received any answer upon the subject, though it might be presumed that you would not delay in apprising this Department of the decision.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Washington, January 13, 1862.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: In reply to your communication of this date to Major-General McClellan I have the honor to inform you that Major-General Wool was instructed according to your desire in the matter of exchange of Colonel Corcoran but a reply has not been received. No time will be lost sending you the reply when it is received.
I have the honor, &c.,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
New York City, January 13, 1862.
General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
GENERAL: There are several prisoners of war at Camp Chase, some of them quite advanced in years, whose friends in Virginia have presented petitions for their release on their taking the oath of allegiance, and if it is thought advisable to release any on those terms some of these men are good subjects for it. Generally they are civilians who have been taken upon some suspicious conduct of little consequence, but two of them are charged with having been a short time in some rebel organization though not so when captured. The petitions or other papers are authenticated by affidavits or signatures of officials.
If it is approved I will select a few, not over twelve, of the most favorable cases and direct them to be released.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
HDQRS. 3rd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Camp Curtis, Ark., January 13, 1862.
Major JOHN A. FOREMAN,
Commanding Detachment Third Indian Regiment, Neosho, Mo.
SIR: * * * The colonel commanding desires to call your attention to the fact that by general orders issued from the War Department no person can be put to death who has been held as prisoner under conviction of military commission or order of court-martial without the signature of the President of the United States. Prisoners when taken are under the protection of the officer in command, and no matter what their guilt mst so be considered. The colonel commanding has no official knowledge that such rule has been departed from and he hopes it has not. Military executions are always dangerous and without the President's signature positively prohibited. Any papers you may have to send forward must be sent to these headquarters.
W. A. PHILLIPS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.