ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va., July 13, 1863.
Lieutenant General E. K. SMITH, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 16th ultimo, inclosing copies of two letters dated 13th ultimo, addressed by you to Major General R. Taylor, in regard to the disposition to be made of negroes and their officers captured in arms, has been received and submitted to the Secretary of War, by whom I am directed to say that a different policy than that suggested by you is recommended. Considering the negroes as deluded victims, they should be received and treated with mercy and returned to their owners.
A few examples might perhaps be made, but to refuse them quarter would only make them, against their tendencies, fight desperately.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. CLAY,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., July 14, 1863.
A. LINCOLN, President of the United States:
Be assured that, whatever you may have heard, the arrest of McKee had nothing whatever to do with his political position. This can be fully and satisfactorily explained. *
J. O. BROADHEAD.
Washington, July 14, 1863.
Captain CHARLES A. REYNOLDS,
Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. Army, Washington:
CAPTAIN: You will please proceed at once to Rock Island, Ill., and take charge of the construction of a depot for prisoners of war which it is proposed to establish there. The working plans of the buildings which it is proposed to erect you will obtain at the Quartermaster-General's Office.
The plans give merely the dimensions of the buildings with a general arrangement of the whole work, to be modified, however, as the character of the ground shall render necessary. A fence to surround the prisoners' barracks, as shown in the plan, will be constructed twelve feet high, with a sentinel's walk all around on the outside four feet below the top.
If it is found impracticable to dig wells on account of the rock substraction of the island, an arrangement to procure water from the river by force-pumps and pipes will have to be made. In that event, which should be determined at once, a report and an estimate of the probable cost should be immediately forwarded to this office.
In having mechanics and laborers, and in purchasing the materials for the construction of this depot, you will be governed by the strictest economy consistent with the completion of the depot at the earliest practicable period.
M. C. MEIGS,
*For reply, see Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p. 375.