of the Chickahominy, on the subject of the exchange of prisoners of war," called for by resolution of the House of Representatives, dated December 7, 1864, I have the honor to submit the annexed extract from the said report.* The residue of the paper consists of a report of what Mr. Key terms the drift of a discourse between himself and Howell Cobb upon "the subject of the existing contest," which, when the report was made, was disapproved by the Department in a letter, a copy of which is hereto attached.#
I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio, January 9, 1865.
Brigadier General H. W. WESSELLS,
Insp. and Com. General of Prisoners, Washington City, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that there are now confined at this post 7,700 prisoners of war, and I am advised by Brevet Brigadier-General Hoffman that from 2,000 to 3,000 more will be sent here immediately. I have made the necessary preparations to receive them and can accommodate 10,000 without extension of the prison inclosure. A large number of the recent arrivals are in need of clothing to protect them from actual suffering, many of them being on their arrival here bare-footed. I have ordered them to be supplied with shoes and such articles of clothing as are absolutely necessary to prevent suffering in this inclement season, although I was notified by General Hoffman that they would be supplied by the Confederate agents. I inclose a copy## of the morning report of the post, and desire to call your attention to the actual strength of the garrison. You will perceive that the number of enlisted men for duty is but 650, and that number includes non-commissioned officers. The average daily detail for guard duty is about 200. So far we have had no difficulty, but the rapidly increasing disparity between the strength of the garrison and the number of prisoners has produced some uneasiness in my mind. I have therefore considered it my duty to lay these facts before you. The guards are armed with Remington revolvers in addition to their muskets (that is, the men actually on duty, having only 200 revolvers), which adds very much to their effective force. The Spencer rifle would be, in my opinion, much better for this service and greatly increase the effective force of the garrison. I made application to Major-General Hooker, commanding this department, for an increase of the garrison, which he has informed me has been approved and forwarded to the War Department.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. RICHARDSON,
Colonel Twenty-fifth Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Commanding
HDQRS. OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL OF PRISONERS,
Rock Island Barracks, Ill., January 9, 1865.
Colonel A. J. JOHNSON, 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 9, 1865:
Conduct-good. Cleanliness-good. Clothing-good. Bedding-
*See foot-note, Series I, Vol. XI, Part I, p. 1053.
#See ibid., p.1056.