War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0210 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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present. I must either burn the cotton, return to the Confederate lines, or my Government must through the proper channels assume the responsibility of my action and thus publicly relieve me. I being the only commissioned officer on either steamer able to treat with our captors certainly did my duty in making the best terms possible. In doing this you in the indorsement of General Boyle's order condemn me. My position as chaplain does not relieve me. General Wheeler did not parole me; he said it would be a violation of the cartel. The cotton was a lawful capture by them and under the circumstances they would have been justified in burning the same. Placed asboth parties then were the cotton could not be burned without endangering the lives of many of the sufferers on the Hastings. Hence General Wheeler ordered meto be held personally responsible for the burning of the cotton on my reaching Louisville. I accepted the terms not dreaming that commanding generals would condemn instead of indorsing my course.

So long as there were other lives at stake I cared not for my own, but as it is now reduced to one and that my own it is just as valuable to me as yours and far more valuable than the paltry price of 111 bales of cotton, in order to save which it is now proposed to consign me to a doom not desirable to any man. I am fully aware of what that doom will be if I return without having tried to burn the cotton and I would rather submit to that doom than live and bear the disgrace necessarily involved in the violation of a faith plighted a recognized "belligerent power" under such circumstances.

In conclusion allow me to say that I have been connected with the army ever since the commencement of the war and have tried to do my duty. I have been on detached service part of the time as recruiting officer, quartermaster, transporting supplies, &c., and have always had the commendation of my superiors and at this period of t-afford to be thus cast off.

Hoping, my dear sir, that you now fully understand my position and will give it the attention that it deserves,

I remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. P. GADDIS,

Chaplain Second Regiment Ohio Volunteers Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS PRISONS,

Camp Chase, Ohio, January 24, 1863.

Captain LAZELLE,

Asst to Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.

CAPTAIN: First, pursuant to your instructions I have contracted for the grading with gravel the walks and wells in the prisons at this post, i. e., the est prisoners, and herewith inclose the agreement* in duplicate for the approval of the commissary-general of prisoners and upon the return of the same if approved the work will be immediately begun. The price of $1 per cubic yard is the lowest responsible bid I had.

I have separated the prisoners of war fro political [prisoners] and placed the and the officers recently received in prison Numbers 1 (east), Numbers 2 becoming too much crowded, and as it is equally as muddy as Numbers 2 the graveling will have to be done in it also. in that case the present contract could be extended.

2. I hold the commissioned officers, prisoners of war, from parole and exchange as directed by the commissary-general of prisoners.

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*Omitted.

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