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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 2, vol 4, Part 1 (Prisoners of War)

reply I am directed by the commissary-general of prisoners to inform you that you will please to ascertain if they cannot be placed in some position in the hospital as nurses or laundresses, as it is not proper that they should be allowed to remain longer at the camp as prisoners, though, if employed as above indicated, they would be kept within the prison limits. If this cannot be done you will if the prisoners are unable to provide for themselves ascertain if some arrangement cannot be made with the authorities of the [illegible] or some suitable institution to receive them, for which if consented to by the authorities they may be allowed a reasonable compensation. Should the prisoners not desire to remain they may be furnished with passes and transportation to the limits of our line. You will in this matter act as in your judgment will secure the most proper disposition of them should they desire to remain with the other prisoners, but if they remain within prison limits it can only be in the capacity already indicated, viz, either as nurses or laundresses.

With much respect, I am, colonel, your obedient servant,


Captain, Eighth Infantry.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., July 20, 1862.


Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, Mich.

COLONEL: Upon closer examination of muster-rolls of prisoners already completed I find that they are very incorrect. Having no other guide we must rely upon the statements of the prisoners themselves. The roll now completed was made out from their statements upon their arrival, but it is my impression that many at that time gave assumed names and incorrect account of themselves. Since the formation of this roll many prisoners have escaped without the knowledge of the authorities and I find some have been reported to escape who have not done so. There are some names on the roll of whom I can procure no information whatever. I doubt whether they ever were prisoners at the post. The rolls now in formation are made out from the different squads, and each squad is called up for the verification of its roll. Every means shall be taken to insure its correctness.

I would respectfully recommend that an inclosure be constructed around the prisoners' grave-yard; also that a record be kept of the deaths and of the position of each burial. There is ample material at the camp for the construction of this fence and the labor can be performed by the prisoners themselves, so there will be no expense accrued to the Government. There are now approaching 400 graves, and a due regard for the feelings of their friends would certainly warrant this expenditure.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Third Infantry.


Detroit, Mich., July 20, 1862.


Provost-Marshal-General, Wheeling, Va.

MAJOR: You will doubtless recollect that while at Columbus, Ohio, you desired instructions in regard to the directions to be given by you

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 2, vol 4, Part 1 (Prisoners of War)
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