HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., February 2, 1864.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram from the General-in-Chief informing me that Alton, being in the State of Illinois, is now under the command of Major-General Heintzelman, commanding Northern Department. As you are aware, at Alton is situated the principal military prison in the West, and at which most of the criminals from this department are confined while undergoing sentence.
I respectfully ask that authority be given me to exercise, through the commanding officer, such control over the men confined there from this department as has heretofore been exercised by the department commander. This is necessary to prevent great delay in confining and discharging men. Moreover, if this was not granted the commanding officer of the Northern Department would be frequently called upon to exercise clemency in cases when all papers and other information in the case could only be found at these headquarters. I respectfully solicit your early attention to this matter, as I am informed the commanding officer at Alton takes the position that he can receive no orders or instructions from these headquarters.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. ROSECRANS,
By O. D. GREENE,
KANSAS CITY, MO., February 2, 1864.
Major O. D. GREENE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
To whom shall I report with Companies L and M, Fifth Kansas Cavalry?
JAS. H. YOUNG,
Captain, Fifth Kansas Cavalry.
Mississippi River, Near Memphis, February 3, 1864.
General N. P. BANKS:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Inclosed I send you a brief memorandum containing some information in regard to Mobile, gleaned from a respectable German, who with his family are now on this boat en route for Chicago. He passed through the rebel lines by permission of the Right Reverend General Polk. From a brother-in-law of Postmaster Blair, by the name of Buckner, who was at Shreveport last month, I learn that the enemy is throwing up earth-works at that place, and mounting heavy guns on the same.
They have also constructed a strong raft, of the heaviest trees growing along the Red River, in the neighborhood of Alexandria. It is represented as being a half a mile in length. They anticipate a visitation from the Department of the Gulf during the present