with violation of oath, &c., who desire to take the President's oath and be released from custody. The flood gate has not yet been opened here, but when it is there will be a rushing of waters. What the effect of a general jail clearing is to be I am not prepared to say. In many cases I have no doubt it will work well. Will you please give me your views as to the proper construction of and proceedings under this proclamation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. M. DUNN,
Major and Judge-Advocate.
GRATIOT STREET PRISON, Saint Louis, December 21, 1863.
Mrs. E. BURCH, Saint Louis, Mo.:
MY DEAR WIFE: This last week has been one to me of greater anxiety and solicitude than any one since my capture. If your affairs have reached such a point it is one of the conditions that I have always looked forward to as one possible, but highly improbable, and not hearing from you to-day has increased my anxiety tenfold. I would be glad to hear from you immediately and to see you, if possible. I can no longer resist your importunities to return to my allegiance to the Government and remain a peaceable and quiet citizen. I conceive it to be my duty under all circumstances to remain and protect and provide for my family, and with the help of God I will make that my first object in life hereafter. If I have been led by passion and continued excitement to neglect that claim of my family I have now resolved not to do so again. You say I can be released on taking the oath of allegiance. If such is the case you will attend to having the matter brought up at once before the proper officers. I have arrived at the above conclusions after due and deliberate consideration. Waiting with anxiety to hear from you, and hoping you are all well, as I am at present, I remain,
Your affectionate husband,
CHAS. H. BURCH.
P. S. - Give my love with a kiss to my little daughter.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., December 24, 1863.
Brigadier General G. MARSTON,
Commanding Depot Prisoners of War, Point Lookout, Md.:
GENERAL: Surgeon Clark reports very favorably of the general sanitary condition of the prisoners of war at Point Lookout. He recommends that the hospital tents be floored, and I request you will carry out his suggestion, unless is some objection which does not occur to me. A good supply of shirts and drawers for the sick should be kept on hand for the use of the sick. These articles should not be issued to individuals, but should be used and accounted for as hospital property. They should be purchased with the prison fund, and these and all other articles so purchased should be accounted for together, not as public property, but as property on hand for the use of prisoners.
The contagious hospital seems to have been very badly conducted by Assistant Surgeon Bunton, but as Surgeon Heger, medical director, proposes to take the matter in hand, it is hoped that the hospital
48 R R-SERIES II, VOL VI.