HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, February 7, 1863.
Respectfully referred to the commissary-general of prisoners for instructions.
As a general rule prisoners of war cannot be discharged on taking oath of allegiance, but the case has been presented as a peculiar one, it having been alleged that many of the prisoners are not only of foreign birth, have their residences in Northern States and had gone South only for the sake of employment, but that they had been conscripted and forced against their will to serve in the rebel army. Under these circumstances I would advise that those of the men who are undoubted conscripts should be discharged on their application on taking the oath of allegiance, unless such course is considered to be in contravention of the cartel concerning prisoners of war.
H. G. WRIGHT,
NEW YORK, February 4, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN:
There are at present at Fort Lafayette about twenty-four blockade-running prisoners. I do not know whether they are considered citizen prisoners or not.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., February 5, 1863.
Barracks for prisoners should be on islands to save guards. I concur with Colonel Allen in recommending Arsenal Island instead of Cairo for prison barracks.
S. R. CURTIS,
February 9, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Colonel Hoffman, commissary-general of prisoners, for his advice. Barracks for prisoners were ordered to be built at Cairo.
E. S. SIBLEY,
Brevet Colonel, U. S. Army, and Deputy Quartermaster-General.
SAINT LOUIS, February 5, 1863.
General M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-General:
All the Arkansas prisoners have been sent to Chicago and Springfield, Ill. The 4,000 sent to Chicago cost $9,000 less than the conventional price, being carried for 1 1/3 cents per mile.
16 R R-SERIES II, VOL V