War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0251 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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over. He reports that the excessive rate of mortality (see reports herewith) merits attention; that out of 10,321 prisoners that were received since October 5, 1864, according to surgeon's report, 2,918 have died, but according to the burial report, that since October 21, 1864, a less period by sixteen days, 3,479 have died and been buried; that this discrepancy is explained by the fact that six or eight die daily in their quarters without the knowledge of the surgeons; that pneumonia and diseases of the bowels are prevalent, but that the prisoners appear to die more from exposure and exhaustion than from actual disease.

the inspector reports that there is no proper system of discipline and police of the prison; that all sorts of filth are allowed to be deposited and to remain anywhere and everywhere around the quarters, unsightly to the eye and generating offensive doors; that robberies and murders are said to be of frequent occurrence, and that the excuse for not having the grounds properly policed is the want of tools and the danger of trusting picks, &c., in the hands of the prisoners, but it is not good, for wooden scrapers and hickory brushes could have been furnished by the prison quartermaster, but that General Johnson has promised to have them provided.

In reference to the prison commandant, Major Gee, the inspector reports that he is deficient in administrative ability, though vigilant and faithful, and expresses the opinion that so far as the causes of their sufferings have been the result of want of attention on the part of the officers, they were chargeable (1) to the unfortunate location of the prison, which is wholly unsuited for the purpose; (2) to the want of administration, capacity, energy and proper efforts on the part of the officers of the Quartermaster's Department, who were charged with the duty of supplying the prison; and states that he does not consider either Major Morfit, the prison quartermaster, or Captain Goodman, post quartermaster, as efficient in their present positions.


Assistant Adjutant-General and Inspector General.

[Second indorsement.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, March 6, 1865.

Respectfully referred to the Quartermaster-General.

This report reflects upon the prison and post quartermasters at Salisbury, N. C., in such manner as to call for further action. If the report be correct they should at least be removed to positions of less responsibility.

By command Secretary of War:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Third indorsement.]


Respectfully returned to the Adjutant and Inspector General.

The prisoners formerly at Salisbury having been exchanged and Captain Goodman having been relieved from duty as post quartermaster at that point, no further action by this office seems to be necessary.