they agree to erect as many buildings at the depot as may be required at the following rates, viz: One block of officers' quarters, $1,125; one block of soldiers' barracks for 200 men, $1,075; one block of prisoners' barracks for 336 men, $1,175; hospital for 170 men; $1,250. On the first quarters the reduction is over 10 per cent. ; on the second building, taking into account the enlargement made, the reduction is 19 per cent. ; on the third building 22 per cent. The hospital is built at the same reduced rates. These prices cover all expenses, while last winter in addition to the stipulated prices the contractors were allowed $1,500 to cover extra risks for the season. The greatest reduction is in the prisoners' barracks, of which the greatest number will be required. I have made no agreement for barracks for officer prisoners because it seems to be desirable not to mingle them with enlisted men. The ground is laid off for ten more buildings inside which will acommodate easily 3,000 men and they can be put up by the 1st of May. The buildings are two stories, closed in with upright boards, battened, without ceilling, except overhead in the upper story, and have rough floors. They are well ventilated and by crowding the ten buildings will quarter near 4,000 men, making with the buildings now up room for about 5,000 men. There will still be ground enough unoccupied for six to ten buildings. As far as I can judge by estimating, the prices agreed upon are as low as the work could be done for by the department under favorable circumstances. I desire to know immediately how many buildings will be erected, that the contractors may be able to make arrangements for procuring the lumber. Please reply by telegraph to save time.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Sandusky, Ohio, March 17, 1862.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
GENERAL: I have just received your letter of the 10th instant in relation to the styles of huts to be built for prisoners of war. In order to compare the cost of shed huts with the cost of those for which I have agreed with the contractors I beg leave to offer the following estimates: A building to quarter 165 men should be 140 feet long and 24 feet broad. This will allow of one long room with bunks on each side, affording a space of 7 1/2 by 16 1/2 feet for 12 men and a room at each end of 12 feet by 24 for a kitchen, all of rough boards without battening, without ceiling and without shingles. There will be seven half windows on a side. The cost of such a buildings which are only equal to one building of the plan submitted will cost $1,185, while one on the proposed plan will cost $1,195. The two occupy sixteen feet more than double the ground occupied for the two story house, and to quarter the same number of men in the inclosure the buildings must be very much crowded together. At all the camps established last summer when the huts were covered with boards they have been obliged after suffering much inconvenience from leaks to put on shingle roofs, and if the huts are to be occupied in winter they will have to be ceiled with rough boards overhead as in the plan proposed, and the final cost will thus far exceed that of the build-