Were are having hard times of course and he has had suffer a little with my ragged-arsed Missourians but he is in good health. I send him to you as a witness in my favor and you can send me one or not at your own pleasure, for I catch more than I can afford to feed or "eat" as Captain Elliott expresses it.
"Madame Rumor" says you have several citizens of Fredericktown prisoners because they did not notify you that I was in ambush near that place. I assure you on my honor that no one knew of my intention to return from Graham's to ambush you or to fight the joint forces. If you have no other charges against them please release them. I send a few other prisoners with Sergeant Ryan which you will please to my credit with my schoolmaster, and as my unfortunate men recover please discharge them until my allowances are square.
* * * * * * *
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Columbus, Ky., November 12, 1861.
Brigadier General U. S. GRANT, U. S. Army, Cairo, Ill.
SIR: In pursuance of my note of the 8th instant I have to say that I have received from the Secretary of War discretionary power as to the disposition of our prisoners. I have therefore concluded to return to you the whole of your wounded, 103 in number. As to the details of this disposition I refer you to Brigadier-General McCown, C. S. Army, to whom I have intrusted the safe conduct and delivery of the prisoners and he will communicate to you fully my views upon the whole subject.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Near Cairo, Ill., November 12, 1861.
Major General L. POLK,
Commanding Confederate Forces, Columbus, Ky.
GENERAL: Your note is just received. I am very happy to know that your Secretary of War has left the disposal of the prisoners taken at Belmont at your discretion.
To-morrow at 12 m. I will have a boat meet one from Columbus on the river between the two points where all the prisoners in my possession will be transferred to you.
I cannot give the exact number now having released some thirty-odd already without keeping an exact record.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.