SAINT LOUIS, September 9, 1861.
Major J. M. SCHOFIELD, First Missouri Volunteers.
SIR: Your letter of the 7th instant relative to the status of soldiers who were taken prisoners and released on parole has had the attention of the major-general commanding. He has decided under the circumstances of facts indorsed on your letter by Brigadier-General Sturgis that the men are to be considered released from their parole, and directs that you furnish each of them with a certificate representing their release from parole oath for the reasons set forth by General Sturgis; then order them to duty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. EATON,
Major, U. S. Army, and Military Secretary.
Camp Cairo, September 17, 1861.
General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding District of Southeast Missouri.
SIR: Having just closed the investigation of the cases of the steamers John Gault and Jefferson seized by the gun-boat Conestoga, under command of Commodore Rodgers, and the prisoners taken on said boats I have the honor to report that I have released all the prisoners taken on the above-named steamers (twenty-five white persons) upon their parole of honor, and seven colored persons who were cooks and cabin servants on the steamer John Gault. I could find no evidence whatever which would warrant me in detaining them as prisoners. I have also examined not the cause assigned for the seizure of the steamer John Gault and can see no reason why she should be longer detained. The evidence shows that the boat was engaged in legitimate business; that all her papers were properly certified by the surveyors of the ports of Louisville, Ky. and Evansville, Ind., and covered an authority to her to transport such articles as she had been carrying. I might further add that the evidence shows that the boat has not been beyond the Kentucky line since the vote upon the question of secession was taken in the State of Tennessee. I would therefore recommend a release of the steamer John Gault and that she be chartered for Government use.
As far as relates to the steamer Jefferson the captain and clerk were not on board at the time she was seized. I will make the case of the Jefferson and her cargo the subject of a future report.
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
BROOKFIELD, September 22, 1861.
Major General JOHN C. FREMONT:
I have just arrived here from Quincy and have 100 of our men that were in the battle at Lexington; 2,000 more are at Hamilton, fifty miles west of this. Colonel Mulligan surrendered 4 p. m. Friday. Water cut off. The entire command after surrendering were disarmed; non-commissioned officers and privates sworn and released; commissioned officers are held as prisoners. Federal loss 39 killed and 120