War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0390 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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troops have captured prisoners have exercised control over them whenever they thought proper to do so. General Halleck has given orders in relation to the prisoners taken at Fort Donelson, even when they were beyond the limits of his department. My office is not known to the generals, and any information I have about the movements of prisoners I pick up from the newspapers or other chance sources. This system must lead to delays confusion and expense, and I would respectfully suggest that all places where prisoners are or may be confined should be under the charge of one person, who should keep the commanders in the field advised of the capacity of these places and who should have entire control of all prisoners received at them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

[Indorsement.]

Respectfully referred to the Adjutant-general. A request that the office of Colonel Hoffman should be announced in general orders was made some time since and some orders in regard to this important matter should be given.

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General.

OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,

Saint Louis, March 19, 1862.

Lieutenant JAMES CRISSY, Provost-Marshal, Sedalia.

SIR: Your letter of March 17 is received. When persons returning from the rebel army or who have at anyt ime been in it voluntarily appear before you to take the oath of allegiance, or when after being taken prisoners for that cause they offer to do so, you will administer the oath and require a bond in $1,000 or such sum as you may see fit to exact and release. Some may not be able from poverty to give any securities. You will exercise your discretion in such cases, having regard to their character for trustworthiness. Persons whom you have reason to believe are guilty of grave crimes or are notorious and bad men you will not release on any terms without first reporting them with evidence to this office.

Very respectfully, yours,

BERNARD G. FARRAR,

Provost-Marshal-General.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Sandusky, Ohio, March 19, 1862.

General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Arrangements are being made to erect barracks for 3,000 to 5,000 prisoners at this depot, and as additional guard will be necessary I respectfully request authority to call on Governor Tod, of Ohio, for a third company. It will be a month or six weeks before the company can be organized and by that time the depot will be ready for the reception of a large increase of prisoners over the number now provided for.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary General of Prisoners.