War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0668 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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All men who have been exchanged will be sent to their commands without delay. When no officers of their commands are present with them others will be detailed (those at present in charge in preference) to conduct them, returning to this place as soon as the duty shall be performed. Exchanged officers not required in the field may be retained to take charge of paroled men.


BENTON BARRACKS, MO., May 20, 1863.

Colonel HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

In reply to yours of the 13th instant calling my attention to your former instructions I feel it due to myself to remark that my only desire is to do your wish and to do it exactly as you wish. When I do not succeed it is a cause of regret. My last report of the fragments of more than 100 regiments when finished upon examination was found incorrect and had to be made over again, which will explain the delay in forwarding it. Your communication respecting creating a fund from the saving of rations of paroled men reached me last evening. The 4,300 paroled men at this barracks are divided into companies of about 100 each, and these companies are divided into five battalions of paroled men, which organization is preserved over all parcels of scattered companies, and to the commanders of these battalions, together with principal surgeon and the commissary of subsistence as a board of officers, I have placed your letter for their consideration and to carry out your suggestions in the best possible manner.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding Post.


Benton Barracks, Mo., May 20, 1863.

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II. A board of officers is hereby convened to take into consideration a communication from the commissary-general of prisoners suggesting certain modifications of the rations of paroled men with a view of creating a fund from the savings thus made to be expended for the benefit of the men as indicated in said communication (a copy of which is furnished the board). The board will consist of Colonel Kinney, commanding First Battalion Paroled Men; Colonel Fox, commanding Second Battalion Paroled Men; Lieutenant Colonel Harry S. Smith, commanding Third Battalion Paroled Men; Major S. M. Meeker, commanding Fourth Battalion Paroled Men; Colonel C. M. Ferrell, commanding Fifth Battalion Paroled Men; Lieutenant P. Lucas, One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Volunteers (expected to put in execution any plan adopted), who will meet at the office of the post adjutant at 3 p. m. to-day or as soon thereafter as practicable and make report as to the best method of carrying into effect the views of the commissary-general of prisoners. The junior member will record the proceeding.

III. In addition to paragraph II, Special Orders, No. 64, from these headquarters, Captain Campbell, commissary of subsistence, is hereby announced as one of the board to take into consideration the saving of surplus rations. Also Dr. Ira Russell, surgeon in charge of hospitals,