HDQRS. MIDDLE DEPT., 8TH ARMY CORPS,
Numbers 60. Baltimore, Md., March 10, 1865.
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2. The provost-marshal Eighth Army Corps is hereby directed to furnish cooked rations to all squads of rebel prisoners arriving in this city en route to be exchanged, or to be sent to prisons in the North, provided they are not already supplied. The cooked rations will be procured by requisition upon the commissary in charge of the Soldiers' Rest in this city, and will be distributed to the prisoners at the most convenient point, either of arrival or departure. The rations will be drawn for at the rate allowed to prisoners as directed in General Orders, Numbers 1, Office Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C., January 13, 1865. Whenever practicable, hot coffee will be included in the ration.
To accomplish this order the provost-marshal will ascertain, if possible, before the arrival of the prisoners whether they are provided with rations; and if not so provided, the proper number of rations will be drawn and sent to the point designated for distribution. The point of arrival is usually where they are most needed.
Whenever prisoners are held over in this city awaiting transportation, cooked rations will be furnished daily, unless they are quartered where they can cook their own rations, in which case the usual issue will be made on provision returns.
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By command of Brevet Brigadier-General Morris, U. S. Army:
SAMUEL B. LAWRENCE,
U. S. MIL. PRISON, GRATIOT STREET, HOSPITAL DEPT.,
Saint Louis, Mo., March 10, 1865.
Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that the months of November and December, 1864, and January and February, 1865, we have had 818 sick in the hospital of this prison, and the number of deaths during that period 134, showing the fearful mortality at the rate of nearly 50 per cent. for the year; over 16 per cent. for the four months, and over 4 per cent. per month.
The condition of many of the prisoners, and especially many of the conscripts sent to this prison and captured during Price's raid, was such that many were admitted into the hospital within a short period after their arrival, many of them being mere boys, without sufficient physical development to endure the fatigues and hardships of long and protracted marches, in addition to which the quality and insufficient quantity of their food became fruitful and manifest sources of the establishing of a decided astehnic tendency. The above and stil more grave cause of confining and massing a large number of prisoners in quarters insufficiently ventilated and totally inadequate in capacity. In one of the rooms in this prison, with a cubic area of 70,380 feet, including, however, several pillars, bunks, &c., which would reduce the capacity several thousand feet at least, were confined in November over 500 prisoners, affording breathing space to each prisoners space to each prisoners less than 140 cubic feet, the maximum space allowed in U. S. Army general hospitals being 1,200 and the minumum 800 cubic feet. As an excuse for this excessive crowding of prisoners at the time, the inability of the