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November 27.

A delegation of Cherokees, headed by Captain Smith Christy, acting Chief, and including Thomas Pegg, a leading Indian, and William P. Ross, with Rev. J. B. Jones as interpreter, went in state to pay their respects to General McNeil, the district commander at Fort Smith, Ark., by order of an act of their National Council. The act recited the sufferings, and asked additional protection to the nation and authority to raise an Indian cavalry regiment. After the presentation of their credentials, Chief Christy arose and said that their national council had instructed them to call and pay their respects to the Commanding General, express their confidence in his ability and bravery, and to state the condition and wants of their suffering people. He then recapitulated the contents of the documents they were preparing to present. The greatest annoyance was from roving banditti, who desolated their homes and murdered their people. Their lives and those of their families were not safe away from the military fort. They desired stringent measures to change this state of things. They wished carried into successful practice a plan of Colonel Phillips, to form districts allotted for settlement, which should be adequately protected in order that the families camped in the vicinity of Fort Gibson might remove to more comfortable homes. From their present condition of suffering and disease, they thought the [15] patriotic acts and sacrifices of their nation had not been sufficiently appreciated.

General McNeil replied that it gave him very great pleasure to receive this token of respect of the Cherokee nation. Among the responsibilities of the command to which he had been assigned, there was none greater than his duty toward their suffering people. One of his first acts on assuming command was to represent the condition of the Indian tribes, and he had recommended some measures for the improvement of their condition. The Government is very desirous that you should make a crop this spring, and such a disposition of troops will be made that you can do it in safety.

Mr. Ross.--If white troops will keep away our white enemies, the loyal Indian troops can protect themselves.

General McNeil.--I ask if I may assure the Government that the Cherokees will not make civil war on their tribes except in self-defence.

Chief Christy.--You may.

The rebel schooner Maria Alberta, while attempting to run the blockade, was captured off Bayport, Florida, by the National schooner Two Sisters.--the battle of Mine Run, Va., was fought this day, between the Union forces, under Major-General Meade, and the rebels, under the command of General Lee.--(Doc. 15.)

A party of surgeons belonging to the United States army, lately prisoners in Richmond, made the following statement:

We the undersigned consider it our duty to publish a few facts that came to our knowledge while we were inmates of the hospital attached to the Libby prison. We enjoyed for several months daily access to the hospitals where the sick and wounded among our Union soldiers were under treatment. As a result of our observation, we hereby declare our belief that, since the battle of Chickamauga, the number of deaths per diem has averaged fully fifty. The prevailing diseases are diarrhoea, dysentery, or typhoid pneumonia. Of late the percentage of deaths has greatly increased from causes that have been long at work, as insufficient food, clothing, and shelter, combined with that depression of spirits brought so often by long confinement. It may seem almost incredible that, in the three hospitals for wounded soldiers, the average mortality is nearly forty per day, and, we are forced to believe, the deaths in the tobacco factories and upon the Island, will raise the total mortality among all the Union soldiers to fifty per day, or fifteen hundred monthly.

The extremely reduced condition of those brought from the island argues that hundreds quite sick are left behind who, with us, would be considered fit subjects for hospital treatment. Such, too, is the fact, as invariably stated by scores we have conversed with from that camp. The same, to a degree, holds true of their prisoners in the city. It would be a reasonable estimate to put the number who are fit subjects for hospitals, but who are refused admittance, at five hundred. One thousand are already under treatment in the three hospitals; and the confederate surgeons themselves say the number of patients is only limited by the small accommodations provided. Thus we have over ten per cent of the whole number of the prisoners held classed as sick men, who need the most assiduous and skilful attention; yet, in the matter of rations, they are receiving nothing but corn-bread and sweet potatoes. Meat is no longer furnished to any class of our prisoners, except to the few officers in Libby Hospital; and all the sick and well officers and privates are now furnished with a very poor article of corn-bread, in place of wheatbread — an unsuitable diet for hospital patients, prostrated with diarrhea, dysentery, and fever.

To say nothing of many startling instances of individual suffering, and horrid pictures of death from prostrated sickness and semi-starvation, we have had thrust upon our attention, the first demand of the poor creatures from the island was always for something to eat. Self-respect gone, half-clad and covered with vermin and filth, many of them are often beyond all reach of medical skill. In one instance, the ambulances brought sixteen to the hospital, and during the night seven of them died. Again, eighteen were brought, and eleven of them died in twenty-four hours. At another time, fourteen were admitted in a single day, and ten of them died. Judging from what we have ourselves seen and do know, we do not hesitate to say that under a treatment of systematized abuse, neglect, and semi-starvation, the number who are becoming prematurely broken down in their constitutions must be reckoned by thousands. The confederate daily papers in general terms acknowledge the truth of all we have affirmed, but usually close their abusive editorials by declaring that even such treatment is better than the invading Yankees deserve.

The Examiner, in a recent article, begrudged [16] the little food the prisoners did receive, and the boxes sent to us from home, and closed by eulogizing the system of semi-starvation and exposure as well calculated to dispose of us. Recently several hundred prisoners per day were being removed to Danville, and in two instances we were standing in view of them as their ranks filed past. Numbers were without shoes, nearly all without blankets or overcoats, and not a man did we see who was well fed and fully clad; but to the credit of the prisoners in Richmond, of all ranks, be it recorded, that, although they have shown heroic fortitude under suffering, and spurning the idea that their Government had forgotten them, have held fast their confidence in the final and speedy success of our cause. In addition to the above statement, we wish to be distinctly understood that the confederate medical officers connected with the hospitals referred to, Surgeons Wilkins, Simmons, and Sobal, and the hospital steward, Hollet, are not in any way, as far as our observation has extended, responsible for the state of things existing there, but on the other hand, we are bound in justice to bear testimony to their kindness and the faithful performance of duties with the limited means at their disposal.1

Among the prisoners captured at Chattanooga, were found a large number of those paroled at Vicksburgh. General Grant inquired whether he should proceed against them according to the established usage in such cases, which is to shoot the persons so found. The War Department forbid, it being manifestly unjust to execute soldiers who were required by the rebel government to break their parole.--General John H. Morgan, with six of his officers, escaped from the penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio.--(Doc. 37.)

1 The surgeons who signed this statement were, Daniel Meeker, United States Navy; C. T. Liners, Assistant Surgeon Sixth Maine regiment; J. L. Brown, Assistant Surgeon One Hundred and Sixteenth Ohio volunteer infantry; and A. M. Parker, Assistant Surgeon First Maine cavalry.

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