War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0518 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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be used as barracks for troops. On of the small prisons may be used for the prisoners of the camp and the other will accommodate the few prisoners of war or political prisoners who may be sent there en route to Johnson's Island.

I beg leave respectfully to offer the foregoing suggestion of measures which I think are calculated in some degree [to remedy

the] evils which are in many ways so detrimental to the interests of the service. It is objectionable I know to detain efficient officers from the front, but it is highly important that our paroled troops should lone kept under better discipline and better control than they have been heretofore.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary - General of Prisoners.

WASHINGTON, April 24, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. LUDLOW:

I will direct the commanding officer at Fort Delaware to deliver prisoners to you. He has not reported arrival of prisoners from Lafayette. Will request him to report to you.

W. HOFFMAN,

Commissary - General of Prisoners.

NEW BERNE, N. C., April 24, 1863.

Major General J. G. FOSTER,

Commanding Eighteenth Army Corps, New Berne, N. C.

GENERAL: I beg leave to report to you the following circumstances connected with the capture of some of my men and their treatment as prisoners of war. On the 12th of March, 1863, six of my men were detailed to guard some negroes who were chopping wood near Elizabeth City for the use of the garrison. They were attacked by the Partisan Rangers and 3 of their number were taken prisoners. Also 3 negroes were taken and 2 killed. On the 6th of April Lieutenant L. A. Bigger as sent down the river to Little Flatty Creek for a schooner - load of wood. He has with him six men and some negroes. They went ashore at night and were surrounded and taken by the Partisan Rangers. We got information of the affair on the morning of the 7th and sent out an expedition in pursuit but did not succeed in retaking them. I got a note from Lieutenant Bigger the next day stating the facts above stated. On the 23rd of April I received a letter from Lieutenant Bigger dated April 13, at Fortress Monroe, saying that he had been paroled but that the men would be confined in Castle Thunder, where the three who were captured March 12 had been confined in an awful dungeon, from the effects of which two of the men had died. A description of the prison by Lieutenant Bigger was a gloomy cell 15 by 20 feet occupied by twenty - eight men.

Thus my men are treated as felons of the deepest dye instead of as prisoners of war because they are North Carolina Union volunteers. While I was in command at Elizabeth City I had some of the guerrilla prisoners and treated them as prisoners of war, and they were released by General Palmer's orders on taking the oath of neutrality and giving $ 250 bonds not to take up arms against us again.