O.R.--SERIES II--VOLUME VI [S# 119]
UNION AND CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, ETC., RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE FROM JUNE 11, 1863, TO MARCH 31, 1864.--#11
C. S. MILITARY PRISON HOSPITAL,
Richmond, Va., September 5, 1863.
Brig. Gen. J. H. WINDER,
Commanding Department of Henrico:
SIR: In obedience to your order I have the honor to submit the following report of the sanitary condition of the Libby Prison and hospital:
The buildings used for the above purposes, situate at the corner of Cary and Twentieth streets, are admirably adapted to the purposes for which they are now used.
The prevailing wind (south), unobstructed by adjacent buildings, secures thorough ventilation.
The strict attention paid to cleanliness has secured an entire exemption from typhus or jail fever, not a single case having occurred since I have been in charge (January 20).
During the past quarter thirteen cases of scurvy have been admitted into the hospital.
Of smallpox only five cases have occurred.
Contrary to my advice an assistant surgeon of the Federal Army vaccinated a number of the officers with pus (not lymph) taken from the arm of another assistant surgeon (also a prisoner), producing a spurious form of vaccination from which a number are now suffering. This virus had probably passed through a system affected with secondary syphilis.
Typhoid fever is of rare occurrence, but two cases having been admitted during the last month.
Dysentery and diarrhea have been the prevailing diseases for the last three months. The cases have been mild in character and have yielded readily to treatment.
The floors of the hospital are scrubbed once daily; swept thrice and oftener if required.
Strict attention is paid to the washing and ironing of clothing and ventilation of hospital.
Bathrooms and water-closets are attached to each floor. <ar119_263>
The latter are on the outside of the building and are kept scrupulously clean.
Medicines and instruments of the finest quality are furnished by the medical purveyor of the C. S. Army.
Diet abundant and usually of good quality; is well cooked and generally is in excess.
I purchase any delicacy for special cases that may be required.
In my opinion fewer cases of scurvy have occurred in this prison than would have occurred among the same number of men subjected to the privations of camp life, and I believe the disease could be entirely prevented by the issuing of one ration daily of fresh vegetables.
Added to this report will be found a report of the number of cases treated for the last three months, and list of mortality.
One hundred patients is rather under the average of cases treated daily in prison quarters and on Belle Isle whose names are not recorded and who do require hospital treatment.
Number of cases treated in the hospital during the month of June, 1863.....170
Cases of scurvy....1
Cases treated in July......233
Cases of scurvy......1
Cases treated in August......247
Cases of scurvy......11
Surgeon of Libby Prison Post.