of their landing. No descriptive papers concerning them have been received by me excepting in one instance a list of upward of 1,000 men, while but few, upward of 100, reported at this office for distribution to their regiments. Through existing regulations commanders look tome for the proper return of their men dismissed from such camps; but my own part in the transmission of men from Annapolis is simply accidental as above indicated. On the 5th instant there arrived at Aquia Creek 380 men from the Parole Camp at Annapolis under charge of First Lieutenant Barker and two more lieutenants. They were sent off by the commandant of the camp the day previous with some 480 men via Washington, without a guard, without rolls and apparently without orders. On reaching the Soldier's Rest at washington some 50 men were missing - lost along the way. The remainder, 430, were forwarded from Washington on the 6th instant, but on arriving at Acquia Creek only 380 could be accounted for. Of this number 211 it was found did not belong to this army and were sent accordingly back to Alexandria under a suitable guard for delivery to Major W. H. Wood, Seventeenth U. S. Infantry, assistant provost-marshal-general, Army of the Potomac, who will return them in due course to their respective regiments. even the number thus accounted for were disposed of with great difficulty and embarrassment, for the confused condition of this transfer and indeed the transfer itself came to my knowledge only by accident.
I have the honor to inclose a copy of General Orders, Numbers 192, and to suggest that its provisions be made to cover the transfer of exchanged U. S. soldiers dismissed from the several camps for paroled prisoners. By this arrangement soldiers will be returned de facto when dismissed from parole camps, and moreover they will be properly equipped for service when they are received. At least I must properly equipped for service when they are received. At least I must earnestly request that I be duly apprised by telegraph when such a transfer is to be made in order that I may either arrange for the transmission of all large detachments under a guard of my own or for their reception here by my own guard to relieve an efficient guard accompanying them from the start.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. R. PATRICK,
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers 192.
Camp near Falmouth, Va., December 24, 1862.
I. In order to facilitate the return to duty of officers and men detained at the camp of convalescents, stragglers, &c., near Alexandria, Major W. H. Wood, Seventeenth Infantry, assistant provost-marshal-general, Army of the Potomac, will repair to Alexandria and take charge of all such officers and men in the various camps of that vicinity as are reported for duty in the field, superintendent their muster and embarkation by corps under the direction of the corps officer designated for that purpose and providing the proper escort for the detachment on board the steam-boat to Aquia Creek.
II. As the men in those camps are without arms, frequently without proper clothing and therefore useless with their regiments until supplied each corps commander will appoint subject to the approval of the commander of his grand division a suitable officer to take charge of the arming, equipping, clothing and conducting to corps headquarters for the distribution to their respective regiments and commands all officers and men of the corps who may be turned over to him by Major Wood.
11 R R - SERIES II, VOL V