minds of provost-marshals and others within this command as to the proper treatment of soldiers discharged from the rebel service and of those whose term of enlistment had expired. Inquiries have also been made as to the treatment of captured soldiers and officers of the rebel army and as to the effect in certain causes of administering the oath of allegiance. To set at rest such inquiries and to secure uniformity of action in these particulars for the future the following instructions are issued. They will be hereafter strictly observed within the limits of the Military District of Central Kentucky:
I. When the oath of allegiance has been taken and sufficient bonds entered into the loyalty of the party may under ordinary circumstances be regarded as sufficiently well assured. But taking the oath and giving bond will not be regarded as furnishing an indemnity for past offenses, and overt acts such as taking up arms against the Government or engaging in military service of the enemy although previously committed may nevertheless be inquired into and punished, except where upon fair investigation the party has once been discharged by the major-general commanding this army or by superior authority.
II. Captured soldiers of the rebel army and persons other than officers in the military service of the co-called Government of the Confederate States will if they are not deserters from our own service and do not from their conduct or the circumstances of their capture deserve the treatment of spies be treated as prisoners of war and forwarded to Vicksburg, Miss., for exchange. To such persons it will not be proper to administer the oath of allegiance. They will be treated as prisoners of war and when they have taken such oath will if in custody of a proper officer be released from its obligations provided the case has not been passed upon by authority superior to that of the major-general commanding this army. Captured officers of the rebel army will, however, be kept in confinement and neither paroled nor forwarded for exchange until further orders.
III. Officers and soldiers discharged from the rebel service and those whose term of enlistment has expired will be arrested unless they have once been set at liberty upon the charge by authority of the general commanding this army or some superior officers, and will be kept in custody until a report in each case has been made to these headquarters and action taken thereon. In these cases the oath of allegiance will not be administered unless to that effect are received, but if such oath has already been taken the fact will be stated in the report.
IV. As to deserters from the rebel service and others named in General Orders, Numbers 36, from these headquarters, plain rule of action has been furnished. They will report here. That order, however, applies only to such as had not been when it was issued already passed upon and disposed of.
V. Where the bond for the observance of an oath of allegiance is not a sufficient security the oath will be read ministered and a new bond taken in a sufficient amount and with sufficient sureties.
VI. Provost-marshals and officers acting in that capacity within the limits of this command will report at once to these headquarters the names of all person now in their custody with the charge against them. This report will also include a list of the cases disposed of since November 17, 1862, with a statement of the disposition made in each case.
VII. Semi-monthly reports will be hereafter sent from provost-marshals and those acting as such upon the first and fifteenth days of every month. Such reports will be arranged in tabular form, containing, first, the named os prisoners; second, their rank, company and regiment if in military service; third, the time and place of their capture,