War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0766 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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rolls as well as in consideration of the exigencies of the service the act has been strictly construed by me, and those cases which are clearly triable by court-martial or military commission and which are being every day thus tried and readily and summarily disposed of are not generally included in the lists. Such are cases of prisoners arrested as guerrillas or bushwhackers or as being connected with or aiding these. So too of those arrested for communicating intelligence to the enemy in the sense of the Fifty-Seventh Article of War and of those taken as spies.

It is not believed that it was intended in the act to invite attention to cases of persons charges with purely military offenses or of persons suffering under sentences of military tribunals. The cases of parties confined under sentence pronounced by military courts previous to the date of the act are, therefore, not contained in the present lists. But the large class of prisoners in whose case no charges, and the numerous class of those who are specified as confined during the war (without its being added that they are under sentence) are both included. The lists also embrace those cases in which the charge is stated in general terms as by the words rebel, disloyal, &c., and further comprise prisoners held as hostages merely or as refugees.

The construction of the act which has been adopted by m is supported by the consideration that under its provisions such construction cannot impair the rights of any prisoner not placed in the lists, for it is provided in the third section that in case a prisoner is omitted to be presented by the Secretary to the judge in the formal list he may obtain by a process therein prescribed the judge's order for his discharge upon the same terms as those which govern the case of the prisoners whose names, &c., have been furnished in the list by the Secretary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT,

Judge-Advocate-General.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., June 9, 1863.

Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that Baton Rouge has been selected as a place for the delivery of prisoners of war as provided for in the cartel. Please require rolls of all deliveries made to be forwarded to this office.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., June 9, 1863.

Major General J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.

GENERAL: I have just received from the commanding officer of the Alton Prison a copy of your order of the 1st instant directing for what purposes the prison fund at that and other places in your department should be used. Supposing it possible that your attention may not