War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0604 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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and east. A sluggish stream of water flows through the southern portion of the hospital grounds from west to east. The upper portion of this stream is used by the patients for washing, whilst along the borders of the lower portion logs have been ranged upon which the patients may sit and evacuate their bowels. This part of the stream was a semifluid mass of human excrements and offal and filth of all kinds. This immense cesspool fermenting beneath the hot sun emitted an overpowering stench. The banks of this stream south of the hospital inclosure are bordered by a swamp, which spreads out toward the southeast. This swamp is well covered by the forest trees usual in southern swamps, as the small magnolia, sweet bay, red bay, sweet gum, black gum, tupelo, poplar, red maple, ash, and beech. North of the hospital grounds the stream which flows through the stockade pursues its sluggish and filthy course. The exhalations from this swamp, which is loaded with the excrements of the prisoners confined in the stockade, exert their deleterious influences upon the inmates of the hospital. The entire grounds are surrounded by a frail board fence and are strictly guarded by Confederate soldiers, and no prisoner, except the paroled attendants, is allowed to leave the grounds, except by a special permit from the commandant of the interior of the prison.

The patients and attendants, near 2,000 in number, are crowded into this confined space and are but poorly supplied with old and ragged tents. Large numbers of them were without any bunks in the tents, and lay upon the ground, ofttimes without even a blanket. No beds or straw appeared to have been furnished.

The tents extend to within a few yards of the small stream, the eastern portion of which, as we have before said, is used as a privy and is loaded with excrements; and I observed a large pile of corn bread, bones and filth of all kinds, thirty feet in diameter and several feet in height, swarming with myriads of flies, in a vacant space near the pots used for cooking. Millions of flies swarmed over everything and covered the faces of the sleeping patients, and crawled down their open mouths and deposited their maggots in the gangrenous wounds of the living and in the mouths of the dead. Mosquitoes in great numbers also infested the tents, and many of the patients were so stung by these pestiferous insects that they resembled those suffering with a slight attack of measles.

The police and hygiene of the hospital was defective in the extreme; the attendants, who appeared in almost every instance to have been selected from the prisoners, seemed to have in many cases but little interest in the welfare of their fellow captives. The accusation was made that the nurses in many cases robbed the sick of their clothing, money, and rations, and carried on a clandestine trade with the paroled prisoners and Confederate guards without the hospital inclosure in the clothing and effects of the sick, dying, and dead Federals. They certainly appeared to neglect the .comfort and cleanliness of the sick intrusted to their care in a most shameful manner, even after making due allowances for the difficulties of the situation. Many of the sick were literally incrusted with dirt and filth and covered with vermin. When a gangrenous wound needed washing the limb was thrust out a little from the blanket or board or rags upon which the patient was lying, and water poured over it, and all the putrescent matters allowed to soak into the ground floor of the tent.

The supply of rags for dressing wounds was said to be very scant, and I saw the most filthy rags which had been applied several times and imperfectly washed used in dressing recent wounds. Where hos