Head Quarters 1st Brigade
Ills Vol. at Camp Defiance June 5th 61
Captn Mitchell informs me that the Steamer City of Alton is in the employ of the State of Illinois, of this I have not recd notice otherwise and have suggested to the Captn that he had better confer with you further
I am of the opinion that Government should have a similar Boat to this and have so informed the Captn. but not having recd much advise from the Powers that be - I dislike to assume to hold her in service but will do any thing in my Power to obtain her and release the State.
I have heard you have instructions from Washington. Let me assure you that Illinois Troops are not attended as they should be - we are in need of Accoutrements better arms some money, and more uniforms and Transports we seem to be considered at an Out of the way place. No attention given to our demands and still we - are in good humor - but will commence fault-finding tomorrow, will you see that more attention is given this Command get Govnt. to take more interest.
This Steam Boat ought to remain here
Yours B M Prentiss
B. Prentiss as to Steamer "City of Alton"
"File papers on the subject of this Steamer in the cover"