Page images

loaded piece upon this beat, and also would respectfully inform you that accidents such as breaking the hygrometer and willful mutilation of the hospital by the sentries have occurred. The patients too complain that they cannot sleep at night from the noise created by the marching of the sentry upon his beat.

Answer of Lieutenant Sutton: "The sentry will remain there."

E.rplanation.—This guard was posted there in front of the hospital on the balcony, and my patients were not allowed to go to the privy without being accompanied or passed by a corporal of the guard, and yet the rear of the building was left unguarded so that any of them could escape at all times if they desired.

(Inclosure No. 4.] HOSPITAL DEPARTMENT, Fort Mackinac, June 25, 1862. Lieut. E. F. SUTTON.

SIR: Having requested you verbally to give me the countersign, and as you refused to comply, I as surgeon of this post demand it.


Post Surgeon. Explanation.-I was not permitted to have the countersign because the officer (Lieutenant Sutton) did not see the necessity of a surgeon having it.

PRISON No. 3, MESS No. 1,

Camp Chase, Ohio, July 4, 1862. Col. C. W. B, ALLISON:

Every man that lores liberty and Washington loves also the Stars and Stripes and the 4th of July. The emblem that is on this note I want to triumphantly again wave over this land of rebellion, and I would be glad to help wave it through the breezes of East Tennessee where I live, and my friends would greet me and hail the happy event. Oh, how welcome is the old flag to a goodly number of the people of my native home, East Tennessee! If it is consistent I would be

very glad to enter the service of the United States. I will send you my letter that I received from Mr. Maynard, and as you say that you are personally acquainted with Hon. Horace Maynard of course you know him to be an independent, not disposed to flatter and no warm feelings for rebellion, but candid, always meaning just what he says. You will find that he assures me that he will do all in his power to secure my release, which of course if he had not known me to be a Union man he would not have put himself to any trouble for a rebel. He also informs me in the same that the military operations were very exciting and employ's the whole attention, but said in conclusion, “However, i think that arrangements will soon be completed for your discharge.” I feel myself, sir, under many obligations to you for your kind reply of the 2d and information I received from you. In compliance I wrote at large and sent to the War Department through the hands of Mr. May. nard. You will please send me back my letter from Mr. Maynard and do not think me troublesome. If you wish to examine me by crossquestions I am at your service; and also here are the other prisoners who can testify to the most I have written to you. I am ever a friend to you and all Union-loving men.

J, S. LAMB, An interview with you will satisfy you.


WASHINGTON, May 12, 1862. Mr. J. S. LAMB.

DEAR SIR: I received your letter and laid the matter before the War Department. You may be assured that I will do all in my power to secure your release and enable you to go home. The military oper. ations just now are very exciting and occupy the whole attention of the Department. I think, however, that arrangements will soon be completed for your discharge. I am, very truly, yours,



Washington, July 5, 1862. Col. W. HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, Mich. COLONEL: Your letter of the 1st instant relating to proposed improve. ments at Camp Douglas and your telegram of the 4th calling attention thereto have been received. I cannot approve the expenditure involved in the improvements suggested in your letter. Ten thousand men should certainly be able to keep this camp clean, and the United States has other uses for its money than to build water-works to save them the labor necessary to their health. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-General.


Fort Pulaski, July 5, 1862. Maj. CHARLES G. HALPINE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the South : I have the honor to report that in obedience to instructions received from the major-general commanding the Department of the South I this morning sent Lieut. James O. Paxson, of the Forty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, with a flag of truce to the enemy's lines on the Savannah River. Lieutenant Paxson had in charge the two prisoners of war, Antonio Ponce, jr., and Ashley M. Shaw, captured at this place on the 11th of April, whom I was directed to send to Savannah, the letters which I received from you and a large number of letters, most of them written by persons taken at Pulaski and which have been in my possession since the fall of the fort. Lieutenant Paxson was instructed to deliver all of these letters or none. He proceeded up the river until halted by the rebel outpost on the west bank of Saint Augustine Creek; he was there detained until the arrival of a commissioned officer to whom he delivered the persons and the letters. No objection was made to the reception of these letters. Having accomplished the object of the flag he returned to this post. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier General, 9 R R-SERIES II, VOL IV

NASHVILLE, TENN., July 5, 1862. Col. J. B. FRY:

Your dispatch is received in reference to Lieutenant-Colonel Bennett. I gave him a pass to go and see General Halleck and effect an exchange. He was paroled by General Mitchel and granted the privilege by him of endeavoring to effect an exchange. He was placed on a peculiar parole. He was found lying dangerously ill and delirious at the house of a friend and the written parole left for him to observe when he should have returned to his senses. He observed the parole although of course not binding, and I was desirous he might effect his exchange; but I never intended he should visit General Halleck's headquarters in tbe field. At the time he left it was understood that General Halleck's headquarters were at Memphis.


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Detroit, July 5, 1862. J. COOPER MCKEE, Assistant Surgeon, Camp Butler, Il.

SIR: Your communication of the 30th ultimo in which you recommend the release under parole of certain sick prisoners confined at Camp Butler has been received. In reply I am directed by Colonel Hoffman to state that he is authorized to grant the release of sick prisoners upon their application for a pardon, approved by the surgeon in charge, in extreme cases; but that paroles for prisoners in charge of the surgeon will not be entertained by him under any other circumstances and only then in cases when in his judgment it would in every respect be proper to grant them. With the highest respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

H. M. LAZELLE, Capt., Eighth Infty., Assistant Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, Mich. COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I arrived here on the even. ing of the 3d instant, having been delayed at Toledo for nearly twelve hours, the trains not making connection. I visited Camp Butler on the morning of the 4th instant and found affairs there in some confusion consequent upon the Sixty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, the guard of the prisoners, having been relieved from further duty there and ordered to proceed to Virginia. There remained at the camp a portion of the Seventieth Regiment Illinois Infantry and a portion of the Second Regiment of Artillery, two regiments now in process of formation at the camp. These regiments are perfectly inexperienced troops; have not been drilled, and the majority of the men have only been enlisted for a few days. I do not know the exact number of enlisted men in camp for guard duty, but there are about 600, and is constantly being increased by the arrival of recruits.

With regard to the instructions heretofore given to the commanding officer of Camp Butler I find that they have only been partially carried out. The improvements in the hospitals therein referred to have been

made and a most admirable system of police has been established in them. The loss by death has decreased at least 70 per cent. The general health of the prisoners is good. The police of the camp has been much improved, but the scarcity of wagons and teams has prevented the prisoners from keeping their company parade-grounds and the vicinity of their quarters (barracks) in the condition most to be desired. At least six additional wagons and teams are required for the proper police of the camp. Some necessary articles for cooking and police purposes are still required, but can be procured here by requisition or purchase.

With regard to the saving of surplus rations I find that this bas been neglected and there is no fund for the purpose of purchasing necessary articles of comfort or of subsistence of the prisoners not supplied by the Government. It appears that the prisoners have been receiving their rations from the contractors and exchanging with the contractors such portions of the rations as they could dispense with for such other articles not forming part of the Government ration as they most needed. This has been done in many cases without the cognizance of the officers in charge. The commissary has not given his personal attention to this matter. The commissary has not been residing in the camp, but I have requested his presence there to-morrow and this matter will be thoroughly investigated. The result will be in my next.

I have visited the camp every day since my arrival but have been unable to accomplish much on account of the change of the guard. It appears that the guard have been changed so often, and are under the charge of different persons who have somewhat conflicted in authority that the instructions heretofore given have not been so strictly observed as might be desired. Maj. J. G. Fonda has been placed personally in command of the camp and of the guard of the prisoners, and is now using and will use his best endeavors to have your instructions strictly complied with. I have daily consulted and advised with him regarding the manner of conducting the camp.

The presence of temporary troops is prejudicial to the good order of the camp and to the comfort and security of the prisoners. The constant desire of new troops to communicate with the prisoners and their curiosity to see and barter with them contributes much to the relax. ation of discipline and to inspiring improper feelings of jealousy and revenge, thus rendering the position of the prisoners and the guard more unpleasant.

A guard should be permanently established here, I shall consult Governor Yates on this subject upon his return. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Third Infantry.

U.S. SENATE, Washington, July 6, 1862. Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to inclose a letter from Governor Kirkwood covering one from J. B. Dorr, quartermaster of the Twelfth Iowa Regiment. I respectfully and earnestly request that the subject may receive the favorable consideration and action of your Department. Your obedient servant,



ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, July 17, 1862. General Orders, No. 72 (copy* inclosed), provides for our soldiers on parole. In regard to the exchange of those in the hands of the enemy it is believed steps have been taken such as the Secretary deems proper. Respectfully submitted.


Adjutant-General. (Inclosure.]

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Iowa City, June 21, 1862. Hon. JAMES W. GRIMES, Washington.

DEAR SIR: Inclosed find copy of letter from J. B. Dorr, which explains itself. Governor Kirkwood is disabled from writing, and directs me to inclose this copy to you and ask you to bring all the influence of our delegation in Congress to the relief of these men. Other letters are received of the same import of this, and the Governor does not feel that it is necessary to keep these men in their present uncomfortable position.

He would call especial attention to the fate of our officers still in rebel hands as peculiarly hard and deserving of the most active efforts for their relief. Will you not press this matter upon the authorities at Washington with all the influence in your power? Respectfully, yours,


Military Secretary, &c. [Sub-inclosure.]

NASHVILLE, TENN., June 11, 1862. Hon. SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD, Governor State of Iowa.

DEAR SIR: Lieut. John Elwell, of Company E, Twelfth Iowa, and myself made our escape from prison at Montgomery, Ala., on the 24th ultimo and reached Huntsville on the 28th, from which place to this city we accompanied 1,450 paroled privates, among which were 141 of the Twelfth, 200 of the Fourteenth, 230 of the Eighth and a number of the Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Iowa Regiments, all captured at Shiloh. These men are now detained here in camp, having at present very unhealthy and uncomfortable quarters, waiting for orders from General Halleck. To-day within the hour Í have learned that orders have been received from General Buell to put them into another camp and require them to do guard duty and drill, They have received clothing, yet they are very indignant that they are not allowed to go farther west if they are to be retained in camp, or if compelled to perform military duty that they are not allowed to return to their regiments. Exhausted and worn out with two months' imprisonment upon starving rations they feel that they should be allowed a short respite from the duties of a soldier and that if they are to be kept at any point for the purpose of exchange they should be sent to some point nearer home. With few exceptions all are willing to continue in the service when honorably released from parole forced upon them by the alternative of death by disease or starvation in a Southern prison, but deem it an infraction of their obligation to be required to perform guard duty in this latitude where the only enemies of the

* Omitted here; see p. 94.

« PreviousContinue »