ALTON MILITARY PRISON, January 19, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel C. W. MARSH,
Acting Provost-Marshal-General, Department of the Missouri:
SIR: I find in the prison here continued efforts being made daily by prisoners to effect an escape. They are so numerous and crowded that detection is almost impossible by the ordinary guard. Their plans are deeply laid and well concerted. The duty here is very onerous upon my regiment, and I thought that if we could procure the services of a few skilled detectives I could fathom whatever plot might be existing among the prisoners. You can hardly imagine the wonderful ingenuity resorted to, and I must therefore resort to others outside of my command to detect the schemes. Can you not furnish me for a few days some suitable men?
Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Monroe, January 20, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
SIR: Since making my report of the execution of a U. S. soldier in Pasquotank County, N. C., by order of the rebel General Pickett, I have learned the following additional facts:
The enemy were mistaken both in the name and regiment of the deceased.
His name is Samuel Jordan, Company D, Fifth U. S. Colored Troops, captured from that regiment on General Wild's late expedition into North Carolina, and is the person for whom General Wild holds two women as hostages, as mentioned in his report, which I have had the honor to forward to the War Department.
The mistake of the enemy probably arose from the fact that the Fifth U. S. Colored, having been raised in Ohio, is familiarly called up the men "Fifth Ohio. "
May I ask specific instructions from the commanding general upon this subject?
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., January 20, 1864.
Major General B. F. BUTLER,
Commanding Dept. of Virginia and N. Carolina, Fort Monroe, Va.:
SIR: A paper was sent Brigadier-General Meredith, commissioner of exchange, on the 9th of December, 1863, for report in relation to the case of Mrs. Henrietta Boate, whose husband, Edward W. Boate, Company K, Forty-second New York Volunteers, is a prisoner at Belle Isle, Va., and said to be in a dying state.
Your attention is invited to this case to ascertain the latest information respecting this soldier, and report the same to this Department.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,