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Elmira Prison Camp OnLine Library -
Government Documents: July, 1865

Washington, D. C., July 5, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, except a few sic who have been transferred to the post hospitals, all prisoners of war have been released from the following named military prisons, viz: Point Lookout, Newport News, Hart's Island, Elmira, N. Y., Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio, Camp Morton, near Indianapolis, Ind., Camp Douglas, near Chicago, Ill., Rock Island, Ill., and the military prison at Alton, Ill., and the foces stationed at these several places as guards to the prisons may now be relieved.

There are now but 150 rebel officers confined at Johnson's Island, and if it is thought advisable they may be transferred to Fort Warren or Fort Delaware, by which arrangement the guard can be relieved and the island may be returned to its owner; but I would again respectfully suggest that, inasmuch there are extensive buildings and other works on that island belonging to the Government, the island be not given up until it is decided whether it will not be required for a naval depot, for which its situation in a commodious bay at the southern end of Lake Erie seems to fit it in an eminent degree.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Bvt. Brigadier General, U. S. Army, Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Elmira, N. Y., July 8, 1865.

Colonel J. R. LEVIS, Commanding Depot Prisoners of War:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following inspection report of the condition of the prisoners of war at this station for the week ending July 8, 1865:

Conduct-good. Cleanliness-very good. Clothing-sufficient. Bedding-abundant. State of quarters-clean, well policed. State of mess-houses-very well policed. State of kitchen-remarkably neat and clean. Food, quality of-good. Food, quantity of-abundant. Water-sufficient. Sinks-in very good order. Police of grounds-very careful. Drainage-good. Police of hospital-excellent. Attendance of sick-excellent. Hospital diet-very good. General health of prisoners-much improved. Vigilance of guard-excellent.

Remarks and suggestions.-I respectfully call the commanding officer's attention to the greatly superior advantages of hospital buildings and grounds in prison camp to the cheerless and otherwise inappropriate character of buildings now in use for general hospital. The great beauty of the grounds and taste in arranging the flowers and walks in the prison camp would add to the invalid's pleasure and chances for a prompt recovery, contrasted with the general hospital now in use, which is without any cheerful surroundings, no adornment, and in a position of no beauty or taste. I would recommend abandonment of buildings now in use as general hospital and transfer of sick to hospital in prison camp as a sanitary measure and greatly for the benefit of the service. Added to this, the sick would be in charge of a regularly commissioned surgeon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Bvt. Major, U. S. Army, Captain, Twelfth Infty., Inspecting Officer.


The remarks of the inspector as regards the general hospital are extra-official, as said hospital is not under my command, but the facts are as stated.

Respectfully referred to the Commissary-General of Prisoners.

Colonel First Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, Commanding Depot.