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FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL, New York, June 19, 1862. Col. WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, Mich. COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I have received an order to report to you for such duty as I can perform.” I understood that you were in New York, and in my application for duty I applied for orders to report to you here. Should I not be otherwise directed I will proceed to join you at your headquarters at Detroit on Monday next, the 23d instant. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. FREEDLEY,

Captain, Third Infantry.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 20, 1862. Major-General McCLELLAN:

In regard to a contemplated execution of Captains Spriggs and Triplett the Government has no information whatever, but will inquire and advise you.

A. LINCOLN.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 20, 1862. Major-General McCLELLAN:

Your dispatch in relation to Captains Spriggs and Triplett has been received. This Department has no information of any proceedings against them, but will take immediate measures to ascertain the facts and inform you of them.

EDWIN M.SecretarTON war.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, June 20, 1862. Major-General FRÉMONT:

The President directs that if you have in your custody the rebel Captains Spriggs and Triplett who are reported to be under sentence of death as guerrillas you shall suspend proceedings against them and make report to this Department of the facts in their cases. Please answer immediately.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

STRASBURG, June 20, 1862. Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON:

Dispatch just received. I have not yet received any report in cases of rebel Captains Spriggs and Triplett. Have probably been tried by military commission under General Kelley. I will immediately inquire and report.

J. C. FREMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 20, 1862. Brigadier-General KELLEY, Cumberland :

Suspend proceedings against Captains Triplett and Spriggs and report by telegraph to this Department the facts in their cases.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 20, 1862. Major-General McCLELLAN: A telegram is just received from General Kelley as follows:

CUMBERLAND, MD., June 20, 1862. Hon. Edwin M. STANTON, Secretary of War :

Captains Triplett and Spriggs were captured by Colonel Crook’s troops in Greenbrier County and I think are in Camp Chase. They have not been tried by courtmartial or military commission. Major Darr, provost-marshal at Wheeling, can give all information in regard to them.

B. F. KELLEY,

Brigadier-General.

It appears from the foregoing that Captains Spriggs and Triplett are held as other prisoners of war. This Department has no other information on the subject.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 20, 1862. Hon. PRESTON KING, U. 8. Senate.

SIR: The Secretary of War directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your note of yesterday with inclosure relative to procuring the exchange of Surg. G. C. Marshall and to inform you in reply that this Department has by a general order released all surgeons captured from the rebels and that information has just been received from Richmond that all our surgeons now held as prisoners of war by the rebels will be unconditionally

released. Hereafter surgeons are to be treated by both sides as non-combatants. I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

C. P. WOLCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

LCOTT

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Camp Lincoln, Va., June 20, 1862. Brig. Gen. L, THOMAS,

Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. O. GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to transmit copies of two communications received by me under date of the 17th and 19th instant from General R. E. Lee, commanding the military forces at Richmond, together with copies of my replies to the same.

The list of prisoners alluded to in one of my letters will be forwarded by to-morrow's mail. I am having a copy taken for use here, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

. , Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 1.)

HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., June 17, 1862. Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN,

Commanding Army of the Potomac. GENERAL: Your proposition* to regard medical officers in care of the sick and wounded as non-combatants is concurred in by me, and such officers are so regarded in the operations of the armies of Northern and Eastern Virginia. I take the occasion to thank you for the unconditional release of Doctor Taylor, of the C. S. Army, who was left in attendance upon a sick man at Williamsburg.

R. E. LEE,

General. [Inclosure No. 2.) HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

June 19, 1862. General R. E. LEE,

Commanding Military Forces, Richmond, Va. GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of to-day concurring in my proposition " to consider medical offi* cers in care of the sick and wounded as non-combatants." Such officers will accordingly be so regarded in the army under my command. I inclose to you an order of the War Department on this subject which goes even further than the proposition I made to you. I trust that you will receive a corresponding order. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO, B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Sub-inclosure.] GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 60.

Washington, June 6, 1862.

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IV. The principle being recognized that medical officers should not be held as prisoners of war it is hereby directed that all medical officers so held by the United States shall be immediately and uncondi. tionally discharged. By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General. (Inclosure No. 3.)

HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., June 19, 1862. Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, U. S. Army,

Commanding Army of the Potomac. GENERAL: I am directed by the Secretary of War to state that having been informed of the capture of Captains Spriggs and Triplett, of the Ranger service of the State of Virginia, and of their intended execution by order of the United States Government, he has caused lots to be drawn from among the U.S. officers detained as prisoners of war for the purpose of selecting subjects for retaliation, and that the lots have fallen upon Capt. George Austin, Company B, Second Kentucky Regiment of Infantry, and Capt. Timothy O'Meara, Tammany Regiment, New York volunteers.

* See McClellan to General Commanding Army of Northern Virginia, third paragraph, Vol. III, this Series, p. 670.

It is the desire of the Confederate Government to conduct this war in conformity to the usages of Christian and civilized nations, but should he have been correctly informed and should Captains Spriggs and Triplett be executed retaliation will be made on Captains Austin and O'Meara. This course will be demanded by a due regard for the citizens of the Confederate States and will be unhesitatingly though reluctantly pursued.

Not being certain of the correctness of the report no change has been made in the treatment of the hostages, and I shall be very happy to learn that the report is without foundation. * I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General, (Inclosure No. 4.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

June 19, 1862. General R. E. LEE,

Commanding Military Forces, Richmond, Va. GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of to-day relative to a reported intention on the part of the United States Government to order the execution of two prisoners, Captains Spriggs and Triplett, of the Virginia Ranger service.

I know nothing of any such persons. "If they were taken by this army the report is without foundation. I have telegraphed upon the subject to the Secretary of War and I will communicate the facts to you as soon as I learn them. I shall much regret any commencement of retaliatory executions. I I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

, GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Camp Lincoln, Va., June 20, 1862. General R. E. LEE,

Commanding Military Forces, Richmond, Va. GENERAL: As I was on the point of dispatching my aide with my reply to your letter of the 19th instant respecting Captains Spriggs and Triplett I received a dispatch from the Secretary of War in relation to those officers, a copy of which is herewith respectfully furnished for your information. I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, June 20, 1862. Major-General MCCLELLAN, U. S. Army,

Commanding Army of the Potomac, near Richmond, Va. GENERAL: By direction of the Secretary of War I have the honor to inclose herewith for your information a copy of a letter of the 6th

* Substance of this letter telegraphed by McClellan to Stanton June 19 and asking for information about Spriggs and Triplett.

+ Omitted here; see this letter and the other correspondence in Vol. III, this Series, in its chronological order.

instant from Major-General Wool to the Secretary of War, forwarding correspondence on the subject of exchange of prisoners of war with the rebel authorities, and fifteen inclosures.* I have the honor, &c.,

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

MOCLELLAN'S, June 20, 1862. Maj. Gen. J. A. DIX:

General McClellan desires that you hold the citizen prisoners who have lately been sent to Fort Monroe and particularly those taken by Colonel Averell until you receive orders from him. He desires to hold them as hostages.

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. O., June 20, 1862. Lieut. Col. Louis BELL,

Commanding Post, Saint Augustine, Fla. Sir: In reply to your letter dated June 1 relative to the case of William Keys and three other men who have taken the oath of allegiance, and who nevertheless were guilty of harboring a sergeant of the Confederate Army and supplying him with information, I am instructed by the major-general conmmanding to advise you that the prisoners in question are to be heavily ironed and sent to these headquarters with a statement in writing and as full as possible of their offense. Your action in the case of Mr. Standenmayer, the Episcopal clergyman, is approved.

In reference to your letter dated May 29 relative to the hanging and persecution of loyal citizens by roving bands of Confederate guerrillas the major-general commanding desires that you shall take the most rigorous and prompt measures for the suppression of such practices. All guerrillas caught you will iron heavily and send to these headquarters with written charges accompanying them. You will also threaten to arm and if necessary arm all negroes and Indians who may be willing to enter the service. You should also at once drive out of your lines all persons without reference to sex who have not taken and shall refuse to take the oath of allegiance.

The general commanding reposing much confidence in your judgment gives you a large and liberal discretion in reference to all acts that may be necessary for the vindication of the laws within your district and guarantees you a frank support in any acts within the limits of a reasonable discretion. It is not his wish, however, that the death penalty should be inflicted on prisoners captured without express orders from these headquarters. The better way will be to iron all malefactors and send them here for disposition under the necessary guard. You will report frequently and fully all action taken by you under the terms of these instructions.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. G. HALPINE,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General. Omitted here; see this letter and the other correspondence in Vol. III, this Series, in its chronological order.

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