examination of the books in this office, that such has been the practice for more than two years. When I took command of the post it was so well established that I never thought of inquiring whether it was authorized or not. Since the recepiton of your telegram I have endeavored to discover the origin of the practice. I find, by reference to the letter-book, a letter from II. M. Lazelle, captain, Eighth U. S. Infantry, assistant to Commissary-General of Prisoners, to Colonel C. W. B. Allison, Eighty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanding Camp Chase, dated August 12, 1862, in which purports to be an extract from a letter of instructions from you to him: "All prisoners who are discharged under the instructions in my letter of the 1st instnat will be furnished with a ticket of transportation by the quartermaster as conveniently near to their homes as can be." Again, I find a letter of yours to Captain Lazelle at Columbus, Ohio, dated August 18, 1862, directing the discharge of certain prisoners, and that they be furnished with transportation to their homes. I fail to find anything in your correspondence conflicting with the foregoing correspondence instructions, and the precedent seems to have been followed for more than two years without being questioned until now. That transportation was being furnished to discharged prisoners must have been known to the Quartermaster's Department during all this time. It would seem that this long-unquestioned practice, fully known by the authorities, together with the letters referred to, might be said to authorize what I have done. With your permission I will add that the practice commends itself to me as humane, and should be continued from motives of sound policy. Few, if any, of these prisoners have any friends in this part of the country, and a mojority are without any menas when they are discharged. Friendless and without money to procure food or shelter, the temptations to crime would be greatly increased. If sent to some part of the country where they have frineds or relatives, the chances are greatly in favor of their leading peaceable and orderly lives. Until further orders I shall regard your telegram as an order to furnish no more transportation to released prisoners.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. RICHARDSON,
Brevet Brigadier-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Nashville, March 8, 1865.
Colonel J. G. PARKHURST,
Pro. March General, Dept. of the Cumberland, Eastport, Miss.:
Your letter of March 4 has been received. You will receive the prisoners and keep them at Iuka until they can be removed, provided you can supply them with provisions at that place. If not, you will be obliged to keep them where they can be supplied. The Forty-fourth Wisconsin Regiment will be ordered from this place to report to you for the purpose of guarding the prisoners to Saint Louis. After their arrival there, such of their numbers as wish furloughs must apply for them in the regular manner.
Very respectfully, yours,
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.