It is advisable to inform General Merrill and perhaps other generals that these prisoners of the war will be removed to Johnson's Island, Sandusky, where upon they become subject only to the orders of the War Department.
In determining the punishment of prisoners great weight will be given to the opinion of the officers who examine the cases, and especially where they personally examine the prisoner. In every such case the appearance and manner of the prisoner should be noted, and in my own examinations that not infrequently determines my judgment.
Prisoners will be held for the war when having taken up arms they have returned home, taken the oath and again taken up arms. When these fats appear the officer examining the case will make a memorandum on the papers with the sentence. Let it be at once noted on the prisoners' book and a list of such without delay sent to Colonel Hoffman.
The most difficult class is where men have taken the oath and afterwards taken up arms. The circumstances and motives which have induced men to take the oath are so various, its influence so various, and then the circumstances of violating it so various and difficult to appreciate that each case will have its peculiarities. If practicable this class should have a personal examination and be attended to by the same office, whose decision will be final.
The class who during the last year have taken up arms fort h first time is distinct. My impression of them is unfavorable, and as a general rule they should be imprisoned forth war. Men who have withstood the effect of the early heat and zeal for the rebels and who have seen the evil effects of the war upon this State, and who at last went off even by the effect of enrolling orders they considered themselves forced to take on side, have proven themselves rebels. Many such pretend that they acted under sudden influences; but that is not so, for the influences have been operating daily since the war began, Yet there are some of this class who were so weak as to blindly follow others. Theirs, however, is a permanent blindness. My opinion therefore is that this class should be either imprisoned for the war or be banished to the free States.
There is a troublesome class, being those who are traitors at heart, but who not having committed any palpable acts yet have so encouraged the rebellion that they have been put under bonds, and after that have after an interval recommenced their first conduct. The difficulty with these is in getting at the proof If such conduct is proven they should be imprisoned for the war and they should be noticed as proper subjects to be sent South.
Those concerned in marauding and going to Union men's houses and taking their arms, pressing horses, &c., expelling Union men, supplying provisions to rebel bands, especially those concerned in small bands who have infested neighborhoods, and such other crimes as make them triable, to be tried by a military commission. And all such cases should be entered on a list to be reported to headquarters for trial by a military commission.
It is important to k ow as soon as practicable if the evidence has been sent against each prisoner. And in every such case it should be called for at once. But to avoid unnecessary labor a number of cases could be reported to the same provost- marshal at the same time.
it is necessary to keep in sight the execution of each order given.
Prepare regulation with M. Speak and he will secure this.