oath and becomes an active Union man he cannot hold property. We will give his plantation to some one who will not only take the oath, but fight for us. I have done all I can to temporize with men and shall do so no longer.
W. T. SHERMAN,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., March 6, 1864.
Surg. A. M. CLARK,
Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners:
(Care of Brigadier General W. W. Orme, Chicago, Ill).
SIR: Your report of the 1st instant of a further inspection of the Rock Island depot and apprising me of your expected departure for Chicago is received, and I have to-day directed you by telegraph to remain at Chicago till you hear from me by mail. I do not understand from your report exactly the condition of the hospital buildings at the depot. You report that you have six buildings occupied as a pest-hospital and that you have just succeeded in getting all the smallpox cases out of the prison yard. Ten of the prison barracks are occupied for hospital purposes and the sick are doing well. You then add, the prison hospital is well under way and will perhaps be constructed in six weeks. From this it appears that in addition to the six buildings put up to accommodate the smallpox patients, an entirely independent hospital is being built. It seems to me that there has scarcely been economy consulted in this arrangement. On the contrary, it has the appearance of very great extravagance. The extreme necessity for large hospital accommodation which existed on your arrival at Rock Island required prompt and efficient measures being taken led to the present state of things which will serve very well till the emergency passes away, and then there will be little absolute necessity for the extensive hospital now in course of construction. Your former report was not very explicit on these points and I did not understand the real character of the work going on. My instructions of the 28th of December, a copy of which I inclose,* urged upon you to consult economy as far as practicable, reminding you that the prison camps were of a temporary character and that all additions and improvements must be confined to such as were absolutely necessary, made so by humane considerations, and all works ordered by you must be such as could readily be met by the prison fund. In order that I may fully understand the hospital arrangements at the depot in use and in progress, I wish you to return there and make me a detailed report of all the buildings so occupied, and what the necessity is for the completion of all the buildings now in progress. It is not desirable that any of the sick but those having contagious diseases should be outside the prison yard, and it was therefore the original design of the prison that certain of the buildings inside should be fitted up as a hospital. The facilities for escaping from a hospital are very great and it would necessarily require as inclosure of its own. The question as to the location of the hospital is one of course which should only be decided with the concurrence of the commanding officer, and I presume in this case Colonel Johnson has selected or concurred in the selection of the
*See December 28, 1863, p. 773.