Report of inspection of the prisoners of war hospital at U. S. military prison, Alton, Ill., October 15, 1863, by A. M. Clark, surgeon and acting medical inspector of prisoners of war.
Surgeon in charge-Actg. Asst. Surg. H. Williams. Location-on a limestone bluff on left bank of Mississippi River at northern border of the city of Alton, Ill. Vicinage-south, city; west, Mississippi River; north and east, limestone hills. Drainage-very good, drains kept in good order, lead into main sewer emptying into river. Buildings-formerly used as State prison workshops. Wards-two in number, besides a small shanty used as a smallpox hospital, on the northern end of small island in the river opposite the prison. Capacity-for 100 patients. Patients, number, of-114. Patients, condition of-very good, although the wards are over crowded. Ventilation-very good, but side windows in each ward. Warming-sufficient, by stoves. Lighting-lamps, coal oil. Lavatories and baths-sufficient and in good order. Water supply-water brought from river in casks; one well in prison but water not good. Sewerage-sufficient and well attended to. Latrines and sinks-sufficient in number, well constructed, well policed, and well disinfected. Excreta, removal of-carried off by a drain connecting with main sewer. Furniture and utensils-sufficient in quantity and in good order, except bedsteads, which are of wood. Bedding-sufficient and clean. Kitchen-in good order and well policed. Kitchen utensils-sufficient and well kept. Cook-prisoners, duties well performed. Cooking and serving-daily inspected by surgeon in charge. Diet, quality of-good. Diet, variety of-according to U. S. Army hospital diet table. Means of supply-through commissary and by purchase for hospital fund. Diet tables-U. S. Army hospital diet table. Store-room-small and close, no means of ventilation, but clean and well kept; not sufficient room. Dispensary-well kept. Instruments and medicines-sufficient supply and in good order. Compounding and dispensing-by a hospital said by the surgeon in charge to be competent. Hospital stores and comforts-sufficient in quantity and same as U. S. Army general hospital; obtained on requisition from medical purveyor. Hospital records-very well kept. Hospital accounts-every thing accounted for as in U. S. Army general hospital. Hospital fund-none on hand; has been expended for use of the sick. Hospital clothing-sufficient, obtained on requisition from medical purveyor. Reports-well attended to, except report of deaths to Commissary-General of Prisoners. Laundresses and laundry-no laundry attached to prison, clothing and bedding washed outside by laundresses paid from hospital fund. Repairs - none apparently needed at present; a new floor has been recently laid in one of the wards. Alterations and additions-should be additional accommodations for twenty-five patients provided. Medical attendance-competent but in sufficient; an additional medical officers is needed. Discipline and police-discipline not as strict as it should be; police very good. Nurses-men, prisoners. Operating rooms-none provided, operations seldom required. Post-mortem rooms and dead-house-none provided. Interments-in city cemetery. Diseases prevalent-typho-malarial fever, pneumonia, dysentery, diarrhea. Diseases zymotic-erysipelas; smallpox has been very prevalent, but five cases now remain and they are recovering. Diseases, prevention of-now carefully attended to; every man is vaccinated on his entry into the prison. Recoveries from diseases -ready,