It is proper here to remark that Mr. Tunstall had been confined at Fort Warren and been discharged by the Secretary of State on his parole not to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States. After the receipt of the note from the Secretary of State Mr. Tunstall called at my office repeatedly to obtain a permit but I gave no encouragement until some time after it was publicly announced that women and children could avail themselves of going South. I then presented his case with the recommendation of the Secretary of State to the Secretary of War, and he directed me to give Mr. Tunstall permission to go to his home and family on the flag-of-truce steamer of the 7th of January last and the permit was accordingly given. That Mr. Tunstall did return by said flag-of-truce steamer New York the 7th ultimo and was delivered over to the rebel agent, Mr. Ould, at City Point; that on the passage from this city to City Point the detectives on board the steamer found among his luggage quinine and other prohibited articles, and they reported language used by him on the steamer that was offensive and objectionable--so much so that I took from him some money which had been intrusted to him to take to the prisoners in Libby Prison. In his communication to the Secretary of War Mr. Tunstall says that--
I frequently in conversation with Major L. C. Turner on my way down on the flag-of-truce boat expressed my wish and determination to return as soon as I could see my people, &c., and asked him if he thought the Government would molest me in the event of my return here. To which he replied: "Oh, I suppose not, I guess not," or some such phrase of similar assurance that it would not was to the best of my memory the language he used.
As to Mr. Tunstall's wish and determination to return to Washington or to the loyal States his statement in said letter to the Secretary of War and one to myself is the first knowledge or intimation I ever had of said wish and determination. Had he expressed such wish or determination to me I am quite sure I should have distinctly remembered it, for the reason that all persons who went South at that time and under my superintendence were distinctly and repeatedly informed (when they asked) that their going South was without any assurance whatever that they could obtain permission to return during the war. I recollect that Mr. Tunstall said to me some time during the passage that he claimed to be a Spanish citizen and intended eventually to return to Spain (Cadiz) and spend his days, but that he intimated that it was his wish and determination to return here or anywhere in the loyal States, and that I responded that "I guessed" or 'supposed" or intimated by any other phrase that the Government would not molest him if he did return is not true. He had no such assurance direct or indirect from me, and I had no intimation that the entertained a wish or determination to return here, either during his application for a permit or during his passage to City Point.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. C. TURNER,
Springfield, Ill., February 23, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.
SIR: I am directed by His Excellency Governor Yates to call attention to the condition of paroled prisoners of war belonging to regiments of this State who have been exchanged at Richmond and sent to Annapolis,