future action. In any new arrangement for a cartel I request that this Department may be allowed to associate an officer or officers to arrange the terms.
Secretary of the Navy.
WAR DEPARTMENT, March 6, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Hitchcock, commissioner for the exchange of prisoners of war.
By order of the Secretary of War:
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, February 26, 1863.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith duplicate lists* of prisoners of war taken from the enemy and delivered on the 23rd instant to Major Watts, Confederate agent for the exchange of prisoners by Colonel John S. Clark, aide-de-camp, of my staff.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HEADQUARTERS, Cincinnati, Ohio, February 26, 1863.
Commanding Eastern District, Louisa, Ky.
GENERAL: Yours of the 22nd was received this morning on my return to Cincinnati from a visit to Kentucky. I am not aware that any instructions were given to Colonel Cranor in regard to the disposition to be made of persons who having served in the rebel ranks have subsequently returned to their homes, as no such cases seem to have been referred to by him in his report to these headquarters. The rule established in other portions of the State where the question of the proper disposition to be made of such persons is constantly arising is this:
1. Deserters from the rebel ranks, recognized as being such, are to be treated according to the laws of war with all the leniency compatible with our own safety, it being an established principle to weaken the enemy as much as possible by encouraging desertion from his ranks. Under this rule the practice has been to permit the deserter to remain at home on his taking the oath of allegiance and giving proper bonds for its observance, the amount of the bond being at the discretion of the district commander and depending upon the condition of the party as regards property, &c. Should any doubt exist, however, of the reliability of the individual then such other steps should be taken, such as sending him to Camp Chase as a political prisoner, as will give reasonable security against his doing harm.
2. Persons returning home after serving their term in the rebel service but who are believed to be truly penitent may if deemed reliable be permitted to remain on similar terms. They are not entitled to