War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0514 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHERN MISSOURI,

Cairo, October 30, 1861.

Captain C. McKEEVER, Saint Louis, Mo.:

To-day I sent a flag of truce to near Columbus bearer of Captain Whitfield who had been sent here in charge of Captain G. W. Gosnold, of the Thirteenth Missouri Volunteers, to be delivered upon to the Southern army. Captain G. 's conduct was such as to induce me to direct that he should not accompany the flag of truce. He showed such anxiety, however, to go that I consented to his going along but directed he should not be recognized in any official capacity. His subsequent conduct shows that my first judgment was right. I refer you to Captain Hillyer's report herewith accompanying for further information.

U. S. GRANT,

Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHEAST MISSOURI,

Cairo, October 30, 1861.

Brigadier-General GRANT, Commanding, Cairo.

GENERAL: In pursuance of your orders I left Cairo on the steamer W. H. B. at 10 o'clock to-day having in charge Captain Whitfield of the rebel army, and went down the river with a flag of truce. A mile this side of Columbus I was met by the steamer Yazoo having on board General Polk and staff of the rebel army. Upon the invitation of General Polk I went on board the Yazoo, stated the object of my mission and delivered the prisoners to him. While on board the Yazoo General Polk informed me that Captain Gosnold, who accompanied the expedition, had solicited him to be permitted to go to Columbus and that he had told Gosnold that his request must be preferred through me before it could receive his consideration. I thereupon ordered Gosnold on board our steamer and started to return to Cairo. A few minutes afterward Captain Gosnold jumped overboat and disappeared and I have no doubt was drowned.

No other incident worthy of report occurred. I returned to Cairo at 4 p. m.

Very respectfully,

WM. S. HILLYER,

Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP FREMONT,

Cape Girardeau, Mo., November 4, 1861.

General JEFF. THOMPSON.

SIR: I have been informed from a source upon which I place some reliance that Sergeant Ryan of my command, whom I dispatched with a communication for the commanding officer at Ironton from my camp at Dallas on the 19th ultimo and who was captured by your pickets, was put to death. I would remark that he was not a spy and therefore not subject by the rules of war to be tried and condemned as such; but on the contrary he carried the evidence of his character with him in the communication of which he was the bearer. I have put five of the prisoners taken by the at Fredericktown in close confinement who will be held responsible for the of that man. The other prisoners