and deliberately and willfully torture them to death, and call for fearful judgment on the guilty parties. Did you not blush when you published in your issue of the 22nd instant the official report of the deaths of prisoners at this depot, amounting to three for the previous week? That report was a scorching answer to your whole article of the 21st instant.
On the 1st of June last the issue of rations to prisoners was reduced to the following: Pork or bacon, ten ounces (in lieu of fresh bread); fresh beef, fourteen ounces; flour or soft bread, sixteen ounces; hard bread, fourteen ounces (in lieu of flour or soft bread); beans or peas, twelve pounds and a half to 100 rations; salt, three pounds and a quarter to 100 rations; vinegar, three quarts to 100 rations. The bread and meat issue is two ounces per day less than is issued to the troops. The prisoners have no labor to perform while the troops are worked hard. When prisoners are worked they do so voluntarily, and receive additional rations and also pay. Hundreds of dollars are expended every month to purchase tobacco to distribute among them. They have always been allowed to receive necessary clothing from their relatives, and scarcely a day passes without a large number of the most needy are brought out to receive clothing furnished by the Government. Thousands of suits of clothes, and likewise of blankets, have been issued, and the Government furnishes more clothing to destitute prisoners in one day than friends do in two months. Only about one-fifth of the prisoners have received clothing from friends, while the other four-fifths are supplied entirely by the Government, and as a general thing that one-fifth are rebels and are supplied by rebels and rebel sympathizers.
The above issue of rations is made to the letter. Each company of prisoners receives ten days at a time, in bulk, they having the entire control of the distribution among themselves, and the few Union prisoners in each company are at the mercy of a rebel majority. That, perhaps, will account, if true, for the eight ounces of bread and the small piece of meat received by them.
Did it ever occur to you that, while you can spend the necessary time to pen an article like that and use nearly a column of your paper for its publication, your files may be searched in vain for the smallest editorial paragraph in condemnation of the rebel authorities for the brutal treatment of our men in their hands? You seem to be in doubt as to whom belongs the treatment of the prisoners at this depot. I will enlighten you. The treatment of them here and all issues to them are made strictly in accordance with orders from the War Department. I will embrace this opportunity to state that by a perusal of the columns of the Argus for the past year I am enabled to form a correct opinion of your position, and I have no objection to give you, in plain terms, what would be my action in regard to the treatment of prisoners in my charge if discretionary power rested with me: In the first place, instead of placing them in fine, comfortable barracks, with three large stoves in each and as much coal as they can burn, both day and night, I would place them in a pen with no shelter but the heavens, as our poor men were at Andersonville. Instead of giving them the same quality and nearly the same quantity of provisions that the troops on duty receive, I would give them,as near as possible, the same quantity and quality of provisions that the fiendish rebels give our men; and instead of a constant issue of clothing to them, I would let them wear
2 R R-SERIES II, VOL VIII