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[90] set to work to build frame barracks which would be adequate to shelter the multitude, but General Winder, after inspection, pronounced the place unfit for a prison and declared that the prisoners should shortly be moved. All work was thereupon suspended, though the prisoners were not moved, and the greatest suffering occurred after this time.

An organization and a tributary territory sufficient for two thousand prisoners failed utterly when ten thousand were confined. The food supply became scanty in spite of the energetic commissary. With the necessity of providing thirteen thousand rations every day, the commissary very often did not have one day's rations on hand. Mills were impressed and forced to grind wheat and corn, and agents to secure provisions were also sent. Rain or shine, hot or cold, Major Myers might have been seen seeking for supplies, but in spite of all his efforts, days upon which no meat could be procured became more frequent. The hospital was badly placed and poorly supplied. It was too small, and hundreds of prisoners died in their quarters. Sometimes, where one lived alone in a burrow, his body might not be discovered for several days. Probably the quartermaster, Captain Goodman, was inefficient. He might have been able to procure a larger supply of straw for the bunks, and probably could have furnished a larger quantity of wood than he actually did. As a result of these deficiencies, whether arising from necessity or inefficiency, conditions in the prison were bad and constantly grew worse.

Prisoners ate with avidity acorns from the great oaks in the yard, for want of better food. The soil was a stiff, red clay, which under the rain and the tramp of thousands of feet became tenacious mortar. The mortality was fearful, as from October, 1864, to February, 1865, inclusive, there were 3419 deaths. The burial place near by was an abandoned field in which long pits about four feet deep, six feet wide, and sixty yards long were dug. No coffins could be furnished, as it was impossible to secure enough lumber for the ordinary needs of

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