I have also directed the constant and free use of lime which has been seldom if ever distributed as it should be. The prison is infested with rats which make their hiding- places under the floors, so that if those were raised as described the number would undoubtedly greatly diminish. no objection has ever been made by the authorities against the destruction of these vermin by the prisoners. On one occasion, however, a large number of the prisoners armed themselves with clubs with the intention they stated of killing rats, but the officer in charge of the guard very properly suspecting other designs, since the rats could readily retreat under the buildings, caused the clubs to be taken from he prisoners. Camp Chase has been infested in all parts by immense numbers of rats, and from inquiries among officers I am satisfied that the prison is quite as free from them as other parts of the occupied quarters and camp ground.
The prison is well policed daily under the direction of the provost- marshal by the prisoners, and in this as in all matters when required to perform the duties of the prison they are tractable and obedient. The provost- marshal is an officer permanently detailed for the police and general care of the prisoners. He has under him two trusty subordinates, non- commissioned officers, who assist him in the issue of the provisions and clothing, place and other daily duties of the prison. He attends the daily roll- calls and makes his report to the commanding officer daily. The prisoners generally are well supplied with tubs for washing and bathing and washing basins, so that no complaint is made. Booms, however, are much needed, and I have directed their purchases and that they are uselessly destroyed.
From a personal inspection of all the prisoners and from statements made tome by the officer and non- commissioned officers having the immediate charge of them I am convinced that the cause of vermin upon the persons of the prisoners is in but few and rare instances their personal habits while in prison, and that it can never be attributed to the want of means to prevent such nuisance, but that such accumulation is very frequently and disgustingly discernible upon their persons and clothing when brought to the prison from their own homes or when captured and brought to Camp Chase for the camps of the enemy. It is obvious that without great care, which has not been properly exercised generally speaking, the quarters occupied by these prisoners would be quickly infested. So far as is possible I have directed that in such cases in future the prisoners should be separated from those free from vermin, and to remove it and prevent further accumulations I have directed the frequent and thorough scrubbing of the infested quarters with salt brine and their fumigation with sulphur. I respectfully submit for your examination the paper marked B, a copy of instructions given by me to the present commanding officer of their prison for improvement in its condition. The prisoners are divided into messes varying in number from seven to fifteen, each mess occupying the accommodations of a single division of the barracks, or rooms. Each mess cooks its own provisions, for which purpose it has a convenient stove, a great sufficiency of cooking implements and the proper amount of table furniture for the prisoners' use in almost al cases. I have directed that where a deficiency exists it should be supplied. The ration is that prescribed by the Board of Council of last year and the exception of the modification introduced at that place last summer by your approval relating to the issue of beans, rice or hominy in the