War of the Rebellion: Serial 117 Page 0718 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

MADISON, WIS., November 17, 1862.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I telegraphed you November 12 and since asking as to disposal of prisoners arrested for violently resisting draft by provost-marshal; will you please reply? More troubles are threatening. I cannot with force at my disposal guard prisoners and enforce draft. I have 150 prisoners now here. What shall I do with them?




Washington, November 17, 1862.

Governor KIRKWOOD, Iowa City, Iowa.

GOVERNOR: Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow reports to-day that all Iowa troops captured at Shiloh have been exchanged; that the Confederate authorities have never reported any prisoners in their hands taken at Belmont. It was supposed that General Grant had effected their exchange many months ago. The matter will be further inquired into.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Fort Monroe, Va., November 17, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

GENERAL: I return herewith the letter* of the Secretary of the Treasury of the 16th of October with a copy of a letter* from Major R. W. Shenk, One hundred and thirty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, of the 15th, which I received yesterday. Major Shenk charges that the "flag-of-truce boats are now and have heretofore been to great extent used in addition to their lawful mission to pass contraband goods and other articles through the lines at Aiken's Landing, on James River. " He states two grounds for his charge. First, that a trunk containing clothes, &c., was placed by accident on board of the boat under his command; and second, that he was approached by a certain Colonel Blanton Duncan, of Kentucky, to enter into an arrangement to pass goods, &c. On these grounds he brings a general accusation against the officers in charge of flag-of-truce boats, accusing not only them but the authorities here with want of ordinary watchfulness.

Why did he not report these facts to me on his return from Aiken's Landing that I might institute proper inquiries to detect and punish the frauds and neglect which he charges upon officers here? Why send his charges to the Secretary of the Treasury, who could at best only refer them to me for examination and report? Major Shenk was not placed in charge of a flag-of-truce boat by my order. He came here from Washington. It is probable that the trunk to which he refers was put on board his boat there and that no one was in fault but himself. But he was placed under my control and it was his duty to have reported to me on his return from Aiken's Landing; the more so as he was detained here by me and sent several times up the James River. He not only neglected his duty but brought a totally unfounded accusation, as I believe, against others.


*See Series I, Vol. XVIII, p. 429.