I make these quotations to call your attention to the most conspicuous deficiencies, in the expectation that immediate measures will be taken to remedy the present un satisfactory condition of your command. You have a field officers to assists you in the executive duties and a surgeon in the immediate charge of the sick and the hospital, and if there is anything wanting in any branch of the service the responsibility rests on you. Surgeon Clark recommends some arrangement for a more thorough ventilation of the barracks and hospital, and you are at liberty to effect this object in any way that is practicable. He reports the sinks in a filthy condition and nearly filled up. have new ones dug immediately and the old ones filled up, either by the labor of prisoners or by hiring laborers to be paid out of the prison fund, as you may think advisable. This matter should not have been left to be ordered on the report of a medical inspector. I cannot go in to details as to what steps you should take to put your command in a proper condition in all its branches. you have the authority in your own hands, and it is left to your discretion an judgment to use it in such way as to insure proper results. Surgeon Clark recommends the introduction of another water pipe and pump, which I approve of, the expense to be paid out of the prison fund. A medical officer will be ordered to the depot to assist Doctor
Woodbridge, from which I anticipate an improved condition of the sick and hospital require more room for the sick or the guard, build a kitchen and store-room in rear of the hospital, and use the rooms so vacated for wards. If all the wards in the hospital are put in good condition, and you have not got sufficient room for the sick, appropriate the whole or part of an adjoining building to the use of the convalescent cases.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., October 19, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel W. S. PIERSON,
Commanding Depot Prisoners of War, Sandusky, Ohio:
COLONEL: Your letter of the 16th instant raging the necessity for additional guard and the presence of the U. S. steamer Michigan in the Bay, of Sandusky to prevent an attempt by the prisoners of war to make their escape is received. I am still of the opinion that with due vigilance on the part of the guard there is little danger that the prisoners will make an effort to escape by over coming the guard. You have two block-house which cannot be taken by unarmed men unless the guard on duty in them all go to sleep and suffer themselves to be surprise and disarmed. Your companies are armed with muskets and revolvers, and if your men are properly cautioned as to the disposition of their arms on retiring at night, it should not be possible for the prisoners to overcome them before they can use them effectually. Assuming, as you suggest, the possibility of their disarming your command, how are they going to leave the island when you have command of the water? They cannot cross to the main land either on rafts or in boats when you have the Eastern that your command will be so large that no special attention will be requisite to deter the prisoners from a combined effort to escape, and as war cannot be made without some hazard, your command must be prepared to overcome any attack