War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0169 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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charged with destroying the telegraph line in Western Virginia, the other with frequenting our camps in male attire - it is supposed in the character of a spy. The object is to hold them until the rebellion is crushed and in the meantime place them at work. Please advise me whether you can receive them and hold them at the expense of the Government. It is desired if possible to reform these creatures.

Very respectfully,


Major and Provost-Marshal-General.


Office Provost-Marshal-General of Prisoners.

COLONEL: Concerning the subject-matter of your letter of the 7th ultimo to Colonel E. D. Townsend, assistant adjutant-general, a copy of which has been referred to this office, General Patrick wishes me to say that all paroled U. S. soldiers who have been returned to the Federal lines since the army has been upon the Rappahannock have been forwarded to you under proper conduct, together with all the rolls and records pertaining to them made out in accordance with existing regulations excepting men perhaps who eluded the restraints necessarily put upon them, such probably having made their way to Washington individually without orders. In the event of your having failed to receive any of the requisite documents relating to paroled soldiers sent from this office you are requested to state what is missing. General Patrick wishes me to call your attention to the fact that it has become a common form of desertion in this army to forge parole certificates. By means of these men straggle off or rather desert to parole camps where too frequently their claims are recognized. So far as this office is informed no U. S. soldiers of this army have been liberated by the enemy on parole without individual certificates of parole excepting those paroled at Fredericksburg, whose original parole papers were passed over to this office and upon the 28th forwarded to you. At this office the word of no man claiming to be paroled is taken unless he produce a certificate of parole and usually his statement is referred to his officers for an official report in his case. Several cases of desertion under false parole claims have recently come to the notice of this office and the men have been punished accordingly, while it is known that many deserters of this description have succeeded in making their way by land to Alexandria and Washington.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.



Washington, January 10, 1863.

I. The following officers and men have been declared duly exchanged as prisoners of war since the announcement in General Orders, Numbers 191, of November 19, 1862:

1. All the officers and enlisted men who were delivered at City Point, Va., from the 11th of November, 1862, to the 1st of January, 1863.

2. All officers and enlisted men captured at Harper's Ferry.