Report of inspection of the Gratiot Street Military Prison and hospital at Saint Louis, Mo., February 20, 1864, by A. M. Clark, surgeon and acting medical inspector of prisoners of war.
Surgeon in charge - Actg. Asst. Surg. G. H. Hood. Surg. B. B. Breed, U. S. Volunteers, has just reported, but has not yet assumed charge. Location - corner Gratiot and --- streets, in southern part of city. Vicinage - city. Topography - ground somewhat elevated. Drainage - into main street sewer; not very good. Buildings, formerly McDowell Medical College - main building with two wings, also two dwelling houses used for hospital purposes. Wards - two in main prison, one square room on second floor of north wing, 70 by 70 by 14 feet; one octagonal room on second floor of main building about 60 feet in diameter and 15 feet high; also 6 rooms each about 14 by 15 by 9 feet in the dwelling houses; capacity, about 125 beds. Number of patients - 124 in hospital. Condition of patients -not at all satisfactory; bedding, clothing, and persons, foul; wards in bad police. Patients, present number of prisoners - commissioned officers, 54; enlisted men, 521; total, 575. Ventilation, warming, and lighting - the prison and hospital may be said to be entirely unventilated. No arrangements made, except by side windows, and these are but few in number, and kept almost constantly closed. From the general construction of the building this defect can hardly be remedied. Sufficiently warmed by coal stoves, lighted by gas. Prison lavatories and baths in basement, but insufficient, and apparently but little used. None for hospital. Hospital washing done outside and paid for from hospital fund. Water - supply ample, from city water - works. Sewerage - into main street sewer. Water - closets, latrines, and sinks - in prison yard, except one in square hospital ward; insufficient in number and size, and at present in very foul condition; are drained into main sewer, and could, with a little care, be readily kept clean and in good order. Excreta, removal of - an abundant supply of water is at hand to keep sewer constantly flushed and clear. Furniture and utensils - supply sufficient, but in very bad order. Prison bedding - sufficient, but foul, never aired; in hospital, better, but not at all in proper condition. Prison kitchen and kitchen utensils - this with the mess - room is in much better condition than any other part of the prison, is well furnished, and in tolerably good and police. There are two hospital kitchens in the dwelling houses, both well furnished. The general kitchen is in miserable police. The low - diet kitchen is in very good order, and is presided over by two Sisters of Charity. Cooks, cooking, and serving - the cooks are detailed prisoners; the cooking appears to be well done. Quality and variety of diet - in prison, the ordinary ration; in hospital, no regular diet table; extra diet freely supplied from hospital fund. Knapsack rooms - a room over the square ward is provided for storing clothing, &c., of hospital patients; in very bad order. Dispensary - in pretty good order, under charge of hospital steward. Instruments, medicines, &c. - supply sufficient and in pretty good order. Compounding and dispensing - by prisoners, under supervision of acting hospital steward. Hospital stores and comforts - sufficient supply. Hospital records and accounts - loosely kept. Hospital fund - January 31, 1864, $561,74. Expenditures - articles of diet and washing; latter item charged $175 for January. Hospital clothing supply said to be sufficient. Reports - loosely made. Laundresses and laundry - hospital washing done outside; prison washing done in basement; sufficient conveniences provided, but their use not apparently enforced. Repair, alterations, and