War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0593 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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other specific offense requiring a trial an immediate investigation must be had before a military tribunal at the place where the offense was committed and where the witnesses are within reach. Many persons have been arrested as spies and sent to interior prisons and after months of detention it has been found that the charges had neither specifications nor evidence to sustain them. In cases where arrests are made on a general charge of disloyal conduct it is necessary that full details in each case with the character of the person should be given in order to a proper disposal of it. Please give the necessary instructions to insure compliance with the foregoing in your department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

(Same to Major Gens. S. R. Curtis, A. E. Burnside, W. S. Rosecrans, R. C. Schenck and N. P. Banks.)

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., May 11, 1863.

Brigadier General JOHN S. MASON, Commanding, Columbus, Ohio.

GENERAL: By direction of the Secretary of War you are authorized to release on their taking the oath of allegiance all prisoners at Camp Chase who are deserters from the rebel army. Many prisoners of war will doubtless endeavor to claim to be deserters with a view of escaping from confinement by this means, and it is left for you to decide by careful inquiry in each case who are really deserters and entitled to this indulgence. Let it be clearly understood that death is the penalty for the violation of the oath. Please have full rolls of all so discharged forwarded to this office. It is intended that hereafter Camp Chase prison shall be used only as a temporary place of confinement for prisoners, and I am instructed by the Secretary of War to direct that you forward from time to time all prisoners received at the camp to the depot on Johnson's Island, Sandusky. Rebel officers, however, will be held by themselves in one of the small prisons for special instructions.

It is not probable that Prison Numbers 3 will again be required, but an emergency may render it necessary and I therefore request that the fence may be taken down only in places and the part removed so disposed of that it may be readily used if required.

Orders have probably been given from the headquarters Department of the Ohio for the transfer of all prisoners of war now at Camp Chase to City Point. Please furnish me with detailed report of all exchanged troops ordered from Camp Chase to their regiments, giving names of officers and regiments and company of men, and send like reports of all not exchanged. The movement will be ordered by General Burnside.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., May 11, 1863.

Major W. S. PIERSON,

Commanding Depot Prisoners of War, Sandusky, Ohio.

MAJOR: The following-named prisoners, held at Johnson's Island as spies, will be placed on the rolls as prisoners of war and will be for-

38 R R - SERIES II, VOL V