HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF HENRICO,
Richmond, March 26, 1864.
Respectfully returned with a report from Surg. William A. Carrington, medical director, to General Cooper. I file also a statement showing ratio of deaths from September, 1862, to February, 1864, inclusive, among Federal prisoners, and also a statement of deaths in officers' for the months of December, January, and February, 1862-1863, approximates the ratio of deaths for the corresponding month in the years 1863-1864. Yet the number in hospital during the first period was very small. The increase of mortality for the month of February, 1864, may be fairly attributed to the virulence of smallpox. these facts taken in connection with the causes of mortality set forth in inclosures Nos 3 and 7, show that the ascription of the mortality does not exceed that or our own prisoners in the hands of the enemy. All these facts show that the mortality is incident to prison life, and cannot reasonably be attributed to the want of space in the hospitals. I do not contend that the hospital accommodations have been such as were desirable or that the quarters, fuel, and rations of the prisoners have been such as were most conductive to their health and comfort. The best disposition of them has been made which the guard and the means at my disposal would allow. With an insufficient guard I have been compelled to concentrate them as far as possible, and even with the aid of the local forces, serious and well-grounded apprehensions have been entertained that they would effect their escape. Their safe-keeping was the paramount and controlling object and every realization consistent with this object has been extended. It was impossible to extend the hospital accommodations, for I had not sufficient guard. On several occasions the guard was retained on duty for forty-eight successive hours. The deficiency in commissary supplies, which has not been confined to this department and for which I am not responsible, has prevented the supply of rations necessary to the health of the prisoners. The quantity and quality has been such as necessity compelled me to use. This remark refers to rations furnished in quarters. It will be see that the hospitals were placed on the same footing as Confederate hospitals. The report of Surgeon Wilkins, September 5, 1863, taken in connection with the report of deaths at the officers' hospital in Libby Prison, prove that the objections urged against this hospital are not well taken.
JNO H. WINDER,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, March 31, 1864.
Respectfully submitted to the Adjutant and Inspector-General.
SAML. W. MELTON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
APRIL 4, 1864.
Respectfully referred to General Bragg with the reports of General Winder and the medical director, Surgeon Carrington.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.