|CIRCULAR.] OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D.C., April 20, 1864.
By authority of the War Department the following regulations will be observed at all stations where prisoners of war and political or State prisoners are held These regulations will supersede those issued from this office
July 7, 1862 :
I.The commanding officer at each station is held accountable for the discipline and good order of his command and for the security of the prisoners, and will take such measures, with the means placed at his disposal, as will best secure these results. He will divide the prisoners into companies and will cause written reports to be made to him of their condition every morning, showing the changes made during the preceding twenty-four hours, giving the names of the "joined," "transferred," "deaths," &c. At the end of every month commanders will send to the Commissary-General of Prisoners a return of prisoners, giving names and details to explain "alterations." If rolls of "joined" or "transferred" have been forwarded during the month it will be sufficient to refer to them on the return according to forms furnished.
II.On the arrival of prisoners at any station a careful comparison of them with the rolls which accompany them will be made, and all errors on the rolls will be corrected. When no roll accompanies the prisoners one will immediately be made out containing all the information required, as correct as can be, from the statements of the prisoners themselves. When the prisoners are citizens the town, county, and State from which they come will be given on the rolls under the headings rank, regiment, and company. At stations where prisoners are received frequently and in small parties a list will be furnished every fifth day--the last one in the month may be for six days--of all prisoners received during the preceding five days. Immediately on their arrival prisoners will be required to give up all arms and weapons of every description, of which the commanding officer will require an accurate list to be made. When prisoners are forwarded for exchange duplicate parole rolls, signed by the prisoners, will be sent with them, and an ordinary roll will be sent to the Commissary-General of Prisoners. When they are transferred from one station to another an ordinary roll will be sent with them and a copy of it to the Commissary-General of Prisoners. In all cases the officer charged with conducting prisoners will report to the officer under whose orders he acts the execution of his service, furnishing a receipt for the prisoners delivered and accounting by name for those not delivered; which report will be forwarded without delay to the Commissary-General of Prisoners.
III.The hospital will be under the immediate charge of the senior medical officer present, who will be held responsible to the commanding officer for its good order and the proper treatment of the sick. A fund for this hospital will be created as for other hospitals. It will be kept separate from the fund of the hospital for the troops, and will be expended for the objects specified and in the manner prescribed in paragraph 1212, Revised Regulations of the Army of 1863, except that the requisition of the medical officer in charge and the bill of purchase before payment shall be approved by the commanding officer. When this "fund" is sufficiently large it may be expended also for shirts and drawers for the sick, the expense of washing clothes, articles for policing purposes, and all articles and objects indispensably necessary to promote the sanitary condition of the hospital.
IV.Surgeons in charge of hospitals where there are prisoners of war will make to the Commissary-General of Prisoners, through the commanding officer, semi-monthly reports of deaths, giving name, rank, regiment, and company, date and place of capture, date and cause of death, place of interment, and number of grave. Effects of deceased prisoners will be taken possession of by the commanding officer, the money and valuables to be reported to this office (see note on blank reports), the clothing of any value to be given to such prisoners as require it. Money left by deceased prisoners or accruing from the sale of their effects will be placed in the prison fund.
V.A fund, to be called "the prison fund" and to be applied in procuring such articles as may be necessary for the health and convenience of the prisoners, not expressly provided for by General Army Regulations, 1863, will be made by withholding from their rations such parts thereof as can be conveniently dispensed with. The abstract of issues to prisoners and statement of the prison fund shall be made out, commencing with the month of June, 1864, in the same manner as is prescribed for the abstract of issues to hospital and statement of the hospital fund (see paragraphs 1209, 1215, and 1246, and form 5, Subsistence Department, Army Regulations, 1863), with such modifications in language as may be necessary. The ration for issue to prisoners will be composed as follows, viz: Hard bread, 14 ounces per one ration, or 18 ounces soft bread, one ration; corn-meal, 18 ounces per one ration; beef, 14 ounces per one ration; bacon or pork, 10 ounces per one ration; beans, 6 quarts per 100 men; hominy or rice, 8 pounds per 100 men; sugar, 14 pounds per 100 men; R. coffee, 5 pounds ground, or 7 pounds raw, per 100 men, or tea, 18 ounces per 100 men; soap, 4 ounces per 100 men; adamantine candles, 5 candles per 100 men; tallow candles, 6 candles per 100 men; salt, 2 quarts per 100 men; molasses, 1 quart per 100 men; potatoes, 30 pounds per 100 men. When beans are issued hominy or rice will not be. If at any time it should seem advisable to make any change in this scale the circumstances will be reported to the Commissary. General of Prisoners for his consideration.
VI.Disbursements to be charged against the prison fund will be made by the commissary of subsistence on the order of the commanding officer, and all such expenditures of funds will be accounted for by the commissary in the manner prescribed for the disbursements of the hospital fund. When in any month the items of expenditures on account of the prison fund cannot be conveniently entered on the abstract of issues to prisoners a list of the articles and quantities purchased, prices paid, statement of services rendered, &c., certified by the commissary as correct and approved by the commanding officer, will accompany the abstract. In such cases it will only be necessary to enter on the abstract of issues the total amount of funds thus expended.
VII.At the end of each calendar month the commanding officer will transmit to the Commissary-General of Prisoners a copy of the "statement of the prison fund," as shown in the abstract of issues for that month, with a copy of the list of expenditures specified in preceding paragraph, accompanied by vouchers, and will indorse thereon, or convey in the letter of transmittal, such remarks as the matter may seem to require.
VIII.The prison fund is a credit with the Subsistence Department, and, at the request of the Commissary-General of Prisoners, may be transferred by the Commissary-General of Subsistence in manner prescribed by existing regulations for the transfer of hospital fund.
IX.With the prison fund may be purchased such articles not provided for by regulations as may be necessary for the health and proper condition of the prisoners, such as table furniture, cooking utensils, articles for policing, straw, the means of improving or enlarging the barracks or hospitals, &c. It will also be used to pay clerks and other employés engaged in labors connected with prisoners. No barracks or other structures will be erected or enlarged and no alterations made without first submitting a plan and estimate of the cost to the Commissary-General of Prisoners, to be laid before the Secretary of War for his approval; and in no case will the services of clerks or of other employés be paid for without the sanction of the Commissary-General of Prisoners. Soldiers employed with such sanction will be allowed 40 cents per day when employed as clerks, stewards, or mechanics; 25 cents a day when employed as laborers.
X.It is made the duty of the quartermaster, or, when there is none, the commissary, under the orders of the commanding officer, to procure all articles required for the prisoners and to hire clerks and other employés. All bills for service or for articles purchased will be certified by the quartermaster, and will be paid by the commissary on the order of the commanding officer, who is held responsible that all expenditures are for authorized purposes.
XI.The quartermaster will be held accountable for all property purchased with the prison fund, and lie will make a return of it to the Commissary-General of Prisoners at the end of each calendar month, which will show the articles on hand on the first day of the month the articles purchased, issued, and expended during the month, and the articles remaining on hand. The return will be supported by abstracts of the articles purchased, issued, and expended, certified by the quartermaster and approved by the commanding officer.
XII.The commanding officer will cause requisitions to be made by his quartermaster for such clothing as may be absolutely necessary for the prisoners, which requisition will be approved by him, after a careful inquiry as to the necessity, and submitted for the approval of the Commissary-General of Prisoners. The clothing will be issued by the quartermaster to the prisoners, with the assistance and under the supervision of an officer detailed for the purpose, whose certificate that the issue has been made in his presence will be the quartermaster's voucher for the clothing issued. From the 30th of April to the 1st of October neither drawers nor socks will be allowed, except to the sick. When army clothing is issued buttons and trimmings will be taken off the coats and the skirts will be cut so short that prisoners who wear them will not be mistaken for U.S. soldiers.
XIII.The sutler for the prisoners is entirely under the control of the commanding officer, who will require him to furnish the prescribed articles and at reasonable rates. For this privilege the sutler will be taxed a small amount by the commanding officer, according to the amount of his trade, which tax will be placed in the hands of the commissary to make part of the prison fund.
XIV.All money in possession of prisoners or received by them will be taken charge of by the commanding officer, who will give receipts for it to those to whom it belongs. Sales will be made to prisoners by the sutler on orders on the commanding officer, which orders will be kept as vouchers in the settlement of the individual accounts. The commanding officer will procure proper books in which to keep an account of all moneys deposited in his hands, these accounts to be always subject to inspection by the Commissary-General of Prisoners or other inspecting officer. When prisoners are transferred from the post the moneys belonging to them, with a statement of the amount due each, will be sent with them, to be turned over by the officer in charge to the officer to whom the prisoners are delivered, who will give receipts for the money. When prisoners are paroled their money will be returned to them.
XV.All articles sent by friends to prisoners, if proper to be delivered, will be carefully distributed as the donors may request--such as are intended for the sick passing through the hands of the surgeon, who will be responsible for their proper use. Contributions must be received by an officer, who will be held responsible that they are delivered to the person for whom they are intended. All uniform clothing, boots, or equipments of any kind for military service, weapons of all kinds, and intoxicating liquors, including malt liquors, are among the contraband articles. The material for outer clothing should be gray or some dark mixed color and of inferior quality. Any excess of clothing over what is required for immediate use is contraband.
XVI.When prisoners are seriously ill their nearest relatives, being loyal, may be permitted to make them short visits; but under no other circumstances will visitors be admitted without the authority of the Commissary-General of Prisoners. At those places where the guard is inside the inclosure persons having official business to transact with the commander or other officer will be admitted for such purposes, but will not be allowed to have any communication with prisoners.
XVII.Prisoners will be permitted to write and to receive letters, not to exceed one page of common letter paper each, provided the matter is strictly of a private nature. Such letters must be examined by a reliable non-commissioned officer, appointed for that purpose by the commanding officer, before they are forwarded or delivered to the prisoners.
XVIII.Prisoners who have been reported to the Commissary-General of Prisoners will not be paroled or released except by authority of the Secretary of War.(*)
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary. General of Prisoners.