the validity of paroles, and they will doubtless communicate these instructions for the government of all subordinate commanders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
HEADQUARTERS, In Field, before Vicksburg, May 27, 1863.
Brigadier General P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Big Black R. R. Bridge, Miss.
GENERAL: Your communication of this date inclosing dispatch* by flag of truce from Major-General Loring, of the Confederate Army, is received. Your action in requiring the Confederate officer bearing the dispatch to remain outside of our lines is approved.
You will please acknowledge the receipt of it and say that the major-general commanding the Army of the Tennessee knows nothing of Major J. W. Anderson about whom inquiry is made; that steps will be immediately taken to ascertain if he is in our lines a prisoner and his condition.
If any information should be obtained relative to him it will be communicated to his friends; add anything else in answer you may deem proper. A copy of the dispatch of General Loring to be answered is herewith inclosed.
By order of Major-General Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, La Grange, Tenn., May 27, 1863.
Captain [SOL. G.] STREET, C. S. Army.
SIR: Information has reached me from perfectly reliable sources that two of your men, Kesterson and Robinson, have been guilty of murdering two Union soldiers in cold blood who were prisoners in your hands.
Their excuse that the prisoners were trying to escape was so notoriously false that your own men heaped upon them the execration that they so richly deserve. These criminals, a discharge to humanity, are within your reach and under you control, while six of your men are prisoners in my hands and thus far treated as prisoners of war. I will to-day order four of them put in irons to be shot if Keasterson and Robinson are not delivered into our hands within a reasonable length of time to suffer the penalty due to their infamous crime. If there is any indisputable proof that the charges against Kesterson and Robinson are false please send it to me and the men ironed shall be restored to the conditions of prisoners of war. +
WILLIAM SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Division.
WASHINGTON, May 28, 1863.
MY DEAR SIR: Surg. S. F. Myers, of the Seventy-third Indiana Volunteers, a townsman of mine captured by Forrest in Georgia at
*See Loring to Grant, May 26, p. 709.
+See Street to Ruggles, June 4, 1863, p. 967.