COLONEL: Please add the accompanying letter to the papers I left with you a few moments ago.
Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary General of Prisoners.
This letter has not been laid before the Secretary.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, December 26, 1862.
Colonel JOHN S. CLARK,
Provost- Marshal- General, Department of the Gulf.
COLONEL: In answer to your letter of the 25th instant the commanding general directs me to say that your suggestions are approved. The orders heretofore given to you to send certain paroled prisoners to the enemy's lines will therefore include all such prisoners now in the Department of the Gulf excepting such as wish to remain and take the oath of allegiance and also such as cannot safely on account of wounds or ill- health be removed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[RICHARD B. IRWIN,]
Lieutenant- Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
SAINT PAUL, December 27, 1862.
The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
I have the honor to inform you that the thirty- eight Indians and half- breeds ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at Mankato at 10 a. m. Everything went off quietly and the other prisoners are well secured.
H. H. SIBLEY,
ATTORNEY- GENERAL'S OFFICE, December 27, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: On the 8th instant I received certain papers relative to the application of a certain negro slave to Major- General Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, for "free papers. " Major-General Rosecrans having referred this application to the Adjutant- General "the decision of the Secretary of War. " it is inclosed to me with the following indorsement:
Respectfully referred to the Attorney- General of the United States for his opinion. By order of the Secretary of War:
The law makes it my duty to give my advice and opinion to the heads of Departments when requested by them upon questions of law touching any matters that may concern their Departments. Although it has been the invariable practice of the heads of Departments to ask