MURFREESBOROUGH, June 9, 1863.
Brigadier General L. THOMAS:
Last evening a dispatch from Colonel J. P. Baird, commanding post at Franklin, Tenn., was received as follows:
Two men came in camp about dark dressed in our uniforms, with horse equipments to correspond, saying that they were Colonel Auton, inspector-general, and Major Dunlap, assistant, having an order from Adjutant-General Townsend and your order to inspect outposts, but their conduct was so singular that we arrested them, and they insisted that it was very important to go to Nashville to-night.
Colonel Baird asked if there were any such persons in the army and if so their description. I replied at once that they were probably spies and directed him to order a court, and if they proved to be spies to execute them immediately, which was done, and they were tried, condemned to be hung and the sentence was carried into execution before 10 o'clock this morning. On being discovered they confessed that they were officers in the Confederate Army, one a colonel named Lawrence W. Orton, formerly W. Orton Williams. One claims [to be] first cousin to Robert E. Lee [and] to have been chief of artillery on General Bragg's staff, and formerly to have been on General Scott's staff, of Second Regular Cavalry. A full history of the case will be forwarded you by mail.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 9, 1863.
Major-General ROSECRANS, Murfreesborough:
Your dispatch to the Adjutant-General in respect to the execution of the spies that came into your camp has just been received. Your prompt action is approved.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Washington, D. C., June 9, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
COLONEL: Your reply of the 8th instant to a letter from this office of the 7th relative to the probable number of rebel prisoners to be provided for at Fort Delaware has been received. The Surgeon-General directs me to inquire whether in connection with the barracks at Fort Delaware any steps have been taken toward the erection of hospitals.
By order of the Surgeon-General U. S. Army:
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. R. SMITH,
Surgeon, U. S. Army.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
June 10, 1863.
My recommendation to the Quartermaster-General to have a hospital for prisoners at Fort Delaware was referred to the Surgeon-General on the 27th ultimo and has not yet been returned. On the Surgeon-General's approval the hospital will be erected.
Very respectfully returned:
Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.