command in this confusion, darkness, and rain for the transportation, when I was informed that no train could be furnished until 6 o'clock the next morning. On this occasion we must have lost from fifty to sixth prisoners. It could not be prevented. My officers with myself went up and down the line constantly, but no guard, especially such as I had, could have prevented escapes on such an occasion and in such darkness. I regard the fact of being assured of transportation under the circumstances and failing to get it as most unwarrantable misinformation and recklessness.
I moved my prisoners back to their quarters and refused to bring them out again upon information of a train until the train I was to use was actually pointed out to me and put in my charge. At 11 o'clock on the 15th I got the balance of the prisoners upon the train and moved off. When within a mile of Winnsborough, at about 12 o'clock, we came into a drove of Government cattle, which had been left by the agent or persons in charge to roam and sleep on the railroad, the drivers having gone off to rest. The engine ran over and killed three cows and as thrown off the track and rendered utterly useless. We had to remain here until a new track was made around the wreck, and at about 2 o'clock the 16th we reached Winnsborough, there being then some five or six trains behind us. At Winnsborough the president of the road showed me a telegram from the road transportation agent, saying it was understood a raid was then on its way to Winnsborough. He also suggested that it would be well for my train to go off on a side track to allow lighter trains to pass. To this I utterly objected, stating politely and firmly that having a guard I must take possession of the road to get off these prisoners. Upon a representation of danger to the country if these prisoners were not got off the president gave me the road. We arrived at Charlotte that night, the 15th [16th], and went into camp, a most inadequate and unsafe place to keep them, being an old field, and with a small guard utterly worthless, so much so that notwithstanding every diligence and personal orders and urgency upon each relief as it went on guard, a sergeant and three men of the guard were bribed and went off in one night with thirty prisoners, and nightly they were escaping. I could not keep my own guard in quarters, not having men enough for a camp guard, and I could not punish one-half who deserved, because they were so few that they were doing double duty. All this being promptly reported to you, and your own observation and the complaints of the people of the country convincing you of the danger of the position we were in and the fatality of trying to keep them where they were, I received orders from you to parole them all and bring them to this point, which was done.
I connection with this report allow me to report the representations I had the honor to make to you in regard to the money belonging to the prisoners. I had made every effort, upon the complaints of the prisoners that they had at the several prisons they had occupied been deprived of and delayed in the use of their own money, to get all their money together in the hands of the quartermaster, Captain Richardson, at Columbia, and I had so far succeeded, but they were perfectly satisfied of the diligence and good faith of the Government. Now that they are paroled and about to be exchanged, they ask for this money, consisting of U. S. money, gold, bills of exchange, &c., which they were only allowed to draw, as prisoners, as they needed in clothes and provisions. They ask for this money, it is theirs, andthey ought to have it, but the quartermaster who has it in charge is absent with the money, notwithstanding your positive orders to accompany or follow us with the wagon train. It will be a crying shame upon the management of