without regard to rank the United States will supply such blankets, cooking utensils and clothing as are necessary to prevent real suffering. Much clothing not good enough for troops has by fraud of inspectors and dealers forced inot our depots. This will be used. make requisition on this office by telegraph and the supplies will be ordered forward.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
New York, City, February 24, 1862.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the depot is now ready to receive a limited number of prisoners, say 500 to 600. The guard is not yet completely armed not having received revolvers, nor is it sufficiently instructed to take charge of a large number of prisoners. The crossing to the island is uncertain just now on account of the breaking up of the ice in the day, but it cannot be interrrupted over a day or two.
I return to Sandusky this evening and will report from there.
Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commisary-General of Prisoners.
CHICAGO, February 24, 1862.
Brigadier-General MEIGS, Quartermaster-General:
We have at least 10,000 prisoners here and at Springfield. Captain Eddy is here. I need his advance and help. Cannot his orders be suspended for the present and he be permitted to remain here at least temporarily?
J. A. POTTER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA,
Yorktown, February 24, 1862.
Major General JOHN E. WOOL, U. S. Army,
Commanding Fort Monroe.
SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter* addressed to Brigadier-General McLaws, commanding at Young's Mills, and signed "W. D. Whipple, Assistant Adjutant-General. " I cannot believe that you were aware of the contents of this letter and therefore have to request that I may be informed if it was written by your authority or with your knowledge, it appearing from the communication itself that it was writent by W. D. Whipple not in his official capacity as Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, but as the officer who had charge of the steamer on the day alluded to. I also send a copy of the report # of the field officer of the day, Captain B. Menger, Fifth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, who was on duty on James River
on the day on which the steamcers last passed up for the exchange of prisoners. Other officers saw these steamers on the occasion alluded to and corroborate the steamer of the officer of the day.
* See Whipple to McLaws, p. 296.
# Not found.