HEADQUARTERS, Dobb's House, June 10, 1862.
Honorable GEORGEW. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond.
SIR: I have the honor to request that you will send me the letter from Major-General McClellan which I forwarded to you on yesterday relative to a general exchange of prisoners, &c.
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servnat,
R. E. LEE,
RICHMOND, June 10, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:
I have the honor to submit briefly for your consideration the facts, in reference to the treatment by the enemy of certain prisoners of war captured in the State of Missouri. My informant (whom I consider in every respect reliable and whose communication is herewith inclosed) advises me that Ass. Surgs. Thomas S. Foster and Newton Vowles, of the Second Division, Missouri State Guard (recently under my command), whilst returning to visit their families residing in the country of Marion, State of Missorui, were captured by the enemy, placed in irons and imprisoned in the pentinetiray at Alton, in the State of Illinois. Doctor Foster* has been sentenced to death, which sentence has been approved by Major-General Halleck, commanding U. S. forces in that department, under the pretense that he was concerned in destroying the bridges and telegrphis lines of the enemy in Missouri.
When prisoners captured by the Confederate Army are allowed all the indulgences and courtesies of parole, even to the extent of frequenting our most fashionable hotels, subject only to restraints which might reasonably be mistaken for polite attentions, the barbarous treatment of the loyal citizens of Missorui captured by the enemy stands forth in bold reproof.
The inexcusable cruetly exercised by the enemy toward the two gentlemen named as well as to many other loyal citizens of Missouri induces me to bring the subject to your special attention in the hope that through your timely interposition you may be enabled to accomplish something for humanity by the institution of such retaliatory measures as may influence the enemy to mitigate those barbarities now so shamefully practiced through consideration for his soldiers whom the fortunes of war have placed within our power.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servnat,
THOS. A. HARRIS.
Honorable T. A. HARRIS:
Will order lots to be drawn for two prisoners of equal rank as hostages, and notify General McClellan.
General Winder will immediately cause lots to be cast for two hostages of equal to Assistant Surgeons Foster and Vowles and inform Secretary immediately, as he wishes to communicate to General McClellan.
* See Vol. I, this Series, p. 389 et seq., for Foster's trial and sentence.