War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 1048 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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prisoners or as barracks, and they will vacate the barracks now occupied by the prisoners as hospitals, which will accommodate 1,200 men. The accompanying copies of instructions to Surgeon Clark will show how careful I was to guard against any unnecessary expenditures. *

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Richmond, Va., March 14, 1864.

Brigadier-General WINDER:

GENERAL: The communication of Messrs. William W. Newman, of the Virginia Senate, and Samuel A. Miller, of the House of Representatives, asking the release of Shaw, sheriff of Putnam County, Va., under the revolutionary government of Western Virginia, has been most respectfully considered. The policy of the Government in matters of this description has been adopted after mature consideration. IT cannot recognize the right or the power of the enemy to coerce us into terms by the arrest of non-combatant private citizens. This mode of warfare seems peculiarly acceptable to them and if tolerated must be prosecuted on our part upon very unequal terms. In the interests of our citizens, unfortunately beyond the pale of protection by our armed forces, we cannot permit ourselves to be seduced into even a quasi recognition of such arrests as legitimate acts of war, and you will therefore advise Messrs. Newman and Miller that I am constrained to decline authorizing the release of Shaw for the reasons set out in their communication.

Very respectfully, yours,


Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., March 14, 1864.


GENERAL: In obedience to orders to the undersigned have inspected the hospitals used for sick and wounded prisoners of war attached to the military prisons of this city, and beg leave respectfully to submit the following report:

The buildings are three in number, each of brick and three stories above ground. One is situated at the corner of Twenty-fifth and Carey streets, one at the confer of Main and Twenty-sixth streets, and the other at the confer of Franklin and Twenty-fifth streets. The last two seem to be well adapted for the purpose designed, being well ventilated and easily kept clean, but the first, possessing neither of these condition, is wholly unsuitable. The three buildings can accommodate comfortably about 500 patients, allowing 800 cubic feet per man. On the 11th instant there were present in hospital 1,127 sick and wounded. The wards contain, therefore, more than twice the number prescribed by orders; and such is their crowded condition that in some instances two patients were found on a single bunk.


*See Hoffman to Clark, December 25 and 28, 1863, and Clark to Hoffman (extract ending "Your instructions shall be strictly carried out"), January 11, 1864, pp. 758, 773, 826.