wit:

All prisoners heretofore held by Confederate authorities, whether civilians, officers, or soldiers, received at City Point before the 20th instant from the Confederate commissioner are hereby declared exchanged.

The points to which my attention is called in your instructions are the following:

First. Whether it (the order) is inaccordance with the cartel hitherto existing between this Government and the rebel authorities.

Second. Whether it is inaccordance with or in violation of the laws of war.

Third. Whether in your (my) opinion it is expedient that such an order should be made under existing circumstances with the reasons for the opinion you express.

Fourth. Whether any authority has been conferred upon General Butler, by or through you, to make such an order.

Fifth. Your recommendations as to what shall be done in the premises in case such an order has been issued by or through you.

[First.] The order of General Butler does not on its face expressly purport to have been issued in accordance with the cartel, and unless