Today in History:

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


imprisoned (not tried, for that he says he does not fear, being innocent) if within our reach. I have for many years had a very friendly feeling for General Watkins and I mourned over the weakness of heart which led him to favor (without understanding as I suppose) the first criminal movements of the insurgents in Missouri. I still have a very kindly feeling for him and hope that he may be dealt with as leniently as the state of his case will permit. I do not know whether he has been indicted upon any criminal charge but from a passage in one of his letters I infer that he has been. You will oblige me by furnishing the requisite information-all know about him in connection with the rebellion and especially his present status before the tribunals, civil and military. I at first thought of writing to General Halleck upon the subject but upon reflection thought it more proper officially to write to you. I still wish to befriend General Watkins as far as I can properly do it and in that spirit I solicit an early answer.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,



Saint Louis, February 28, 1862.

I. Where any considerable number of prisoners of war are captured the officers should be separated as soon as possible from the privates. Complete lists should be made as soon as practicable stating name, rank, regiment and corps of each individual; one copy of such list should be sent to these headquarters and another furnished to the officer placed in charge of them. When turned over to the commanding officer of a depot they should be receipted for and a copy of the receipt sent to these headquarters. As a general rule officers will not be given their paroles until they reach the depot and then only by authority of the general commanding the department. Medical officers will not be separated from the prisoners but will be required to attend their own sick and wounded. For this purpose they will be given a special parole allowing them all proper facilities.

II. In the care of the sick and wounded no distinction whatever will be made between friends and foes. Presents from friends to the sick and wounded prisoners in hospitals will therefore be distributed to all alike under the direction of the chief medical officer.

III. Prisoners will be rationed the same as our own troops. The commanding officers of prison depots will appoint boards including one surgeon of the command to examine and decide what articles of clothing and bedding are necessary for the health and proper cleanliness of the prisoners where not supplied by their own Government or friends, and requisitions will be made on the quartermaster's department for such articles as may be needed. Where it can be done clothing not of army color will be issued. Receipts should be given for all articles the same as in case of our enlisted men; the issue in all cases to be witnessed by a commissioned officer.

IV. For police purposes prisoners will be divided into squads and a chief of each squad appointed or elected as may be deemed best. Officers will be detailed to see that the prisoners police their quarters daily in a thorough manner; o do so will be placed in close confinement until they are willing to do their duty to themselves