the locality can only be prevented by the cities before named being immediately put in a sanitary condition.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. GILBERT,
Surgeon and Medical Director.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY,
Louisville, August 12, 1863.
Brigadier-General McLEAN, Provost-Marshal-General:
I have the honor to report to you that there are in the military prison here bout 250 rebel prisoners claiming to be deserters, and to ask what disposition shall be made of them. Many of them have been personally examined by a commission of three officers at the military prison and their release recommended. Large numbers of deserters are sent from the Department of the Cumberland with instructions to be released in Louisville. It is believed by the general commanding the District of Kentucky that the release of such large numbers of this class in the State would be dangerous to its peace, as many bad men would inevitable be turned loose, it being in most cases impossible to procure any other evidence of the good character and honest intentions of the men than their own statement. If it is too dangerous to the interests of the service men of this class in the Department of the Cumberland, it would be equally so in the State of Kentucky, situated in so many respects similar to that of Tennessee.
General Boyle directs me to suggest that some arrangement be made with General Rosecrans by which deserters may be examined at Nashville, where something may be learned of the character of the parties, and that the worthy may be released there and they unworthy be held till the close of the war. Among the prisoners claiming to be deserters are a number of Kentuckians, principally Morgan's men. The Kentuckians who went into the rebel service were principally men bankrupt in fortune and reputation before the rebellion broke out, and they eagerly embraced a cause promising to disrupt the established commercial and social status of the country, having in any change hope of possible advantage and fear of nothing worse than their then present position. With these went out many hot-headed, unreasoning young men, who have been fearfully corrupted and demoralized by association with the former. None of these can plead, as the citizens of States farther south, that force, moral or physical, pressed them into the rebel service. For this reason it is believed less consideration is due them than the others. A protest comes to General Boyle from all sections of the State against the turning loose of these men in it again under any circumstances. Petitions can be gotten up for almost any one, and in this way if is represented that some of the worst men, who have cursed the State have recently gotten discharged from Camp Chase. Although I had recently addressed you a communication upon this subject, General Boyle instructed me, as I had received no reply, to write you again at length requesting you to give the subject your mature consideration and me full instructions.
Begging an early reply, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STEPHEN E. JONES,
Captain and Aide-de-Camp.