War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0157 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

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sick with it. Several persons have already died from various diseases and unless something can be done to thin out our rooms and remove the sick an alarming mortality will inevitably result. We would also respectfully request that our physicians be allowed the privilege of attending their sick friends if such a room be prepared near by. We would also represent that there are a large number of citizens among the prisoners who have expressed themselves willing to take on oath not to take up arms against the Federal Government as they are anxious to return to their homes in peace; also that the soldiers taken in arms and held as prisoners of war would state through this committee a willingness to take an obligation not to take up arms again until honorably exchanged and pledge themselves as honorable men to respect such obligation.

These things we respectfully submit for your consideration.

WM. HILL,

J. M. TUTON,

CHAS. H. HARLAN,

SOLON D. MARTIN,

Committee.

SAINT LOUIS, January 6, 1862.

Colonel F. STEELE, Commanding, &c., Sedalia, Mo.

COLONEL: I have received reliable information from Lexington that Joe H. Nichols and Frank Thomas released from arrest by you are the most active and dangerous rebels in that part of the country. The former was a member of the Missouri band who robbed and fired upon Union men in Lexington, and Thomas it is said was one of Joe Shelby's party who robbed the steamer Sunshine. Nichols while on his way from Sedalia on the stage to Lexington a secession flag from his pocket and displayed it in every place through which he passed. Moreover the petition of Union men which was presented to Major Crittenden was mostly a forgery, the few Union men who did actually sign it being forced to do so by the secession friends of Nicholas. The evidence is very strong that these are both very dangerous men and should never have been released.

Greater caution should be observed in such matters and hereafter no one will be rg of him the oath of allegiance and parole of honor the violation of which shall be followed by death. I will send you a blank form for such oath and parole.

Very respectfully, &c.,

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., January 7, 1862.

Mr. S. CAMERON, Secretary of War.

DEAR SIR: There are several men in my office who wish to ask of you a question. The question grows out of these facts: first, these men joined Captain John Burnap's company, of the First Regiment Illinois Cavalry; second, these men were taken by the secessionists at the battle of Lexington, Mo., about the 20th of September, 1861, and held as prisoners of war; third men were released-set free by the secessionists-and the condition and oath having been administered to our Union men who are now present by the secessionists was that