With regard to the complaint that but part of the wards were in use, you will remember that the hospital was never ceiled or plastered. Last season, there being but comparatively few prisoners, one of the other buildings was used during the cold season. A part of the rooms were evacuated in order to plaster them, it having been decided to be necessary by Colonel Humphreys, the medical inspector, who has been accustomed to visit this post, and Doctor Woodbridge. They have thought it would not be necessary to plaster more, but I think it probably will be when there are finished. At any rate, that is the reason they were vacant. Doctor Woodbridge has complained of late, since the increase of prisoners, of a want of sheets. Says he has made requisition for them. I have taken the responsibility of saying to him if he does not get them to purchase some in the city and they should be paid for by the quartermaster of from prison fund. Would you direct that every man in the hospital should have sheets, or leave it to the surgeon's discretion, as I have done?If all have them it will increase the number much and the washing also. As the washing, I have lately allowed a small building to be put on Johnson's Island, where some laundresses will live. We have had trouble about getting our washing done, but this is the first complaint to me about the hospital washing being neglected. The only receptacles for garbage there can be are boxes and barrels until carried off, which is done daily. Holes in the ground, as Surgeon Clark suggested, would come immediately to the rock and be utterly impracticable. I have always told the doctor to use too much instead of too little lime and other disinfecting agents. He has certainly used a great amount. The prisoners' barracks are policed every day. Sometime on stormy days like that when Surgeon Clark was here very little can be done in the way of policing. This earth is very sticky in wet weather and will track anywhere with a crowd. Doctor Woodbridge many prisoners who have such urinary diseases that a chamber is necessary in the barracks. There are men of all ages and conditions among prisoners. When informed that not less than thirty new sinks have been dug from time to time you will perceive I have not waited for orders from medical officers. The rock in many places is but a few feet from the surface and is very difficult to blast. New sinks are dug, but old ones are readily filled up, it is true, before new ones are readily filled up, it true, before new ones are supplies.
If large numbers of prisoners are here after next spring I should recommend the fence on the woods side be moved back some four rods. On the subject of ventilation, Doctors Humphreys and Woodbridge had agreed on some plan when plastering, which the doctor says is being carried out. As to the fault of the prisoners themselves in not policing, it is my experience that prisoners (officer) will as a general thing do no more than they are compelled to do. I have only further to remark that I have no knowledge whatever of the reports of Colonel Humphreys who has been here so often and spent whole days in the examination of the camp inside and out. He never said a word of what he had reported except what I wrote you about the increase of force. Indeed, he is a stranger to me. He has, however, complimented the condition of the camp on every occasion he has been here in high terms. I have been over your letter with the doctor and given directions on each point. There are two pumps. They will soon freeze up and the prisoners will have to bring water from the bay. Do you consider it a direction that I should put in another this winter? I have had wells dug, but without good prospect of success, but it is a very dry time