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[98]

Answer. They looked like living skeletons — that is about the best description I can give of them — very weak and emaciated.

Question. Have you ever seen men at any time or place so emaciated as these are — so entirely destitute of flesh?

Answer. I think I have a few times, but very rarely; I have known men to become very emaciated by being for weeks affected with chronic diarrhoea, or something of that kind. But the chronic diarrhea, and liver diseases, and lung affections, which those men now have, I understand to have been superinduced by the treatment to which they have been subjected; their cruel and merciless treatment and exposure to inclement weather without any shelter or sufficient clothing or food, reducing them literally to a state of starvation.

Question. Could any of them walk when they arrived here?

Answer. I think there was but one who could make out to walk; the rest we had to carry into the hospitals on stretchers.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Did these men make these statements in their dying condition?

Answer. Yes, sir.

By the Chairman:

Question. Were the persons who made these statements conscious of approaching dissolution?

Answer. Yes, sir; I know of no particular cases where they spoke of these things when they were right on the borders of death; but they made them before, when they were aware of their condition.

Question. So that you have no reason to doubt that they told the exact truth, or intended to do so?

Answer. None whatever. There has been such a unanimity of testimony on that point, that I cannot entertain the shadow of a doubt.

Question. And their statements were corroborated by their appearance?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. You have had under your charge and attention confederate sick and wounded, have you not?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. How have they been treated?

Answer. In my judgment they have been treated just as well as any of our own men ever were treated. In fact, they have got better treatment than our men did formerly, for the reason that, in addition to what we have given them — and we have tried to treat them just as we would have them treat our men — in addition to that, we have allowed the rebel sympathizers of Baltimore to bring them, every day, delicacies in abundance.

Question. Were these rebel sympathizers bountiful to them in that line?

Answer. Yes, sir, very.

Question. What has been the feeling evinced by our returned prisoners, after having received such treatment, in regard to having entered the service? Have they ever expressed any regret that they entered our army?

Answer. As a general thing, they have not. In fact, I have heard but one express a different sentiment. He was a mere youth, not more than sixteen or seventeen years of age now. His feet were badly frozen. He remarked that he had regretted, even long before he got to Richmond, that he entered the service. But I have heard a number of them declare that if they were so fortunate as to recover their health and strength, they should be glad to return to the service, and still fight for their country,

Question. They then bear their misfortunes bravely and patriotically?

Answer. Yes, sir, they do.

Question. And without complaining of their Government?

Answer. Yes, sir, without complaining of their fate, except so far as to blame their merciless enemies.

Doc. 3.-attack on the defences of Mobile.


Report of rear-admiral Farragut.

flag-ship Hartford, Mobile Bay, Aug. 5, 1864.
sir: I have the honor to report to the Department that this morning I entered Mobile Bay, passing between Forts Morgan and Gaines, and encountering the rebel ram Tennessee and gunboats of the enemy, namely, Selma, Morgan, and Gaines.

The attacking fleet was under way by forty-five minutes past five A. M., in the following order: The Brooklyn, with the Octorara on her port side; Hartford, with the Metacomet; Richmond, with the Port Royal; Lackawanna, with the Seminole; Monongahela, with the Tecumseh; Ossipee, with the Itasca, and the Oneida with the Galena.

On the starboard of the fleet was the proper position of the monitors or iron-clads. The wind was light from the south-west, and the sky cloudy, with very little sun. Fort Morgan opened upon us at ten minutes past seven o'clock, and soon after this the action became lively. As we steamed up the main ship channel, there was some difficulty ahead, and the Hartford passed on ahead of the Brooklyn. At forty minutes past seven the monitor Tecumseh was struck by a torpedo and sunk, going down very rapidly, and carrying down with her all the officers and crew, with the exception of the pilot and eight or ten men, who were saved by a boat that I sent from the Metacomet, which was alongside of me.

The Hartford had passed the forts before eight o'clock, and finding myself raked by the rebel gunboats, I ordered the Metacomet to cast off and go in pursuit of them, one of which — the Selma — she succeeded in capturing.

All the vessels had passed the forts by half-past 8, but the rebel ram Tennessee was still apparently uninjured in our rear.


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