HEADQUARTERS SHELBY'S CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Camp Kirtley, February 15, 1863.
Commanding Cavalry Division.
GENERAL: One of the surgeons attached to my brigade and left in attendance upon our wounded at Hartville, Mo., has recently returned, reporting to me that he with the other surgeons detailed there had been arrested by the Federals, somewhat badly treated and finally paroled, though not without first having the gloomy prospects of going to Saint Louis as prisoners offered to them.
What sudden change has come over Federal rule and usage in Missouri? Are agreements made to be broken and the tender offices of surgeons rendered nugatory by insults, arrests, separations and confinements? General Blunt could have no such ideas, General Hindman certainly had none such, or the treaty at Prairie Grove would have remained unmade.
Our action toward Federal surgeons has always been one of uniform kindness, tempered with a desire to aid rather than detract from their works of mercy, but I seek in vain for their reciprocation of multiplied kindnesses and look only to find them abusing the chief attributes and virtues of humanity.
To arrest and imprison a surgeon causes him to neglect his patients; wounds neglected produce irritation, mortification, death, and death too caused by those who have received countless favors at our hands.
General, some understanding must be reached that will cover this matter, and if needs be retaliation however repugnant to every human feeling will be adopted as a matter of stern and urgent self-defense.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
JO. O. SHELBY,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Brigade.
HDQRS. C. S. FORCES, N. E. ARKANSAS AND S. E. MISSOURI,
Camp near Batesville, Ark., February 16, 1863.
Commanding U. S. Forces near West Plains, Mo.
GENERAL: I beg to call your attention to the within letter.
J. S. MARMADUKE,
Saint Louis, Mo., February 15, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
COLONEL: I have received your telegram of the 14th directing me to select at Saint Louis and Alton Prisons and send under guard to report to the provost-marshal in Washington for exchange 350 citizen prisoners, including guerrillas and those under charges or sentenced to confinement for the war or a less period (not spies), to report by telegram when they will leave. I will proceed at once to execute this order and