diarrhea or dysentery. The former disease was the most prevalent. These diseases of the bowels appeared to be due in great measure to the long continued use of salt meat, and of coarse, unbolted corn bread, and improperly cooked food, and to the foul emanations from the all-abounding filth and excrements.
According to the official regulations, the rations issued to Federal prisoners were the same as those furnished to Confederate soldiers, viz, beef, one pound, or bacon, one-third of a pound; corn-meal, one pound and a fourth, with an occasional issue of bread (wheat), rice, molases, and peas.
If the Federal prisoners did not receive the rations to which they were entitled by the act of the Confederate Government, the deficiencies and irregularities were due either to the impossibility of securing regular supplies of provisions in the improverished condition of the Confederacy, with the imperfect lines of communication, dilapidated but crowded railroad value, or to frauds committed by the officers in immediate charge of the subsistence department of the prisoners, and by the Federal prisoners themselves detailed to distribute rations within the stockade and hospital. Irregularities in the supply of provisions to the main armies of the Confederacy are daily occurring. The men are often upon one-quarter rations, and upon some occasions have subsisted during severe marches and constant fighting upon little else than parched corn. The stealing of rations by those detailed to distribute them in the prison and hospital is a subject of continual complaint on the part of the prisoners themselves. The corn bread baked and issued to the Federal prisoners consisted of unbolted corn-meal, and these men, who have been accustomed chiefly to wheat bread, could not abide this kind of food. I saw large ples of corn bread, both in the stockade and hospital grounds, which had been thrown away by the prisoners. The husk of the corn was thought to exert an irrihuman excrement, in both the hospital and stockade, I did not see a single molded stool.
The fould exhalations from the innumerabled small sinks and deposits of excrements at the very tent doors, as well as from the more extensive deposits in and around the streams, must also without doubt have causes derangement of the intestinal canal, as well as of the general system.
The effects of the diarrhea in reducing the muscular forces appeared to be very gradual. Patients whose flesh was emaciated tosuch a degree that they resembled living skeletons would still be moving about and preparing their food. In some cases when the discharges from the bowels were checked by a change of diet and by opiates, dropsical effusions took place in the abdoment and lower extremities. The treatment instituted had no beneficial effect whatever, because the necessary diet was not furnished the sick. It was in vain to look for recovery from chronic diarrhea or dysentery when the patient was confined to corn bread, bacon, and beef. The most efficient treatment of these cases would have been with good, fresh milk (combined when necessary with lime water), beef and chicken tea, boled milk and rice, and alcoholic stimulants. Opium was used in immense quantities in the hospital practice, but with only temporary benefit. It allayed pain, but it did not reach the seat of the evil. I expressed my opinion in no equivacal terms to the medical officers that treatment was useless without a charge of diet and a complete alteration of the police and