War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0900 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Some, indeed most, of the complaints are without substantial foundation.

The weather is very warm and ice growing weaker. My opinion is that it will not be possible in any event to move troops before Wednesday.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


Sandusky, Ohio, January 22, 1864.

Brigadier General H. D. TERRY:

GENERAL: In compliance with paragraph II, of General Orders, Numbers 1, we have inspected the quarters of the prisoners of war now confined on Johnson's Island, and have the honor most respectfully to report:

That upon visiting the quarters of the prisoners we find them roomy, comfortable, and in many instances quite clean and well ventilated. The yard, or inclosure, we found in a most filthy condition, the refuse and garbage of a month's collection still lying where it was thrown; no system of drainage has been adopted, thus leaving the slops lying on the surface as thrown from the several quarters. This demands immediate attention. A thorough system of police must be adopted; too much lenity has been allowed the prisoners in this respect. If they will not attend to the cleanliness of their quarters and grounds by moral suasion they should be compelled to.

Upon inquiry we find that no proper plan of removing this filth has ever been adopted. It seems that the owner of the island had made an arrangement to remove it from the yard for the use of swine; these he no longer possesses and therefore ceases to remove this matter from the inclosure, and since the 1st of January it has been allowed to accumulate.

In our opinion requisitions should be made for a suitable number of teams and boats to convey this mass away from the island and deposit it in some other locality where the soil is deeper and will allow of its being buried.

The buildings may be well ventilated by the windows, but it is almost impossible to induce the prisoners to give the attention that this subject calls for. They will keep the windows closed to the detriment of their health; therefore a proper system of ventilation must be resorted to. We would suggest that a plan of ventilation by means of wooden pipes in the hospitals and in those large rooms occupied by a large number of prisoners be adopted.

The subject of water demands attention. Most of the water used at this season is obtained from surface wells and is not, in our opinion, fit for use. During our tour of inspection this was a source of much complaint from both medical officers and prisoners. The water is not suitable as a beverage, as it causes a diarrhea which invariably proves fatal, and in our opinion these wells should immediately be filled and covered. Water should be obtained from the lake, and if necessary a covered way should be erected from the yard to the water. In this way the details made to get the proper supply could be properly guarded.

In closing we beg leave to make the following suggestions: That to comply with the increased number of troops, two buildings for hospital