HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
New Madrid, April 9, 1862.
You will place all the prisoners under your charge on Island 10, there to await the arrival of transports which will be sent to take them up the river. Leave five companies of the Fifteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers on Island 10 and the remainder of the regiment on the mainland with ten days' rations to take charge of and assist in transporting public property across from the mainland to Island 10. Two companies of Bissell's Engineer regiment will be sent there to move the siege guns from the mainland to the island. Repair with your active command (with the exception of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteers) to this place, bringing trasnportation, baggage, &c., and report here for duty. Have the wharf boats now at Island 10 towed to this place by the transports which bring your command.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
New York, April 9, 1862.
General M. C. MEIGS, U. S. Army,
Quartermaster-General, Washington, D. C.
GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 2nd instant* I have the honor to state that the lateness of the season renders it necessary that the buildings to be erected on Johnson's Island should be put up with the least possible delay, and I was induced to give the contract to Messrs. Gregg & West upon the assurance of many persons in Sandusky that they were men of energy, integrity and means, and bette gualified - Mr. Gregg particularly - for that kind of work than any one in that part of the country, and that I might rely upon their carrying out their contract faitfully. There was no time for me to draw up plans and specifications and give public notice for proposals.
I was not disappointed in the men. The work was pushed to completion with unusual energy and success within the time fixed by the contract and in a manner that is to me perfectly satisfactory. In some places the roofs have leaked a little, but this has been or will be corrected by the contractors. I judge of the prices by comparing with propositions made to me at Cleveland and at Sandusky before the depot was located. They may have been large or too large, but if the fall had been as much earlier than usual as the spring has been later than usual the contractors must have been at great expense in fulfilling their contract or they must have failed in it. As it was the season was remarkably favorable, which withy untiring energy and industry on the part of the contractors enabled them to fulfill their contracts successfully. When the work was begun I was in hopes that much of it might be done by the labor of the men of the guard, but it was impossible to carry this out as all the work was completed by the contractors long before the guard was organized. Not a cent was paid to them until weeks after the work was finished, and they had to provide means for paying their mechanics as the work progressed.
Before making arrangements for continuing the work this spring I was anxious to take the course that would lead to the best economy of
* Not found, but see March 26, p. 405.