War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0484 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 15, 1863.

His Excellency JOHN A. ANDREW,

Governor of Massachusetts, Boston, Mass.

SIR: By direction of the Secretary of War I have the honor to inform you that your communication of the 8th instant in relation to the sale into slavery of two negroes boys in Texas has been received and considered and that at present it appears impossible to do anything in this case except as a result of success in the war. The effort to reclaim them will be made.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General and Assistant Adjutant-General.

FORT DELAWARE, DEL., April 15, 1863.

Colonel G. H. CROSMAN,

Assistant Quartermaster-General, Philadelphia, Pa.

COLONEL: In consequence of a violent storm this evening since my arrival I have not been able to examine the barracks which were erected here for the prisoners last year, but from the report made to me about them by Colonel Buchanan and from my recollection of them as I saw them soon after their erection I am satisfied it will be absolutely necessary to make some considerable change in their plan and in the manner in which they are constructed to make them suitable for the purpose intended, and that the buildings about to be erected may be free from the faults of the present ones I have respectfully to request that you will defer closing the contracts for them until I am able after a personal inspection to suggest such changes as seem to be demanded. In fixing upon the plan there are many things to be considered and acted on which, though at first attended with some additional expense, will in the end lead to a saving of money, and as we are not in immediate want of the barracks I hope you will defer closing the contracts until the most appropriate plan can be decided on. It is probable that new proposals will have be asked for. I will return to Washington to-morrow night and will write you again from there.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., April 15, 1863.


Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: Your letter of March 26, 1863, informing me of orders having been issued placing me in full control of the prison was duly received but the orders referred to themselves have failed as yet to come to hand. I therefore occupy about the same uncertain position here that I have from the first so far as the full control of the prison is concerned.

I have the honor to be, sir, with much respect, your most obedient servant,


Major Third Infantry, Commanding Prison.