War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0550 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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may with great propriety be charged with a small tax for the privilege granted them, and I wish therefore you would impose such a tax as you may think just, according to the profits of the business, the fund accruing therefrom to be devoted to purchasing necessaries for the sick.

The fuel used at Camp Douglas is a course of a very heavy expense to the Government and the practice of baking their own bread by the prisoners occassions a large item of this expense. Please then order the practice discontinue and make arrangements to have the [bread] baked by the contractor or the city bakery. I understand that the contractors are obliged to fusnih flour if it is demanded. They or the city bakers can with great profit to themselves take twenty ounces of flour and return twenty-two ounces of bread, but to make this profit greater they may be permitted to furnish three days in the week corn bread instead of wheat bread. By retaining two ounces of the flour ration and issuing the full ration of bread as I propose by this arrangement you will be able to create a fund with which many things may be purchased for the prisoners that are now bought by the Government.

As another mode of lessening the expenditure Captain Potter will furnish large boilers which require but little fuel and when they are received the use of camp kettles must be dispensed with.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Jfferson City, Mo., May 17, 1862.

Captain S. M. PRESTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report for the information of the major-general commanding department that about 11 o'clock on the night of the 15th instant a detachment sent out by me for that purpose made prisoners Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Thurman, paymaster of the Fifth Division Missouri State Guard, and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Davis, judge-advocate of the Fifth Division Missouri State Guard, both of the staff of General Steen, as alsoa young man who was about to ferry them across the Missouri River. These rebels are suspicioned (and so strongly that it amount almost or quite to positive proof) of being emissaries for the purpose of stirring up rebellion on the State of Missouri. Also that every portion of the State will be visited by similar agents of the rebel army and increased vigilance will doubtless be necessary to secure these dangerous men. Colonel Davis and Colonel Thurman were both formerly residents of Saint Joseph, Mo., the former member of the Legislature for two sessions and the latter circuit attorney of Saint Joseph District. Quite a number of prominent citizens of this vicinity are inplicated in this matter, and inasmuch as theyare prisoners of war (if indeed they are not spies really) and as it is necessary for them to be kept safely and where they cannot have communication with their friends implicated in their scheme I recommend Alton as a very good place where they may be kept.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding District.