site for the buildings fronting on the water toward the city. Its nearness to the city gives great facilities for building and furnishing supplies and it is accessible at all seasons of the year. The only objection to it is that it is too little isolated, but this may be remedied by so incloseing the ground occupied by the prisoners as to confined them there except when they go out by permission. The cost of such a work would be much less than for any similar work on any of the outer islands and is of very little greater extent. The proximity of the city would prevent any possibility of a rising upon the guard, and if any were to escape the neighborhood could be put on the lookout for them by the discharging of a cannon and their recapture would be almost certain. I recommend this island - Johnson's Island - as decidedly the best location for a depot that I have seen.
I visited Toledo also but it offers no desirable situation, and thinking that Dearborn Arsenal might be made available for the winter I visited it also; but it is too limited in its extent and is too closely surrounded by private land to be a suitable place.
A convenient tract of land may be obtained near Cleveland at $6 per acre and the buildings can be erected at perhaps a less cost than at Sandusky, but the location is objectionable on account of being inland and too easy of access to visitors.
In order to form an estimate of the cost and time necessary to establish a depot I have assumed that one story wooden buildings framed, covered with shingles, ceiled overhead, and for officers all round, with upright weather-borading battened would be most suitable and economical. A building 105 feet long, 24 feet broad, with 9-foot walls, divided into three rooms, heated by two stoved in each room, would accommodate 180 men and would cost $800. A building 112 feet long, 29 feet wide, contains twelve rooms, 14 by 16, divided into groups of four rooms by halls, would quarter 48 officers and would cost $1,100. It would lessen the cost somewhat to put two or three buildings of these dimensions together and if they could be built two stories high it would still more diminish the cost. With these estimates as the guide the cost of all the buildings may be approximated. A hospital, store-houses and kitchens will be required and probably mess-rooms as there will be scant room for eating in the quarters. The vicinity to Sandusky of Johnson's Island would render it unnecessary to have large store-houses on the island. On the outer island stores for three months would have to be kept on hand for the winter.
For a depot on Johnson's Island I would suggest a substantial plank fence to inclose the ground on three sides, a high open picketing closing the fourth toward the water for security in winter time. A gate at one of the angles with a block-house sufficiently large for the guard. A small block-house also at the angle nearthe water to guard that front. Sentinels should be posted at suitable ponts around the inclosure on elevated platforms so that they could overlook the inside grounds. The quarters for the troops in charge should be outside.
Sandusky is a cheap and abundant market for lumber, and I have consulted with an experienced builder there who will give any required security to put up seventeen buildings of the kind I have described by the 10th of December and at the cost I have named, adding the cost of delivering the lumber on the island.
The guard for the depot should consist of 100 to 150 men. On officer and about thirty men would be required daily for guard service, and the duty should be performed in the strictest manner. Both block-houses should be armed with a small howitzer on a suitable carriage