purchases of only tobacco, pipes, and writing material. Believing that proper and loyal reading matter will be beneficial to the prisoners and have a tendency to prevent attempts to escape, I have the honor to request that they be allowed this privilege.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. RICHARDSON,
Colonel Twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Commanding.
CHICAGO, ILL., February 13, 1864.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: My report, dated Rock Island, February 10, 1864, not having been as full in some particulars as I could wish it to be, I have the honor to submit the following in supplement thereto:
Rock Island Barracks are situated near the center in lengths na don the northern side of the island. the prison barracks are 84 in number, each intended to accommodate 120 men. They are arranged in blocks of 7 each, fronting on streets 100 feet wide, with two main avenues, 130 feet wide, intersecting the camp in the center. The sinks are placed 4 in each street running north and south. The barracks have each 2 ridge ventilators and 12 windows, with 2 doors. These would afford abundantly sufficient ventilation were it not for the difficulty in having the windows kept open, and in view of this difficulty I have suggested that the ridge ventilation be carried the full length of the barrack. This can ge done by prison labor and at a trifling expense. Each barrack is 100 by 22 by 12 feet in dimensions. Eighteen feet in length is partitioned off for a kitchen, which is furnished with a 40-gallon caldron and the requisite kitchen and table furniture. The bedding is well aired each day, and the police and discipline, as well as the general condition of the men, is admirable. Here, however, commendation must cease. the camp grounds are but poorly policed. Some excuse exists for this in view of the very severe weather of late, the lack of transportation, and the utter want of drainage. A feeble attempt has been made to drain the camp, which is, however, entirely inadequate to its purpose. Near the southwest corner of the prison inclosure is a small marsh which receives the surface drainage of the adjacent portion of the island and into it the camp drain empties. At the present season this marsh causes no grater evil than inconvenience in crossing it, but in warm weather it will become a hotbed of miasma. Plans for effectually draining both this and the camp have been approved and will be described presently. The present means of water supply are entirely inadequate to the ordinary wants of the camp. On the northern shore of the island, at the northwest corner of the inclosure, is placed a steam pump which forces the water through a 3-inch wooden supply pipe into four cisterns, two outside the inclosure for the use of the garrison, and two inside for the use of the prisoners. There is also an artisan well of 9-inch bore and 125 feet depth just inside the west gate of the prison. The present location of the water-work is such as to render the river on the north side of the island useless to the prison for all purposes of drainage. In the plan approved it is proposes of drainage. In the plan approved it is proposed to remove the steam pump to a point on the shore some distance east of the inclosure, and to run from it a 6-inch iron supply pipe to a reservoir 100 feet square (capacity, 1,800,000 gallons), placed on a knoll about 300 feet south of