HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, Harper's Ferry, Va., June 1, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. CHESEBROUGH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Baltimore, Md.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that on or about the 26th day of April, 1863, near Burlington, Hampshire County, Va., a detachment of Seventh Virginia Cavalry, under Captain Kuykendall, C. S. Army, captured Lieutenant W. T. Singleton, regimental quartermaster First [West] Virginia, Lieutenant D. F. Gordon, regimental quartermaster Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant H. A. Myers, Ringoold Cavalry, and Private John A. Meeks of same command.
At and shortly after the capture it was proposed to release these prisoners upon parole, and this led to a discussion of the general order of the major-general commanding declaring inoperative paroles taken in violation of the cartel of exchange. The Federal officers gave their decided opinion that such parole would not be regarded by "their military superiors as of binding effect. " They were kept for over two days among the mountains in the neighborhood by a detachment of the rebel cavalry, forced to travel at night from one point to another resting a few hours in daytime, and without adequate clothing or other protection against the weather, until wearied out they consented to give the usual parole with the addition that if not recognized by the Federal authorities they would report themselves within the enemy's lines for exchanged.
They desire to be fully advised regarding the course proper to be pursued; whether they shall return to duty with their commands or report in pursuance of their parole or whether they can be exchanged without such action on their part. They regard the parole given under these circumstances as binding and express some delicacy in going to duty until exchanged.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. KELLEY,
BALTIMORE, June 3, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Colonel Hoffman, commissary-general of prisoners, with request for his instructions.
This I suppose to be one of those irregular paroles which ought, however, to be recognized as binding because of the peculiar circumstances of the case. I forward this special report therefore in accordance with the last clause of the letter of instructions received by me from the commissary-general of prisoners dated May 20, 1863.
ROBERT C. SCHENCK,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, June 6, 1863.
This is one of those cases where it is left for the major-general commanding to decide whether the parole shall be recognized or not. If it is held as binding the parties should be sent to Camp Parole to await their exchange. On the 22nd ultimo Mr. Ould, the Confederate agent for exchange, was notified that from that date no paroles would