HEADQUARTERS IRISH BRIGADE,
Camp Douglas, February 27, 1862. *
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
DEAR SIR: Among the thousland of prisoners of war now in these quarters I believe there are many who became soldiers in the army of the rebels by compulsion or overwhelming necessity. From conversations which have been had with them by myself, my officers and others I feel certain that many of them are loyal and abhor this nefarious war. This is especiallty the case with the Tennesseans, of whom large numbers express a desire to enlist in some of our companies now in camp. One Tennessee regiment, the Tenth, is composed almost exlusively of Irishmen and they desire to enlist insome of the companies in my regiment. I would willingly and ferlessly trust them. Should they be released, take the oath of allegiance, then enlist and be sworn into some of my companies would in be objectionalbe in any point of view?
I make these suggestions and desire your decision in the premises. In my judgment the public interest would be subserved by converting these men from prisoners of war into not raw recruits but soldiers who are comparatively istructed and disciplined. They are stout and valiant and unsolicited avow an eagerness to join in the fray under my command.
Awaiting your instructions in the premises, I am, faithfully,
JAS A. MULLIGAN,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 28, 1862.
Honorable JOHN S. CARLILE, U. S. Senate.
SIR: In answer to yours of the 24th instant in relation to the exchange of certain prisoners I beg leave to state the whole subject of exchange of prisoners is now under arrangement between General Wool, for the United States, and Howell Cobb, for the rebel forces, and this Department cannot pending these negotiations make any special arangement for specific persons.
Your obedient servant,
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON, February 28, 1862.
Governor E. D. MORGAN, Albany, N. Y.:
Colonel Cogswell has returned and will I hope be exchanged in a day or two. Can you not arrange to give Cogswell his old regiment back again? He is fairly entitled to it. Please reply to this.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, U. S. Army.
INDIANAPOLIS, February 28, 1862.
M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-General:
Have sent your dispatch to Captain Ekin. He has observed the utmost economy in providing for prisoners. Barracks have been
* See Vol. I, this Series, p. 170, for Halleck to Thomas inclosing this letter, also pp. 172 and 174, same volume, for other correspondence on same subject.