War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0016 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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in relation to the alleged statements of the Argus newspaper, published in the city of Rock Island, the same being furnished for my information. The disposal of the subject by you in the manner indicated in the letter I am deeply thankful for, and as the matter has been brought to your notice through outside sources, I trust the following remarks in relation to the subject will not be amiss: During the political strife which has passed this paper was known as one of the most untruthful sheets in everything that related to the Government and the furtherance of its party success. As its circulation was largely among the friends and relations of the prisoners here residing in the border States, who took this paper for no other reason than to glean from its columns such slight intelligence of the prisoners as the editor was able to pick up on the streets, we were greatly annoyed by letters from these people asking if such and such statements were true. Though the inquiries were treated courteously, no steps were taken to correct the willful lies of this man, who seemed lost to all sense of honor or truth, until the appearance of the article which was referred to you. It was then debated in my mind whether to notice this statement or pass it by. Knowing that I would be flooded with letters from the friends of the prisoners and others in relation to it, I decided it was the most judicious plan to answer it. A copy of that answer I beg to inclose herewith. In connection with this I would respectfully bring to your notice a rumor,which comes to me with every semblance of truth, to the effect that a well-known copperhead of Davenport, one Judge Grant by name, a bosom friend of Mr. Prettyman and such ilk, left for Washington some time ago to endeavor to bring to the notice of the President the "inhuman treatment of prisoners at this post," and obtain, if possible, permission to visit the prison and investigate the matter. I have no fears of success on his part, but bring this forward to show the spirit animating these disloyal busybodies, whose desires are not to ameliorate the condition of the prisoners so much, but to use it as a hobby for partisan purposes.

I am,general, very truly and respectfully, your most obedient servant,

A. J. JOHNSON,

Colonel Fourth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, Commanding Post.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS ROCK ISLAND BARRACKS,

Rock Island, Ill., November 23, 1864.

Mr. EDITOR: In your issue of the 21st instant I notice an article on the treatment of prisoners of war at this depot. Up to this time I have passed unnoticed the numerous erroneous articles that have appeared in the papers of this vicinity in relation to the occurrences at this post, but in this case I will deviate from an established rule and give your article of the 21st instant the notice it seems to merit. Owing to the fact that your paper has a wide circulation among the relatives of a large number of the prisoners, it is desirable that the antidote should quickly follow the poison in order to save the wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers of the prisoners unnecessary grief. Your assertions are founded on what you term a talk with several "newly made Union men," and it would be difficult to imagine it possible to put together a greater amount of error and misrepresentation in the same space.

You start with an issue of eight ounces of bread and a small piece of salt meat the size of two fingers daily; give large numbers the scurvy,