War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0234 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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commanding rebel forces at Savannah, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. The correspondence so fully explains itself that I feel comment to be unnecessary in submitting the matter to your judgment and awaiting your further orders.

I have much pleasure in reporting the safe arrival in this harbor of 10,000 re-enforcements under command of Major-General Foster. The troops are in excellent condition and spirits, having experienced pleasant weather and not having been overcrowded in the transports.

I have the honor to be, general, with the highest esteem, your most obedient servant,

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF GEORGIA,

Savannah, January 21, 1863.

Major General DAVID HUNTER,

Commanding, &c., Hilton Head, S. C.

GENERAL: I beg leave respectfully to call your attention to the case of Mr. D. McDonald, of McIntosh County, in this State.

Mr. McDonald is a non-combatant and has never been in military service. He was taken from his own residence and made no resistance of any kind whatever. He was conveyed it is now understood to Hilton Head and is retained as a prisoner by you. I must request that you will take the case into consideration and trust that you will at once conclude to release Mr. McDonald so that he may return to his family, who are much in need of his attention.

I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,

H. W. MERCER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

January 30, 1863.

General MERCER, Commanding, &c., District of Georgia.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication dated January 21, 1863, calling attention to the case of Mr. D. McDonald, of McIntosh County, Ga., claimed by you to be a non-combatant who has never been in military service, ow held as a prisoner at this post, and asking that I take Mr. McDonald's case into consideration and that he be released and returned to his family.

Without pausing to enter upon the merits of this particular case I would most respectfully inform you that by the same flag of truce which conveyed your letter I received notification that First Lieutenant Virgil H. Cate, Company C, Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, recently captured in the vicinity of Saint Augustine Fla., is held as a prisoner in Charleston jail, General Beauregard having notified him that "being a commissioned officer he is not subject to exchange," but that he will "probably be turned over to the local authorities of the State of Florida for trial under the statutes made and provided in that State for the punishment of persons engaged in inciting negro slaves to insurrection. " This action is doubtless based on the declaration and in the recent message of Mr. Jefferson Davis that "hereafter unless Congress (meaning the Confederate Congress) think some other course more expedient" he will cause all commissioned officers of the