After your non condemnation of the behavior of your men on the preceding day under similar circumstances and the return of the three men thus captured- albeit minus overcoats and holsters- I will only most respectfully quote your own phrase: "Words will not suffice, we must have deeds. " In short, my dear general, the sine qua non to our further correspondence or official intercourse is the prompt return of these men with all their clothes, arms and equipments. When you speak by such deeds of simply justice I shall be able to understand you. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. ROSECRANS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 22, 1862.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,
Commanding U. S . Forces, Nashville, Tenn.
GENERAL: A. J. Marchbanks, a citizen of Warren County, Tenn., fifty- six years of age, was arrested in Van Buren County, of this State, by order of General Dumont on the 14th day of June. He is now confined at Camp Chase, Ohio. The charge preferred against him was his loyalty to the Confederate Government. I desire to call your attention to this case and respectfully claim the return of Mr. Marchbanks to my lines according to the agreement existing between us.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully,
HEADQUARTERS, Cincinnati, December 22, 1862.
Brigadier General J. T. BOYLE,
Commanding District of Western Kentucky, Louisville, Ky
GENERAL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of the letter of Colonel Dent, provost- marshal, &c, dated the 15th instant, presenting the cases of discharged rebel soldiers and deserters confined it the military prison at Louisville who under your orders were to be sent to Camp Chase, but whom he was retaining in consequence of the orders of Major General Rosecrans in regard to the same classes of persons in which he authorizes a more lenient policy. This letter you refer to me for instructions in the matter.
If any of the prisoners referred to have been liberated by General Rosecrans under the orders alluded to they should be discharged unless they have by their subsequent acts laid themselves liable to arrest; but I see no reason for departing [in] the cases of those first arrested by your authority from the policy we have been pursuing, as expressed in my letters to you of November 1 and 24 and December 5, 1862, and by the modified orders of General Buell, Numbers 49. The oath of allegiance and not the non combatant oath of General Rosecrans should in all cases be administered.
It is to be regretted that orders from Washington do not indicate some general policy to prevail in all departments and thus avoid the differences which must otherwise exist in respect to the treatment of persons of these classes found within the jurisdiction of the various commanders, but until this is done these differences must continue.