From the Richmond Dispatch, 9/1/1862

Belle Isle – There are now considerably over 5,000 Yankee prisoners confined on Belle Isle. As may be imagined, the place is crowded. In dry weather the prisoners can get along excellently; but in rainy, wet weather – such, for instance, as yesterday morning – many more desireable stopping places can be thought of. It takes an enormous quantity of victuals to feed so many hungry mouths as are to be found on Belle Isle, and the onerousness of the burden to the Government is not lessened when we reflect that all of the consumers are non-producers. The necessity of getting rid of the incubus is fully impressed on the Government. By the middle of the week arrangements will have been made to send 2,000 or more of the present inmates of Belle Isle to Varina for exchange. By that time, perhaps as many more will have been received from Gen. Jackson; but the oldest prisoners will go first.

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