suitable of any of the island in the Mississippi River between Cairo and New Madrid. Islands Nos. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 all overflow and could not be used for the purpose desired.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. THURSTON,
Lieutenant - Colonel and Assistant Inspector - General.
MILITARY PRISON, Alton, Ill., April 28, 1863.
Dr. J. B. BROWN, Surgeon, U. S. Army, Saint Louis, Mo.
SIR: I received this morning your communication of yesterday's date in which you call my attention to certain extracts embodied in your letter " from the report of the medical inspector who recently inspected the prison and barracks under your (my) supervision" and beg to state in reply that the inspector has made a mistake in holding me responsible as he appears to have done in his report for the shortcomings of the volunteer troops stationed at this place. I have no control whatever over these troops except when they are on guard within the prison, and am therefore not responsible for them and their acts in any shape or manner. Their barracks and regimental hospital are in the town and outside the prison walls and are under the control exclusively of their report about the company officers not inspecting the messes, the condition of building B of the barracks and of the regimental hospital do not apply to me as these things are not under my supervision.
As to the condition of the roof of the prison hospital building and other buildings of the prison I some time since reported to Colonel Hoffman, commissary - general of prisoners at Washington, the necessity of their speedy repair and am looking for instructions daily in relation to this subject. I would wish it to be undestroyed, doctor, that there are two separate commands here: one of the prison, the other of the troops or post. I am responsible for the prison but not for the troops.
I have the honor to be, sir, with much respect, your most obedient servant,
Major Third Infantry, Commanding the Prison.
WAR DEPT., ADJT., GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 108.
Washington, April 28, 1863.
1. Whenever volunteer troops are mustered out of service the entire regiment or other organization will be considered as mustered out at one time and place except prisoners of war, who will be considered as in service until their arrival in a loyal State, with an allowance of time necessary for them to return to their respective places of enrollment. With officers and men of this class commanding officers of regiments and companies will exercise great care in stating in the remarks on the muster - rolls the dates and places of capture, thus: Prisoner of war. Captured at -, December -, 18 -.
* * * * * * *
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant - General.