Washington, September 11, 1863.
Captain C. A. REYNOLDS,
Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. Army, Rock Island, Ill.:
CAPTAIN: Your letter of the 22nd ultimo, inclosing a modified plan of the barracks for prisoners of war at Rock Island, was referred to Colonel Hoffman, Commissary-General of Prisoners, and has been returned with an indorsement, of which the following is a copy, viz:
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, September 3, 1863.
It was expected that the original plan might have to be modified to suit the ground, but in doing so it is not advisable, if it can be avoided, to divide the guard into two parts. It would be well to build a block-house of three-inch plank at the end of the street opposite the guard-house, outside the fence, for additional security. I would recommend coal stokes, as cola, I am told, is abundant. There should be at least six wells; nine would be better in case of fire. The pumps should be of iron, and there should be two or three force pumps, which, with hose, cost about $100 apiece.
Respectfully returned to the Quartermaster-General.
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.
The modified plan is approved with the suggestions of Colonel Hoffman as to guard-house; yet if in your opinion two guard-houses would render the place more secure you will have them built. The stoves should be for coal if it can be obtained at the cost of wood. Inasmuch as water can be obtained at about the depth of twenty-five feet, let six wells be dug inside the fence.
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 11, 1863.
Inspection report of prisoners of war at Fort Donelson, September 3, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
There are 8,000 prisoners of war at this point, and they have been much crowded together, sick and well, in the same barracks, which it has been impossible to keep clean. The opening of a new hospital at this post which contains 600 beds will improve the condition of affairs very much, and the separation of the sick will improve their sanitary condition immensely. The patients were being moved the day I was there very much to their relief. Greater facilities for cooking are needed, and rigid policing in the neighborhood of the kitchens, mess-rooms, and throughout the barracks cannot be too strictly enforced. General Schoepf informs me that he was able to procure everything that was needed and wanted for nothing. He appears to be very zealous and attentive in the discharge of his duties and gives all his time to a personal supervision of the wants of those under his charge and labors to improve their condition. I do not consider Fort Delaware a desirable location, in a sanitary point of view, for a large depot of prisoners. The ground is wet and marshy and the locality favorable for the development of malarious diseases. There have been many deaths at this place from typhoid fever, the result of their being crowded together in large numbers in a confined space.
C. H. CRANE,
Surgeon, U. S. Army, late Medical Inspector Prisoners of War.