WHEELING, VA., February 19, 1863.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
Writ of habeas corpus to take deserters out of possession of officers sent by me to arrest them issued at Steubenville, which is in this district, commanded by General Cox, was not respected by me, and have instructed officers not to notice the writ. Am I right? It is a "butternut" proceeding and I think intended to be carried further.
JOS. DARR, JR.,
Major and Provost-Marshal.
CHICAGO, February 19, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: A number of C. S. prisoners now in Camp Butler, Springfield and Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., all of them Germans who have been pressed into the rebel army, desire to take the oath of allegiance and join my regiment (German), the Sixteenth Illinois Cavalry, part of it now in the field, known as Thielemann's Cavalry. On an application to the post commanding officers to grant permission to take those men out of camp and into U. S. service I was advised to write to you by them to that effect. You will do me as well as Governor Yates, with whom I had conversation in regard to the matter, a great favor by complying with my wishes. An early answer would oblige, colonel,
Your obedient servant,
Major of Thielemann's Cav., appointed Colonel Sixteenth Illinois Cav.
I respectfully ask favorable attention to this and a reply.
I. N. ARNOLD.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., February 20, 1863.
Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
ADMIRAL: I have just received your communication of yesterday. The list of steamers sent you by Colonel Van Buren yesterday shows the additions made to the 1st furnished you in October. These steamers should have been reported to you at the time they were respectively taken into the service of the Quartermaster's Department, but through a misapprehension in the assistant adjutant-general's office explained in Colonel Van Buren's letter they were not reported to me. I will see that no such mistake occurs hereafter and that all changes are reported on the day they are made. I think no inconvenience has resulted from it as all these steamers have a flag number and none others are passed without special permits.
All steamers in the service of the army communicate with the guard vessel now both by night and day and when it is possible. If they are in the quartermaster's service they exhibit a flag with a number corresponding with that on the list which has been furnished. If not in his service they are passed under special permits.