stove, on which pots, camp-kettles, and frying-pans could be used; each range three feet wide and twelve feet long, with sixteen holes, to burn four-foot wood. I regard this as a far preferable mode, and it will be much cheaper than the boilers, do more and better cooking, be as safe from fire, and will insure regularity in meals. I append a specification of this range, and if approved by you will introduce them to the kitchens for prisoners.
Second. Put the ovens in good repair and bake the bread for the command. Baking by contract must be discontinued.
This is at present impracticable, and it is also beyond my reach, as the whole of feeding is done under contract made by Captain N. W. Edwards, commissary of subsistence for this State. The prisoners use large quantities of corn-meal from choice, and bake their Johnnie cakes in ovens and bake-kettles furnished by the contractor, without expense to the Government. The old bakery here is not half large enough to accommodate the number of men, and its use was abandoned because the ovens were defective. They must be rebuilt before they can be used. It would also require the hiring of a large number of men to manage such a bakery. I should not feel safe to trust it in the hands of prisoners.
Third. As to the management of the hospital fund, I leave that to Dr. A. F. Whelan, the experienced and indefatigable post surgeon, to reply to, which reply I also inclose, marked B.
I assure you, colonel, we are all doing all that can be done, with a reasonable regard for economy, to improve the condition of this camp and to benefit its inmates. Already there have been about $20,000 of improvements made, and there is room for much more. The calls of necessity and security were answered first; those of humanity come next; and after these, conveniences and adornment will receive their proper share of attention. The draining of the camp and the erection of the new fence have been progressing steadily and are nearly completed. For a long time we suffered very badly for a proper supply of water. This has been provided. The repairs to the barracks and the new hospitals are now being prosecuted. During the past month I have worked about 100 of the prisoners daily upon these improvements, and am still employing that proportion. The weather has been very stormy, and this has greatly impeded our progress. My plan of employing prisoners is this: I have announced in orders that those who actually need clothing would be allowed to earn it by laboring on these improvements. The result is the men labor willingly and well. I have also supplied some tobacco to workmen. The cost for this manual labor thus far to the Government is actually nothing, as even the tobacco is bought with the prisoners' savings fund, and the idea of compulsory labor is also avoided. As to the issue of clothing, a great deal has been sapiens by their friends, mostly of cheap gray jeans or satinets. For outer clothing I have thus far supplied from a lot of "gray pepper-and-salt" clothing in possession of Captain J. A. Potter, U. S. quartermaster, turned over to him by the Government some time since, originally intended for the State troops of Illinois and Wisconsin. Underclothes and blankets forwarded by you have been used, and I shall want more as the season advances.
You will pardon me, colonel, for detaining you so long, but I know you desire to be fully acquainted with the doings of your subordinates. I hope by the end of this month to report to you, or to exhibit to your inspectors, a model military prison in all that relates to economy to the