arrested and brought in some five persons charged with aiding and abetting the rebels, as also having been in the service of the Confederate Government. A number of guns were also destroyed, the intensity of the cold making the carrying of the same very troublesome. Considerable property, consisting of stock, horses, saddles, bridles, &c., was brought into the post by the expeditions, and by my order was turned over to the quartermaster of the post.
I cannot speak too highly of the promptness of both officers and men in the several expeditions above reported. The weather was cold and disagreeable, and they were to a considerable extent unacquainted with the general character of the service upon which they were ordered; yet they responded with a promptness and alacrity that ultimately insured the success of the same. I desire further to state that in this instance I have the satisfaction of knowing that the news of the expedition did not, as usual, precede the march of the troops, but that, on the contrary, the knowledge of the same was kept within the limits of this post, owing to the thoroughness of the officers in charge of the pickets. I have, in accordance with my best judgment, looking at the matter in the light of all the facts that I can gather, released several of the prominent parties upon their parol of honor; a copy of which I inclose herewith. I regarded this as the best method to pursue, hoping by so doing to establish a more perfect understanding of the object and aim of the Government among those whose enmity arises unquestionably from (as I have previously intimated) prevented statements on the part of our enemies. These men have pledged their return upon honor at such time as you may indicate through this post, and I am fully satisfied of their honesty of purpose, feeling, as they expressed themselves, a desire to be, after their observation and limited acquaintance here, permanently out of the service.
I desire further to state in this connection that much remains undone yet in these localities which I hope to effect as soon as I can procure arms for the cavalry now located at this point. Many are returning and will yet return from the rebel army who fear to come voluntarily and take the oath because of an expressed determination on the part of General Thompson to hang such persons, but who, if taken by force, will be, I am satisfied, hereafter loyal citizens. I do not desire to intrude my opinion, but I am satisfied that the best policy to pursue towards the remainder of the prisoners is as pursued towards those above indicated. I shall, however, await for approval before doing so.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
L. F. ROSS,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, January 23, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded to headquarters Department of the Missouri. I disapprove the plan of paroling prisoners of Thompson's army, as suggested by Colonel Ross, but refer the matter to the general commanding department for his order in the matter.
U. S. GRANT,