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Richmond, and would respectfully request that ception in anticipation of the arrival of the steam. your Committee immediately proceed to Annap- er, and immediately upon her being made fast to olis to take testimony there, and examine with the wharf the paroled men were landed and taken their own eyes the condition of those who have immediately to the hospital, where, after receivbeen returned from rebel captivity. The enor- ing a warm bath, they were furnished with a mity of the crime committed by the rebels toward suitable supply of new clothing, and received all our prisoners for the last several months is not those other attentions which their sad condition known or realized by our people, and cannot but demanded. Of the whole number, there are perfill with horror the civilized world when the facts haps fifty to one hundred who, in a week or ton are fully revealed. There appears to have been days, will be in a convalescent state, but the a deliberate system of savage and barbarous treat others will very slowly regain their lost health. ment and starvation, the result of which will be That our soldiers, when in the hands of the that few, if any, of the prisoners that have been rebels, are starved to death, cannot be denied. in their hands during the past winter will ever Every return of the flag-of-truce boat from City again be in a condition to render any service, or Point brings us too many living and dying witeven to enjoy life.
nesses to admit of a doubt of this terrible fact. Your obedient servant,
I am informed that the authorities at Richmond EDWIN M. STANTON, admit the fact, but excuse it on the plea that
Secretary of War. they give the prisoners the same rations they Hon. B. F. WADE.
give their own men. But can this be so ? Can Chairman of Joint Committee on Conduct of the War.
an army keep the field, and be active and effiOFFICE OF COMMISSARY GENERAL OF PRISONERS, cient, on the same fare that kills prisoners of war WASHINGTON, D.O., May 3, 1864. 3
at a frightful per centage? I think not; no man SIR: I have the honor to report that, pursuant can believe it; and while a practice so shocking to your instructions of the second instant, I pro- to humanity is persisted in by the rebel authori. ceeded, yesterday morning, to Annapolis, with a ties, I would very respectfully urge that retaliaview to see that the paroled prisoners about to tory measures be at once instituted by subjecting arrive there from Richmond were properly re- the officers we now hold as prisoners of war to a ceived and cared for.
similar treatment. The flag-of-truce boat New-York, under the I took advantage of the opportunity which this charge of Major Mulford, with thirty-two officers, visit to Annapolis gave me to make a hasty inthree hundred and sixty-three enlisted men, and spection of Camp Parole, and I am happy to reone citizen on board, reached the wharf at the port that I found it in every branch in a most Naval School hospital about ten o'clock. On commendable condition. The men all seemed going on board, I found the officers generally in to be cheerful and in fine health, and the police good health, and much cheered by their happy inside and out was excellent. Colonel Root, the release from the rebel prisons, and by the pros- commanding officer, deserves much credit for the pect of again being with their friends.
very satisfactory condition to which he has brought The enlisted men who had endured so many | his command. privations at Belle Isle and other places were, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your with few exceptions, in a very sad plight, mentally obedient servant, and physically, having for months been exposed
W. HOFFMAN, to all the changes of the weather, with no other Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary General of Prisoners. protection than a very insufficient supply of Hon. E. M. STANTON, worthless tents, and with an allowance of food
Secretary of War, Washington, D. O. scarcely sufficient to prevent starvation, even if
TESTIMONY. of wholesome quality ; but as it was made of coarsely-ground corn, including the husks, and
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, probably at times the cobs, if it did not kill by
May 6, 1864. starvation, it was sure to do it by the disease it Howard Leedom, sworn and examined. created. Some of these poor fellows were wasted By the Chairman: to mere skeletons, and had scarcely life enough Question. To what company and regiment have remaining to appreciate that they were now in you belonged ? the hands of their friends, and among them all | Answer. Company G, Fifty-second New-York. there were few who had not become too much Question. How long have you been in the serbroken down and dispirited by their many priva- vice ? tions to be able to realize the happy prospect of Answer. About seven months. relief from their sufferings which was before Question. What is your age? them. With rare exception, every face was sad Answer. Seventeen with care and hunger; there was no brightening Question. When and where were you taken of the countenance or lighting up of the eye, to prisoner ? indicate a thought of any thing beyond a painful Answer. At a place called Orange Grove, I sense of prostration of mind and body. Many think, back of Chancellorsville. faces showed that there was scarcely a ray of in. Question. How long ago ? telligence left.
Answer. In November last, Every preparation had been made for their re- ! Question. Where were you then carried ?
Answer. Right to Richmond.
Question. Did not they have a tent to sleep Question. In what prison were you placed under ?
Answer. I was put on Belle Isle first, and then Answer. No, sir; no tent at all. There was I got sick and was taken to the hospital.
an embankment thrown up, so as to keep them Question. Describe how you were treated there, inside like, and they had to lie right down in the and the cause of your sickness?
ditch there. Answer. They did not treat me very kindly. Question. With nothing over them ? I froze my feet on the island.
Answer. If some of them had their blanket, Question. How came they to be frozen ? they put that over them; but they had no tent,
Answer. When they took me prisoner they got or any thing of that kind. away the good shoes I had on and gave me an Question. Nothing to keep off the rain and old pair of shoes, all cut and split open ; and snow? when I was on the island, I had just an old tent Answer. No, sir; nothing at all. to lie under.
Question. Are you certain that any of them Question. Did you not have some blankets to froze to death there? put over you?
Answer. Yes, sir, I am. Answer. No, sir. They took away my blank Question. State about the treatment you reet, and every thing else--my shoes-even a pair ceived after your feet were frozen, when you were of buckskin gloves I had.
in the hospital. Question. Did they give you any thing in place Answer. Sometimes my feet were dressed there of them?
every day; sometimes I went three or four days Answer. No, sir; only that pair of shoes I without dressing—just whether their nurses hapsaid.
pened to be busy or not. When I was exchangQuestion. You had stockings ?
ed, I had not been dressed for four or five days. , Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Were any of the confederate sick in Question. What kind of a tent did you have? the hospital with you?
Answer. The tent was not very good; the rain Answer. Not that I know of. beat right through it.
Question. Do you know how they treated their Question. How badly were your feet frozen ? own soldiers that were in the hospital ?
Answer. Well, my toes are all off one of my Answer. I do not. I suppose thay treated feet now. [The surgeon accompanying the Com- them better than they did us, though. mittee here took the dressings off the witness's Question. Was your food any better in the hosfeet, and exhibited them to the Committee. The pital than on the island ? stumps of the toes were just healing.)
Answer. It was when we first went there, but Question. What did they give you to eat? when I came away it was no better.
Answer. They gave us corn-bread, and once in a while a little piece of meat.
Washington Collins, sworn and examined. Question. How often did they give you meat ? By Mr. Gooch:
Answer. May be once a day; may be once a Question. To what company and regiment do week-just as they happened to have it.
you belong ? Question. Did you get enough to eat, such as Answer. Company A, Fifth Kentucky infantry it was?
regiment. Answer. No, sir ; I did not even get enough Question. Where were you taken prisoner? corn-bread.
Answer. I was taken prisoner at the battle of Question. How long were you on the island ? Chickamauga.
Answer. I was on the island only a month, and Question. Where were you then carried ? in the hospital three months.
Answer. From there to Richmond, as straight Question. How long is it since you were ex- through as they could get us through. changed ?
Question. State how you were treated after Answer. I came here on the twenty-fourth of you were taken prisoner. March.
Answer. We were treated very rough. The Question. There were others with you on the eatables we got on the way from the battle-field island ?
to Richmond were mouldy crackers, such as you Answer. Yes, sir,
would never try to eat, with one or two excepQuestion. How did they fare ?
tions, when we got a little light bread. Answer. The same as I did ; we all fared alike. Question. Where were you confined at RichQuestion. Were any others frozen ?
mond ? Answer. Yes, sir ; plenty of them frozen to Answer. We were put in tobacco factories, and death.
kept there without clothing or blankets, until our Question. Frozen to death ?
Government sent us blankets and clothing, and Answer. Yes, sir.
some provisions. Question. Were their blankets taken away like Question. Were the clothing and blankets yours?
which you had when taken prisoners taken from Answer. Yes, sir; they had to lie out in the you? open ditch. They did not have as good over them A nswer. Yes, sir; our blankets were pretty as I had
I much all taken from us.
Question. Did you suffer from cold.
Answer. He said that was the way it was is. Answer. Yes, sir, severely.
sued to him. Question. Was your money taken from you? Question. Did he give any reason for mixing it
Answer. Those of us that had money had it altogether in that way? pretty much all taken away, or scared out of us. Answer. No, sir; and there were a great many
Question. What kind of food had you after you of our own men who treated us as bad as the sereached Richmond ?
cesh, because those there acting as nurses, if there Answer. We got, I should judge, about six was any little delicacy for the sick, would just ounces of light bread, and in the afternoon about gobble it up. two spoonfuls of black beans-worm-eaten beans. Question. Were all of our men suffering for
Question. Was that all you had for the day? I want of food.
Answer. I think we got, once a day, about two Answer. Yes, sir, all of them. In the winter ounces of meat.
time these secesh got so they would haul up loads Question. What was the character of the meat of cabbages, all full of lice, and throw them raw and bread ?
into the room for us to eat. Answer. The character of the meat was pretty tolerably rough. I cannot exactly describe it. Il Charles Gallagher, sworn and examined. never did eat any beef like some of it; and the By Mr. Odell: first dose of medicine I took since I was in the Question. Where are you from? army, was when I was put in the hospital at Dan Answer. From Guernsey County, Ohio. ville. About six or seven weeks ago, before that, Question. To what regiment do you belong? I was always a hearty, healthy man.
Answer. Fortieth Ohio. Question. Have you had any disease or sick Question. How long have you been in the servness except that occasioned by want of proper ice ? food and clothing ?
Answer. Pretty nearly three years. Answer. No, sir ; I think not. [The surgeon Question. Where were you taken prisoner? here remarked : “His disease is the result of Answer. At Chickamauga. starvation, privation, and exposure."]
Question. When ? Question. When were you exchanged ?
Answer. On the twenty-second of last SepAnswer. We left Richmond on the first of May, / tember. I think. I have more of a life-like feeling about Question. State what happened then to you? me now than I had when I left Richmond. | Answer. When they took me prisoner they
Question. Do you think you are in a better took me right on to Richmond, kept me there a condition now?
while, then sent me to Danville and kept me Answer. Yes, sir; I know I am. The authori- there a while. I got sick at Danville and was ties did not think it safe for me to start; but I put in the hospital, and then they sent me back told them if I was going to die, I would rather to Richmond and paroled me and sent me here. die on the Chesapeake than die there.
| Question. How did they treat you while you Question. After you grew so very sick, was were a prisoner ? your food improved any ?
Answer. Pretty bad. They gave us corn-bread, Answer. Very little. The last food I received and not very much of it; and we had to lie right was light diet. When I left the hospital to go down on the floor, without any blankets, until a on board the flag-of-truce boat, I received about long while about Christmas. We had just to lie a gill of what they call soup, though in fact it as thick on the floor as we could get. was just nothing; I should say it was only a Question. How were you treated when you little starch and water; and then I got a little were taken sick ? piece of corn-bread, about that large, (measuring Answer. A little better. We then had a sort on his fingers about two inches square,) and we of bed to lie on. got a piece of meat, once a day, about the same Question. Did you have all the food you want
ed ? Question. Were the other men treated as you Answer. No, sir. were, so far as you know?
Question. What kind of food did you get ? Answer. Yes, sir. I wish to speak of one Answer. Corn-bread, a little piece of meat, thing. After this food was issued out, what was sometimes a little rice-soup, and sometimes a few called the ward-master would go round in the beans. evening with a little mush made of meal, and Question. How often did you get meat ? give some of us a table-spoonful of it. Say there Answer. Along through the winter we got a were sixty or eighty patients, and there would little bit of fresh beef, (perhaps once a day,) and be six or eight, may be ten of those patients then from about March a little pork. would get a little spoonful of this mush; and Question. What was the matter with you when then he would come round a little while after you went to the hospital ? ward and pour a table-spoonful of molasses over Answer. I got a cough which settled on me, it; and just as likely as not, in a few minutes and I had a pain in my breast. after that he would come around with some vine-l Question. Were there any other prisoners at gar and pour a spoonful of vinegar over that. Danville ? Question. Why did he do that?
. Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Did they suffer at all from want? | Answer. I was treated there worse than on Answer. They were pretty hungry
| Belle Isle. We did not get any salt of any acQuestion. Did you complain to the authorities count-only a little piece of bread that would that you did not get food enough?
hardly keep a chicken alive. Answer. No, sir; it would not have made any Question. Did you get any rice ? difference. They said there that we got every Answer. No, sir. ounce that was allowed to us.
Question. Any soup? Question. Did you make your wants known to Answer. Once in a while of mornings I would any one ?
get a little. Answer. Yes, sir; but they would not give us Question. Did the physician come round to see any more. They would come in and give you a you every day ? half a loaf of bread, and tell you that was your Answer. Yes, sir. day's rations; you could take that or nothing. 1 Question. Did he give you any medicine ? By the Chairman :
Answer. He gave me some pills. Question. Did they give you as much as their Question. What was their manner toward you own soldiers for rations ?
after you were taken sick and in the hospital? Answer. No, sir; their own soldiers got a great Were they kind or rough ? deal more.
Answer. They were neither kind nor rough, By Mr. Odell:
but indifferent. The corn-bread I got seemed to Question. What was your treatment aside from burn my very insides. When I would go down your supply of food? Was it kind ?
to the river of mornings to wash myself, as I put Answer. No, sir; they just came in and shoved the water to my face it seemed as though I wantus round; finally, they run us all up from one ed to sup the water, and to sup it, and sup it, and floor to the second floor, and only let one go down sup it all the time. at a time. When he got back they let another Question. Did you make no complaint to the go down.
officers on Belle Isle of your food ?
Answer. No, sir. Isaiah G. Booker, sworn and examined.
Question. Did you ask them for any more? By Mr. Harding :
Answer. No, sir; I knew there was no use. I Question. How old are you?
do not think I spoke to an officer while I was Answer. Twenty-one on the thirteenth of this there. month.
Question. Did you ever tell those who furnishQuestion. Where did you enlist ?
ed you with the food you did get, of the insuffiAnswer. Bath, Maine.
ciency of it ? Question. How long were in the army before Answer. Yes, sir. you were taken prisoner ?
Question. What answer did they give you ? Answer. I enlisted on the fifth of September, Answer. That was all we were allowed, they 1861, and was taken prisoner last July.
said. Question. Where were you taken prisoner? Question. Did you have blankets while you
Answer. On Morris Island, Charleston, South- were on Belle Isle ? Carolina.
Answer. I had no blanket until our GovernQuestion. Where were you then sent ? ment sent us some.
Answer. I was sent to Columbia, South-Caro- Question. How did you sleep before you relina, where we were kept about two months, and ceived those blankets? then we were sent to Richmond, put on Belle Answer. We used to get together just as close Isle, and staid there the remainder of the time. as we could, and sleep spoon-fashion, so that
Question. How were you treated at Columbia ? when one turned over we all had to turn over.
Answer. I was treated a great deal better there Question. Did they furnish you any clothing than I was at Belle Isle. We got meat twice a while you were there? a day, rice once, and Indian bread once. We got Answer. No, sir; the rebs did not furnish us very near as much as we wanted to eat.
a bit. It was very warm weather when I was Question. How were you treated at Richmond ? taken prisoner, and I had nothing on me but my
Answer. I suffered there terribly with hunger. pants, shirt, gloves, shoes, stockings, and cap; I could eat any thing.
and I received no more clothing until our Gov. Question. Can you tell us what kind of food ernment sent us some in December, I think. you got there?
We had to lie right down on the cold ground. Answer. Dry Indian bread, and when I first Question. Did you not have a tent? went there, a very little meat.
Answer. I had none when I first went there, Question. When were you taken sick ?
After a while we had one, but it was a very poor Answer. I was taken sick-I was sick with the affair ; the rain would come right through it. diarrhoea a fortnight before I went to the hospi- Question. Were you exposed to the dew and tal, and I was in the hospital a little over a week rain, and wind and snow? before I was exchanged. I was released on the Answer. Yes, sir, seventh of March, and got here the ninth.
Question. And before you got the tent you lay Question. How were you treated while in the in the open air ? hospital?
| Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. How did the others there with you! Question. Could you eat it ? fare; the same as you did ?
Answer. No, sir. Answer. Many of them had money, with which The witness here was evidently so weak and they bought things of the guard ; but I had no exhausted that the Committee suspended his money.
examination.] Question. Were there others there who had no
Mortimer F. Brown, sworn and examined. money?
By the Chairman :
Question. Where are you from, and to what
company and regiment do you belong? Answer. Yes, sir.
1 Answer. I am from Steubenville, Ohio; I was Question. After you went into the hospital, did
"in the Second Ohio; Colonel McCook was our you receive the same treatment as their own sick
Colonel when I was taken prisoner. received who were in the hospital with you, or
Question. Where were you taken prisoner ? did they have any of their sick in there?
Answer. At Chickamauga. Answer. I think none of their sick were in there.
Question. Where were you then carried ? I suffered a great deal with hunger when I was
1 Answer. From Chickamauga to Richmond. on Belle Isle. When I first went there I had no
Question. How did you fare while in Richpassage of the bowels for eighteen days, and when I did have one it was just as dry as meal.
| Answer. We lived very scantily, and hardly Question. Did you have any medicine at that).
any thing to eat. Some of the boys, in order to time? Answer. No, sir; I took no medicine until I
get enough to live on, had to trade away what
clothing they could to the guard for bread, etc. went to the hospital. About the middle of last
Question. What did they allow you to eat ? February (somewhere about there) I took a very severe cold.
Answer. When we first went to Richmond It seemed to settle all over me. I
our rations were bacon and wheat-bread. We was as stiff in all my joints as I could be.
did very well at first, but they went on cutting Question. Did your strength decrease much
it down. before you were taken sick in February? Answer. Yes, sir; I stood it very well until
untill Question. How was it finally?
Answer. We received corn-bread once or twice about the first of February. After that I com
"Ia day-I think it was twice. After we went to menced to go down pretty fast. I know that one
Danville we fared a great deal better in regard to day I undertook to wash my shirt, and got it
rations. about half washed, when I was so weak I had
Question. Did you have enough to eat, such as to give it up.
it was? Question. Do you think you had any other dis
Answer. I did, at Danville. ease or sickness than what was caused by expo
Question. How was it at Richmond ? sure and starvation at that time ?
Answer. Well, some had plenty to eat, but, as Answer. No, sir. When I was taken prisoner,
far as I was concerned, I was hungry most all I weighed about one hundred and seventy pounds, I think. I had always been a very hearty, stout
the time. From the time we left Richmond until
we drew our meat at Danville-say ten days-man-could eat any thing, and stand almost any
we had with us to eat only what they called thing.
Graham bread-nothing but bread and water for Isaac H. Lewis, sworn and examined.
those ten days. After we got to Danville it was
better. They issued us pork and beef sometimes. By Mr. Julian :
There, there would be times when we would be Question. To what company and regiment do
without meat for a couple of days. you belong?
Question. What was their bearing and treatAnswer. Company K, First Vermont cavalry. Question. When were you taken prisoner ?
• ment toward you, aside from your food ?
Answer. We were treated tolerably kindly Answer. I was taken prisoner on the twenty
until we commenced our tunnelling operations; second of March, on Kilpatrick's raid.
then they treated us very harshly; then they Question. Where were you then carried ? Answer. They carried me to Richmond, and
took the prisoners that had occupied three floors
and put them all on two floors, and would only put me in a tobacco-house there.
allow from three to six to go to the rear at one Question. How did they treat you there? Answer. Well, they did not treat me as well
Question. What is the matter with you now? as they might. Question. Whať did they give you to eat ?
Answer. Nothing at all but scurvy. I am getAnswer. They gave me corn-bread.
ting along very well now since I got here. The Question. How much and how often ?
treatment at Danville was a palace alongside of Answer. Not but very little. They gave me
that at Richmond. A little twice a day.
Franklin Dinsmore, sworn and examined. Question. Did they give you any meat ?
By the Chairman: Answer. Once in a while, a little.
Question. Where did you enlist ? Question. What kind of meat ?
Answer. At Camp Nelson, Kentucky. Answer. Beef.
Question. To what State do you belong?