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‘ [83]

Before the office of the commissary-general of prisoners—1864 The work in the office of the commissary-general of prisoners was arduous and important. The reports of all prisons, the requisitions for extraordinary supplies, and every detail of the handling of prisoners passed through his hands. Guided by these records and statistics, he indicated to the provost-marshals of the various armies where the prisoners should be sent. He issued his orders directly to the commanding officers regardless of the departmental commanders; he determined how the prisoners should be clothed and fed, and what accommodations in the way of new buildings and stockades should be prepared for them. Through this systematic method the whereabouts of almost every prisoner taken by the United States troops was at all times a matter of record at headquarters.

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