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Elmira prison before the additional barracks were built This is an early picture of Elmira Prison before additional barracks had been constructed. The old barracks are visible in the middle distance, while almost the entire space in front is covered with tents under which a considerable part of the Confederate prisoners were accommodated until the winter. The Elmira Prison was opened in May, 1864. Before the end of August the prisoners there numbered almost ten thousand. Conditions here were always bad, partly on account of the insufficient shelter, and partly because of a feud between the commandant and surgeon. The latter, E. F. Sanger, wrote under date of November 1, 1864, to Brigadier-General J. K. Barnes, Surgeon-General of the United States Army: ‘Since August there have been 2,011 patients admitted to the hospital, 775 deaths out of a mean strength of 8,347 prisoners of war, or twenty-four per cent. admitted and nine per cent. died. Have averaged daily 451 in hospital and 601 in quarters, an aggregate of 1,052 per day sick. At this rate the entire command will be admitted to hospital in less than a year and thirty-six per cent. die.’ This was due to the delay in filling his requisitions.

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E. F. Sanger (1)
Joseph K. Barnes (1)
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November 1st, 1864 AD (1)
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