War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0240 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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far as its capacity will admit. The sheds along the fence are scarcely suitable for this purpose. You recommend that some of the temporary barracks at Camp Carrington be removed to Camp Morton; but as you give me no information as to the character of that camp, its extent or the purpose for which it was established I have no grounds on which to approve of such an arrangement. In all reports which you make I desire that you will go into full details so that it will not be necessary for me to ask for further information. Report fully about the condition of Camp Morton. How many buildings can be appropriated to the wounded and how many can they accommodate? Can the sheds be made available? What are you doing in the way of improvements? I have an order in my possession from the War Department for you to join your company but it is suspended for the present.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

HEADQUARTERS, Camp Butler, Ill., February 4, 1863.


MAJOR: This will introduce Quartermaster George Sawin, Fifty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, who comes upon business the nature of which you will see by the papers he brings. In addition I would say that nearly one-half the prisoners confined here were pressed into the Confederate service and are anxious to take the oath of allegiance and then join loyal regiments. They are foreigners, Germans, Polanders, &c. Please give instructions in regard to them.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Fifty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, Commanding Post.



February 4,1 863.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Department of the Ohio.

(Through Colonel W. F. Lynch, Fifty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, commanding Camp Butler.)

SIR: Is it consistent with the policy of the Government to allow such of the prisoners of war now confined at Camp butler, Ill., and who are believed to be worthy of confidence to take the oath of allegiance to the United States and then enlist in such regiments now in said camp as they may select?


Lieutenant and Quartermaster, Fifty-eighth Illinois Regiment.

MEMORANDUM. -The prisoners of war now confined at Camp Butler are principally from regiments raised in and about Texas. A large number are of Irish, German and Polish nationality. They state they were conscripted and forced into the rebel army against their will; that the battle of Arkansas Post was the first in which they were engaged. Some are known to have gone from Illinois to the South for employment and some have near relatives and friends in Illinois. They are willing to take the oath of allegiance and fight for the Union, and but for the misfortune of locality would ere this be found in the ranks of loyal regiments.


Lieutenant and Quartermaster, Fifty-eighth Illinois Infantry.