HDQRS. C. S. MIL. PRISONS EST OF MISSISSIPPI RIVER,
Columbia, S. C., January 31, 1865.
I am instructed by General Winder to request that you grant permission to Captain McChesney, a prisoner of war now in your custody, to visit Mrs. Feaster at her residence near the market. The general has reliable information that this officer has on various occasions been very kind to our people. You will put him on his honor not to say or do anything against this country,a nd to return at such hours as you may designate (say 10 o'clock).
Mrs. Feaster wishes him to come this evening.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. WINDER,
HEADQUARTERS FLORENCE MILITARY PRISON,
Near Florence, S. C., January 31, 1865.
Captain W. S . WINDER, Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: I have honor to state that the ration now being issued to the prisoners at this prison is totally insufficient for their sustenance, as large numbers are dying daily, and I am satisfied it is from not being properly fed. The post commissary informs me that he is not furnished with sufficient stores to warrant him in increasing the ration. The following are the instructions from the Commissary- General, dated Richmond, October 3, 1864; "Present scarcity of meat requires that prisoner s be wholly subsisted on sorghum when practicable, and not on meat and sorghum, as provided in circular 1st October." I cannot construe this as entirely cutting the prisoners off from meat rations, especially when sorghum, cannot be had, which has been the case at this post for some time past. I am informed that the prisoners at Andersonville, Ga., are receiving one- half pound of beef every day, besides their regular bread rations, which sustains me in my construction of the circular quoted above. Taking into consideration that these prisoners are not able to get anything but what is issued to them by the Government, for it is almost impossible for the sutler to procure supplies, coupled with the fact that they are very destitute of clothing, I feel it my duty to all the attention of the brigadier- general commanding to these facts, and I respectfully request that if it is out of his power to remedy the evil that this communication be forwarded to the War Department for the action for the Secretary of War. If the Government is really not able to give these prisoners more to eat then no blame can be attached to any one; but if they are then I must think that the fault lies at the door of the Subsistence Department.
I have the honor to state that the present ration is as follows: One pound of meal, one- half pound of peas, three pounds salt per 100 rations per day.
If a change in the ration can be made I will have the satisfaction of knowing that the prisoners under my charge are well housed, plenty of fuel, good hospital accommodations, and in as good a condition as they could reasonably expect.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO F. IVERSON,
Lieutenant- Colonel, Commanding Prison.