The guard at the prison cannot properly be said to be insufficient to guard securely the prisoners while in the prison. it is just that, and nothing more. It is insufficient to guard the prison and furnish details to send off with prisoners forwarded to other camps, and these latter have to be obtained as they can. From a conviction that all the men who could possibly be spared were needed in the field, I refrained from making requisition upon the department commander for additional guards, as authorized by Inspector and Commissary-General of Prisoners in his communication of December 13, 1864. Upon the 2nd instant, believing that the season for active field operations in this department passed, I addressed the general commanding a letter on the subject, of which the inclosed paper (marked A) is a copy.* I fully concur in the suggestion of the inspecting officer, that the authorization of the raising of a regiment for this special service would be the surest method of providing against the evils that have been labored under during the past year.
While it is true that the clothing of the prisoners in prison on the day of inspection was good, as reported,it is also true that very many of the prisoners recently received at and forwarded from this prison were in a very destitute condition. No arrangements have been made for distributing any portion of the "Confederate fund" at this prison, and General Hoffman, Commissary-General Prisoners of War, having issued instructions in communications dated December 22 and 24, 1864,to issue no more clothing from the supply furnished by the United States Government, many prisoners must suffer severely.
All of which is respectfully referred to the Commissary-General of Prisoners.
STEPHEN E. JONES,
Captain and Additional Aide-de-Camp, Commanding Military Prison.
HEADQUARTERS SHIP ISLAND, MISS.,
OFFICE ASSISTANT COMMISSARY OF PRISONERS,
January 7, 1865.
Colonel E. W. HOLMSTEDT, Commanding Post:
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following inspection report of the condition of the prisoners of war at this station for the week ending January 7, 1865:
Conduct-good. Cleanliness-good. Clothing-good. Bedding-straw. State of quarters-in good condition (tents). State of mess-houses-none. State of kitchen-good and clean. Food,quality of-good. Food, quantity of-plenty. Water-good. Sinks-in good condition. Police of grounds-well attended to. Drainage-good. Police of hospital-good. Attendance of sick-good. Hospital diet-good. General health of prisoners-excellent. Vigilance of guard-good.
Remarks and suggestions.-Five hundred sets of clothing have been sent to this post from the military authorities in New Orleans for distribution to prisoners of war in confinement at this post. Blankets are needed very much.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant, Seventy-fourth U. S. Colored Infantry.
Assistant Commissary of Prisoners and Inspecting Officer.