Mar 30 1862 Wrote Capt. McLean, “Some half dozen deserters from Corinth came into Pittsburg today. One represents the number of troops there at seventy-five regiments, and the others say the whole number is usually represented at 80,000 men. They describe the discontent as being very great among the troops and rations short. Many men will desert if an opportunity occurs. The rebels are burning cotton and gins, without regard to the proclivities of owners on the Union question. I permitted some 40 bales to be shipped to Louisville to-day on account of owners, 17 of which are the property of a secessionist. There is no evidence, however, of his having given aid and comfort to the enemy, and he now pledges himself nod to do so. The majority belongs to a Mr. Cherry, a prominent citizen, and one who has taken a prominent stand for the Union from the start. The secessionists have already burned some 60 bales for him, and will likely burn much more, as the greater part of it is some 8 miles west of the river and below here. Under the instructions I have, I could not give all the protection to this species of property that seems needful.
“The health of this command is materially improving under a genial sun and influence of good water. I would respectfully ask for instructions as to privilege to be allowed citizens in shipping their produce North. If I have done wrong in this matter the necessary correction can be made, as this will or should reach Saint Louis before the cotton arrives at Louisville. The cotton was shipped on the steamer John Raine.”