Today in History:

140 Series II Volume I- Serial 114 - Prisoners of War


own personal attention as far as possible to every matter pertaining to the duties of the office I have been enabled considerably to reduce the force from that originally employed; it cannot, however, be further reduced, the duties of each being very onerous and requiring uninterrupted attention.

The police department is under the general control of an experienced officer. * * * Reports are submitted and instructions given every morning at my office and during the day upon any matter of importance. In relation to this department it is proper to add that the force employed is not used in this county alone. Detectives have been furnished from the force for all points of the State on proper representation to me of their necessity. They have been invaluable in disaffected districts in discovering facts which it has been impossible to obtain by the ordinary means.

I will state that for some weeks past it has been my intention to organize this department almost entirely from enlisted men and arrangements are now in progress for that purpose. It is believed that with but little effort men can be found in the different regiments who under an experienced chief will answer every purpose, and thus while not impairing the efficiency naturally reduce the expense of this branch of the service. Included in the number stated above are three detectives who are used in special cases under my own immediate instructions and are not known to the chief of the department.

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The military prison is in charge of one keeper at $100, one assistant keeper at $30 per month. The number of prisoners that can be accommodated will not exceed ninety, although there has been as many as 140 confined at one time. Upon an average it will be found that about one-half of them confined at any given time are soldiers confined temporarily for violation of police regulations and who are always returned to their several commands at the earliest opportunity; the remainder are those arrested (here and in other parts of the State) for giving aid and comfort to the enemies of or bearing arms against the Government.

I beg leave respectfully to submit that the present prison is entirely inadequate to security and personal comfort of so many prisoners as are usually confined therein. If some place could be secured at Jefferson Barracks or at the arsenal for those whom it is designed to hold during the war or for a considerable period leaving the present prison for police purposes and prisoners from other causes temporarily confined it would in my opinion be of advantage to the service.

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I may be permitted to say that on my appointment to the position I hold I found the department greatly disorganized and that from the date of the proclamation of martial law there had been exercised a very general jurisdiction over civil as well as military matters. Perhaps at first it was in a measure necessary, but if so the necessity exists no longer; and it has been my aim by thorough organization to increase its efficiency though operating with a less force and disentangle it from all connection with civil matters except in cases of absolute necessity and where it is believed the interests of the Government imperatively require it.

The police department of the city is under the control of men of unquestioned loyalty, and a thorough understanding exists between the chief of that department and myself so that there may be co-operation when desired. The executive of the city while he is not to be con-