War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0600 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

corn bread scattered about in every direction on the ground, the prisoners were either very lavishly supplied with this article of diet or else this kind of food was not relished by them.

Each day the dead from the stockade were carried out by their fellow-prisoners and deposited upon the ground under a bush arbor just outside of he southwestern gate. From thence they were carried in carts to the burying ground one-quarter of a mile northwest of the prison. The dead were buried without coffins, side by side, in trenches four feet deep.

The low grounds bordering the steam were covered with human exrements and filth of all kinds, which in many placed appeared to be alive with working maggots. An indescribable sickening stench arose from this fermenting morass of human dung and filth.

There were near 5,000 seriously ill Federal in the stockade and C. S. military prison hospital, and the deaths exceeded 100 per day, and large numbers of the prisoners who were walking about, and who had not been entered upon the sick reports, were suffering from severe and inclurable diarrhea, dysentery, and scurvy. The sick were attended almost entirely by their fellow-prisoners, appointed as nurses; and as they received but little attention, they were compelled to exert themselves at all times to attend to the calls of nature, and hence they retained the power of moving about to within a comparatively short period of the close of life. Owing to the slow progress of he diseases most prevalent-diarrhea and chronic dysentery-the corpses were as a general rule emaciated.

I visited 2,000 sick within the stockade lying under four long shelds which had been built at the northern portion for barracks. At this time only one medical officer was in attendance, whereas at least twenty medical officers should have been employed.

I was informed that several of the medical officers appointed to attend the sick within the stockade were sick, and that the duty was so arduous and the exhalations from the sick adn filth of the prison were so deleterious, that it was impossible for the medical officers to stand the service for any length of time. Great difficulry was experiences by the surgeon in charge of the post to induce medical officers and physicians to accept positions in the stockade or hospital on account of the absence of many of the facilities for the treatment of the sick, and the great and numberous depressing agencies and the consequent unsatisfactory result of practice.

So distressing was the service and so great were the obstacles to successful and satisfactory practice amongst these men, whose constitutions had been broken down by long confinement and whose moral energies had been sapped by the loss of all hope of exchange on the part of their Government, that the more energetic Confederate surgeons and assistant surgeons endeavored to get transfers to other fields of labor, preferring the hardship and exposure of service at the front. It is also to be considered that not only is there a scarcity of physicians in the Confederacy, but it si especially difficult to command the services of competent physicians in this sparsely settled country. Added to all this the gigantic military operations in Georgia, attended with the utter desolation of her territory in the van of the Federal forces, and with the serious wounding of thousands of Confederate troops, have absorbed the attention and commanded the abilities of almost every available physician in the State. The hospital of the Army of Tennessee have been in constant motion for months following the continuous series of disasters and evacuations in Northern Georgia, and are now crowed with seriously wounded, suffering in many cases with the