War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0051 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

the department to which it belongs. If they are to be sent away at once will you please indicate to what point I shall forward them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Post.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, D. C., December 8, 1862.


Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: In addition to my report of the 6th instant I have the honor to submit the following statement in relation to the disloyal of rebel prisoners captured in Kentucky so as to fully inform you of their character and so that you may be enabled to give proper directions for their treatment and disposal. By reference to my former report you will find the prisoners are classed as follows, viz: First, prisoners of war; second, political prisoners; third, rebel deserters; fourth, rebel recruits. It is regarding that class of prisoners termed rebel recruits and deserters that I wish to call your particular attention. These prisoners are men who have joined the rebel army while in Kentucky; many of them are persons of extreme youth almost incapable of bearing arms who have by means of false inducements been led to join the army. Residing in that portion of Kentucky recently occupied by Bragg's army they have been made to believe its occupancy by that army would be permanent. These men have served in the rebel army from a few days to six weeks, and after finding it impossible for the rebels to hold that portion of the State and that they were woefully disappointed in their expectations of the service some have deserted and gone to their homes; others have voluntarily surrendered themselves to the Federal authorities; others have permitted themselves to be captured, while all are tired and disgusted with the rebel service and desirous of returning to their house, taking the oath of allegiance and becoming loyal citizens. Some of these prisoners are young men of wealth and position. Some are the sons of gentlemen of undoubted loyalty, and there are but few among them who have not friends or relatives among gentlemen of the highest respectability and occupying influential positions in the State. These gentlemen who have the interest of the country at heart are desirous that these prisoners should be leniently treated, and hope that that the bitter lesson they have already received has taught them the citizens. They also represent that the effect of this lenient treatment of this lenient treatment in the present condition of Kentucky will be most beneficial. If on the contrary they are sent to the rebel army and exchanged it will only add so many more desperate men to fight against the country; will make Kentucky a recruiting field for the rebels, and will so much contribute to increase the domestic distress already existing in that State. Again it is represented that the Kentucky regiments in the rebel army when they were forced to leave the State were much disaffected and demoralized. This is so represented by deserters and others, who state if Kentuckians in that army were at all assured that they could return to their homes, take the oath of allegiance, become loyal citizens and be permitted to remain unmolested by the Federal authorities nearly the whole number not obligated by oath to remain would return to their homes and