Imágenes de páginas
PDF

many of them having, in connection with that, bronchial and similar affections. From the testimony given to me by these men I have no doubt their condition was the result of exposure and— I was about to say starvation; but it was, perhaps, hardly starvation, for they had something to eat; but I will say, a deficient supply of food and of a proper kind of food; and when I say "exposure," perhaps that would not be sufficiently definite. All with whom I have conversed have stated that those who were on Belle Isle were kept there even as late as December with nothing to protect them but such little clothing as was left them by their captors; with no blankets, no overcoats, no tents, nothing to cover them, nothing to protect them; and that their sleeping-place was the ground—the sand.

Question. What would you, as a physician of experience, aside from the statements of these returned prisoners, say was the cause of their condition?

Answer. I should judge it was as they have stated. Diarrhoea is a very common form of disease among them, and from all the circumstances, I have every reason to believe that it is owing to exposure and the want of proper nourishment Some of them tell me that they received nothing but two small pieces of corn-bread a day. Some of them suppose (how true that may be I do not know) that that bread was made of corn ground with the cobs. I have not seen any of it to examine it.

Question. How many have died of the number you have received here?

Answer. Already twenty-nine have died, and you have seen one who is now dying; and five were received here dead, who died on their way from Fortress Monroe to Baltimore.

Question. How many of them were capable of walking into the hospital?

Answer. Only one; the others were brought here from the boat on stretchers, put on the dumb-waiter, and lifted right up to their rooms, and put on their bods. And I would state another thing in regard to these men; when they were received here they were filthy, dirty, and lousy in the extreme, and we had considerable trouble to get them clean. Every man who could possibly stand it we took and placed in a warm bath and held him up while he was washed, and we threw away all their dirty clothing, providing them with that which was clean.

Question. What was the condition of their clothing?

Answer. Very poor, indeed. I should say the clothing was very much worn, although I did not examine it closely, as that was not so much a matter of investigation with us as was their physical condition. Their heads were filled with vermin, so much so that we had to cut off their hair and make applications to destroy the vermin.

Question. What portion of those you have received here do you suppose are finally curable?

Answer. We shall certainly lose one third of them; and we have been inclined to think that, sooner or later, we should lose one half of them.

Question. Will the constitutions of those who survive be permanently injured, or will they entirely recover?

Answer. I think the constitutions of the greater part of them will be seriously impaired; that they will never become strong and healthy again.

Question. What account have these men given you as to the comparative condition of those left behind? Did the rebels send the best or the poorest of our prisoners?

Answer. I could not tell that; I have never inquired. But I should presume they must have sent the worst they had.

Question. You have had charge of confederate sick and wounded, have you not?

Answer. Yes, sir; a large number of them. This was the receiving hospital for those from Gettysburgh.

Question. What was the treatment they received from us?

Answer. We consider that we treated them with the greatest kindness and humanity; precisely as we treated our own men. That has been our rule of conduct We gave them the very best the hospital would afford; and not only what properly belonged to the hospital, but delicacies and luxuries of every kind were furnished them by the hospital, and by outside sympathizers, who were permitted to send delicacies to them.

Question. It has been stated in many of the rebel newspapers that our prisoners are treated the same and fed with the same rations as their soldiers in the field. In your judgment as a physician, would it be possible for their soldiers to retain their health and energy if fed as our prisoners Have been?

Answer. No, sir ; it would be impossible ; multitudes of them would have died under such treatment.

Question. I do not know as I desire to question you further. Is there any thing more you desire to state?

Answer. I do not know that there is; it is all in a nut-shell.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Is not the disease as evinced among those men clearly defined as resulting from exposure and privations, and want of proper food and nourishment?

Answer. That is our decided opinion as medical men ; the opinion of all of us who have had any thing to do with these men.

By Mr. Gooch:

Question. The condition of all these men appears to be about the same. Is there really any difference in their condition except in degree?

Answer. I think that is all. Some men have naturally stronger constitutions than others, and can bear more than others. That is the way I account for the difference.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Are the minds of any of them affected permanently?

Answer. We have had two or three whose intellcct is very feeble; some of them arc almost like children in that respect.

Question. Do you think that grows out of the treatment they have received?

Answer. I think the same cause produced that as the other.

By the Chairman:

Question. Is not that one of the symptoms attendant upon starvation, that men are likely to become deranged or idiotic f

Answer. Yes, air; more like derangement than what wo call idiocy.

By Mr. Gooch:

Question. Can those men whose arms you bared and held up to us—mere skeletons, nothing but skin and bone—can those men recover?

Answer. They may; we think that some of them are in an improving condition. But wo have to be extremely cautious how we feed them. If we give them a little excess of food under these circumstances, they would be almost certain to be seriously and injuriously affected by it

Question. It is your opinion, you have stated, that these men have been reduced to this condition by want of food?

Answer. It is; want of food and exposure are the original causes. That has produced diarrhoea and other diseases as a natural consequence, and they have aided the original cause and reduced them to their present condition. I should like the country and the Government to know the facts about these men; I do not think they can realize it until the facts are made known to them. I think the rebels have determined upon the policy of starving their prisoners, just as much as the murders at Fort Pillow were a part of their policy.

Rev. J. T. Van Burkalow, sworn and examined.

By the Chairman:

Question. What is your connection with this hospital?

Answer. I am the chaplain of the hospital

Question. How long have you been acting in that capacity?

Answer. I have been connected with the hospital in that capacity ever since the twentieth of October, 1862.

Question. What has been your opportunity of knowing the condition of ourreturncd prisoners?

Answer. I have mingled with thorn and administered unto them ever since they have been here, night and day. I have written, I suppose, something like a hundred letters for them to their relatives and friends since they arrived here.

Question. Have you attended them when they were dying?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. And conversed with them about their condition, and the manner in which they have been brought (o that condition f

Answer. Yes, sir; I have.

Question. Please tell us what you have ascertained from them?

Answer. The general story I have gotten from

Vol. VIII.—Doc. 7

them was to the effect, that when captured, and before they got to Richmond, they would generally be robbed of their clothing, their good United States uniforms, even to their shoes and hats taken from them, and if any thing was given to them in place of them, they would receive only old worn-out confederate clothing. Sometimes they wore sent to Belle Isle with nothing on but old pants and shirts. They generally had their money taken from them, often with the promise of its return, but that promise was never fulfilled. They were placed on Belle Isle, as I have said, some with nothing on but pants and shirts, somo with blouses, but they were seldom allowed to have an overcoat or a blanket There they remained for weeks, some of them for six or eight weeks, without any tents or any kind of covering.

Question. What time of the year was this?

Answer. All along from September down to December, as a general thing, through tho latter part of the fall. There they remained for weeks without any tents, without blankets, and in many instances without coats, exposed to the rain and snow, and all kinds of inclement weather. And where some of them had tents, they were old worn-out army tents, full of holes and rents, so that they are very poor shelters indeed from the storms. I have been told by several of them that several times, upon getting up in the morn ing, they would find six or eight of their number frozen to death. There are men here now who have had their toes frozen off there. They have said that they have been compelled to got up during the night and walk rapidly back and forth to keep from dying from the cold.

Question. What do they say in regard to tho food furnished them?

Answer. They represent that as being very little in quantity, and of the very poorest quality, being but a small piece of corn-bread, about three inches square, made of meal ground very coarsely—some of them suppose made of corn and cobs all ground up together—and that bread was baked and cut up and sent to them in such a manner that a great deal of it would be crumbled off and lost Sometimes they would get a very small piece of meat, but that meat very poor, and sometimes for days they would receive no meat at all. And sometimes they would receive a very small quantity of what they call rice-water — that is, water with s few grains of rice in it

Question. You have heard their statements separately?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. Do they all agree in the same general statement as to their treatment?

Answer. Yes, sir; they do.

Question. How were they clothed when they arrived here?

Answer. They were clothed very poorly indeed, with old worn-out filthy garments, full of vermin.

Question. What was their condition and appearance as to health when they arrived here?

Answer. They looked like living skeletons— that is about the best description I can give of them—very weak and emaciated.

Question. Have you ever seen men at any time or place so emaciated as these are—so entirely destitute of flesh?

Answer. I think I have a few times, but very rarely; I have known men to become very emaciated by being for weeks affected with chronic diarrhoea, or something of that kind. But the chronic diarrhoea, and liver diseases, and lung affections, which those men now have, I understand to have been superinduced by the treatment to which they have been subjected; their cruel and merciless treatment and exposure to inclement weather without any shelter or sufficient clothing or food, reducing them literally to a state of starvation.

Question. Could any of them walk when they arrived here?

Answer. I think there was but one who could make out to walk; the rest we had to carry into the hospitals on stretchers. By Mr. Odell:

Question. Did these men make these statements in their dying condition? Answer. Yes, sir. By the Chairman:

Question. Were the persons who made these statements conscious of approaching dissolution? Answer. Yes, sir; I know of no particular cases where they spoke of these things when they were right on the borders of death; but they made them before, when they were aware of their condition.

Question. So that you have no reason to doubt that they told the exact truth, or intended to do so?

Answer. None whatever. There has been such a unanimity of testimony on that point, that I cannot entertain the shadow of a doubt

Question. And their statements were corroborated by their appearance f Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. You have had under your charge and attention confederate sick and wounded, have you not?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. How have they been treated f Answer. In my judgment they have been treated just as well as any of our own men ever were treated. In fact, they have got better treatment than our men did formerly, for the reason that, in addition to what we have given them— and we have tried to treat them just as we would have them treat our men—in addition to that, we have allowed the rebel sympathizers of Baltimore to bring them, every day, delicacies in abundance.

Question. Were these rebel sympathizers bountiful to them in that line? Answer. Yes, sir, very.

Question. What has been the feeling evinced by our returned prisoners, after having received such treatment, in regard to having entered the

service? Have they ever expressed any regret that they entered our army?

Answer. As a general thing, they have not In fact, I have heard but one express a different sentiment He was a mere youth, not more than sixteen or seventeen years of age now. His feet were badly frozen. He remarked that he had regretted, even long before he got to Richmond, that he entered the service. But I have heard a number of them declare that if they were so fortunate as to recover their health and strength, they should be glad to return to the service, and still fight for their country,

Question. They then bear their misfortunes bravely and patriotically?

Answer. Yes, sir, they do.

Question. And without complaining of their Government f

Answer. Yes, sir, without complaining of their fate, except so far as to blame their merciless enemies.

Doc. 8.

ATTACK ON THE DEFENCES OF MOBILE.

REPORT OF REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT.

Fuo-Saip Hmtfdkd, Mobile Bat, Aug. 5, 1S84.

Sir: I have the honor to report to the Department that this morning I entered Mobile Bay, passing between Forts Morgan and Gaines, and encountering the rebel ram Tennessee and gunboats of the enemy, namely, Selma, Morgan, and Gaines.

The attacking fleet was under way by fortyfive minutes past five A.k., in the following order: The Brooklyn, with the Octorara on her port side; Hartford, with the Metacomet; Richmond, with the Port Royal; Lackawanna, with the Seminole; Monongahela, with the Tecumseh; Ossipce, with the Itasca, and the Oneida with the Galena.

On the starboard of the fleet was the proper position of the monitors or iron-clads. The wind was light from the south-west, and the sky cloudy, with very little sun. Fort Morgan opened upon us at ten minutes past seven o'clock, and soon after this the action became lively. As we steamed up the main ship channel, there was some difficulty ahead, and the Hartford passed on ahead of the Brooklyn. At forty minutes past seven the monitor Tecumseh was struck by a torpedo and sunk, going down very rapidly, and carrying down with her all the officers and crew, with the exception of the pilot and eight or ten men, who were saved by a boat that I sent from the Metacomet, which was alongside of me.

The Hartford had passed the forts before eight o'clock, and finding myself raked by the rebel gunboats, I ordered the Metacomet to cast off and go in pursuit of them, one of which — the Selma—she succeeded in capturing.

All the vessels had passed the forts by halfpast eight, but the rebel ram Tennessee was still apparently uninjured in our rear.

Signal was at once made to all the fleet to turn again and attack the ram, not only with guns, but with orders to run her down at full speed. The Monongahela was the first that struck her, and though she may have injured her badly, yet she did not succeed in disabling her. The Lackawanna also struck her, but ineffectually. The flag-ship gave her a severe shock with her bow, and as she passed poured her whole port broadside into her of solid nine-inch shot and thirteen pounds of powder, at a distance of not more than twelve feet. The iron-clads were closing upon her, and the Hartford and the rest of the fleet were bearing down upon her, when, at ten A.m., she surrendered. The rest of the rebel fleet—■ namely, the Morgan and Gaines—succeeded in getting back under the protection of Fort Morgan.

This terminated the action of the day.

Admiral Buchanan sent mo his sword, being himself badly wounded with a compound fracture of the leg, which it is supposed will have to be amputated.

Having had many of my own men wounded, and the surgeon of the Tennessee being very desirous to have Admiral Buchanan removed to the hospital, I sent a flag of truce to the commanding officer of Fort Morgan, Brigadier-General Richard L. Page, to say that if he would allow the wounded of the fleet, as well as their own, to be taken to Pensacola, where they can be better cared for than here, I would send out one of our vessels, provided she would be permitted to return, bringing back nothing she did not take out

General Page consented, and the Metacomet was despatched.

The list of casualties on our part, as far as ascertained, is as follows:

Flag-ship Hartford—Nineteen killed, twentythree wounded.

Brooklyn—Nine killed, twenty-two wounded.

Lackawanna—Four killed, two wounded.

Oneida—Seven killed, twenty-three wounded.

Monongahela—Six wounded.

Metacomet—One killed, two wounded.

Ossipee—One killed, seven wounded.

Galena—One wounded. •

Richmond—Two wounded.

In all, forty-one killed and eighty-eight wounded.

On the rebel ram Tennessee were captured twenty officers and about one hundred and seventy men. The following is a list of the officers: Admiral F. Buchanan; Commander Joseph D. Johnson; Lieutenants Wm. D. Bradford, A. P. Wharton, E. J. McDennert; Masters J. R. De Moley, H. W. Perron; Fleet-Surgeon R. C. Bowles; Engineers G. D. Lcneng, J. O'Connell, John Hays, O. Benson, W. B. Patterson; Paymaster's Clerk, J. H. Conen; Master's Mates W. A. Forrest, Beebe, and R. M. Carter; Boatswain, John McCudie; Gunner, H. S. Smith.

On the Selma were taken ninety officers and men. Of the officers I have only heard the names of two, namely. Commander Peter IT. Murphy, and Lieutenant J. H. Comstock. The latter was killed.

I will send a detailed despatch by the first opportunity.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. G. Farragut,

Admiral Commanding W. O. B. Squadron.

To Hon. Gideon Welles,

Secretary of the Navy.

List of killed and wounded on board U. S. S. Hartford in the action with the rebel Fort Morgan and fleet, August fifth, 1864:

Killed—David Morrow, quarter-gunner; Wm. Osgood, ordinary seaman; Thos. Baine, ordinary seaman; Benjamin Harper, seaman; Wm. Clark, boy; Charles Schaffer, seaman; Frank Stillwell, nurse; George Walker, landsman; John C. Scott, ordinary seaman; Thomas Wilde, ordinary seaman; Wm. Smith, boy; Wm. Andrews, captain after-guard; Frederick Munsell, captain afterguard; Lewis McLane, landsman; Peter Duncan,

landsman; Smith, fireman; Thomas Raines,

fireman; Thomas Stanton, fireman; Cannel,

fireman. Total, nineteen.

Wounded—Lieutenant Adams, slightly; Acting Third Assistant-Engineer McEwan, amputation arm; Acting Master s Mate R. P. Herrick, slightly; Acting Ensign W. H. Heginbotham, severely, (since dead ;) Wilder Venner, landsman, leg; Adolphus Pulle, seaman, severe flesh wounds, legs; Hiram Elder, seaman, right leg; R. Dumphery, coal-heaver, both arms; Wm. Thompson, ordinary seaman, one leg; E. Johnson, boy, contusion, side; Walter Lloyd, boy, leg; M. Forbes, captain mizzen-top, contusion, side; Wm. Stanley, seaman, contusion and on leg; C. Stevenson, boy, contusion; F. Campbell, seaman, contusion; Wm. Doyle, boy, contusion, side; Auguste Simmons, landsman; Peter Pitts, boy ; Michael Fayal, landsman ; David Ortin; Wm. Trask, left leg; Charles Dennis, both arms; Thomas O'Connell, right hand off. Total, twenty-three.

CONGRATULATORY LETTER TO REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT.

Nivt Department, I Wahiixotox, August IS, ISM. f

Sir: Your despatch of the fifth instant, stating that you had, on the morning of that day, entered Mobile Bay, passing between Forts Morgan and Gaines, and encountering and overcoming the rebel fleet, I had the satisfaction to receive this day. Some preliminary account of your operations had previously reached us through rebel channels.

Again it is my pleasure and my duty to congratulate you and your brave associates on an achievement unequalled in our service by any other commander, and only surpassed by that unparalleled naval triumph of the squadron under your command in the spring of 1862, when, proceeding up the Mississippi, you passed Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and, overcoming all obstructions, captured New-Orleans, and restored unobstructed navigation to the commercial emporium of the great central valley of the Union.

The Bay of Mobile was not only fortified and guarded by forts and batteries on shore, and by submerged obstructions, but the rebels had also collected there a formidable fleet, commanded by their highest naval officer—a former captain in the Union navy—who, false to the government and the Union, had deserted his country in the hour of peril, and levelled his guns against the flag which it was his duty to have defended. The possession of Mobile Ray, which you have acquired, will close the illicit traffic which has been carried on by running the blockade in that part of the Gulf, and gives point and value to the success you have achieved.

Great results in war are seldom obtained without great risks, and it was not expected that the possession of the harbor of Mobile would be secured without disaster. The loss of the gallant Craven and his brave companions, with the Tecumseh, (a ve'ssel that was invulnerable to the puns of Fort Morgan,) by a concealed torpedo, was a casualty against which no human foresight could guard. While the nation awards cheerful honors to the living, she will ever hold in grateful remembrance the memory of the gallant and lamented dead, who perilled their lives for their country and died in her cause.

To you and the brave officers and sailors of your squadron, who participated in this great achievement, the Department tenders its thanks, and those of the Government and country.

Very respectfully, etc.,

Gideon Welles,

Secretary of the Navy.

Rear-Admiral David G. Farragut,

Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Mobile Bay.

SURRENDER OF FORT POWELL.

REPORT OF REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT.

Flao-ship Ham-ford, West Gulf Blockading I

gQUADROX, MOBILR BAT, August 3. 1S64. f

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that Fort Powell was evacuated on the night of the fifth instant. The rebels blew up much of the fort, but we took all of the guns, and those of the best quality, a list of which will be forwarded. We took some covered barges also from Fort PowelLand Cedar Point, which do us good service as a work-shop. The Fleet Engineer and Fleet Paymaster came in the Stockdale, with iron, etc., for the repairs of our vessel.

On the afternoon of the sixth, the Chickasaw went down and shelled Fort Gaines, and on the morning of the seventh I received a communication from Colonel Anderson, commanding the Fort, offering to surrender to the fleet, asking the best conditions. I immediately sent for General Granger, and in the evening had Colonel Anderson and Major Browne on board, and the agreement was signed by all parties.

At seven A.m., August eighth, Fleet Captain Drayton, on the part of the navy, and Colonel Myer, on the part of the army, proceeded to the Fort to carry out the stipulations of the agreement, and at forty-five minutes past nine, the Fort surrendered, and the Stars and Stripes were hoisted on the staff amid the cheers of the fleet.

Inclosed herewith are copies of the letters of Colonel Anderson, and the reply of General Granger and myself, marked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. G. Farragut,

Rear-Admiral Commanding W. G. B. Squadron.

Hon. Gideon Welles,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

LETTER FROM COLONEL ANDERSON TO REAR-ADMIRAL
FARRAGUT.
Hradqcartirs, Fort GAniRS, August 7,1861
To Admiral Farragut. Commanding Natal

Force) off Dauphin Island:

Feeling my inability to maintain my present position longer than you may see fit to open upon me with the fleet, and feeling also the uselessncss of entailing upon ourselves further destruction of life, I have the honor to propose the surrender of Fort Gaines, its garrison, stores, etc.

I trust to your magnanimity for obtaining honorable terms, which I respectfully request that you will transmit to me, and allow me sufficient time to consider them and return an answer.

This communication will be handed to you by Major W. R. Browne.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, C. D. Anderson,

Colonel Commanding. JOINT LETTER FROM REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAODT AND MAJOR-GENERAL GRANGER TO COLONEL ANDERSON. Flag-ship Hartford, Mobilk Bat, August 7, 1S64.

Sir: In accordance with the proposal made in your letter of this morning for the surrender of Fort Gaines, I have to say that, after communicating with General Granger, in command of our forces on Dauphin Island, the only offers we can make are—

First The unconditional surrender of yourself and the garrison of Fort Gaines, with all of the public property within its limits.

Second. The treatment which is in conformity with the custom of the most civilized nations toward prisoners of war.

Third. Private property, with the exception of arms, will be respected.

This communication will be handed you by Fleet Captain P. Drayton, and Colonel Myer of the U. S. army, who fully understand the views of General Granger and myself.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. G. Fakkagl-t,

Rear-Admiral.
G. Granger,

Mjrjor-Geueral U. S. Army.

Colonel C. D. Anderson,

Commanding Fort Gaines.

ATTACK ON THE DEFENCES OF MOBILE—DETAILED
RETORT OF REAR-ADMIRAL D. G. FARRAGUT.
F. S. Flag-ship Hartford, Mobilb Bat, Aug. 12, 18*4.

Sir: I had the honor to forward to the Department, on the evening of the fifth instant, a report of my entree into Mobile Bay on the morning of that day, and which, though brief, contained all the principal facts of the attack.

Notwithstanding the loss of life, particularly

« AnteriorContinuar »