War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0464 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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in Canada, can be easily reached by boats without much risk, a large portion of the distance being along the shore of an unsettled country. If the number of persons to be sent to Mackinac be more than 200 a considerable expenditure for the erection of other buildings will be necessary immediately, and if it be the intention of the Government to retain them there next winter these buildings must be made much warmer and consequently more costly than would be necessary in a warmer climate.

In order that I may be able to make such preliminary arrangements as may be necessary it is important that I should be informed as early as practicable of the number of persons to be sent to that island. Please address communications to the care of Colonel Smith, Detroit.

I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,


Colonel of First Infantry, Commanding Detail.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 19, 1862.

Ordered, That Thomas J. Clay, now a prisoner of war at Columbus, Ohio, be delivered into the custody of Thomas Smith, esq., Third street, Louisville, Ky., for safe-keeping during the war and subject to the order of this Department.

His Excellency the Governor of Ohio, having charge of the prisoners of war at Columbus, will please execute this order.


Secretary of War.


Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners, Detroit, Mich.:

Examine Fort Howard, Green Bay, and report on it as a place to confine prisoners.



WASHINGTON, April 19, 1862.


Report upon confinement of prisoners of war in the penitentiary of the District of Columbia:

Some of the prisoners are in the penitentiary by the sentence of a court-martial; others by commutation or mitigation by the President of the sentence of death adjudged by court-martial, in the nature of a pardon on condition. In either case the authority for the commitment rests on decision of the Supreme Court [of the] United States. In ex parte William Wells, December term, 1855 (307, 18 Howard), [the] Supreme Court decided that the President may order imprisonment in the penitentiary for life in case of sentence of death. In Dynes vs. Hoover, December 1857 (20 Howard) the court decided that court-martial may lawfully adjudge sentence of confinement in penitentiary. I understand but have not seen it that there is a recent opinion in the matter by the Attorney-General against the power of a court-martial.

Respectfully submitted.

J. F. LEE.