familiar with the duties imposed upon them; that an excess zeal has
often caused them to exceed their authority, and to make arrests not justified by written evidence presented. These causes have, however, as a general rule, been corrected by subsequent examination prior to sending the prisoners to Camp Chase, and by their discharge for want of such evidence.
While some cases of injustice have no doubt occurred, as was to have been expected, it is confidently believed that most of the trouble has arisen from the interference of doubtful Union men, whose representations are to be taken with great caution. I am frequently receiving letters, or calls, from such persons, who, of course, are not satisfied because I will not order the release of prisoners held on what are, in my judgment, sufficient and serious charges, and they appeal from me to the War Department, where they make their own statements.
I am fully satisfied that, if any error of policy toward Kentucky rebels has been committed, it has been in the leniency of the course adopted; but I have ever believed it was better to err on that side than on the other.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,
HDQRS. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL OF KENTUCKY,
Louisville, Ky., November 14, 1862.
Brigadier-General BOYLE, Commanding, Louisville:
SIR: I have the honor to report the following facts, in response to complaints made to the War Department, in relation to the conduct of provost-marshals in this State:
On the 9th day of August, 1862, I received from you the appointment of provost-marshal-general for this State. On the 10th day of August I issued an order entering upon the discharge of my duties as such, and instructing provost-marshals throughout the State who had been previously appointed. This order was approved by you. Between the 20th and 30th of August many complaints were made that provost-marshals in Henry, Madison, Montgomery, Clark, Nicholas, and Bourbon Counties were exacting money from the citizens of these counties. I immediately caused an investigation to be made, and found the charges to be true, which was promptly reported to your headquarters, and as promptly you directed these provost-marshal to be dismissed. They were also directed to report to these headquarters the amounts of money they had received, which should be held subject to your orders. Several of the parties reported, and asked for time to make up their accounts. Others were off with the army, near Richmond, and were not able to comply with the order in person, but all asked by letter to make up their accounts. Their requests were granted. Kirby Smith made his raid into Kentucky at the time, and many of the marshals in the State were assisting expelling him from the same. The reasons assigned by the marshals who were guilty of these exactions were, that there being no United States forces in the counties to assist them, they were necessitated to enforce this levy or assessment for the purpose of defraying the expenses for subsisting the Home Guards they had to assist them in discharging their duty, or make a general levy on the Union citizens of the county for provisions for the same. I have been informed by reliable persons that in every instance where provost-mar-