War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0652 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Jackson, Miss., June 5, 1862.


Commanding U. S. Forces, New Orleans, La.

GENERAL: I am instructed by the President of the Confederate States to communicate with you under a flag of truce and to say that he has been informed that W. Van Benthuysen, a citizen of New Orleans, has been placed in arrest by your orders charbed with assisting T. P. Van Benthuysen to escape from that city and also with upholding the Confederate Government, and that you have further ordered that if the said T. P. Van Benthuysen (who is charged with desertion fro the U. s. service) be not found and delivered up W. Van Benthuysen shall in his stead suffer death, the penlty of desertion. The Pre directs me to notify you that if the facts be as above stated he shall rigidly apply the lex talionis, inficting the same penalty even to death upon a citizen of the United States as may be inflicted upon the said Van Benthuysen.

I take this occasion to add that at the time of the reported desertion of Van Benthuysen and his two comrades I made a full investigation and stisfied myself that they were driven ashore by the wind and tide involuntarily, and they were accordingly held as prisoners of war until the evacuation of New Orleans.

They stated at the time that they did not wish to be regarded as deserters, but I learned from Van Benthuysen subsequently that being reported as a deserter and fearful that he would be held as such he concluded to escape.

This letter will be transmitted through Lieutenant-Colonel Ogden, of my staff.

Your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 6, 1862.

Governor ANDREW, Boston:

Mr. Sumner has brought to my notice your complaint as to the duties improperly imposed upon the cadets at Fort Warren. Colonel Dimick has been ordered to correct the matter immediately.


Secretary of War.

FORT MONROE, June 6, 1862.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

My flag of truce to City Point has returned bringing back the privateersmen. It appears that with the rebel authorities there is a misunderstanding as to the extent of General Huger's promise in this letter of May 3, as follows, viz:

On the faith of your statement that our privateersmen are prisoners of war and will be exchanged the officers heretofore held as hostages will be exchanged on the same terms as any others. As it is but fair longest in captivity should be released first I request you will let the privateersmen be released and I will reciprocate and release first those longest confined.

To this I assented and from our correspondence I did not suppose there would be any difficulty hereafter in the way of exchanges. The hostages and privateersmen were to first exchanged or paroled until they could be properly exchanged. With this understanding I sent the