War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0630 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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parole. After reporting her enemy parole was extended by Major Sherburne without my even requesting it. I remained upon parole upward of two months and in that time reported several times to yourself.

I must again draw your attention to the fact that I am to an officer, but am a private First Virginia Cavalry, and was taken in arms at the time the Confederates were retreating from Maryland. If the charge of being a spy or any other charge yet remains against me I most respectfully beg you will use your influence to gain kept in a constant state of suspense. Does it strike you very forcibly that if your Government had any serious charges against me it would permit me to be comfortably quartered here now among the officers, not to mention my having been allowed to enjoy a parole for about three months? Now, may I beg you to give this matter your personal attention? I know I have no right to ask this favor of you, but knowing you have the power to exchange me if you please and believing you to be a just and upright gentleman, I trust you will take the matter in hand and permit me to leave with the next exchange.

I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Baltimore, Md., May 16, 1863

I. The following communication received from the commissary-general of prisoners is published for information:


Washington, D. C., May 11, 1863

Major General R. C. SCHENCK,

Commanding Eighth Army Corps, Baltimore, Md.

GENERAL: I am instructed by the General-in-Chief to say that when a person is arrested charged with being a spy or commission of any 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,


Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

II. Instructions similar in substance to those contained in the above letter have been given from time to time from these headquarters, and hereafter all commanding officers of divisions, brigades or detached commands and all provost-marshals will be held strictly responsible for a careful observance of them. When a prisoner is sent from any point to another to be detained in custody the charges, with all specifications, affidavits or other papers showing clearly the nature and character of the case must be forwarded with him, and when two or more prisoners are sent together there must be a separate statement and papers for each case.

By command of Major-General Schenck:


Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.