War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0263 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. --UNION.

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that they are medical officers of the rebel army they should be sent on parole to the nearest convenient point of our lines to be released. In the absence of these medical officers should you find it necessary you will employ private physicians to attend the sick and wounded prisoners.

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

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., February 10, 1863.

Colonel HENRY DENT, Provost-Marshal-General, Louisville, Ky.

COLONEL: By your telegram of the 11th instant it appears that you have sixty deserters from the rebel army. On the 3rd of December last I communicated to Captain Jones, aide-de-camp to General Boyle, instructions as to the disposition to be made of such prisoners. Lest they may not have reached you I will give you the substance of them: Deserters from the rebel army who are really such cannot be held as prisoners of war and they should be released; but to insure their future loyalty they should be required to take the oath of allegiance with the penalty of death for its violation. If you have any such cases in charge please make a report for each case with your recommendation for or against discharge. There may be those who will represent themselves as deserters who are in fact spies. To guard against cases of this kind commanders must make a careful examination of each case presented.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., February 10, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE SANGSTER,

Commanding Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md.

COLONEL: Your letter of the 8th instant is received. The second paragraph of General Orders, Numbers 10, current series, required that "all exchanged troops will be forwarded to the armies to which they belong as soon as properly equipped. " This order,* a copy of which is inclosed, covers all the exchanged troops at Annapolis, and you will accordingly forward them without delay. You will assign an officer to command the detachments ordered to different armies, and these officers will receipt to you for all arms and other public property in the hands of the men, which property will be turned over on receipt to the officers commanding the companies to which the men belong. Send with each detachments full accounts of clothing, pay, &c. If a payment has not been made it should be made at once. You will not send any more paroled troops West till I give you further orders. Colonel Waite, of the First Infantry, has been ordered to take command at Annapolis, and you will command Camp Parole as heretofore. I have no doubt the colonel will carry out your arrangements, which seem to me very judicious, and his presence will relieve you of much labor. Major

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*Omitted here; see p. 169.

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