War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0264 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Wilmington, February 18, 1865.

Colonel GEORGE JACKSON, Commanding Post:

COLONEL: The attention of the major-general commanding has been called to the fact that some of the citizens of this place have shown their cordial disposition to the Federal prisoners passing over the railroad by sending supplies to the depots for distribution among them. The commissary department is fully able to meet all requirements, needs no assistance, and you are strictly enjoined to prevent all communication with the prisoners either by citizens or soldiers.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

[COMPANY] SHOPS, February 18, 1865.


Please have the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad to furnish trains to assist in moving prisoners and stores from Goldsborough. I find here a dispatch from General Beauregard urging the removal of all stores from Charlotte without delay.


Engineer and Superintendent.


Prepare for 10,000 men from here to Charlotte. Raleigh and Gaston will be advised to aid you. Prisoners go back to Wilmington for exchange there.

HEADQUARTERS POST, Salisbury, N. C., February 18, 1865.

Brigadier General WILLIAM H. GARDNER, Richmond:

GENERAL: I have the honor to call your attention to the condition of this post. The troops here, three regiments of reserves and one battalion, being without a quartermaster, are dependent on the post quartermaster for supplies, pay, fuel, &c. The prisoners, 5,500, are equally dependent on him, the prison quartermaster, Major Morfit, being restricted to drawing all supplies from that officer. These three regiments of reserves during the month of January were entitled to 356 cords 42 feet of wood. They received from him 270, a deficit of 86 cords 42 feet; nearly one-fourth. Up to February 15 they were entitled to 179 cords of wood. The suffering among green troops and old men in consequence of this dereliction of the proper officer may be imagined. The prisoners are il-clad and poorly sheltered. Their food is fair; not so full as is necessary to endure hardship and exposure. The only hospital are buildings within the prison inclosure, where the only amelioration we can give to their sufferings are rude pine bunks and straw to lie on; without them, they lie on the bare floor or earth with little or no covering.

On the 1st of February Doctor Wilson, prison surgeon, made a requisition for 10,000 pounds of straw; also 100 bunks. Up to 13th of February he had received 800 pounds of straw and no bunks; the sick prisoners, therefore, laid on the bare ground, and from 1st to 31st of January, 732 of them died. From February 1 to February 13, 275 died.