War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0266 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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quite a swell here. The army officers have generally quit the principal hotel on account of the swarm of gray uniforms. They do not like to mix with them. All the prominent secessionists are here in conclave with the rebel officers continually. They ought to be moved off to Chicago or some idstant point. What will I do with the poor devils released? They have not a cent. I am in want of the blanks. We have examined about 300. I propose to them the alternative of the oath and bond or a parole to go home and await exchange. They all prefer the oath. Only some five or six prefer a parole and exchange. Those I will leave here. How about the bond? Shall I give them parole of three weeks to fill and return it?

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THO. C. FLETCHER.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

February 28, 1862.

COMMANDING OFFICER, Alton:

Direct that Captain Sweeney's parole be withdrawn and he be returned to prison. The paroles of all other officers now in Alton will also be withdrawn and they be sent with an escort to Columbus, Ohio.

By order of Major-General Halleck:

N. H. McLEAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HICKORY PLACE, CARROLL COUNTY, MO.,

February 24, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Commanding.

DEAR SIR: Circumstances by which myself with others are surrounded make it necessary that I should trouble you for the moment. I was discharged as a prisoner of war on the 18th instant by taking an oath of allegiance to the General Government of the United States. To maintain that oath inviolate is my greatest ambition. General, I should never have been anything but a Union man if it had not been for the outrages of meant who call themselves home guards and who never belonged to any regular army. The night after I got home while in my bed very sick there were ten of those jayhawkers who broke into my house and abused me very much. After leaving my house they went to an old man's who was perfectly blind with a helpless family dependent upon him and took from hm almost half he possessed on earth. He was a man who had never taken either side in any way whatever.

They are doing a vast amount of injury to the Union cause by driving hundreds to Price's army. I am satisfied that if this thing was put down that under no circumstances could Price get ten men in this county; otherwise hundreds will be driven there by desperation. They go round of nights stealing every good horse, saddle, bridle, whisky and goods of every description. The regular troops do not allow such where they are. These men are of the lowest order never having owned a cent's worth of actual property in their lives. If we had one dozen regular troops stationed at DeWitt, a town within one mile of me, they could soon put it down in this neighborhood. I should no be so plain on this subject if I had not conscientiosly taken an oath