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 About ten thousand prisoners from Savannah were sent here early in November, 1864. On the whole, the food supply was better here than at Andersonville, or at least more fresh meat was served, but many of these men had been a long time in prison. Surgeon Isaiah H. White, in appealing for money for his hospital, says, ‘Humanity and the fame of the Government demand that the extreme suffering among the prisoners be alleviated.’ The reply to his appeal was simply that there was no money in the Confederate treasury for any purpose. With the approach of Sherman's army, the safekeeping of the prisoners was endangered. Before the 25th of November the prisoners had left Camp Lawton, and during the remainder of the war it was not occupied by any considerable number. A part of the Andersonville prisoners were sent to Charleston, and these, together with some previously confined in that city, were removed to Florence, South Carolina. Before a stockade was erected they were restrained in an open field with such an inefficient guard that many escaped. The report of General Hardee's inspecting officer, October 12, 1864, says that three-fourths were without blankets, and many almost without clothing. The hospitals were of boughs of trees, and only one medical officer was on duty. There was no longer a pretense of issuing meat, but, instead, sorghum molasses was substituted, and even this was not always forthcoming. The stockade was built from the trunks of trees set about five feet into the ground, enclosing about twenty-three acres sloping down from each end to a stream in the center. When the stockade was built a number of trees were left inside, but the prisoners soon cut these down for fuel and for shelter, and then dug out the stumps and even the roots. Wood was also furnished. Various officers commanded during the few months it was open, and there was considerable conflict of authority until General Winder was placed in charge of all prisons east of the Mississippi. Lieutenant-Colonel John F. Iverson held command of the prison, and his kindness and humanity have
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