War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0866 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

Knoxville, May 10, 1862.

Brigadier General D. LEADBETTER,

Commanding, &c., Chattanooga, Tenn.

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 8th instant respecting the arrest of Lieutenant Harrington and six men of the Federal troops and covering certain papers found in their possession, I am instructed by the major-general commanding to say that the flag of truce covers the prisoners and was entitled to respect. The mistake was in detaining the prisoners at the lines until a decision was made in their case, or if admitted they should been blindfolded and very precuation taken to prevent any observation on their part of our forces or the gaining of any information which might be detrimental to our interests. The prisoners should be returend with a letter stating that their detention resulted from a misapprehension of their true position. It is the intention of the commanding general to observe most scrupulously the courtesies of war in all cases within his control.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. F. BELTON,

Aide-de-Camp.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

May 10, 1862.

Colonel A. R. CHAPIN, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c.

COLONEL: Major General E. Kirby Smith has directed Lieutenant Harrington and six men of the Federal Army, arrested by troops of this command, to be returned to your lines. The arrests were made under a misapprehension on the part of the captors of the privileges to which the party were entitled under the flag claiming to cover them. It is the desires of the general commanding that the courtesies of war be most scrupulously observed by those under his control, and no efforts will be relaxed on his part to soften the asperities resulting therefrom.

Respectfully, your obedient servnat,

J. F. BELTON,

Aide-de-Camp.

ATLANTA, GA., May 10, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War, Richmond.

SIR: Inclosed I had you a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Neff which explains itself. This correspondence and proposition was induced by myself after my interview with yourself and the President. While you gave no positive assurance that you would exchange Neff for Hanson you both gave me great hope, and hence I presisted, knowing as I do Hanson's great to us, and was confident that the differences in grade insure your confirmation. General's Breckinridge, Preston and all army men will rejoice at the return of Hanson, as he is the best colonel in our service and you will no doubt desire him for brigadier-general at an early day. Hence I cannot doubt that you will grant this most reasonbale request, while I remain,

Your obedient servant,

E. M. BRUCE,

Memeber of Confederate Congress, Ninth District of Kentucky.