War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0162 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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In a postscript to the copy of your letter of the 12th instant just received you call my attention to the fact that a band of men are "firing private houses, barns, mills, &c. " I presume you refer to a band of outlaws on the Kansas frontier. They do not belong to my command and they entered this department without my authority. As soon as I heard of their depredations I ordered General Pope to either drive them out of the State or to disarm and confine them.

Be assured, general, that no acts of wanton spoliation such as "firing private houses, barns, mills," &c., and "burning and destroying railroad bridges" &c., will be countenanced by me. On the contrary I propose to punish with the utmost severity every act ow wanton destruction of property, public or private, and every act of pillage, marauding, robbery and theft committed in this department no matter under whose orders or authority the guilty parties may have acted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General, Commanding Department.

SAINT LOUIS, January 28, 1862.

Brigadier General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington.

GENERAL: I inclose herewith lists* of prisoners of war so far as I have received them. I have not been able to get the names of many of the prisoners taken in Northern Missouri as the officers there pay very little attention to orders or regulations respecting returns; moreover very many of the common country people who entered Price's army through ignorance and deception have been released on taking the oath of allegiance and giving bonds for future good conduct. This course has been adopted partly as a matter of policy and partly for the reason that we had no proper place for their confinement. Alton prison has been put in order and will be occupied this week. I inclose a copy of the oath of allegiance* required of those who are released. None are released except on his own application.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

SAINT LOUIS, January 29, 1862.

Major General D. HUNTER,

Commanding Department of Kansas, Fort Leavenworth.

GENERAL: Your letter of the 23rd instant in relation to the exchange of Captain Robb is received. I will in a few days enter into a negotiation for an exchange of Jenninson's men in Jackson Cass and Johnson Counties are doing us immense injury in this State by making secessionists of large numbers of Union men. They do more harm than Price's whole army. I sincerely hope you will keep them out of this State.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

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* Omitted.

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