Page images

RICHMOND, October 18, 1862. Maj. Gen. G. W. SMITH, Richmond, Va.

GENERAL: I am directed by the Secretary of War to inform you that as the paroled prisoners at Camp Lee are to be exchanged by or before Thursday, 23d instant, they may be started on Monday, the 20th instant, to await orders at Winchester. Very respectfully, &c.,

J. S. WHITING, Assistant Adjutant-General.


Richmond, October 21, 1862. Lieut. Gen. J. C. PEMBERTON, Commanding, &c.

GENERAL: I am directed by the Secretary of War to inclose you the foregoing copy of a letter received by the President, and to direct that you will inform the commanding general of the enemy's forces that if the account of the murder be true retaliation will be made on prisoners unless the murderers are punished. You will set apart hostages by lot for the purpose and notify the enemy you have done so. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JASPER S. WHITING, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General, [Inclosure.)

JACKSON, Miss., October 3, 1862. His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President of the Confederate States. DEAR SIR: As I am not aware that the subject has been brought to your special notice I inclose herewith the letterf of J. T. Trezevant relating the facts and incidents connected with the murder of William H. White by the Dutch cavalry of Illinois (Sixth Illinois Cavalry), under the command of one Captain Boicourt. Whatever may be their example, the Government of the United States profess to be governed by the laws and usages in war observed and practiced by civilized nations. The facts recited in this case are so revolting to humanity, so grossly violative of the precepts of Christianity, as to place it beyond the pale of civilization and class it distinctly with the barbarities of the Sepoy or the North American Indian.

I take it for granted, therefore, that if you have not already done so you will immediately institute an inquiry into the case, and if the facts are found to be as they are stated, of which I do not entertain a doubt, that you will demand that Captain Boicourt shall be given up to the Confederate authorities to answer for the crime which he has committed against humanity and against the laws of war. There are but few men of any country, I am happy to believe, who are so lost to the common instincts of humanity as to be capable of committing such a crime, and few indeed who are not imbued with New England civilization that will not sicken at the recital of its details. I am therefore justified in the hope that if the law of retaliation is held up before them with such a manifestation as will carry conviction to their minds that it will be inflexibly maintained, the Federal authorities will be constrained by a public opinion and by their own natural impulses to give up this villain rather than allow a better man to suffer death for his crime.

[blocks in formation]

Mrs. White, the mother of the young man murdered, is the daughter of a Revolutionary patriot. Her mother was the sister of Governor Miller, of South Carolina, who also represented that State for many years in the Senate of the United States. She is a most estimable lady and has a large and respectable family connection spread all over the South.

I have written this letter at the instance of a friend, knowing Mrs. White to be a connection of my wife. Will you be kind enough to let me know what has been done or what is likely to be done with this case ? Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


HEADQUARTERS, October 21, 1862. Maj. Gen. E. VAN DORN, Commanding Holly Springs.

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to say that by instructions from the War Department Brigadier-General Tilghman will retain 2,000 of the returned prisoners, as the terms of the exchange are not fully completed. Very respectfully, &c.,




Jackson, Miss., October 21, 1862. Brig. Gen. L. TILGHMAN, Jackson, Miss, :

In reference to your communication of 20th instant I am directed by the lieutenant-general commandirg to say he desires to be informed to whom a detachment of prisoners stated by you to have been sent to our lines near Baldwin, Miss., has been sent.

In regard to that portion of your communication in which you state that you are awaiting orders from Richmond and desire to be informed whether “existing orders as to the return of returned prisoners to their respective commands be carried out," I am directed to say that "existing orders” have been canceled, viz, as to the return of such prisoners to their respective commands. Your instructions are that 2,000 prisoners be retained for the present. Very respectfully, &c.,


Assistant Adjutant-General.

RICHMOND, October 22, 1862. Brig. Gen. L. TILGHMAN, Jackson, Miss. :

Robert Ould, esq., is charged with the duty of agent for the exchange of prisoners under the cartel. Communicate with him and receive instructions from him as to the exchange. Great confusion will ensue from two agencies independent of each other.


Secretary of War.


Jackson, Miss., October 22, 1862. General E. VAN DORN:

I inclose herewith a communication* addressed to Major-General Rosecrans, commanding U. S. forces in your front; also General Rosecrans' lettert to commanding general Confederate Army. I desire you to reply as far as practicable to his inquiries. Though I have expressed my convictions that his complaints are unfounded, I cannot deny them on my own knowledge. I deem it unnecessary and inexpedient to refer to the paragraph of General Rosecrans' letter (in your reply) which bears upon the occupation of Jackson, &c., unless you have reason to believe such an arrangement as he proposes would inure to our benefit. You are desired to send my letter together with your own by flag of truce as soon as possible. Respectfully, &c.,


Lieutenant-General, Commanding. P. S.-Please return General Rosecrans' letter and send me copy of your reply. No list of U. S. prisoners accompanied. Respectfully,

J. C. P.

RICHMOND), October 22, 1862. II. WIRZ:

(Care of Major Watts, Vicksburg.) You can go where you please in search of the prisoners. I want the whole business cleaned up especially.


A gent for Exchange.


Holly Springs, Miss., October 22, 1862. General PRICE:

Please send by the couricr the name of a suitable field officer belong. ing to the command you have ordered to move with General Villepigue to take charge of our Confederate paroled prisoners ordered to concentrate at Meridian. Direct him to report at these headquarters at once. General Pemberton has telegraphed for this officer and he must go in this evening's train. The major-general commanding wishes a complete roster of officers of your ariny as soon as possible. By order of General Van Dorn:

M. M. KIMMEL, Major an Assistant Adjutant-General.



Holly Springs, Miss., October 22, 1862.

IV. Colonel Quarles, Forty-second Tennessee Regiment, will proceed to Meridian, Miss., at once and take charge of all paroled Confederate

* Omitted here; Pemberton to Rosecrans, October 22, p. 641.
+ Omitted here; Rosecrans to Price, October 16, p. 627.

'prisoners who have been ordered to assemble at that place or may be hereafter ordered there. He will make all necessary requisitions for the necessary supplies to properly provide for them on the proper staff officers in Jackson, Miss.

By order of General Van Dorn:

M. M. KIMMEL, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.


Jackson, Miss., October 23, 1862. Maj. J. R. WADDY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

MAJOR: Inclosed I beg leave to furnish for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding copies of the correspondence between Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler, of the Federal Army, and myself in relation to the exchange of prisoners.

The exchange has progressed so far as the delivery of some 300 officers and men from New Orleans. A continuation of exchange seems to depend upon the adjustment of certain matters between MajorGeneral Butler and Major-General Taylor, C. S. Army, commanding Department of Louisiana (District of West Louisiana), but of which I have no official information. Respectfully, your obedient servant,

LLOYD TILGHMAN, Brigadier-General, C. 8. Army, Comdy. Exchanged Prisoners.


Jackson, Miss., October 24, 1862. Brigadier-General JOHN GREGG, C. S. Army, Present.

GENERAL: With a view of inducting you properly into the office of exchanged prisoners and furnishing you such information as will enable you to proceed regularly with your duties I beg leave to present the following history of all that has transpired in connection with this duty whilst I have been in charge, and also to make such suggestions for your future reference as I deem necessary.

The duties originally assigned me by General Bragg embraced only the reorganization of the returned prisoners from the North who were captured at Forts Henry, Donelson, Island No. 10 and Madrid Bend. This reorganization has taken place, embracing the preparation of muster-rolls, full and complete as could be made from data at hand. These muster-rolls revive the histories of the several regiments, battalions and companies represented by these returned prisoners, and nothing is left devolving on you connected with them except to forward as fast as they arrive absentees.

The work of reorganization is completed by the order to day issued from department headquarters ordering the company of Captain Durbam to report at Vicksburg. As connected with absentees from the regiments, battalions and companies of returned prisoners I would say that officers from all the regiments, &c., have been sent to the neighborhoods in which the regiments, &c., were raised for the purpose of col. lecting together absentees and procuring recruits, with the printed

* Seo Tilghman to Butler, September 26, p. 564; Butler's reply, October 3, p. 394.

instructions herewith sent. These officers will after reaching the field of their operations make weekly reports to the headquarters of exchanged prisoners of their progress. On the arrival of squads of absentees or recruits it will be your simple duty to forward the same to the headquarters of their respective commands, subject of course to such orders as may be issued from department headquarters after this date.

Your duties connected with prisoners sent to this place other than those referred to above will be divided into the two classes of Federal and Confederate prisoners:

1. As to Federal prisoners: All such on arriving here are usually accompanied by a descriptive roll. When such is not the case you must prepare one. You will receipt for all such prisoners and forward said prisoners with a copy of descriptive roll to Maj. N. G. Watts, C. S. commissioner of exchanged prisoners at Vicksburg, who will be required to return a receipt for the same. Federal prisoners on arriving here are to be confined in the guard-house, with orders not to be allowed to hold communication with any citizen or soldier. Officers are supplied at the guard-house with meals from the hotel (unless the lieutenant-general commanding directs otherwise) at the expense of the C. S. rations, and cooking utensils are furnished non-commissioned officers and privates.

2. As to Confederate prisoners sent here: They should be accompanied by a descriptive roll also, and a copy of this must be sent to Major Watts, at Vicksburg, for register at the office, who will return notice of the same. The prisoners are placed in the camp of exchanged prisoners near the Fair Grounds at this place, now under command of Colonel Bartlett. Their wants are supplied by the usual requisitions upon the quartermaster's and commissary departments at Jackson. You will inform the Secretary of War from time to time through the Adjutant and Inspector General at Richmond of the number and rank of the prisoners on hand, who will give the necessary orders for completing the exchange. Duplicate copies of all such communications are sent to R, Ould, chief commissioner of exchanged prisoners, at Richmond. Brief telegrams afford the quickest means of communication with all parties and are authorized.

In all cases requiring a discharge you proceed as usual in other cases, care being taken to have the papers reach you through the several channels pointed out by Army Regulations.

Furloughs except in extreme cases are positively prohibited. By ref erence to paper B you will understand that all prisoners exchanged, the headquarters of whose commands are not in this department (Mississippi and East Louisiana), are to be sent without further instructions to their regimental, battalion or company headquarters, with an order to report. Whenever it is practicable these men should be sent in detachments under the charge of some trustworthy officers, care being taken to have them supplied with cooked rations for at least three days when the journey is likely to require a greater length of time.

I have requested that all matters appertaining to pay, quartermaster's and commissary departments be, by order of Lieutenant-General Pemberton, referred to the officers of these departments at this post. All cases intended or suitable for hospital should be managed through the post surgeon, Cabaniss. All prisoners registered at Vicksburg prior to 7th of October, 1862, have been by proclamation exchanged. All requi. sitions are to be signed by you and sent up to Lieutenant-General Pemberton. All cases pending for leave of absence are to be refused.

« PreviousContinue »