War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0159 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

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Saint Louis, January 11, 1862.


Surgeon-General, Hospital corner Fifth and Chestnut.

DOCTOR: You will not permit friends of prisoners under your care to furnish articles of clothing and diet nor to visit the patients, except in cases of extreme illness of pressing business, in all of which cases you will be the sole, judge of the propriety of granting the permission.

I am, doctor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



SAINT LOUIS, January 14, 1862.

Colonel F. L. ROSS, Commanding, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

COLONEL: I have delayed answering your letter of December 23 in relation to General Watkins in order to obtain certain information which I have been expecting about General W. and others in that part of the country. Very many of those who have returned from the enemy and given their parole have acted as spies on our operations giving the enemy all the information they could obtain, assisting in getting up insurrections and planning the burning of bridges, &c. It is therefore necessary to observe due precaution in this matter.

If General Watkins has been in the enemy's service either State or Confederate he must come back in one of two capacities-either as a prisoner of war a citizen returning to his allegiance. If he returns as a prisoner of war he may be released on his parole of honor that he will remain quietly on his farm giving no information or assistance of any kind to the enemy and that he will present himself at your post, or any other, when called for. If he returns as a loyal citizen he certainly cannot object to taking the oath of allegiance. Such oath will not as a general rule be required of men who have not been in the enemy's service or have in no way assisted the enemy although they may have been in the Confederate States. For example secessionists here in Saint Louis have not been required to take any oath of allegiance but if they have been in the enemy's service and now wish to return to their allegiance they are invariably required to take the oath and sometimes to give additional security.

If General W. should decide to take the oath all stock taken from him should be returned. With regard to his states if any are in your camp as fugitives they are so held in positive violation of General Orders, Numbers 3, of 1861, unless such slaves were taken in virtue of the act of Congress. Except in the case provided for by Congrees troops should be permitted neither to steal slaves nor to catch and return them to their owners, or pretended owners. The military are neither slave stealers nor slave catchers. To avoid all difficulties about this matter keep fugitives out of camp and let the question of ownership be decided by the civil tribunals.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,