HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., December 19, 1864.
Honorable WILLIAM M. STONE,
Governor of Iowa, Does Moines, Iowa:
GOVERNOR: I have returned to General Sully, at Dubuque, certain papers with indorsement of General N. B. Baker, adjutant-general of Iowa, in relation to turning over to the U. S. military authorities certain prisoners charged to be guerrillas and bushwhackers who have been committing depredations in Southern Iowa and who were captured by a force of State militia. Of course, I am quite willing to take charge of these prisoners and make the necessary disposition of them by court-martial or military commission, but I would suggest to you that the effect would be infinitely better if these were tried and punished by the authorities of the State of Iowa. Having been captured by the State militia, acting under your orders, they are properly amenable to punishment by the authorities of the State. So long as these villainous bushwhackers and guerrillas understand that they are finally responsible only to the Federal authorities they will avail themselves of every opportunity in the absence of U. S. troops to invade Iowa and commit robbery and murder. Once let them understand that they will be promptly and summarily dealt with by the State authorities, and that Iowa is abundantly able to protect herself against them, or bring offenders to condign punishment by her own officers, and without delay for reference to the U. S. authorities, and I feel sure that your southern border will not long be infested by these rascals. I offer this suggestion for your consideration, and have directed General Sully to confer fully with you in this view, because I believe the measure suggested to be most conducive to the best interests of the State and to a permanent peace on the southern border. If, however, you think otherwise, or are not able to carry out this view, General Sully will take charge of the prisoners and make such disposition of them as seems best.
I am, governor, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER,
New Orleans, La., December 20, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Mil. Div. of West Mississippi, New Orleans, La.:
SIR: I have the honor to submit to your consideration a statement of the information received at this office this 20th day of December, 1864, from the following sources, a report from Captain A. O. Marsh, Memphis, Tenn., December 12, 1864; a report from Captain F. H. Man, acting assistant adjutant-general, Morganza, December 18, 1864:
Mississippi: At Corinth about 7,000 Confederate troops are assembled, fortifying the place, General Roddey reported to be in command. From Grand Junction, Tenn., to Jackson, Tenn., thence to Corinth, Miss., there is telegraphic communication. General Wirt Adams has transferred his headquarters from Holly Springs to Panola, Miss. Rebel deserters report daily in Memphis. Their long hiding in swamps to avoid conscription disqualifies them from rendering any positive or reliable statements about military movements, but their reports concur that a general and increasing dissatisfaction prevails through the rebel ranks.