War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0765 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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furnished by Adjutant-General's Office are regularly forwarded as therein directed and the parties sent to Camp Chase, Ohio. Those persons retained as political prisoners are also sent to Camp Chase with the charges and testimony. Deserters from the enemy are also sent to Camp Chase with a statement of their position. No rolls of the last-named two classes have bee forwarded and none it is believed are required from these headquarters. The returns now required from the provost-marshal and other officers having prisoners in charge will it is conceived give all necessary information regarding them.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JULIUS WHITE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, June 9, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: Pursuant to instructions received from you under date of March 23, 1863, I have the honor to transmit herewith lists* of political prisoners of which duplicates have been furnished to the judges of the circuit and district courts of the United States inc compliance with the requirements of the act of Congress of March 3 last, entitled "An act relating to habeas corpus and regulating judicial proceedings in certain cases. " Your instructions to me were to see that the provisions of that law are observed in regards to all persons held in military custody. For the preparation of the lists required by those provisions there were furnished me by your rolls of prisoners confined in the Government prisoners at Saint Louis, Alton, Louisville, Sandusky, Wheeling, Camp Chase (Ohio), Fort Lafayette, Fort McHenry, Fort Delaware and in the Old Capitol Prison at Washington.

In consequence of the late date of your letter of instruction and of the receipt of the rolls, as well as on account of the pressure of business the lists have not been furnished within the twenty days specified in the act. This delay, however, cannot affect the privileges of the prisoners in question as will be seen by reference to the third section of the act alluded to at the end of this communication. Most of the rolls furnished are incomplete in view of the requirements of the act in that they do not state where the offenses were committed or by whose authority the arrests were made, and some of them do not specify in many cases what the offense was or charge. The residence of prisoners, however, is generally given, and this in nearly every case affords a venue for trial according to the terms of the act. It not being generally stated in the rolls by whose authority the arrests which are the subject of this communication were made it has been presumed (for the purposes of the present lists) that all were made by the authority either direct of the President, acting through the Secretary of War.

In point of fact, however, it is believed that these arrests were generally made by military commanders and provost-marshal without any intervention on the part of the President or Secretary. A considerable number of the prisoners enumerated in some of the rolls, especially those from the prison of Saint Louis and Alton, are not included in the lists prepared by me for the U. S. judges. The act does not appear to have been carefully framed and has been found to be extremely difficult of construction. In view of this fact ad of the deficiencies in the

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*Omitted.

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