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"The 'Mutiny' at Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks," July 28, 1919
institution has the products of a large farm colony at its disposal. There are several hundred head of fine Holstein-Friesian cattle; some hundred of blooded swine, a poultry farm with scores of thousands of while [sic] Leghorn chickens; a large herd of sheep; a greenhouse where hot house vegetables are grown, and many acres of farmland planted with grain, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, beets, etc. The buildings have been reared, the stock bought, etc. With money diverted from the fund of the general prisoners’ mess. Many thousands of dollars which might have gone directly for meals have been spent in this way; the excuse being that the mess would greatly benefit therefrom in the shape of fresh eggs, meats, and vegetables. The expenditure was to be in the nature of an investment, from which the general Prisoners’ mess should draw returns. It was expressly provided at the time of the establishment of the farm colony that only products in excess of those required by the general prisoners’ mess should be supplied to anyone else, the reverse has been the practice. Only when the families of the officers and guards at the posts have had their fill, have the products been sold to the general prisoners’ mess, - in fact, up until several months ago practically nothing ever reached the prisoners’ mess because supplies were also sold to the civilian community at Leavenworth. In fact, the farm colony officials boasted that between January 1st and April 1st, $5000.00 worth of swine had been sold for slaughter on the Kansas City market. During this time the prisoners’ mess saw no pork at all. Since then it has seen no pork either, except for two meals, and the meat was bought through a local packing house. The prisoners are served canned milk, while the fresh milk goes to the post community. The prisoners eat oleomargarine so rank, that it smells, to say nothing of its taste, nearly turns one’s stomach, while the Farm Colony’s butter goes to the post community. Fresh eggs have been the rule once a week – two hard boiled per man, on Sunday morning. During most of this period, the poultry farm was producing from thirty to thirty-five thousand eggs per week, now during the hot weather the product had fallen off to about 8,000 a week. Even this last would enable the prisoners to have two-egg meals a week, if they got all the eggs. Spring broilers are sole by the hundreds to the guards’ mess, but the prisoners’ mess got none.
It must be added, that besides owning the Farm Colony through their mess fund, the prisoners also work it, operate it with pay. Furthermore, not only are the officers and the military community supplied with the Farm Colony products at the expense of the prisoners, but they are charged then the market price for them.
In spite of the apparent advantages of supplying food to the prisoners, the quality of the food took a short turn for the worst about the first of July, at the same time several new disciplinary measures