War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0710 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, August 23, 1861.


SIR: In reply to the resolution of Congress of the 22nd instant calling upon Your Excellency for the letter of General Bonham, dated 26th of July, reporting the hanging of two sentinels of the South Carolina troops who were captured on the 17th July by the enemy near Centerville, and any information you may possess relative to the facts stated therein, I have the honor to state that I communicated to Your Excellency on the 21st August all information in this Department bearing on the subject of the inquiry made by Congress as contained in the correspondence of General Cooper, the Adjutant [and Inspector] General of the Army, and General Johnston, commanding the South Carolina forces under General Bonham. The letter of General Bonham of the 26th of July was not transmitted to this Department and is presumed to be in possession of General Johnston to whom it seems to have been originally addressed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.

Resolution adopted by the Confederate Congress August 23, 1861.

Whereas, it is known the officers and crews of the Confederate States privateers Sumter and Petrel and other privateers captured by the authorities of the United States have been placed in irons, incarcerated in dungeons and otherwise treated as pirates instead of prisoners of war; and

Whereas, there are not an equal number of prisoners taken at sea in the possession of the Confederate States on whom to inflict a just and equal retaliation: Therefore,

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of selecting from the prisoners of war now in possession of the Confederate States a sufficient number on whom to inflict retaliation for the outrages upon the officers and crews of the privateers or national ships of the Confederate States captured by the enemy.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, August 26, 1861.

Colonel L. B. NORTHROP, Commissary-General.

SIR: I inclose copy of a letter us received at this Department and respectfully call your immediate attention to its contents:

RICHMOND, August 23, 1861.

General COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

SIR: I respectfully beg leave to again call attention to the report of the Subsistence Department declining to pay the bills connected with the prisoners. The bill to C. H. Powell for the board of five of the prisoners who were sent away has been returned to me with the report from Mr. Powell that he had presented the bill and had been told that they had nothing to do with it. This bill has been indorsed by yourself, "Allowed, and to be paid. By order of the Secretary of War. " The bill for the board of the prisoners in the county jail has been refused by the same department. It is very annoying and mortifying to have these bills returned in this way, and if continued the business of the prisons cannot be carried on.

Respectfully, &c.,