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[168] was converted largely into permanent improvements which more properly might have been charged to the Quartermaster's Department. For example, at Rock Island, a hospital costing more than thirty thousand dollars was paid for out of the prisoners' rations, while in some prisons, for months at a time, no vegetables were issued. The accumulation of a large prison fund was a matter of much pride to some officers.

During the latter part of 1863 and the beginning of 1864, the reports of suffering in Southern prisons multiplied, and the belief that it was intentionally inflicted grew to be almost universal in the North. Many suggestions of retaliation were made, and, influenced by this sentiment, the prisoner's ration was reduced, first by a circular dated April 20, 1864, and this was soon superseded by another issued June 1, 1864. Tea and coffee were cut off, and the other items were reduced.

The ration as reduced was then as follows:

Pork or bacon10 ounces, in lieu of fresh beef.
Fresh beef14 ounces.
Flour or soft bread16 ounces.
Hard bread14 ounces, in lieu of flour or soft bread.
Corn-meal16 ounces, in lieu of flour or soft bread.
Beans or peas12 1/2 pounds to 100 rations.
Or rice or hominy8 pounds to 100 rations.
Soap4 pounds to 100 rations.
Vinegar3 quarts to 100 rations.
Salt3 3/4 pounds to 100 rations.

As will be seen, this ration is bread, meat, and either beans, peas, rice, or hominy. The manner in which these articles were to be served was left to the discretion of the commandant. This ration, even though reduced, should have been enough to prevent serious suffering, but the testimony of men whose reputation for veracity cannot be questioned, indicates that, after this order went into effect, in some prisons the men were often hungry; and the zest with which prisoners ate articles which

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Rock Island, Ill. (Illinois, United States) (1)

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