War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0348 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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night until the 2nd of January, 1864. I was badly frost-bitten and my health was much impaired. This cruel infliction was done by order of Captain Byrne, commandant of prisons in Saint Louis. He was barbarous and insulting to the last degree.


But even a greater inhumanity than any we have mentioned was perpetrated upon our prisoners at Camp Douglas and Camp Chase. It is proved by the testimony of Thomas P. Holloway, John P. Fennell, H. H. Barlow, H. C. Barton, C. D. Bracken, and J. S. Barlow that our prisoners in large numbers were put into "condemned camps," where smallpox was prevailing, and speedily contracted this loathsome disease, and that as many as forty new cases often appeared daily among them. Even the Federal officers who guarded them to the camp protested against this unnatural atrocity; yet it was done. The men who contracted the disease were removed to a hospital about a mile off, but the plague was already introduced and continued to prevail. For a period of more than twelve months the disease was constantly in the camp; yet our prisoners during all this time were continually brought to it and subjected to certain infection. Neither do we find evidences of amendment on the part of our enemies, notwithstanding the boats of the Sanitary Commission. At Nashville prisoners recently captured from General Hood's army, even when sick and wounded, have been cruelly deprived of all nourishment suited to their condition; and other prisoners from the same army have been carried into the infected Camps Douglas and Chase.

Many of the soldiers of General Hood's army were frost-bitten by being kept day and night in an exposed condition before they were put into Camp Douglas. Their sufferings are truthfully depicted in the evidence. At Alton and Camp Morton the same inhuman practice of putting our prisoners into camps infected by smallpox prevailed. It was equivalent to murdering many of them by the torture of a contagious disease. The insufficient rations at Camp Morton forced our men to appease their hunger by pounding up and boiling bones, picking up scraps of meat and cabbage from the hospital sloptubs, and even eating rats and dogs. The depositions of William Ayres and J. Chambers Brent prove these privations.


The punishments often inflicted on our men for slight offenses have been shameful and barbarous. They have been compelled to ride a plank only four inches wide, called "Morgan's horse;" to sit down with their naked bodies in the snow for ten or fifteen minutes,and have been subjected to the ignominy of stripes from the belts of their guards. the pretext has been used that many of their acts of cruelty have been by way of relation. But no evidence has been found to prove such acts on the part of the Confederate authorities. It is remarkable that in the case of Colonel Streight and his officers they were subjected only to the ordinary confinement of prisoners of war. No special punishemnt was used except for specific offenses, and then the greatest infliction was to confine Colonel Streight for a few weeks in a basement room of the Libby Prison, with a window, a plank floor, a stove, a fire, and plenty of fuel.

We do not deem it necessary to dwell further on these subjects. Enough has been proved to show that great privations and sufferings have been borne byh the prisoners on both sides.