War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0044 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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responsible for them so long as they are not in violation of the laws of war, and no person not in the military service of the Federal Government has been held guilty of treason for taking service in the Confederate Army. Captain Coombs is not therefore liable to that charge unless he has committed some act other than that of entering the rebel ranks and performing the duties of a soldier, and you will make a demand upon the civil authorities for his delivery up to your custody as a prisoner of war. It appears that General Burbridge or some other officer gave permission to Captain Coombs to visit his family in Kentucky, granting him certain within which he was to report at Louisville. This was wrong and no such indulgence should hereafter be granted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Murfreesborough, December 8, 1862.

Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,

Commanding U. S. Forces, Nashville, Tenn.

GENERAL: As an act of humanity I send to your lines under a flag a large number of prisoners captured by the forces under my command and paroled. It would be a great hardship to send them at this inclement season by the route to either place designated by your cartel for exchange. My inspector-general, Lieutenant-Colonel Beard, is charged to deliver them to you and accept your receipt.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, Commanding.


Murfreesborough, December 8, 1862.


Commanding U. S. Forces, Nashville.

GENERAL: I am in receipt of your communication of the 4th instant* in reply to one from me calling your attention to the treatment of certain medical officers of my command and to the case of Private Kerchival. I am gratified to find that the officers who were concerned in the arrest of Doctors Hinkley and Divine were not of your command and that they were ultimately indebted to your advice for their release. The charge upon which they were imprisoned still seems to me inadequate to have warranted such severity. If they were guilty of misconduct the testimony of intoxicated men was insufficient to establish the fact, while the charge seems to have fallen to the ground upon investigation. Any abuse of the privileges of a parole if called to the attention of my Government will receive prompt attention. In reference to Private Kerchival I must respectfully insist that the statement of General Negley does not alter the aspects of the same. He admits the use of gross language to the prisoner, and when a general officer so far forgets himself as to bandy abusive epithets with a private while performing the duties of a subordinate he should not make his prisoner


* Not found.