War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0900 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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It is almost a necessity General Randolph, that the sale of ardent spirits be prohibited here, for this town has become a very public place, and the cases of drunkenness and fights are of such frequent occurrence that ladies are affraid to go into the streets. The most injurious and posioned whisky is sold to the thoughtless soldier and shortly he becomes a madman. The people in this town are constantly begging me to declare martial law so far as selling liquor is involved but I am powerless. General, I deslike to trouble you again on this subject but the matter is of great importance to the army now so near us. The desertions from the army are numerous and a small troops of cavalry here would be of great service in arresting them. There are several thousand stand of arms here.

With great respect, I am, your obedient servnat,

JOHN TAYLOR,

Captain and Commandant of Post.

[Indorsement.]

Inform Captain Taylor that as commandant of the post it was his duty to see that the prisoners did not walk about the town; that if he had not the guard necessary to keep them in he should have applied to the officer commanding to assist, and if he declined to furnish if he should have telegraphed immediately to the Secretary; that the mischief is now done and cannot be remedied; that if he as post commander cannot now confine prisoners the declaration of martial law would not help him. It would throw upon him a vast amount of civil and policital business now attended to by other people without increasing his power to do all that is required to be done; that if arrests cannot be made the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended but that martial law for so small a town will be an intoreable burden and would do no good.