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our own men,
Question. Can you tell the proportion of the suffering from hospital gangrene, which is the men who have died to the number that have result of not having their wounds dressed in lately arrived from Richmond ?
time, and having too many crowded in the same Answer. If time is allowed me, I can send the apartment. We have had men here whose statement to the Committee.
wounds have been so long neglected that they Question. Do so, if you please.
have had maggots in them by the hundred. Answer. I will do so. I will say that some of these men who have stated they were well treat- Acting Assistant Surgeon J. H. Longenecker, ed, I have found out to have been very bad to sworn and examined. the Union men.
By Mr. Gooch: Question. Are those men you have just men- Question. What is your position in the United tioned as having been well treated an exception States service ? to the general rule ?
Answer. Acting Assistant Surgeon. Answer. Yes, sir; a very striking exception. Question. How long have you been stationed
Question. Have you ever been in charge of con- here? federate prisoners?
Answer. Since the twenty-seventh of July, Answer. Yes, sir.
1863. Question. State the course of treatment of our Question. Will you state what has been the authorities toward them.
condition of our paroled prisoners, received here Answer. We have never made the slightest from the rebels, during the time you have been difference between our own men and confederate stationed here? prisoners when their sick and wounded have Answer. As a general thing, they have been been in our hands.
very much debilitated, emaciated, and suffering Question. You have treated both the same ? from disease, such as diarrhoea, scurvy, lung dis
Answer. Yes, sir. When any one of their cases, etc. men, wounded or sick, has been a patient in our Question. In your opinion, as a physician, by hands, we have treated him the same as we do what have these diseases been produced ?
Answer. By exposure and want of proper By Mr. Julian :
food, I think. Question. Have their sick and wounded been Question. Are you able to form any opinion, kept separate from ours, or have they been kept from the condition of these men, as to the quantogether ?
tity and quality of food which they have reAnswer. In Washington they were kept sepa- ceived ? rate, but at Antietam, where an hospital was es- Answer. From their appearance and condition, tablished, in order to have the patients treated I judge the quality must have been very bad, and where they were injured, the Union and confed- the quantity very small, not sufficient to preserve erate patients were treated together and alike. the health. At Hagerstown almost every body is secesh. Question. We have seen and examined several Well, the most I can say is, that some of the se- patients here this morning, who are but mere cesh ladies there came to me and stated that they skeletons. They have stated to us, as you are were very glad to see that we treated their men aware, that their suffering arose wholly froin the same as ours.
the want proper food and clothing. In your Question. It is sometimes said, by the rebel opinion, as a medical man, are these statements newspapers, at least, that they have given the true ? same rations to our prisoners that they give to
Answer. I believe that these statements are their own soldiers. Now, I want to ask you, as correct. We have had some men who look very a medical man, if it is possible, with the amount well. How they managed to preserve their of food that our prisoners have had, for men to health I am not able to say; but, as a general retain their health and vigor, and perform active thing, the men we receive here are very much service in the field ?
debilitated, apparently from exposure, and want Answer. I do not believe that the rebels could of sufficient food to keep up life and health. fight as well, or make such marches as they have Question. Are you acquainted with the case of done, upon such small rations as our prisoners Howard Leedom ? have received.
Answer. Yes, sir; I am. Question. Can the health of men be preserved Question. Will you state about that case ? upon such rations as they have given our pris- Answer. I did not see the patient until recent oners ?
ly, when he was placed in my charge. I found Answer. No, sir; it cannot, not only on ac- him with all his toes gone from one foot in consecount of quantity, but quality: I have seen quence of exposure. He has suffered from pneusome specimens of their rations brought here by monia also, produced by exposure, and there our paroled prisoners, and I know what they are have been very many cases of pneumonia here,
Question. As a general rule, what is the effect produced by the saine cause, many of whom of treating men in that way?
have died; and we have held post-mortem examAnswer. Just what we hear every day men inations upon many of them, and found ulcers dying from starvation and debility. Many of upon their intestines, some of them being ulcer
- mostly all the wounded men arelated the whole length of their bowels.
of proper food ?
Question. Have you made many post-mortem mined) that the best of care and medical treatexaminations here?
ment, and all the sanitary and hygeian measures Answer. We have made quite a number of that we can introduce appear to be useless. Their them. We make them whenever we have an whole assimilative functions appear to be imopportunity ; whenever bodies are not called for paired. Medicines and food appear, in many or are not likely to be taken away.
cases, to have no effect upon them. We have Question. Are you enabled, from these post- made post-mortem examinations repeatedly of mortem examinations, to determine whether or cases here, and on all occasions we find the sysnot these prisoners have had sufficient quantities tem very much reduced, and in many cases the
muscles almost entirely gone — reduced to nothAnswer. Not from that. Those examinations ing literally but skin and bone; the blood vitimerely indicate the condition in which the pris- ated and depraved, and an anemic condition oners are returned to us.
of the entire system apparent. The fact that Question. From all the indications given by the in many cases of post-mortems we had discovappearance of these men, are you satisfied that ered no organic disease, justifies us in the contheir statements, that they have not had suffi- clusion that the fatal result is owing principally, cient food, both in quantity and quality, are if not entirely, to a deprivation of food and other true ?
articles necessary to support life, and to improAnswer. These statements have been repeated per exposure. On all occasions when arriving to me very often, and from their condition I be- here, these men have been found in the most lieve their statement to be true.
filthy condition, it being almost impossible, in Question. How many paroled prisoners were many cases, to clean them by repeated washings. brought here by the last boat ?
The functions of the skin are entirely impaired, Answer. Three hundred and sixty-five, I think. and in many cases they are incrusted with dirt,
Question. In your opinion, how many of these owing, as they say, to being compelled to lie on men will recover ?
the sand at Belle Island; and the normal funcAnswer. Judging from their present condition, tion of the skin has not been recovered until I think that at least one hundred of them will the cuticle has been entirely thrown off. Their die.
bodies are covered with vermin, so that it has Question. What, in your opinion, will be the been found necessary to throw away all the primary cause of the death of these men ? clothing which they had on when they arrived
Answer. Exposure and want of proper food here, and provide them entirely with new clothwhile prisoners.
ing. Their hair has been filled with vermin, so
that we have been obliged to cut their hair all Assistant Surgeon William S. Ely, sworn and off, and make applications to kill the vermin in examined.
their heads. Many of them state that they have By Mr. Harding :
had no opportunity to wash their bodies for six Question. What is your position in the serv- or eight months, and have not done so. ice ?
Question. What have been their statements to Answer. Assistant Surgeon of the United you in their conversation with you ? States volunteers and executive officer of hos- Answer. Their reply almost invariably has pital Division Number One, or Naval Academy been, that their condition is the result solely of hospital.
ill-treatment and starvation ; that their rations Question. Please state the sanitary condition have consisted of corn-bread and cobs ground and appearance, etc., of the paroled prisoners re- with corn, of a few beans at times, and now and ceived here, together with their declarations as then a little piece of poor meat. Occasionally to the cause of their sickness, and your opinion as one is heard to say, that in his opinion the rebels to the truth of their statements ?
are unable to treat them in any better manner; Answer. I have been on duty in this hospital that they have been treated as well as possible; since October third, 1863. Since that time I and I have found several who stated that their have been present on the arrival of the steamer | physicians were kind to them and did all they New-York on five or six different occasions, when could, but complained of want of medicines. bringing altogether some three or four thousand Question. Is it your conclusion, as a physician, paroled prisoners. I have assisted in unloading that the statements of these paroled prisoners, in these prisoners from the boat, and assigning them regard to the treatment they have received, are to quarters in the hospital. I have found them correct, and that such treatment would produce generally very much reduced physically, and de- such conditions of health as you witness among pressed mentally, the direct result, as I think, them upon their arrival here? of the ill-treatment which they have received Answer. Yes, sir; and that in many cases from the hands of their enemies—whether inten- | their statements fall short of the truth, as evinced tional or not I cannot say. I have frequently by the results shown in their physical appearseen on the boat bodies of those who have died ance; and these men are in such a condition that while being brought here, and I have frequently even if they recover, we consider them alınost known them to die while being conveyed from entirely unfitted for further active field servicethe boat to the hospital ward. Their condition almost as much so, we frequently say, as if they is such (their whole constitution heing under-I had been shot on the field.
Miss Abbie J. Howe, sworn and examined. have told me that when one of them was sitting By Mr. Gooch:
down, and was told to get up, and was not more Question. From what State are you, and what ing quickly in consequence of his sickness, he position do you occupy in this hospital ? was wounded by the rebels in charge. They
Answer. I am from Massachusetts, and am have often told me that they have been kicked here acting as nurse.
and knocked about when unable to move quickQuestion. How long have you been here? ly. I could give a great many instances of ill
Answer. Since the fifteenth of September, treatment and hardships which have been stated 1863.
to me, but it would take a great deal of time to Question. Have you had charge of the sick tell them. and paroled prisoners who have come here during that time?
Rev. H. C. Henries, sworn and examined. Answer. Yes, sir; some of them.
By Mr. Odell : Question. How many of them have you had Question. What is your position here? charge of, should you think?
Answer. Chaplain of the hospital. Answer. I should think I have had charge of Question. How long have you been here? at least two hundred and fifty who have come Answer. I have been on duty since December under my own charge.
seventh, 1861. Question. Can you describe to us the general Question. You are familiar with the facts concondition of those men ?
nected with the condition of paroled 'prisoners Answer. Almost all of them have had this arriving here from the South ? dreadful cough. I do not think I ever heard the Answer. Yes, sir. like before; and they have had chronic diarrhea, Question. Will you state generally what was very persistent indeed. Many of them have a their condition ? great craving for things which they ought not to Answer. I think it would be impossible for me have. One patient who came in here had the to give any adequate description, for I think all scurvy, and he said, “I can cat any thing that a language fails to fully express their real condition dog can eat. Oh! do give me something to eat;" as they land here. Their appearance is haggard and in their delirium they are crying for “ bread, in the extreme; ragged, destitute even of shoes, bread,” and “mother, mo er.” One of them and very frequently without pants or blouses, or called out for more James River water to drink.” any covering except their drawers and shirts, and
Question. What has been their general com- perhaps a half a blanket, or something like that ; plaint in regard to their treatment while prison- sometimes without hats, and in the most filthy ers?
condition that it is possible to conceive of either Answer. Their chief complaint has been want beast or man being reduced to in any circumof food and great exposure. Many of them who stances; unable to give either their names, their had clothes sent them by friends or our Govern- residence, regiments, or any facts, in consequence ment, were obliged to sell every thing until they of their mental depression, so that I believe the were left as destitute as at first, in order to get surgeons have found it quite impossible somemore food. I have seen some of their rations, times to ascertain their relation to the army. and I would myself rather eat what I have seen Their statements agree almost universally in regiven to cattle, than to eat such food as their gard to their treatment at the hands of the rebels. specimens brought here. One man had the ty- There have been a very few exceptions, indeed, phoid fever, but was in such haste to get away of those who have stated that perhaps their fare from the hospital in Richmond in order to get was as good as, under the circumstances, the home, that he would not remain there. He had rebels were able to give them ; but the almost the ravenous appetite which men with typhus universal testimony of these men has been, that fever have; and other men told me that they they were purposely deprived of the comforts gave him their rations which they could not eat and medical care which could have been afforded themselves. This produced a terrible diarrhea, them, in order to render them useless to the army and he lived but a few days after he arrived in the future. That has been the impression here.
which a great many of them have labored under. Question. What has been the physical condi- They have given their testimony in regard to tion of these, emaciated or otherwise ?
their condition on Belle Isle. There were three Answer. Just skin and bone. I have never in one room here not long since, who told me imagined any thing before like it.
that some eight of their comrades died during Question. Have their statements, in relation to one or two days, and their bodies were thrown their exposure and deprivation of food, corre- out on the banks that inclosed the ground and sponded entirely with each other?
left there for eight days unburied, and they were Answer. Yes, sir, entirely so, except those refused the privilege of burying their comrades, who were able, by work, to get extra rations; until the hogs and the dogs had well-nigh eaten and those extra rations were not any thing like up their bodies. Yesterday, one man told me what our men have here, but it gave them as that he was so starved, and his hunger had bemuch and as good as their guards had; and they come so intolerable, that his eyes appeared to have not only been treated in this way, but they swim in his head, and at times to be almost lost have been ill-used in almost every way. They I to all consciousness. Others have stated that
they have offered to buy dogs at any price for By Mr. Odell : food, of those who came in there; and one actu- Question. You make these statements from the ally said that when a man came in there with a testimony of prisoners received here? dog, and went out without the dog noticing it, Answer. Yes, sir; from testimony that I have they caught him and dressed him and roasted the most perfect confidence in. Men have stated him over the fire, over a gas-light, as best they these things to me in the very last hours of their could, and then ate it; and, as he expressed it, “it lives. was a precious mite to them."
Their testimony By the Chairman: in regard to the cruelty of the guards and others Question. Were they conscious of their condiset over them is to the effect that in one instance tion at the time they made their statements ? two comrades in the army together, who were Answer. Yes, sir; I think they were perfectly taken prisoners together, and remained in the conscious; yet there is one thing which is very prison together, were separated when the prison- remarkable, that is, these men retain their hope ers were exchanged. One was returned here and of life up to the hour of dying. They do not give the other left. The one who was left went to up. There is another thing I would wish to the window and waved his hand in adieu to his state: all the men, without any exception, among comrade, and the guard deliberately shot him the thousands that have come to this hospital, through the temple, and he fell dead. I mention- have never, in a single instance, expressed a reed this fact to others of our prisoners here in the gret (notwithstanding the privations and sufferhospital, and they said that they knew it to ings that they have endured) that they entered
Some of them were there at the time the their country's service. They have been the man was shot.
most loyal, devoted, and carnest men. Even Question. Do you keep any record of the on the last days of their lives they have said that deaths here?
all they hoped for was just to live and enter the Answer. I have not kept a record. I have the ranks again and meet their foes. It is a most official notice of the deaths; but inasmuch as glorious record in reference to the devotion of the records are kept at the office, and we have our men to their country. I do not think their had so many other duties crowding upon us—so patriotism has ever been equalled in the history many deaths here—it has been almost impossible of the world. for us to keep any record. I think it is impossi- The Committee then proceeded, by steamer, ble for any description to exaggerate the condi- from Annapolis to Baltimore, and visited the tion of those men. The condition of those here West Hospital, and saw the patients there. now is not so bad, as a class, as some we have re- they presented the same reduced and debilitated ceived heretofore.
appearance as those they had already seen at AnBy the Chairman:
napolis, and in conversation gave the same acQuestion. Has the treatment of our prisoners count of their treatment at the hands of the latterly been worse than before, from their testi- rebels, the Committee concluded their examinamony ?
tion by taking merely the testimony of the surAnswer. I think there has been no very ma- geon and chaplain of the hospital. terial change of late. I think it has grown worse from the very first; but for a year past, I
WEST HOSPITAL, BALTIMORE, MD., May 6, 1864. should judge it could not be made any worse. Dr. William G. Knowles, sworn and examined.
Question. Just the same thing we now see By the Chairman : here?
Question. Will you state whether you are in Answer. Yes, sir. I would give just another the employment of the Government, and if so, fact in regard to the statements made here by in what capacity ? large numbers of our returned prisoners. On Answer. I am, and have been for nearly three Belle Isle, their privies were down from the main years a contract physician in the West Hospital, camp. From six o'clock in the morning until six Baltimore. o'clock in the evening they were permitted to go Question. Have you received any of the reto these sinks or privies, but from six at night turned Union prisoners, from Richmond, in your until six in the morning they were refused the hospital? privilege of going there, and consequently, so Answer. We have received those we have here many suffering with diarrhea, their filth was de- now; no others. posited all through their camp. The wells from Question. How many have you received ? which they drew their water were sunk in the Answer. We have received one hundred and sand around through their camp, and you can five. judge what the effect of that has been. Some of Question. When did you receive them ? these prisoners, soon after they were put on Belle Answer. Two weeks ago last Tuesday. On Isle, not knowing the regulations there, and suf- the nineteenth of April. fering from chronic diarrhea, when making the Question. Will you state the condition those attempt to go down to these privies after six prisoners were in when they were received here? o'clock at night, were shot down in cold blood Answer. They were all very emaciated men, by the guards, without any warning whatever. as you have seen here to-day, only more so than Several such instances have been stated to me they appear to be now. They were very emaci. by parties who have arrived here.
ated and feeble, suffering chiefly from diarrhea, many of them having, in connection with that, Question. Will the constitutions of those who bronchial and similar affections. From the testi- survive be permanently injured, or will they enmony given to me by these men I have no doubt tirely recover ? their condition was the result of exposure and- Answer. I think the constitutions of the greatI was about to say starvation; but it was, per- er part of them will be seriously impaired; that haps, hardly starvation, for they had something they will never become strong and healthy again. to eat; but I will say, a deficient supply of food Question. What account have these men given and of a proper kind of food; and when I say you as to the comparative condition of those "exposure," perhaps that would not be sufficient- left behind ? Did the rebels send the best or the ly definite. All with whom I have conversed poorest of our prisoners ? have stated that those who were on Belle Isle Answer. I could not tell that; I have never inwere kept there even as late as December with quired. But I should presume they must have nothing to protect them but such little clothing sent the worst they had. as was left them by their captors; with no Question. You have had charge of confederate blankets, no overcoats, no tents, nothing to cover sick and wounded, have you not ? them, nothing to protect them; and that their Answer. Yes, sir; a large number of them. sleeping-place was the ground-the sand. This was the receiving hospital for those from
Question. What would you, as a physician of Gettysburgh. experience, aside from the statements of these Question. What was the treatment they rereturned prisoners, say was the cause of their ceived from us? condition?
Answer. We consider that we treated thein Answer. I should judge it was as they have with the greatest kindness and humanity ; prestated. Diarrhea is a very common form of dis- cisely as we treated our own men. That has ease among them, and from all the circumstances, been our rule of conduct. We gave them the I have every reason to believe that it is owing to very best the hospital would afford; and not only exposure and the want of proper nourishment. what properly belonged to the hospital, but deliSome of them tell me that they received nothing cacies and luxuries of every kind were furnished but two small pieces of corn-bread a day. Some them by the hospital, and by outside sympaof them suppose (how true that may be I do not thizers, who were permitted to send delicacies to know) that that bread was made of corn ground them. with the cobs. I have not seen any of it to ex- Question. It has been stated in many of the amine it.
rebel newspapers that our prisoners are treated Question. How many have died of the number the same and fed with the same rations as their you have received here?
soldiers in the field. In your judgment as a phyAnswer. Already twenty-nine have died, and sician, would it be possible for their soldiers to you have seen one who is now dying; and five retain their health and energy if fed as our priswere received here dead, who died on their way oners have been ? from Fortress Monroe to Baltimore.
Answer. No, sir ; it would be impossible ; mulQuestion. How many of them were capable of titudes of them would have died under such treatwalking into the hospital?
ment. Answer. Only one; the others were brought Question. I do not know as I desire to queshere from the boat on stretchers, put on the tion you further. Is there any thing more you dumb-waiter, and lifted right up to their rooms, desire to state? and put on their beds. And I would state Answer. I do not know that there is; it is all another thing in regard to these men; when they in a nut-shell. were received here they were filthy, dirty, and By Mr. Odell: lousy in the extreme, and we had considerable Question. Is not the disease as evinced among trouble to get them clean. Every man who could those men clearly defined as resulting from expossibly stand it we took and placed in a warm posure and privations, and want of proper food bath and held him up while he was washed, and and nourishment ? we threw away all their dirty clothing, providing Answer. That is our decided opinion as medithem with that which was clean.
cal men; the opinion of all of us who have had Question. What was the condition of their any thing to do with these men. clothing?
By Mr. Gooch: Answer. Very poor, indeed. I should say the Question. The condition of all these men apclothing was very much worn, although I did not pears to be about the same. Is there really examine it closely, as that was not so much a any difference in their condition except in dematter of investigation with us as was their phy- gree? sical condition. Their heads were filled with Answer. I think that is all. Some men have vermin, so much so that we had to cut off their naturally stronger constitutions than others, and hair and make applications to destroy the vermin. can bear more than others. That is the way I
Question. What portion of those you have re- account for the difference. ceived here do you suppose are finally curable ? By Mr. Odell:
Answer. We shall certainly lose one third of Question. Are the minds of any of them afthem; and we have been inclined to think that, fected permanently? sooner or later, we should lose one half them. Answer. We have had two or three whose in.