War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0460 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

to you the facts connected with the company from the organization to the present time, hoping by an honest and true statement we may prove ourselves free in a great measure from rebellion against the United States. The members of this company for the past two years have made their homes in the State of Tennessee; a portion in the city of Memphis. Their occupations vary, all however depending on his own exertions ofr a livelihood-our interests where we could make the best living. During the excitement in that portion of the south we found it necessary for us to form ourselves in some way as soldiers or quiet our homes, which with our families as many of us have depending on us for support and our limited means we were not able to do. We therefore formed ourselves as a home-guard recognized by the Governor of Tennessee to do duty in and about the city of memphis for the space of one year unless sooner discharged dating June 1, 1861. Articles were drawn to this effect signed by Governor Harris and General Pillow, then in command at Memphis. We performed those duties as best we could for some five or six months, when an order came contrary to those drawn in good faith for the company to be transferred to the Confederacy which the men refused to do. there is not a man at present in the company that has taken an oath to support the Confederate States nor do they intend to do so. We have always been an independent company, and with the exception of a few have never received a dollar in money from the Confederacy. The company for some time was almost entirely disbanded, feeling that they were no longer retired to our former occupations, which we were permitted to do unmolested for some three or four months when without questioning we were arrested; some placed in confinement and sent to Columbus, Ky., until the evacuation of that place, when they were again transferred from infantry to heavy artillery at Island Numbers 10. Those who were fortunate enough to escape going to Columbus were then arrested, taken from infantry to heavy artillery at Island Numbers 10. Those who were fortunate enough to escape going to Columbus were then arrested, taken from the work-bench and sent to the Island, some not being there but a few days when they were surrendered.

These are facts briefly stated. We wish to be liberated from captivity by honorable means. Our families, those who have them, are depending on them [us] for their living. We are willing with honest hearts and pure motives to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, giving all we can give, our words of honor as men, to truly and faithfully maintain our oaths. We respectfully, submit ourselves to your kind consideration.

Respectfully,

WILLIAM C. PARKE.

[And 28 others.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 18, 1862

Honorable GALUSHA A. GROW, Speaker House of Representatives.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the resolution* of the House of Representatives desiring information in respect to the cause if any for the protracted delay in the exchange of Colonels Corcoran and Willcos, and in reply thereto state that there is no other cause known to this Department than the disregard by the rebel forces of an arrangement for the mutual exchange of prisoners negotiated between

---------------

*Resolution of March 24, 1862, p. 401.

---------------