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[162] Bluff were confined, there seems to have been, in the beginning, a total lack of system. Negroes came and went, making purchases for prisoners, especially officers, who could command money. Prisoners under guard went out to buy provisions. There was little or no restriction on visiting, and some prisoners seem to have made social calls in company with some of the young officers of the guard. In the officers' division were rough bunks and tables and a rude bathroom. The privates' prison had no bunks, but the inmates had an abundant water supply. The regular ration of beef and bread was cooked for the prisoners, but anything else was prepared by the prisoners themselves, or by some old negro paid by the mess.

In 1862, some of the Confederate privates taken at Glendale, or Frayser's Farm, were sent to Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor, then under the command of Colonel Dimick, where they remained until after the cartel had been signed. Alexander Hunter, a private in a Virginia regiment, thus speaks of the life in Fort Warren, in ‘Johnny Reb and Billy Yank’: ‘Those were halcyon days, those days of July, 1862; light spots in a generally dark life. Our soldier prisoners, so inured to hardship, want, and suffering, had now not a care on their minds, not a trouble in their hearts; they drew long breaths of content, and could only sigh sometimes at the thought of the dark future, which was doomed to hold so marked a contrast to that perfect rest and satisfaction.’ As they arrived at Aiken's Landing, on the James River, they met a number of prisoners released from Fort Delaware, where conditions seem to have been quite different from those at Fort Warren. To quote Hunter again: ‘Those prisoners that trooped slowly over the gangplank, looking like the vanguard of the Resurrection, were from Fort Delaware. Scores seemed to be ill; many were suffering from the scurvy, while all bore marks of severe treatment in their thin faces and wasted forms.’

During the operation of the cartel, complaints of the conditions on Belle Isle began to be heard. The surgeon who

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