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CAMP DOUGLAS, Chicago, November 1, 1862. Colonel HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners :
Aggregate of paroled men here present and absent, 8,226. I send report by mail.
HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, November 1, 1862. Brig. Gen. W. W. MORRIS,
Commanding Defenses of Baltimore. GENERAL: It has been observed that Confederate prisoners of war have been permitted to leave Fort McHenry and roam at large through this city, causing much inconvenience and remark. Brigadier General Emory, commanding, directs that in future no such permission shall be granted except from these headquarters. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
SAINT Louis, November 1, 1862. Messrs. WILLIAM G. ELIOT and JAMES E, YEATMAN,
Sanitary Committee. GENTLEMEN: Your note of yesterday is this moment received. I have taken all the steps in my power for providing additional rooms for the prisoners. I have made a requisition on the quartermaster for the building on Fourth street. In the meantime the Lynch Prison has been turned over to me for the purpose and is being fitted up for receiving prisoners; that is, is undergoing cleaning, &c. Prisoners shall be transferred from Gratiot Street Prison to Fifth street with all dispatch. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. T. GANTT, Provost- Marshal-General for Missouri.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 2, 1862. Colonel HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
COLONEL: You will please report some plan if possible by which the paroled prisoners recently discharged may be paid without delay. Yours,
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
PITTSBURG, November 2, 1862. Lieut. Col. W. H. LUDLOW:
Maj. Thomas J. Jordan, Pennsylvania cavalry, taken prisoner in Tennessee, is held in confinement in Richmond on charges which I am satisfied are incorrect. Represent the case to Mr. Ould and ask for his release for exchange.
Adjutant-General. 43 R R-SERIES II, VOL IV
LOUISVILLE, Ky., November 3, 1862. Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS.
SIR: On the 21st of August last I was unfortunate enough to be captured as my report of the affair will show. I was soon paroled and visited Washington and reported to the Secretary of War, who at once gave me an order to Colonel Hoffman or any U.S. officer having charge of prisoners of war to make a special exchange for me on the basis of the cartel. This order I delivered to General Wright, who at once communicated with General E. Kirby Smith, from whom he received no answer. When General Buell arrived in this city he declared me exchanged and reported to General Bragg. The latter objected to the arrangement on the ground that he had no right or authority to act. General Buell suspended the order restoring me to duty and forwarded a communication and a copy of the cartel to General Bragg. In this communication General Buell claimed the right to make the exchange. No reply has been received to this communi. cation and I am left idle in this place. I have made a report of all the facts to the Adjutant-General and requested him to have me exchanged at once. From this last appeal I have not heard, nor is it at all probable that I will until it suits the convenience of General Thomas or until my case comes regularly up. I am very anxious to return to duty, and if it be within your power to further my wishes I would respectfully request you to do so.
I might here say that I have been on duty with the Second Division, Army of the Ohio, since October, 1861. I feel that my duty calls me to the field, however humble my services may be, and feeling so, it is but natural that I should desire to be relieved from my present unfortunate position. I am not on parole by any fault of mine. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. W. JOHNSON, Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., November 3, 1862. Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
SIR: I have the honor to call to your notice the inclosed letter from Surg. William Lomax, of the Twelfth Regiment Indiana Volunteers. It appears from this letter that the rebel generals in Kentucky have paroled a number of men as prisoners of war who never bore arms and some of them are of an age too advanced to bear arms. They have also in some cases in the paroles granted restricted our men from drilling in camp or serving on the Indian frontier.
This brings up again the question of the construction which is to be put on the cartel, and I would respectfully suggest that it should be insisted on by us that the parole is given by the Government and not by individuals, as the cartel states that “the prisoners not exchanged shall not be permitted to take up arms again,” &c., which clearly binds the Government and not the paroled men, and to enable the Govern. ment to meet this obligation it should be required of the enemy to furnish complete rolls of all soldiers paroled by them.
Such a construction would lead to great advantage to us, as the country is full of soldiers who have given their individual paroles and of whom it is very difficult to gain any information. Besides it would
remove any conscientious scruples officers or soldiers may have about the performance of duty. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. HOFFMAN, Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
Referred to the General-in-Chief for instructions to be given the officers commanding in Kentucky.
E. M. STANTON.
MARION, IND., October 23, 1862. Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
Sir: I was with our forces which were so foolishly and so disastrously sacrificed in the fight near Richmond (Ky.], on the 30th August last. Being on the medical staff I remained with our wounded until last week.
During my stay I was in the midst of the enemy's troops for a considerable portion of the time. Richmond, the place where we were stationed, was for a short time the rebels' seat of Kentucky govern
I had some opportunity of observing their operations. One matter to which I would invite your attention is a fraud which they are attempting to commit on the Government in the way of paroling men as prisoners who were never in arms, and moreover not capable of bearing arms at all. Men seventy years of
age and many Union who have never taken any active part in the present war have been paroled, and I presume will be enumerated among the Federal prisoners in their hands for exchange. It would be the greatest unfairness to exchange their efficient soldiers who may be captured in arms for such prisoners as these.
These are facts which have fallen under my personal observation. Should such practices be general they will largely swell the numbers of their prisoners, many of whom we could have no motive to reclaim and are under no obligation to do so.
Another little matter: I noticed in the paroles of some of our men who were taken prisoners last week a prohibition to drill in camps of instruction or fight Indians in addition to former prohibitions. Yours, truly,
WM. LOMAX, Surgeon Twelfth Regiment Indiana Volunteers.
SAINT LOUIS, November 3, 1862. Major-General CURTIS, Commanding Department.
SIR: John C. McDonald, of Ralls County, was in 1861 one of the soldiers of Sterling Price. He represents that he left the army in May or June last and returned to Ralls County without any intention, however, of abandoning the Confederate service; that soon after the Kirksville fight he was called on to become the captain of a company there of seventy-eight men under Porter; that he accepted the position of captain on condition that none of his men should practice guerrilla fighting or bushwhacking, but that they should proceed in a body with him to the South; that being bafiled in the attempt to cross the river
he proposed to surrender his company (now numbering upward of 130 men) provided they would be treated as prisoners of war; that General Merrill agreed that this treatment should, so far as he could effect it, be extended to them; that at any rate they should not be shot on sur. rendering, but confined if they could not be exchanged; that about eighty of his men surrendered on these terms and are here with him now (they are about being transferred to Alton), and that he desires permission to return to Ralls County and bring down the remainder of his men to share the fate of those already surrendered. The remainder are still at large feeling some distrust of the terms indicated by General Merrill, but the sanction of these by you will in the opinion of Captain McDonald enable him to bring them all with him to Alton or Saint Louis. These men not being regularly prisoners of war Captain McDonald proposes (if you will grant him a parole for twenty days for that end) to repair to the city of Vicksburg and make arrangements for the exchange of these men as prisoners of war, returning for them an equivalent of Federal soldiers. He will, whether successful or unsuccessful in this mission, return in twenty days (which term is to begin when he returns with the remainder of his company) to this city, and if unsuccessful will submit to imprisonment during the war or to such other terms, having his neutrality for their object, as may be determined on by the military authorities of the United States. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. T. GANTT, Provost-Marshal-General for Missouri and Iowa.
SAINT LOUIS, November 3, 1862. T. D. PRICE,, Esq., Provost-Marshal for Hannibal, Mo.
Sir: Your letter of 1st instant respecting John C. McDonald has been received at this office. The major-general commanding has given him permission to return to Ralls to fetch down the remainder of his men and report to you at Hannibal for transportation and a guard for Saint Louis or Alton. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. T. GANTT,
GENERAL ORDERS, | HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH ARMY CORPS,
Baltimore, Md., November 3, 1862. The custody, care and supervision of sick and wounded prisoners of war is intrusted solely to the medical director, who will make suitable arrangements for the reception of such as may be reported to him by the provost-marshal and who may be unable to be transported to Fort Monroe.
All prisoners of war (surgeons and chaplains included) now at private residences upon the plea of sickness or wounds will at once be removed to the U. s. hospitals. If their condition be such as to prevent their removal that fact must be reported to these headquarters, accompanied by a certificate to that effect signed by the medical director or some medical officer designated by him after a personal examination. By command of Major General Wool:
WM. D. WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 4, 1862. Hon. SCAUYLER COLFAX, South Bend, Ind.
SIR: The Secretary of War directs me to acknowledge the receipt, by reference from the President, of a telegram addressed by you to him, desiring to be informed as to the grounds upon which Capt. Benjamin P. Walker, commissary of subsistence, was recently dismissed from the service and by whom the charges against him were preferred. In reply I am instructed by the Secretary to transmit to you the inclosed copies of all papers* on file in this Department bearing upon the case. These were referred to the commanding general, who returned them with the following indorsement, viz:
I have examined the report of Colonel Hoffman and accompanying papers and respectfully recommend that Capt. Benjamin P. Walker, commissary of subsistence, volunteer service, be discharged from the service of the United States for habitual absence from his post and gross and willful neglect of duty.
This recommendation was approved by the Secretary of War and thereupon, by direction of the President, General Orders, No. 136, was issued dismissing Captain Walker from the service of the United States. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War.
(Inclosure No. 1.]
COLUMBUS, OHIO, August 7, 1862. Col. W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
COLONEL: I desire respectfully to call your attention to the manuer in which the provisions of a contract made for the supply of all ratious which may be required for the use of the troops at Camp Chase are being carried out. This contract between Capt. Benjamin P. Walker, assistant commissary of subsistence, on the part of the United States, and Messrs. Jacob and Louis Zettler, for themselves, heirs, &c., bears date of June 9, 1862, and going into effect on the 15th day of that month, is to continue for four and a half months, or until the 1st day of November, unless sooner suspended by the Commissary-General of Subsistence. The fourth article especially stipulates that all stores furnished under it shall be of the first quality. The first article stipulates that the supplies shall be delivered as rations and issued by the contractors as they may be required. In my examination of the provisions issued to the prisoners at Camp Chase I was surprised at their miserable quality, at the careless and negligent manner of the issue, and upon a particular examination I was so struck with what seemed to me a peculiar avoiding of some of the requirements of the contract by which the Government was greatly the loser, that I have determined to present them for your consideration.
I have spoken of the “ careless and negligent manner" of the issues. During my first visit to Columbus, where I arrived on the 9th day of July, and remained more than a week, I did not see, and I have every reason to believe that the assistant commissary, Capt. B. P. Walker, was not present at Camp Chase, where all the issues are made, during the whole of that time. I was at camp nearly every day and made repeated and almost daily inquiries for bim without seeing him. I was
*For Hoffman to Stanton, August 10, see p. 369.