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sentinels outside when they appeared at the conclusion, expressed by so many of our released windows for the purpose of obtaining a little soldiers, that the inhuman practices herein refresh air. One man, whose comrade in the serv- ferred to are the result of a determination on the ice, in battle and in captivity, had been so fortu- part of the rebel authorities to reduce our soldiers nate as to be among those released from further in their power, by privation of food and clothing, torments, was shot dead as he was waving with and by exposure, to such a condition that those his hand a last adieu to his friend; and other who may survive shall never recover so as to be instances of equally unprovoked murder are dis- able to render any effective service in the field. closed by the testimony.
And your Committee accordingly ask that this The condition of our returned soldiers as re- report, with the accompanying testimony, be gards personal cleanliness, has been filthy almost printed with the report and testimony in relation beyond description. Their clothes have been so to the massacre of Fort Pillow, the one being, in dirty and so covered with vermin, that those who their opinion, no less than the other, the result received them have been compelled to destroy of a predetermined policy. As regards the astheir clothing and re-clothe them with new and sertions of some of the rebel newspapers, that clean raiment. Their bodies and heads have our prisoners have received at their hands the been so infested with verinin that, in some in- same treatment that their own soldiers in the stances, repeated washings have failed to remove field have received, they are evidently but the them; and those who have received them in most glaring and unblushing falsehoods. No one charge have been compelled to cut all the hair can for a moment be deceived by such statefrom their heads, and make applications to de- ments, who will reflect that our soldiers, who, stroy the vermin. Some have been received with when taken prisoners, have been stout, healthy no clothing but shirts and drawers and a piece men, in the prime and vigor of life, yet have died of blanket or other outside covering, entirely des- by hundreds under the treatment they have retitute of coats, hats, shoes or stockings; and the ceived, although required to perform no duties of bodies of those better supplied with clothing have the camp or the march; while the rebel soldiers been equally dirty and filthy with the others, many are able to make long and rapid marches, and to who have been sick and in the hospital having offer a stubborn resistance in the field. had no opportunity to wash their bodies for weeks There is one feature connected with this invesand months before they were released from cap-tigation, to which your Committee can refer with tivity.
pride and satisfaction; and that is the uncomYour Committee are unable to convey any ad- plaining fortitude, the undiminished patriotism equate idea of the sad and deplorable condition exhibited by our brave men under all their priviof the men they saw in the hospitals they visited; tions, even in the hour of death. and the testimony they have taken cannot con- Your Committee will close their report by vey to the reader the impressions which your quoting the tribute paid these men by the chapCommittee there received. The persons we saw, lain of the hospital at Annapolis, who has minis. as we were assured by those in charge of them, tered to so many of them in their last moments, have greatly improved since they have been re- whe has smoothed their passage to the grave by ceived in the hospitals. Yet they are now dying his kindness and attention, and who has performdaily, one of them being in the very throes of ed the last sad offices over their lifeless remains. death as your Committee stood by his bedside He says: and witnessed the sad spectacle there presented. “There is another thing I would wish to state. All those whom your Committee examined stated All the men, without any exception among the that they have been thus reduced and emaciated thousands that have come to this hospital, have entirely in consequence of the merciless treat- never in a single instance expressed a regret (notment they received while prisoners from their withstanding the privations and sufferings they enemies; and the physicians in charge of them, have endured) that they entered their country's the men best fitted by their profession and expe- service. They have been the most loyal, devoted, rience to express an opinion upon the subject, and earnest men. Even on the last days of all say that they have no doubt that the state their lives they have said that all they hoped for ments of their patients are entirely correct. was just to live and enter the ranks again and
It will be observed from the testimony, that meet their foes. It is a most glorious record in all the witnesses who testify upon that point state reference to the devotion of our men to their that the treatment they received while confined country. I do not think their patriotism has at Columbia, South-Carolina, Dalton, Georgia, ever been equalled in the history of the world.” and other places, was far more humane than that All of which is respectfully submitted. they received at Richmond, where the authorities
B. F. WADE, of the so-called Confederacy were congregated, and where the power existed, had the inclination not been wanting, to reform those abuses and
Wasan Gros elry, May 1, 1864.} secure to the prisoners they held some treatment Sir: I have the honor to subinit to you a rethat would bear a public comparison to that ac- port made to this department by Colonel Hoffcorded by our authorities to the prisoners in our man, Commissary General of prisoners, in regard custody. Your Committee, therefore, are con- to the condition of Union soldiers who have, unstrained to say that they can hardly avoid the til within a few days, been prisoners of war at
Richmond, and would respectfully request that ception in anticipation of the arrival of the steamyour 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 ten 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 OP PRISONERS, cient, on the same fare that kills prisoners of war WASHINGTON, D. O., May 3, 1964.
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 authoriceeded, 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 birt 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 of wholesome quality ; but as it was made of
TESTIMONY. 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? pen ditch. They did not have as good over them Answer. Yes, sir; our blankets were pretty as I had
much all taken from us.
Question. Did you suffer from cold.
Answer. He said that was the way it was isAnswer. 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? 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. I 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: “Ilis 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 a ? 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 wantsize.
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 caled 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
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- 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. 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
officers on Belle Isle of your
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 insufli. Answer. 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 GovQuestion. 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. diarrhea 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.