Washington, January 18, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, U. S. Army, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Please forward for the general-in-chief without delay a list of prisoners of war with rank of each in your custody.
Cape Girardeau, Mo., January 21, 1862.
General WATKINS, New Madrid, Mo.
MY DEAR SIR: The following is an extract from General Halleck's communication of 14th instant which reached this post a day or two since:
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 prisoner of war or as a citizen returning to his allegiance. If he returns as 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.
In reference to the question of property General Halleck says:
If General Watkins should decide to take the oath all stock taken from him should be returned.
I am extremely anxious, my dear sir, that you should return to your home and pursue your daily avocation, feeling myself that your age as well as your inclinations dictate that peace and quiet are so well befitting one of your position. Whichever of the courses prescribed by Major-General Halleck you see proper to pursue I need not assure you that so far as my command is concerned everything consistent with my duty to my Government will be done by me to make your return and residence among your old friends pleasant. I sincerely hope that you will return to your home and in doing so I have every confidence that you will by your influence contribute to the restoration of quiet and renewed good feeling in this section of Missouri. You will pardon my earnestness but I cannot but desire your well-being and good from the acquaintance I feel formed with you by both communicated and report.
I am, your obedient servant,
L. F. ROSS,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DIST., MISSOURI STATE GUARD,
New Madrid, January 22, 1862.
Colonel LEONARD F. ROSS, U. S. Army,
Commandant, Cape Girardeau:
SIR: I am informed that many of my men who are your prisoners are suffering for insufficient clothing. I also hear that the charitable citizens of Cape Girardeau are willing to supply their wants if allowed to by yourself. I would therefore ask that you would grant this privilege as I understand it was allowed in Saint Louis.