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[76] 1863, labor was scarce and difficult to procure. It was necessary to resort to impressment of slave labor, and the stockade was not completed in February, 1864, when the first instalment of prisoners arrived.

Colonel A. W. Persons at first had charge of the post, and there seem to have been no complaints of his administration, except that perhaps he should have urged the construction of more huts. A beginning was made, and few barracks for hospital use were constructed inside the stockade, but lumber, nails and labor were so difficult to procure that before more than a beginning had been made, the great wave of incoming prisoners swamped the prison authorities. From that time it was a constant struggle to secure performance in the rudest way of the routine duties of the day.

During the month of March, 1864, the prison contained about seventy-five hundred men. Even this number filled the enclosure, as only about one hundred square feet, that is, a space of ten feet by ten to the man, was available for each prisoner. Rations were issued uncooked and within this limited area ‘prisoners were compelled to perform all the offices of life.’

In April the number rose to ten thousand, in May to fifteen and in June to more than twenty-two thousand men, and the amount of space available was thus reduced to about thirty-three square feet to the man. During June an addition of about forty per cent. to the area of the stockade was completed, and though nearly seven thousand additional prisoners were received during the month, the amount of space available for each was larger than it had been the month before. During August the mean strength of the prisoners was 32,899, and the average amount of space available less than thirty-six square feet to the man. But even this represents ‘ the condition of the stockade in a better light even than it really was; for a considerable breadth of land along the stream . . . between the hills was low and boggy.’ General John H. Winder was placed in charge of this prison and also of the officers'

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