War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0665 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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as much as possible. Most of the duties of military commanders in these States can now be performed by provost-marshals under the law. Moreover it seems difficult to find military commanders of sufficient judgment and discretion to avoid conflicts with the civil authority in these States, and in many of these conflicts the officers have been entirely in the wrong, assuming powers which do not belong to them. All this does much harm by inciting passions and political animosities.

The Secretary of War also alluded to another matter upon which I wrote you some time ago, viz, the importance of your taking the field, concentrating your forces and inflicting some blow upon the enemy especially while large re-enforcements are detached to operate against General Grant. If you and General Rosecrans can do nothing to injure the enemy while he is engaged with Grant he will certainly return in force and injure you.

I regret that your calls for re-enforcements cannot be met. There are no troops that can possibly be sent to you till more are raised. More-over if we had 10,000 available troops to-morrow it would be necessary to send them to General Grant and General Banks where they are much the most needed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 20, 1863. *

Major-General HITCHCOCK, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I have just received your indorsement on the letter of Government Morton in regard to newspaper statements that the enemy had refused to parole certain prisoners of war in accordance with the stipulations of the cartel. I fully concur with you in regard to the proposed retaliation, but I think a direct and positive demand should be made upon Mr. Ould for the execution of the cartel in regard to these prisoners before any further action should be decided upon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

HEADQUARTERS, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 20, 1863.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

The President's order in reference to Mr. Vallandigham is received and he is now on board of a gun-boat at anchor in the river preparatory to starting. I beg to make the following suggestions for the consideration of the President:

The commission which tried Mr. Vallandigham was organized to meet a supposed emergency in this department, and the necessity for that courses as well as the action of the commission has been sanctioned by the U. S. court, thus giving to the existence of the commission a validity which is very necessary to it in the discharge of its important duties. The commission is composed of some of our best officers. In making up a verdict in the case the sentence to send the prisoner South was as I know fully discussed and decided against. In case he should now be sent South it would open the Government and myself to

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*Void; see letter of proper date, p. 693.

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