Water. - Water is now supplied by hand force pumps connected with long iron pipes extending into the bay on the north side of the island. I recommend that the Commissary-General of Prisoners be requested to order the immediate construction of a reservoir, 70 by 200 feet and 7 feet deep; the site to be the Hog's Back, a little west of the fort now being constructed thereon; this reservoir to be supplied by a steam engine and force pump, connected with pipes to extend into the bay on the north side of the island; the water to be distributed wherever needed in pipes of 3-inch caliber. In a military point of view, this supply of water is important. I submit estimates of the cost of the proposed work.
Water-tight boxes. - I also recommend that in place of the present sinks the privies be supplied with water-tight boxes, lined with zinc, or with cast-iron troughs connected with water pipes, to be kept flushed with water and drained into the bay on the south side of the island by 6-inch pipes.
Drainage. - I further recommend that all the ditches be cleaned and boarded and braced with timber to prevent the sides from falling in as at present; and that a main ditch, similarly planked and braced or walled with stone, be made, extending entirely across the prison inclosure from north to south and as near the center from east to west as the position of buildings will allow.
Cooking and messing. - I also consider as essential to the proper police of these barracks that cooking and eating in the barracks be prohibited, and that both be confined to the mess-halls. It will be necessary, in order to enfore this rule, that the present mess-halls be repaired and floored and furnished with suitable cook-stoves and utensils. I recommend that this be done. It will be seen by the inclosed paper* that the estimated cost of the proposed water-works is $7,079.88. I am informed that the prison fund amounts to $80,000.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. CH. COOLIDGE,
Medical Inspector, U. S. Army.
DEPOT OF PRISONERS, Johnson's Island, March 2, 1865.
GENERAL: I beg leave to present the following statement of facts and to ask that you have the corrective applied to the wrong complained of: In the recent operations around Nahsville, a colonel commanding a brigade of cavalry, I had the misfortune to be wounded and made a prisoner of war. I was borne in a suffering condition to one of your hospitals, when without my knowledge, I am sure without being interrogated as to my rank, I was enrolled it seems as a brigadier-general. No opportunity was offered after my attention was called to this error until I reached the prison at Louisville, when I promptly sought to correct it both as a mater of taste and as a matter of right. This I was informed would be done at this depot. Now< I am advised by the colonel commanding this prison that "no authority exists here for the alteratiion or correction of rools sent here with prisoners." I state that my rank is colonel of cavalry, commanding, as many officers of similar rank in in your army, a brigade, and that an unwarrantable injustice seems likely to be inflicted by this unauthorized brevet, since general officers are not likely to be embraced in the present exchange.
*See Morton to Hill, July 23, 1864, Vol. VII, this series, p. 488.