War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0229 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

January 24, on an appeal from Chaplain Gaddis General Wright expresses some doubt as to the propriety of the order given by General Boyle and refers the subject for the disposal of the War Department.

Being required to report in this case I have the honor to observe that there can be no doubt as to the humane purpose of Chaplain Gaddis, but there is as little doubt that he had no authority to pledge himself to burn the cotton "on the wharf" at Louisville; a pledge the invalidity of which must have been known to the Confederate commander who might with as much propriety have required from Chaplain Gaddis a pledge to fire the city of Louisville as a condition for allowing the Hastings to pass. Under such circumstances it might be assumed that the Confederate commander had no expectation of a compliance with such a pledge and only accepted it as a matter of form under cover of which to allow the wounded men to proceed undisturbed. I suppose the pledge is a nullity on the face of it. The alternative condition by which Chaplain Gaddis promised to return as a prisoner of war presents a case for himself to decide upon, and his determination in view of it ought not to be interfered with by external authority. In the event of his deciding to return with the evidence clearly in his power to furnish of his own personal good faith in the matter the Confederate authorities would be answerable to humanity and to civilized history that his treatment should not disgrace the usages of modern warfare.

The further action of the War Department it would seem must depend upon the decision of Chaplain Gaddis.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major-General of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 31, 1863.

WM. P. WOOD, Superintendent Old Capitol Prison.

SIR: Inclosed you will find a copy of the memorandum for Colonel Ludlow from Mr. Ould, dated City Point, Va., January 8, 1863.

If you desire to make any answer to this statement from Mr. Ould I will forward it through Colonel Ludlow if it is such as he can present with propriety.

I desire you to furnish me a report of your proceedings in your communications with Mr. Baxter or other Confederate authorities, especially any pledge you may have from any one assuming to act by that authority tending to the release or exchange of any citizen of the United States held as prisoner by that authority.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major-General of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

[Inclosure.]

CITY POINT, VA., January 8, 1863.

MEMORANDUM FOR COLONEL LUDLOW.

When Mr. Wood reached Varina with the prisoners under his charge I informed him distinctly and repeatedly that no equivalent of any kind would be given for non-combatants arrested on Confederate soil. I did not offer to exchange any person of whatever condition or nationally for such. I did say that if any citizen of the