Mexico by Colonel B. S. Roberts, U. S. Army, commanding Northern District of that department. Colonel Roberts wrote me saying that I would at my "discretion ration them and send them to Fort Riley, or permit them to go at large, to make their way as they may elect to their homes. "
Believing that it would be prejudicial to the public interests to turn these reckless men loose upon the road I rationed them, and then ordered Lieutenant Johnson to take with him the detachment furnished by the commandant at Fort Wise, proceed with the prisoners to Fort Riley, turn them over to the officer commanding that post, there to await the orders of the general commanding the Department of Kansas, and then return to his station without delay, directing the officer with the detachment from the Tenth Infantry to rejoin his company as soon as practicable. In consequence of the absence of the only subaltern attached to this command I could not relieve the detachment from the garrison of Fort Wise, as it seemed very necessary that there should be more than one officer with the escort.
The Texans are apparently destitute, and I found it necessary to issue shoes to enable them to continue the march. I deem it but right to report to the general that the officers claim transportation to Arkansas for themselves and the paroled men upon a promise to that effect made they by Colonel Roberts when he ordered them by this route out of the Territory. I have questioned Lieutenant Johnson in relation to this promise, and he tells me that he was not aware of it, nor does Colonel Roberts allude to such an arrangement in his letter to me. I inclose you herewith copies of all orders* received by Lieutenant Johnson anterior to his arrival at this post.
I am, captain, yours, respectfully,
Major Tenth Infantry, Commanding.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, ARMY OF THE PAMLICO,
May 28, 1862.
General A. E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding U. S. Forces, New Berne, N. C.
GENERAL: Your communication of yesterday with list of paroled prisoners of war has reached me. The prisoners from your army in our hands are conveyed in detachments to Washington and in a few days all will have reached that place. I am glad to know that the outrageous conduct of a part of your command has received your disapprobation, but I will frnakly say that should any of my troops be guilty of crimes such as those said to have been committed by part of yours they would receive a punishment more commensurate with their atrocities than a simple dishonorable discharge.
In relation to the flag of truce supposed to have been turned back there must have been some mistake; none has been sent since General Holmes' letter which was received by the adjutnat of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts. Only one person, a lady, has applied to me withing two months to go to New Berne and she has now determined to remain with friends up the country.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. RANSOM, Jr.,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
* Not found.