War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0050 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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from Johnson's Island and Alton to Cairo to be exchanged. If such prisoners are to be sent forward I believe that amongst those in my custody will be found a large number who will gladly go South. I ask an early reply to this inquiry that I may send such men off at once and in that way relieve our overcrowded prisoners.

Inclosed are copies of two letters* sent to Colonel Hildebrand.

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


Lieutenant Colonel and Provost-Marshal-General, Dept. of the Missouri.



Saint Louis, Mo., November 29, 1862.

Colonel J. HILDEBRAND, Commanding Alton Military Prison.

COLONEL: The necessity for removing a considerable number of the prisoners from Gratiot Street Prison was pressing for the reason stated in my letter of the 27th. A large list of prisoners was made out in this office by the clerk who has always had charges of that kind of work from the rolls sent to this office by General Merrill. In the pressure of business time was not taken to call off the prisoners by the list to ascertain if they agreed with it. In making up the list from different rolls done by different clerks it happened that two pages of it were duplicated. Upon calling upon the prisoners to go it was found that a few of them had been released, a considerable number were dead and a large number too sick to be moved. Fort these reasons the number actually sent, 276, fall short of the number I expected to send. Had the records of my office been in proper condition those discharged would have been so entered and could due time have been taken before hand to ascertain the state of health of the men the sick would not have been entered upon the list. All such irregularities are being corrected as rapidly as possible but order cannot be brought out of confusion instantaneously. What made the matter appear worse the officer in command of the guard left at the prison the rolls of the prisoners actually sent. This will be sent to you at once.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant Colonel and Provost-Marshal-General, Dept. of the Missouri.

FORT DELAWARE, December 8, 1862.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Eighth Army Corps.

SIR: Will you please instruct me as soon as convenient whether the paroled prisoners, numbering about 550 enlisted men of the U. S. service now at this post, are to be forwarded by me without further orders in the case than is embraced in General Orders, Numbers 191, from Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, to any other post or camp for return to their regiments. Provision first of general order referred to covers the case of all the paroled prisoners at this post; that is they are captured and paroled in Virginia and Maryland previous to November 1, 1862, and were delivered at Aiken's Landing prior to November 11, 1862, but in the after enumeration no mention is made of this post or


* For Dick to Hildebrand, November 27, see Vol. IV, this Series, p. 762.