War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0572 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Pillow, Tenn., May 20, 1862.

Captain C. H. DAVIS,

Commanding Western Flotilla, Mississippi River.

CAPTAIN: On yesterday evening while temporarily absent from my headquarters the second in command, Colonel A. Jackson, Jr., through inadvertence or carlessness, received at this post 202 Confederate prisoners of war just from an infected prison at Alton, Ill., with two or three cases of small-pox among them, in exchange for the same number of U. S. prisoners turned over to your authorities some time ago free from infection.

While I do not presume that you are in any way responsible for so babarous an act as sending released prisoners to communicate to my command the loathsome and infectious disease of small-pox, I demand that your Government disown the act by receiving these prisoners back into its lines and caring for them until every symptom of the infection had disappeared fromtheir midst.

I am, captain, with high respect, your obedient servant,

JNO B. VILLEPIGUE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

U. S. FLAG-STEAMER BENTON,

Off Fort Pillow, May 21, 1862.

Brigadier General JOHN B. VILLEPIGUE,

Commanding, Headquarters, Fort Pillow, Tenn.

GENERAL: Your letter of 20th instant has been received. I have not a sufficient knowledge of the circumstances of the case-as for example the condition of the building at Alton, Ill., in which the prisoners referred to have been confined, the health of the prisoners at the period of their release or the possible change of health they may have undergone on their way to this place-to render it worth while for me to enter into the details of the subject.

In order, however, to remove any grounds of complaint and to make a suitable provisionfor an unexpected emergency I proposethat a temporary neutral hospital be established for the benefit of the prisoners suffering from small-pox.

The place for this hospital may be determined by Captain Dover, the bearer of this letter, acting for me and such officer as you may designate on your part.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

C. H. DAVIS,

Captain, Commanding Western Flotilla, Mississippi River.

[Inclosure Numbers 3.]

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Pillow, Tenn., May 21, 1862.

Commodore C. H. DAVIS,

Commanding Western Flotilla, Mississippi River.

COMMODORE: I construe your reply to my demand of yesterday's date to be a refusall to take back the persons who were sent here on the 19th instant from an infected prison under a flag of truce. As it