War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0188 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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the impracticability of receiving the female prisoners already reported to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Provost-Marshal-General.


Murfreesborough, January 18, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. JOSEPH, C. S. Army.

GENERAL: It is with regret that I find myself compelled by a sense of duty to humanity to decline communicate with General Bragg by flag of truce until redress has been made for a violation of the rights of a flag of truce committed by a party of Confederate cavalry on the Murfreesborough pike between La Vergne and Nashville.

The nature of this outrage is explained and the facts set forth in a copy of my letter to General Bragg herewith inclosed* marked A, to which I will add that the mother of Lieutenant-Colonel Hawkins, who applied to go home assured me that her son persistently stated the facts as they are represented, the same trick of going behind a flag of truce and capturing three pickets having been practiced upon us a day or two before, General Bragg having acknowledged it to be wrong and promised to repair it. I confidently expected such apology and reparation of the second outrage, instead of which General Bragg wrote a letter justifying it on the ground of the ignorance of the scouting party of the post that the flag was there and also on the ground that his flag was unlawfully detained, both of which allegations were false, the truth being as will appear in the papers herewith inclosed+ marked B, C, D and E. And as I must officially regard General Bragg as the responsible author of the statement which he indorsed it is obviously inconsistent with military safety as well as with self-respect to continue an official intercourse with him.

I regret also to state it has been the habit of subordinate officers under your command to degrade flags of truce by sending them on side roads and to remote points on our lines accredited in no proper manner and obviously for the purpose of spying. This it the purpose of spying. This is the common practice of General Morgan. This abuse I appeal to you to stop, as I shall treat every flag that comes in such a way as unlawful and its bearers as spies or as prisoners of war, as the evidence against them may indicate.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Murfreesborough, January 18, 1863.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding, &c.

GENERAL: Major-General Rosecrans directs me to return your communication directed to him from Tullahoma, dated the 17th instant, in


* Not found, but see Stone to Bragg of this date, post.

+ Not found.