War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0382 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Quite a number of them who were released by taking the oath of renunciation and allegiance have enlisted in the U. S. service. I would not permit any of those who enlisted in the U. S. troops at the camp to be placed as guards over their late companions. Sixty-one prisoners were released upon taking the oath of renunciation and allegiance during the month of February. The duties of provost-marshal are performed by Captain R. W. Healy, Fifty-eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, but owing to a lack of force in the officers and a want of discipline they were not performed satisfactorily in every respect.

This camp might have been made a very satisfactory one in every respect but there was an apparent neglect in everything relating to discipline. There were no police regulations established. The commanding officer who had been a prisoner in the South seemed to care only for the security of the prisoners. They were closely confined within limits and no regard paid to their wants or comforts. He appeared to think this was all that was required of him. He has permitted the prisoners to take care of themselves; they have become indolent and have lived in filth and idleness until they have lost all energy and pride. I have given every necessary instruction at this camp for the complete compliance of all your instructions. I have instituted rigid police regulations and when I left everything indicated great improvement. With the aid of a few days of fine weather I have no doubt that the police and sanitary condition of the camp will be wonderfully improved.

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


Captain, Third Infantry.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 22, 1863.

Honorable JOSEPH HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General U. S. Army.

COLONEL: A number of prisoners arrived here yesterday from Richmond who had been captured while on an expedition under the direction of Major-General Mitchel last spring. Several of the party sent out by General Mitchel are reported to have been put to death by the rebels and one of their number to have received 100 lashes on his bare back. I desire that you take measures to have the examination* of these witnesses taken and their testimony reduced to writing before a notary public for the purposes of this Department. They will be directed to report to you to-morrow.

Yours, truly,


Secretary of War.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, March 22, 1863.

Colonel HOFFMAN, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: I see in the papers that a number of the political prisoners at Richmond have been North for exchange. Will you please furnish me with the names of those residing in Virginia at as early a day as practicable?

I am, yours, &c.,



* For the Judge-Advocate-General's report in this matter and other documents relating to it, see Series I, Vol. X, Part I, p. 630 et seq.