SAINT LOUIS, January 29, 1862.
Colonel L. F. ROSS, Commanding Cape Girardeau, Mo.
COLONEL: Your letters* of the 19th and 21st instant have been received.
* * *
In regard to the release of prisoners on taking the prescribed oath of allegiance great case should be taken to avoid deception as to the real intentions of those released. Bonds should also be required where practicable. Where there is any doubt of the future good conduct of those asking to take oath of allegiance they should be sent here for exchange.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
Cape Girardeau, January 30, 1862.
General N. W. WATKINS, New Madrid, Mo.
MY DEAR SIR: Your wife can return to her home in Jackson unmolested. The purpose of my Government is not to make war on women and children. Your son who has taken the oath will not be interfered with no matter where he may reside. His occupancy of your farm will not prevent the Government taking such steps hereafter toward the confiscation of such property as may be owned by disloyal citizens as in the judgment of our rulers may be wise and prudent. I have no reply from General Halleck further than therefore communicated to you. I beg leave, however, to further insist on your pursuing one of the other of his suggestions.
I am, truly, your obedient servant,
L. F. ROSS,
ALTON, January 31, 1862.
Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.
SIR: I see you are about to send the rebel prisoners to Alton. If so and the General Government will let the contract for guarding them for one month, two, three or four months as the case may be I will guard the prisoners for the sum of $5,000 per month, your furnishing me with the following arms: one hundred stands of Government arms, two 6-pounders, and ammunition for same at forty rounds to each stand of arms. I will give you bond in the sum of $5,000 to faithfully perform any contract which you may make with me. I will further pay you $50 for each and every prisoner that will escape from the prison. I will guarantee to deliver every rebel dead or alive to you when called for that you may deliver up to me at Alton.
I remain, your obedient servant,
JOHN E. COPINGER.
* Not found.