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‘ [334] and many will go to their graves crippled and racked with rheumatism dating from this time. So severe was the cold that “even the well-clad sentinels had to be relieved every thirty minutes, instead of every two hours, as is the army rule.” ’ ‘The rations of wood allowed each man was an armful for five days.’ ‘No bed-clothing was allowed beyond one blanket.’ If by gift or purchase another came into the possession of any more it was, by order, taken from him. The same rule applied to articles of clothing. ‘No man was allowed to receive anything in the way of clothing without giving up the corresponding article already in his possession, and so literally was this rule enforced that prisoners who came in barefooted were compelled to beg or buy a wornout pair of shoes for exchange before they were allowed to receive a pair sent them by friends.’

The scant rations.

The rations were: For breakfast a slice of bread and a piece of salt beef or pork four or five ounces in weight; for dinner another slice of bread and rather over a half pint of watery slop called soup. At one time it was ‘hardtack and fat pork’ only.

Mr. Keiley writes: ‘Miss Dix, the northern prison philanthropist, gives a documentary statement that the prisoners at Point Lookout were supplied with vegetables, with the best of wheaten bread, and fresh and salt meat each day in abundant measure. * * * It is quite likely that some Yankee official made this statement to her, and her only fault was in suppressing the fact that “she was so informed.” But it is inexcusable in the Sanitary Committee to have palmed this falsehood upon the world, knowing its falsity. For my part, I never saw any one get enough of anything to eat at Point Lookout except of the soup, one spoonful of which was too much for ordinary digestion.’ The miseries of the place were ‘greatly enhanced by the character of the water, which is so impregnated with some mineral as to be exceedingly offensive and induce disorder of every alimentary canal. It colors everything black, and the scum rising on its surface reflects all the prismatic hues. Outside the pen are wells of water, perfectly clear and wholesome, used by the Yanks.’

Many gifts of food and clothing were sent by charitable persons until the Government forbade the express companies to carry parcels for the prisoners.


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