Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 :
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Did they fare the same as you ?

Question. Where are you from, and to what

company and regiment do you belong? Answer. Yes, sir. Question. After you went into the hospital, did in the Second Ohio ; Colonel McCook was our

Answer. I am from Steubenville, Ohio; I was 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 on Belle Isle. When I first went there I had no

Answer. From Chickamauga to Richmond.

Question. How did you fare while in Richpassage of the bowels for eighteen days, and

mond ? 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 time?

any thing to eat. Some of the boys, in order to Answer. No, sir; I took no medicine until I get enough to live on, had to trade away what went to the hospital. About the middle of last clothing they could to the guard for bread, etc. February (somewhere about there) I took a very

Question. What did they allow you to eat ?

Answer. When we first went to Richmond severe cold. It seemed to settle all over me.

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 !

Question. How was it finally ? Answer. Yes, sir; I stood it very well until

Answer. We received corn-bread once or twice about the first of February. After that I commenced to go down pretty fast. I know that one Danville we fared a great deal better in regard to

a day—I think it was twice. After we went to day I undertook to wash my shirt, and got it

rations. about half washed, when I was so weak I had to give it up.

Question. Did you have enough to eat, such as

it was ? Question. Do

you
think
you
had
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. No, sir. When I was taken prisoner, far as I was concerned, I was hungry most all

Answer. Well, some had plenty to eat, but, as I weighed about one hundred and seventy pounds, the time. From the time we left Richmond until I think. I had always been a very hearty, stout man-could eat any thing, and stand almost any we had with us to eat only what they called

we drew our meat at Danville-say ten daysthing

Graham bread-nothing but bread and water for

those ten days. After we got to Danville it was Isaac H. Lewis, sworn and examined. By Mr. Julian :

better. They issued us pork and beef sometimes. Question. To what company and regiment do There, there would be times when we would be

without meat for a couple of days. you belong? Answer. Company K, First Vermont cavalry. ment toward you, aside from your food ?

Question. What was their bearing and treatQuestion. When were you taken prisoner? Ånswer. I was taken prisoner on the twenty- until we commenced our tunnelling operations;

Answer. We were treated tolerably kindly 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?

time. Answer. Well, they did not treat me as well as they might.

Question. What is the matter with you now? Question. What 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

treatment at Danville was a palace alongside of Question. How much and how often?

that at Richmond. Answer. Not but very little. They gave me 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?

any

now.

Answer. Eastern Tennessee.

Question. Did they have any more to give Question. How long have you been in the you? army?

Answer. They had plenty. They were just Answer. I enlisted on the eleventh or twelfth doing it for their own gratification. They said of last July; I do not remember which day. Seward had put old Beast Butler in there, and

Question. To what regiment do you belong? they did not care how they treated us.
Answer. Eighth Tennessee cavalry.

Question. Did you complain about not having Question. Who was your Colonel ?

enough? Answer. Colonel Strickland.

Answer. Certainly we complained, but they Answer. Where were you taken prisoner? said we had plenty. They cursed us, and said

Answer. At Zollicoffer, near the East-Tennes- we had a sight more than their men had who see and Virginia line.

were prisoners in our lines. Question. Where were you then carried ? Question. Do you feel any better now since

Answer. Right straight on to Richmond. I you have been here? was taken on the line of the railroad. We were Answer. A great deal better; like a new man burning bridges there to keep the enemy out.

I am gaining flesh now.
Question. How did you fare after you got to By Mr. Odell :
Richmond ?

Question. What was your occupation before Answer. They just starved us.

you went into the army ? Question. What did they give you to eat ? Answer. I was a farmer,

Answer. For forty-eight hours after we got By Mr. Julian : there they gave us only just what we could Question. Do you know how they treated their breathe; then they gave us a little piece of white own sick ? bread, and just three bites of beef. A man could Answer. No, sir. take it all decently at three bites. That is the By Mr. Odell: way we lived until we went to Danville, and then Question. Were other Tennesseeans taken we had meat enough to make half a dozen bites, prisoners the same time you were ? with bugs in it.

Answer. Yes, sir; there were twenty-four of Question. What brought on your sickness ? us taken prisoners. The small-pox was very se

Answer. Starvation. I was so starved there vere among us. Our own men said that they that when I was down I could not get up with were just trying to kill the Tennesseeans and out catching hold of something to pull myself Kentuckians. Out of the twenty-four, there

were ten of us left when they started for Georgia. Question. What did you live in ?

No man can tell precisely how we were treated, Answer. In a brick building, without any fire, and say just how it was. or any thing to cover us with. Question. Had you no blankets ?

L. H. Parhan, sworn and examined. Answer. No, sir; we had not. They even

By Mr. Gooch: took our coats from us, and part of us had to lie Question. From what State are you? there on the floor in our shirt-sleeves.

Answer. West-Tennessee. Question. In the winter ?

Question. To what regiment do you belong? Answer. Yes, sir.

Answer. The Third West-Tennessee cavalry. Question. Did any of the men freeze ?

Question. Where were you taken prisoner ? Answer. Yes, sir; many a man just fell dead Answer. In Henry County, West-Tennessee. walking around, or trying to keep himself warm, Question. From there where were you caror, as he was lying on the floor, died during the ried ? night; and if you looked out of a window, a sen- Answer. From there they marched us on foot, tinel would shoot you. They shot some five or some three hundred and fifty odd miles, to Desix of our boys who were looking out. Some of catur. our boys would work for the guards to get more Question. What were you given to eat? to eat, just to keep them from starving. There Answer. Sometimes for twenty-four or thirty would be pieces of cobs in our bread, left there hours we would have a little piece of beef and by the grinding-machine, half as long as my some corn-bread. finger, and the bread itself looked just as if you Question. Were you a well man when you had taken a parcel of dough and let it bake in were taken prisoner ? the sun.

It was all full of cracks where it had Answer. Yes, sir ; a stout man for a little dried, and the inside was all raw.

man. I was very stout. Question. Were you hungry all the time? Question. Were you brought to your present

Answer. Hungry! I could eat any thing in condition by want of food ? the world that came before us. Some of the Answer. Yes, sir ; and sleeping in the cold. boys would get boxes from the North, with meat They took my money and clothes and every thing of different kinds in them, and, after they had else away from me, even my pocket-comb and picked the meat off, they would throw the bones knife, and my finger-ring that my sister gave me. away into the spit-boxes, and we would pick the They were taken away when I was captured. bones out of the spit-boxes, and gnaw them over [The witness, who was so weak that he could again.

not raise his head, appeared to be so much ex

up by.

hausted by talking that the Committee refrained about twenty sticks of wood, and in order to from further examination. As they were moving cut that up we would have to pay a man for away from his bed, he spoke up and said: “I the use of an axe by giving him a piece of the am better now than when I came here. I have stick for splitting up the rest. We lay right some strength now. I hope I shall get better, on the ground in the snow. Twenty of us tofor I want to see my old father and mother once gether would lay with our feet so close to the more."]

fire that the soles of our boots would be all drawn,

and we would get up in the morning all shiverJames Sweeney, sworn and examined. ing, and I could not eat what little food I did By Mr. Gooch:

get. Question. Where did you reside when you en- Question. What is the cause of your sickness? listed ?

Answer. Just the food we got there, and this Answer. Haverhill, Massachusetts.

exposure. Eating this corn-bread continually Question. To what company and regiment do gave me the diarrhea. We would get thirsty, you belong?

and drink that river-water. We had little bits Answer. Company E, Seventeenth Massachu- of beef sometimes; generally it was tough, more setts.

like a piece of india-rubber you would rub penQuestion. When were you taken prisoner ? cil-marks out with. What little food we did get Answer. First of February.

was so bad we could not eat it. At first, for Question. Where?

five or six days, we could eat it pretty well, but Answer

. Six miles from Newbern, North-Car- afterward I could not eat it. olina.

Question. Have you been brought to your Question. Where were you then carried ? present condition by your treatment there? Answer. To Richmond.

Answer. Yes, sir; by the want of proper food, Question. How were you treated after you and exposure to the cold ? were taken prisoner ?

Answer. We had no breakfast that day. We John C. Burcham, sworn and examined. started out early in the morning--the One Hun- By Mr. Julian. dred and Thirty-second New-York was with us- Question. Where did you enlist, and in what without any thing to eat. We had nothing to regiment ? eat all that day, and they made us sleep out all Answer. I enlisted in Indianapolis, in the that night without any thing to eat. It rained Seventy-fifth Indiana regiment, Colonel Robinthat night; then they marched us the next day son. thirty miles, to Kingston, without any thing to Question. When were you taken prisoner, and cat, except it was, about twelve o'clock, one of where ? the regular captains, who had some crackers in Answer. I was taken prisoner at Chickamauga, his haversack, gave us about one each, and some on the twentieth of September. of the boys managed to get an ear of corn from Question. Where were you carried then ? the wagons, but the rest of them were pushed Answer. The next day they took us to Atlanback by the guns of the guard; then we were ta, and then on to Richmond. kept in the streets of Kingston until about nine Question. What prison were you put in ? o'clock, when we had a little pork and three bar- Answer. I was on Belle Isle five or six days rels of crackers for about two hundred of us. I and nights, and then they put me in a prison got three or four crackers. Then they put us in over in town. freight cars that they had carried hogs in, all Question. How did they treat you there? filthy and dirty, and we were nearly frozen by Answer. Rough, rough, rough. the time we got to Goldsborough ; and near Question. What did they give you to eat? Widon they camped us in a field all day long, Answer. A small bit of bread and a little like a spectacle for the people to look at, and piece of meat ; black beans full of worms. Somewhen we got to Richmond they put us in a com- times meat pretty good; sometimes the meat mon for a wbile, and then we were taken to was so rotten that you could smell it as soon as prison. About eleven o'clock that day they you got it in the house. We were used rough, brought us some corn-bread. They gave me I can tell you. about three quarters of a small loaf, and a dip- Question. Did they leave you your property ? per of hard black beans with worms in them. Answer. They took every thing we had before We were kept there all night. If we went ever we got to Richmond; my hat, blankets, near the window, bullets were fired at us. Two knife. We did not do very well until we got or three hundred men lay on the floor. I was some blankets from our Government; afterward kept between three and four weeks on Belle Isle. we did better. Before that we slept right on the Question. Ilow was it for food there?

floor, with nothing over us except a little old Answer. That night they gave us a piece of blanket one of us had. corn-bread about an inch thick, two or three Question. What was their manner toward you ? inches long. Some nights we would have a couple Answer. I call it pretty rough. If a man did or spoonfuls, may be, of raw rice or raw beans; not walk just right up to the mark, they were other nights they would not give us that. A down on him, and not a man of us dared to put squad of one hundred men of us would have his head out of the window, for he would be

a

shot if he did. Several were shot just for despatch from Richmond to have the body sent that.

there? Question. What is the cause of your sickness? Answer. All the information I got about the

Answer. Nothing but exposure and the kind despatch was from Dr. Walker, who said they of food we had there. I was a tolerably stout were going to take the body to Richmond, and man before I got into their hands; after that I bury it where no one could find it. was starved nearly to death.

Question. Did Colonel Dahlgren make any

speech or read any papers to his command ? Daniel Gentis sworn and examined.

Answer. No, sir; not that I ever heard of. By the Chairman :

They questioned me a great deal about that. Question. What State are you from?

The colonel of the Ninth Virginia cavalry quesAnswer. Indiana.

tioned me about it. I told him just all I knew Question. When did you enlist, and in what about it. I told him I had heard no papers read, company and regiment ?

nor any thing else. Answer. I enlisted on the sixth of August, Question. Did you ever hear any of your fel. 1861, in company I, Second New-York regiment. low-soldiers say they ever heard any such thing

Question. Where were you taken prisoner ? at all. Answer. I was taken prisoner at Stevensville, Answer. No, sir; and when I started I had Virginia ; I was there with Colonel Dahlgren, on no idea where I was going. Kilpatrick's expedition.

Question. Were you in prison at Richmond ? Question. Were you taken prisoner at the Answer. I was there for four days, but I same time that Colonel Dahlgren was killed ? was at Dr. Walker's pretty nearly a month and

Answer. I was there when he was killed, but a half. I was taken prisoner the next morning.

Question. During the four days you were in Question. What do you know about the man- prison did you see any of our other soldiers in ner of his death, and the treatment his body prison there? received ?

Answer. Yes, sir. Answer. He was shot within a foot and a half Question. How did they fare? or two feet of me. I got wounded that same Answer. We all fared pretty rough on cornnight. The next morning I was taken prisoner, bread and beans. Those who were in my ward and as we came along we saw his body, with his are here now sick in bed. clothes all off. He was entirely naked, and he Question. How happened it that you fell into was put into a hole and covered up.

the hands of Dr. Walker particularly ? Question. Buried naked in that way?

Answer. The way it came about was this: In Answer. Yes, sir; no coffin at all. Afterward the morning I asked some officers of the reg. his body was taken up and carried to a slue and ular regiment for a doctor to dress my wound. washed off, and then sent off to Richmond. A One of the doctors there said he could not do despatch came from Richmond for his body, and it. I spoke to a lieutenant, and asked him to be it was sent there.

kind enough to get some doctor to dress it, and Question. It has been said they cut off his he got this Dr. Walker. The doctor asked me finger?

to go to his house, and stay there if I would. Answer. Yes, sir; his little finger was cut off, I told him "certainly I would go.” The coland his ring taken off.

onel of the rebel regiment said that the doctor By Mr. Odell :

could take me there, and I staid until Captain Question. How do you know there was a ring Magruder came up there and told Dr. Walker on his finger?

that I had to be sent to Richmond. Answer. I saw the fellow who had it, and Question. Where were you wounded ? who said he took it off. When they took his Answer. In the knee. body to a slue and washed it off, they put on [At this point the Committee concluded to it a shirt and drawers, and then put it in a box examine no more of the patients in the hospital, and sent it to Richmond.

as most of them were too weak to be examined Question. How far was that from Richmond ? without becoming too much exhausted, and be

Answer. It was about forty miles from Rich- cause the testimony of all amounted to about the mond, and about ten miles from West-Point. same thing. They therefore confined the rest of

Question. How were you treated yourself? their investigation to the testimony of the sur

Answer. I fared first-rate. I staid at the geons in charge, and other persons attending house of a Dr. Walker, of Virginia, and Dr. upon the patients.] Walker told me that a private of the Ninth Virginia cavalry took off Colonel Dahlgren's artificial Surgeon B. A. Van Derkieft, sworn and exam. leg, and that General Ewell, I think it was, or ined. some General in the Southern army who had By the Chairman : but one leg, gave the private two thousand dol- Question. Are you in the service of the United lars for it

, (confederate currency.) I saw the States; and if so, in what capacity ? private who took it, and saw him have the leg. Answer. I am a Surgeon of volunteers in the By the Chairman :

United States service; in charge of Hospital Di. Question. How do you know they received a vision Number One, known as the Naval Hos.

ease.

pital, Antapolis, and have been here since the ter. We have men here now who say that for first of June, 1863.

five or six months they have been compelled to Question. State what you know in regard to lie on the sand. I have no doubt about the the condition of our exchanged or paroled pris- correctness of their statements, for the condition oners who have been brought here, and also of their skins shows the statements to be true. your opportunities to know that condition ? Their joints are calloused, and they have cal

Answer. Since I have been here I think that louses on their backs, and some have even had from five to six thousand paroled prisoners have the bones break through the skin. There is one been treated in this hospital as patients. They instance in particular that I would mention. One have generally come here in a very destitute and man died in the hospital there one hour before feeble condition; many of them so low that they the transfer of prisoners was made, and, as an die the very day they arrive here.

act of humanity, the surgeon in charge of the Question. What is the character of their com- hospital allowed the friends of this man to take plaints generally, and what does that character him on board the vessel in order to have him indicate as to the cause ?

buried among his friends. This man was brought Answer. Generally they are suffering from here right from the Richinond hospital. He was debility and chronic diarrhea, the result, I have so much covered with vermin and so dirty that no doubt, of exposure, privations, hardship, and we were not afraid to make the statement that ill-treatment.

the man had not been washed for six months. Question. In what respect would hardship and Now, as a material circumstance to prove that ill-treatment superinduce the complaints most these men have been badly fed, I will state that prevalent among these paroled prisoners ? we must be very careful in feeding them when

Answer. These men, having been very much they arrive here, for a very light diet is too much exposed, and not having had nourishment enough for them at first. to sustain their strength, are consequently pre- Question. You have accompanied us as we disposed to be attacked by such diseases as have examined some of the patients in the hospidiarrhea, fever, scurvy, and all catarrhal affec- tal to-day. Do their statements to us, under tions, which, perhaps, in the beginning are very oath, correspond with the statements which they slight, but, on account of want of necessary made when they first arrived here? care, produce, after a while, a very serious dis- Answer. They are quite they same; there is

For instance, a man exposed to the cold no difference. Every man makes the same statemay have a little bronchitis, or perhaps a little ment, and we therefore believe it to be true. All inflammation of the lungs, which, under good say the same in regard to rations, treatment, extreatment, would be easily cured--would be con- posure, and privations. Once in a while I have sidered of no importance whatever; but being found a man who pretended to have been treated continually exposed, and not having the neces- very well, but by examining closely I find that sary food, the complaint is transformed, after a such men are not very good Union men. time, into a very severe disease.

Question. You say that about six thousand Question. Is it your opinion, as a physician, paroled prisoners have come under your superthat the complaints of our returned prisoners vision and treatment ? are superinduced by want of proper food, or Answer. Yes, sir. food of sufficient quantity, and from exposure ? Question. State generally what their condition Answer. Yes, sir.

has been. Question. What is the general character of the Answer. Very bad, indeed. I cannot find statements our prisoners have made to you in terms sufficient to express what their condition regard to their treatment ?

I cannot state it properly. Answer. They complained of want of food, of Question. You have already stated that, as a bad food, and a want of clothing. Very often, general thing, they have been destitute of cloththough not always, they are robbed, when taken ing ? prisoners, of all the good clothes they have on. Answer. Yes, sir ; dirty, filthy, covered with There is no doubt about that, for men have often vermin, dying. At one time we received three arrived here with nothing but their pants and hundred and sixty patients in one day, and fourshirts on ; no coat, overcoat, no cap, no shoes or teen died within twelve hours ; and there were stockings, and some of them without having had six bodies of those who had died on board the any opportunities to wash themselves for weeks transport that brought them up here. and months, so that when they arrive here, the Question. What appeared to be the complaint scurf on their skin is one eighth of an inch thick ; of which they died ? and we have had several cases of men who have Answer. Very extreme debility, the result of been shot for the slightest offence. There is a starvation and exposure the same as the very man now here who at one time put his hand out weak man you saw here, [L. H. Parham.] of the privy, which was nothing but a window Question. We have observed some very emaci. in the wall, to steady himself and keep himself ated men here, perfect skeletons, nothing but from falling, and he was shot, and we have been skin and bone. In your opinion, as a physician, obliged to amputate his arm since he arrived here. what has reduced these men to that condition ? These men complain that they have had no shel- Answer. Nothing but starvation and exposure.

was.

« PreviousContinue »