War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0658 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

the tug's crew liberated and the tug given up to them again. This plan will be carried out as soon as things can be gotten in readiness.


N. B. -For strong prudential reason I must use a nom de plume. I will, however, call at the Herald office in autumn, when my business will take me to New York. This will be mailed at Detroid of Niagara Falls.


Tallagassee, June 6, 1862.

Lieutenant Jos. P. COUTHOUY,

Commanding U. S. Bark Kingfisher, off Saint Mark's, Fla.

SIR: I am instructed by the commanding general of this department to say that your communication of the 5th instant under flag of truce from U. S. bark Kingfisher to Lieutenant-Commander McGary, C. S. Navy, received by Lieutenant Gwynn, commanding forces at Saint Mark' Light, and the reply of Lieutenant Gwynn, together with lyour letter to Acting Master Curtis, prisoner of war at Saint Mark's Tallahassee, has been submitted to him. The prisoners referred to in your letter will be treated with humanity and allowed such privileges as are demanded by the usages of civilized war. Clothing, money and hammocks or such other articles as may promote the health or comfort of the prisoners may be sent by you to the officer commanding at Saint Mark's Light and shall be delivered to the acting master, Samuel Curtis, as desired in your letter. Your wounded men have been well provided with medical and other attention and the dead were buried by order of the officer commanding on the Aucilla, yet you can if you so desire make use of the pass granted by Lieutenant Gwynn for the purpose of burying them more securely or of marking their graves.

The commanding general is not advised that there are any prisoners of war recognized as such by the usages of civilized nations on board the U. S. bark Kingfisher. The detention of Mr. Butts, a citizen of the Confederate States, a non-combatant and not in the military service, is not in conformity with such usages. There are parts of your letter to Acting Master Curtis that are not proper to be submitted to him. So much of the letter as refers to the maintenance of discipline and a preservation of the men in a condition of efficiency for future service or enjoining them to continued loyalty to the United States is not such a communication as is licensed by the rules of war. So much of your letter ss contains assurance of a provision for their necessities will be cheerfully communicate to them.

There are two or three prisoners of war in Florida captured on Santa Rosa Island by U. S. forces and now on parole for whom and exchange of a like number of equal rank of your men now prisoners in our hands will be made. There are also twelve or fourteen C. S. soldiers now prisoners of war at Key West, for the exchange of whom a communication has been sent to the U. S. officer commanding on Saint John's River, for whom a like number of your men of equal rank will be exchanged.

Your attention is called to the usage of war requiring flags of truce to be sent in charge of a commissioned officer, also that official reports though open to examination are not customary from prisoners of war to their commanding officers.