War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0196 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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under a general order which directed the release of all military prisoners who were willing to take the oath. While I am aware of the fact that I have no control over prisoners at Alton merely because they are there, yet it is improper that I make known to you the fact that there are many prisoners at Alton sent there by my predecessors against whom there are serious charges and whose cases have never been fully investigates by this office. You will recollect that Colonel Gantt was at one time under the impression that the Alton prisoners were under the control of this office and consequently he considered I suppose that prisoners there would not be released until acted upon by this office. I have as yet never been able to dispose of the cases of those prisoners who were sent to Alton by Colonel Gantt and Colonel Farrar. The whole force in this office has been kept engaged upon the cases in the prisoners at Saint Louis. My object has been to dispose of the Saint Louis cases first and then send the prisoners who are to be permanently confined to Alton, and have the Alton prisoners whose cases have not been acted upon taken up and disposed of. In view of these facts I suggested that inquiry be made at this office before ordering the release of prisoners as Alton. If, however, that course should not be adopted it will be necessary for me to have the Alton cases first disposed of. In your letter of October 29, 1862, to Colonel Gantt you state that prisoners at Alton may be released by this office who have been sent there upon charges which upon investigation prove to be unfounded. I have been incessantly engaged in having these cases investigated; but there has been great difficulty in procuring the evidence, and early every case requires a personal examination of the prisoner. It takes much time to dispose of so many cases. I desire to be informed whether prisoners at Alton sent from here whose cases have not been disposed of are liable to be released by orders from Washington for the reasons above stated.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel and Provost-Marshal-General.

FORT MONROE, January 20, 1863.

Honorable G. V. FOX, Assistant Secretary of the Navy:

Not only the cartel but also the declaration of exchange of all captures on the sea up to the 10th instant requires the release of Captain Vincent and others now confined in Fort Lafayette and other prisons. When will they be sent here for exchange?


Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 20, 1863.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to report in answer to your communications of the 5th and 12th instant relative to Captain Wynne that the facts and circumstances within my knowledge relative to the arrest, imprisonment, &c., of Edward Wynne, representing himself to be a captain of the Grenadier Guards, Canada, are briefly as follows:

Captain Wynne when brought before me respectfully declined making any disclosures touching the object of his visit to Richmond or the ways and means whereby he effected his passage through the Federal lines.