War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0715 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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the time Streigth's brigade was taken, was released on parole and is now at Annapolis. The military officers of that brigade are all held by the rebels who refuse to exchange them. Five other surgeons of that same brigade are with him. Their regiments were all paroled and are now at Camp Chase, Columbus. These Western surgeons desire authority to report to the Surgeon-General here as to their treatment and to confer with the authorities here as to their brother officers so unjustly detained. I hope as their regiments are not with them you will grant this authority. If you will not all I trust you will for the Indianians. I have general townsmen in Libby Prison. See names of surgeons on next page.

Yours, truly,

SCHUYLER COLFAX.

Western surgeons at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md.: Surg. S. F. Myers, Seventy-third Indiana Volunteers; Asst. Surg. Wilson Pottenger, Seventy-third Indiana Volunteers; [Assistant] Surgeon King, Fifty-first Indiana Volunteers; Surg. W. L. Peck, Third Ohio Volunteers; Asst. Surg. T. C. Clason, Third Ohio Volunteers; [Asst.] Surg. A. Davidson, Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteers.

RICHMOND, VA., May 28, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange.

SIR: Your communications of the 25th have been received. That in relation to the execution of Captains McGraw and Corbin contains statements which I am sure upon further reflection you will retract. You say:

By your own admissions your officers and men have come within our lines ostensibly for the purpose of recruiting but really as spies.

I have never made any such admission. I have not done it in the cases of Captain McGraw and Corbin or in any other. All the information heretofore received both from your own side and our own people agreed as to the fact that these officers were engaged in a recruiting service and were tried and condemned for that reason. It would indeed be amazing if I had admitted them to be spies when I was not possessed of a single fact which would warrant such a conclusion.

You say that Captains McGraw and Corbin were executed upon conviction of being spies. More than were weeks ago I asked you for the records in these cases. You then promised to furnish them. You promised the same thing at our last interview. It has not been done yet. The unanimous statements of your newspaper press before, during and after trial, the order of General Burnside, the form of death inflicted upon these unfortunate men, all united in proclaiming that they were tried for recruiting within a State represented in our legislative councils and in the ranks of our Army. If they were tried as spies why were they shot instead of being hung? Will you say your military courts are so ignorant of the unvarying judgment pronounced by such tribunals upon spies as to make so strange a mistake? Even if the evidence showed them to be spies no military court had the right to convict them as such upon a charge of recruiting within your lines. No man even before a military tribunal can be convicted of a higher crime than that with which he is charged. In addition to all this it is within the knowledge of this Government that these officers were not in Kentucky as spies. They had no motive to go there as