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 in, when they were not overhauled and stopped. Our spirits were very much rivived, about the 1st of March, by seeing several paragraphs in the papers relative to the exchange of prisoners, which had been broken up at the battle of Gettysburg by the United States officers, who flagrantly violated the terms of the cartel. This was a most interesting subject to us, especially the Gettysburg prisoners, who had been told that they were retained as “nest eggs,” and that they would have no more fighting to do. On the 3d of March, the First division left for Dixie, and the 10th, the Ninth division, and on the 17th, five companies of the Second division left. We now began to regard an early return to the sunny South with some certainty, and many were the plans laid out for amusement and fun upon our arrival at home. These were all, however, doomed to bitter disappointment, as the next week brought us the news that Butler's plan of “swapping man for man” would not work. We now began to look forward to the termination of the war as the only end to our captivity. On the 23d and 30th of April, two boat loads of sick were taken off. Shortly after this our situation began to get worse. Warm weather was approaching, the camp was crowded, and hospital accommodations were very poor. The water, which could be used in the winter in moderate quantities only, was now in such a condition as to be totally unfit for use. In May, large numbers of the wounded from Grant's army were brought to the hospitals, situated on the point outside. This water was used to wash their wounds, and gangrene made its appearance. They were compelled to send to Baltimore for water, and it was brought in casks which had formerly contained vinegar, liquors of all description, and even oil. Our number now had increased to about 15,000 men, and we had a city of tents. The health of the men began to fail rapidly, and soon the prisoners' hospital was crowded. Fever in every shape abounded, and smallpox was epidemic. Nearly every tent contained one or two cases of this loathsome disease. It had become so common, that prisoners did not fear it. The hospital could not accommodate all the sick, and they were left in their tents, many of them with a blanket only to protect them from the damp ground, and entirely destitute of proper nourishment. Men who were seen in the morning, apparently in health, were taken to the “Dead house” in the afternoon, and some have been known to drop in the street, and die before they could be carried to the tents. Notwithstanding the enforcement of the most rigid sanitary measures, diseases of all kinds continued to
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